Essentially, a crib is the place where your baby will spend most of his time in and comfort is key. Another important factor is safety – some babies sleep in their cribs till they are about 2-3 years of age before moving onto a new bed, so you will want to find a sturdy version that can last for a couple years at least. Here are a few tips on how to buy your crib and what to look out for!
Economy: They can start as low as $100-$150 because manufacturers may choose to use affordable materials and hardware. They come in simpler designs and are lighter in weight as compared to their more expensive counterparts. There may be slight finishing flaws, but so long as it is not shaky and unstable, it is worth the buck.
Mid-range: Mid-range cribs can also go up to $500 or higher. They come in more sturdy looks and decorative finishes that will fit the theme of the room better. You can find them in golden maple, Scandinavian-style or deep mahogany. The end boards are solid with smooth finishing and most of these cribs come with side slats that are either round or flat. These slats are thicker than the ones on the economy cribs. Stability is ensured by casters or locking wheels with two or more stability bars. Additionally, most mid-range cribs can have different uses and can be converted to a day bed.
High-end: Elite models cost over $1000. Most high-end cribs are imported from Europe and in this range, it is possible to customize your baby cribs to match the colour scheme of your nursery. The mattresses for these types of cribs are supported by metal frames and heavy gauge springs. Note that there are numerous customizations for high end cribs, but most of them are unlikely to be covered by the cribs’ regulations and may also not be certified.
What to look out for during purchase:
- Stability: Give the crib a good shake in the store or after you put it together at home. If it wobbles or rattles, it may have been put together improperly. Although wobbling or rattling could also be a sign that you should exchange for a new one or look for a sturdier crib.
- Mattresses: Most cribs do not come with mattresses so that means you will have to source for your own. Foam mattresses are the lightest and least expensive. They come in a range of thickness that range from three to six inches. The best foam mattresses have a high density of at least 1.5 pounds per cubic foot.
- Frame size: The crib interior should snugly accommodate a standard crib mattress. Make sure there is no space between the sides of the mattress and crib walls because babies can get trapped if there is that space, posing a hazard risk.
- Adjustable mattress height: Most cribs let you change the height of the crib mattress by simply raising or lowering the mattress support. When your newborn arrives, adjust the mattress height to the highest so that you can pick him up and let him down easily. As your baby grows, he will learn to stand, and that is when you lower the height of the mattress so that he will not fall while standing.
- Safety considerations:
- Cribs with drop sides: Do not use them. The movable railings known as drop sides were common on cribs for decades, but can pose a serious hazard to babies. If the drop side detaches or comes loose, a baby can become entrapped and strangle or suffocate in the space between the drop side and the crib mattress. Sale of such cribs has been banned since 2011.
- Crib bumpers: cushioned padding that attaches to the inside railings of the crib – are sometimes still included in crib bedding sets, but a number of organizations have since viewed it as a hazard for babies.
- Old cribs: Second-hand cribs, or cribs passed down from previous generations could pose certain hazard risks to babies. For example, cribs made before 1974 may contain poisonous lead paint. Second-hand cribs may also contain splinters, discontinued and potentially dangerous features, or slats that are too far apart which may trap baby’s head. When it comes to cribs, it is best to buy a brand new one that fits the modern safety standards.
- Decorations: Avoid decorations that may potentially be a choking hazard to your baby.
Keep these tips and considerations in mind when shopping for your baby’s crib and you should be well on your way to buying a safe and sturdy bed for your child!