Having a baby is beautiful and scary. The day you leave the hospital, every parent thinks, “How can they let me leave with this tiny human being?” While some parents put a newborn into a bassinet or Moses basket, every baby needs a crib at some point. There are several key factors to look for when choosing the place where your baby will inevitably spend half of his or her day for the first year of life.
There are several places to shop when considering the purchase of a crib. There are mass merchandiser’s such as Babies ‘R’ Us and Burlington Coat Factory’s Baby Depot, as well as Wal-Mart and Target. Of course there are also privately owned specialty stores. Obviously, the quality of the store has impact on both the quality of the crib in direct relation to the price. It is important to decide what it is you are looking for in your crib and then shop from there.
The most important aspect to look for is safety. While all cribs must meet national guidelines, there are other things to look for before purchasing a crib. National guidelines make it so the space between each slat of the crib is no more than two and three-eighth inches so that the baby cannot slip through or get his or her head stuck. The other potential problems arise from a crib that may be decoratively pleasing, including features such as four posters. This can cause a potential hazard if the baby tries to climb out. The baby’s clothing could become wrapped around it causing strangulation. This is also possible on cribs where there is a space between the crib rail and the metal piece that raises and lowers the crib side. There is also a potential danger in a crib with a canopy. In the event of a fire, the canopy could catch fire and fall onto the baby, causing serious burns. All these precautions should be considered before purchasing a crib.
The next thing to consider when purchasing a crib is functionality and style. Many mothers have an image in her head about the look she wants for her nursery and it is easy to find a crib based on that style. Personally, going to the store and seeing all the options available, threw my initial wants out the window. One of the hot details of cribs right now is the convertible crib. The crib grows with your child. The crib can be converted to a toddler bed once the baby outgrows the crib, then onto a daybed or full-size bed. This can be the most cost effective choice. Convertible cribs can start as low as one hundred and fifty dollars. Another option to consider is the rail to the crib. While most cribs have a side that slides up and down for easy use, there are cribs available with a stationary side. The cribs with the sliding rails have a variety of ways to move the rail up and down. The rail may be easily slid with one hand or it is possible that two hands are required and some cribs have a foot pedal for even no handed use. It is important to slide the rail up and down multiple times before purchasing the crib to find which option suits your needs the best. Also lean into the crib a few times to make sure that the height of the crib will be comfortable for placing the baby in the crib as well as taking the baby out. This can be less comfortable for cribs with stationary rails. Another important factor is how low the crib will allow the mattress to be placed. This becomes very important when the child becomes old enough to stand up in the crib and potentially climb out of it.
Caring for a baby is a lot of hard work. It is important to find a crib that will suit both you and your child. This includes important safety features as well as style and functionality.