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How to Choose the Right Crib for Your Baby

A new crib for your baby should be designed in a way that will minimize the risk of an accident. The crib’s design, type of bedding and its placement in the room are all important. Here are some things you should know.

Types of Cribs
A standard crib has slats on four sides and is durable enough to last for years. Many families use the same crib for multiple children.

A convertible crib can be modified to transition from a crib to a toddler bed to a full bed as your child gets older. A convertible crib will be more expensive than a standard crib, but it can save you money in the long run since you won’t have to buy additional furniture in the future.

Safe Crib Design
Crib designs have changed over the years. Some features that used to be common, such as drop rails, have been found to be dangerous and are no longer permitted. 

If you purchase a new crib, it should meet the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s current requirements. If you buy an older crib or get one as a gift, or if you still have one that you used for an older child, inspect it carefully to make sure that it meets all current guidelines. Don’t use a crib that doesn’t meet safety criteria or that has any broken or missing parts.

The bars should be 2-3/8 inches apart, at most. A baby’s head can get stuck in a gap wider than that. The headboard and footboard should be solid so your baby’s head can’t get trapped. The sides of the crib should be a minimum of 26 inches above the mattress. The corner posts should be no more than 1/16 inch high. Posts higher than that can snag your infant’s clothing.

How to Keep Your Baby Safe and Comfortable
A crib shouldn’t be too close to a window. Direct sunlight or drafts can make your infant hot or cold, and cords attached to blinds or curtains can cause injury to your infant. Keep the crib away from a radiator so your baby doesn’t get too hot or potentially burned.

The crib should have a firm mattress that fits snugly and touches all the corners of the frame. Don’t put bumper pads, bulky blankets or comforters, pillows, toys or stuffed animals in the crib. They hamper an infant’s ability to breathe or an older child may use them to climb out of the crib, creating risk for an injury or fall. Put your baby to bed in warm clothes, but don’t put on so many layers that your infant will be uncomfortable.