We are taking a look at how to choose the best baby crib for the nursery!
One of the most frequent questions we get asked, as we help clients with their nursery designs, is how to choose the best baby crib for their little baby. Babies spend so much time in their cribs, it's understandable that parents worry if they are picking a crib that's safe and comfortable for their baby.
So, we've put together this comprehensive guide to help you navigate the baby crib buying process and hopefully answer some of your most pressing questions.
WHERE SHOULD NEWBORN BABIES SLEEP?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics the safest place for baby to sleep is in her or his crib or bassinet in the parents room. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics as well as the Consumer Product Safety Commission strongly advises parents against having the baby sleep on the parents bed because of the potential for suffocation.
Babies wake up every couple of hours or so during the first few months, so having the baby sleep in a bassinet that is placed near your bed might be convenient for late night feedings, cuddles and for peace of mind.
WHEN TO MOVE BABY FROM BASSINET TO CRIB?
Pediatricians often recommend that you move the baby out of the bassinet when the baby is around 3 or 4 months old. Most of the bassinets have a maximum weight limit so do check on that. If the baby is sleeping for longer stretches during the night, you might want to transition the baby to the crib sooner. Also, some babies start rolling as early as two or three months and would need to be moved to a crib to avoid falling from the bassinet.
WHAT IS A FULL SIZE CRIB VS NON FULL SIZE CRIB?
The Consumer Product Safety Commission classifies a crib as a full size crib if it's interior dimensions are 28 (+/- 5/8) inches in width and 52 3/8 (+ or -5/8)inches in length. Non full size cribs are smaller than or larger than regular full size cribs but does not include screen or mesh cribs, bassinets, baskets, car beds or cradles.
Both full size and non full size cribs have federally mandated standards to prevent accidental deaths and injuries. Manufacturers and Importers have to certify that the cribs meet these federally mandated standards after independent testing by a third party Consumer Product Safety Commission approved laboratory .You can find more information about the standards and the processes involved here.
One substantial difference when it comes to full size and non full size cribs is that non full size cribs must be sold with a mattress. The mattress needs to be thick enough and the distance from the top of the mattress to the top of the crib side and/or end panel at the highest adjustable position when the mattress support is at its lowest position needs to be at least 20 inches. Further, the distance from the top of the mattress to the top of the crib side and/or end panel at the lowest adjustable position when the mattress support is at its highest position needs to be at least 3 inches.(cpsc.gov)
As for full size cribs, you will have to purchase a mattress separately. The mattress must be at least 27 1/4 inches x 51 1/4 inches, with a thickness not exceeding 6 inches. The assembly instructions, the retail carton for the crib, and the crib itself must contain a specific warning statement that states the dimensions.(cpsc.gov)
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF CRIBS?
There are a variety of crib styles to choose from. First, think about the overall design plan for your baby's nursery and then pick the style of crib.
Do you gravitate towards traditional pieces or do you like the modern sleek look? Here are the 6 baby crib styles:
With graceful curves, moldings, charming appliques and so many other details -traditional cribs are a popular choice.
Modern cribs have clean lines, Eco-friendly designs and offer both impeccable style and functionality.
Designer cribs are higher end cribs made with higher quality materials and workmanship.
Eco-friendly cribs are made with sustain-ably sourced wood and finished with non-toxic water based formulas and is a great alternative for parents who seek an Eco-friendly option.
ROUND OR OVAL CRIBS
A round or oval crib gives the baby a 360 degree view of the room and is super trendy.
JENNY LIND CRIBS
Jenny Lind Crib with its signature spindle posts and details, adds vintage-inspired grandeur to a nursery. It's used in both traditional and modern nursery designs.
WHAT ARE THE CRIB FEATURES TO CONSIDER?
MULTI POSITION ADJUSTABLE MATTRESS HEIGHT
Most of the cribs allow you to adjust the height of the mattress. When the baby is small you can adjust the mattress to a higher position and as she starts rolling and sitting up, you can adjust the mattress to a lower position, to prevent falls. Some cribs though offer more adjustable positions than others.
The mattress support essentially supports the mattress. Some cribs have a metal spring platform while others have a grid of wooden slats to support the mattress. While federal standards have recently been enacted to make these supports much stronger, it's important to still consider the quality of the materials used and workmanship.
SPINDLES OR SLATS
The crib will have either spindles or slats around the sides of the crib. The distance between the spindles or the slats should not be more than 2 3/8 inches apart. If a small soda can can fit through the slats, it means the distance is too much and not safe for your baby. The choice between the spindles and slats is more of a personal style preference. However the quality of the materials used and workmanship should be a factor when picking the best crib for your baby.
WHEELS OR CASTERS
Some cribs come equipped with wheels or casters making it easier for you to move the crib around. Look for a crib that comes with a locking mechanism to prevent the crib from gliding around.
Several different materials such as wood, MDF and iron are used in the manufacturing of cribs.I t is important to know what materials your baby's crib is constructed out of. There are Eco-friendly cribs, made with sustain-ably sourced wood and finished with non-toxic water based formulas and is a great alternative to parents who seek an Eco-friendly option.
CRIB PRICE RANGES
You can find a baby crib basically at every price point. As with other products, features and brand identity dictate the prices of cribs.
CRIB SAFETY TIPS
Babies spend so much time in their cribs, that crib safety is paramount. Here are the most important crib safety items that need your attention.
- The crib mattress needs to be firm and fit snugly so a baby cannot get trapped between the mattress and the crib.
- Make sure that there are no missing, loose or broken screws, brackets or other hardware on the crib or mattress support
- The width between the slats or spindles should not be more than 2 3/8 inches so a baby's body cannot fit through the slats
- The corner posts should not be over 1/16th inch high so a baby's clothing does not get caught on it.
- There should not be any cutouts in the head board or foot board, to prevent a baby's head from getting trapped.
Also, make sure that the crib has a certification from the Juvenile Products Manufacturing Association. This certification will give you the reassurance that the crib has been tested for quality and safety.
BABY CRIB BUYING PROCESS
After reading all of the information above, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed. With so many things to consider and so many options, how do you identify the crib that is the best baby crib for your little one?
OUR PICKS FOR THE BEST BABY CRIBS
After reviewing many different cribs, we put together our picks for the best baby cribs. Read this post to find our picks for best baby cribs.
SLEEP SAFETY TIPS
Now that you know what to look for when shopping for a crib, lets take a look at some sleep safety tips that are extremely important.
- Don't use bumpers.
- Don't put pillows, toys or blankets in the crib.
- Always put the baby to sleep on his or her back
- Don't place the crib near a window with cords
- Don't let the baby get too hot