Setting up your baby’s room is thrilling. It is one of the “real” things you get to do as parents. Here’s what you need to know about the crib.
When choosing the crib, make sure that the slats are no wider than a soda can, so that your baby can’t get their heads or limbs caught in between them. Also make sure that the metal hardware on the crib has no rough or sharp edges and check out the locks and latches on the drop-side of the crib, so that the baby won’t accidentally release them from inside the crib and fall out. A lot of cribs have double release mechanisms, which makes them safer. You also want to make sure that your baby cannot climb out of the crib.
For the crib mattress, your best bet is a high-density foam mattress. It is not bouncy and doesn’t have any inner parts that can break. Make sure the sides of the crib mattress are well vented to allow air flow in and out under pressure. Poorly vented mattresses trap air inside, that could pop, tearing the vinyl cover. A firm foam mattress fits the crib tightly. Besides, it is usually thinner than an innerspring mattress, resulting in a greater distance between the mattress and the top railing, therefore more difficult for a baby to climb out of the crib.
Crib bumper pads provide extra protection for your baby. You baby will not become accidentally wedged between the mattress and the crib side or the bars. The pads should cover all four sides of the crib and tie securely onto the crib bars in at least six places. However, keep in mind that your baby may use them as a prop to climb out of the crib.
More expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better. All cribs, sold in the United States, must meet the same federal safety standards. So, rest assured that there are plenty of safe ones out there that will fit your price range.