The Safest Baby Cribs
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If you’re expecting a new arrival in the coming months you will have to put some time to selecting from the wide array of baby cribs available in the mother and baby stores, baby sections of department stores and at specialist sites online. The trick to making a good choice is combining reading online with physical testing and measuring.
Starting with size, there is a standard crib size in the US, since regulators clamped down in the 1970′s.This is 30 inches wide by 54 inches long. This is important because when you buy your crib mattress it will need to fit as snugly as possible. You will need to measure both the crib and the mattress yourself , rather than relying on the measurements on the labels, and when the mattress is sitting in the crib there should not be more than two fingers width of a gap between the mattress edge and the crib sides. This is a safety precaution so that there is no place for catching anything or creating suffocation risks.
There are many other safety considerations to bear in mind, seeing as that’s the single most important factor when selecting the best baby cribs. Most manufacturers in the US fully abide by the guidelines set down by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, but it doesn’t hurt for you to know some of the key ones as you are choosing your crib: firstly, the vertical bars or slats on the sides and ends must be 2 and 3/8 inches or less apart, so that your baby cannot get stuck or fall through. You should also check that the slats or bars are fixed firmly and cannot be dislodged by a strong baby. Thirdly, when the sides are lowered there must be at least 9 inches between the top of the mattress and the top of the side; this distance must be 26 inches minimum when the sides are raised.
This last point will not be a factor in the future because, as of June 2011, all cribs sold in the US will have to have fixed sides; the sale of and use of drop-side cribs in hotels and care centers will be prohibited, because of connections to infant deaths. In fact, 50 infants die each year and around 9,000 are injured in crib bed accidents in the U.S.
Apart from the regulations there are some basic safety precautions you can take yourself so that you know you are choosing one of the safest baby cribs. This includes a firmness test for the mattress: if you can bend it in two then it is far too soft; it will need to have some firmness to it so that suffocation pockets cannot form.
In addition to this, check carefully what is in your baby mattress. Sometimes labels can be misleading and claim all “natural” materials despite chemicals being used in the treatment of those materials to make them waterproof or fire retardant for example. Many parents like to choose all natural or organic crib mattresses nowadays, which use materials like wool, cotton and latex, so there is no risk of toxins affecting their baby.
Nowadays baby cribs come in many different designs and some of them can even be converted in to a toddler’s bed when the child has outgrown the crib. As well as convertible cribs there are also Jenny Lind designs, sleigh designs, rocking cribs, mini-cribs, round cribs, portable cribs and cribs for twins. Some cribs may be mounted on caster wheels these days and others may include storage compartments underneath.
You might be lucky and find safe, well-made cheap baby cribs online, but be wary of ones that are too cheap as they may not last or they may present a safety hazard.