The IKEA Hensvik baby crib is an inexpensive, safe and classical looking baby crib with a bed base that can be placed at two different heights. When your child is old enough this baby crib can be converted to a toddler bed by removing one side of the…
One of the most essential baby furniture purchases you will need to make is that of a baby crib. There are many things to look for when deciding on a baby crib. Check out our tips below for what to look for when crib shopping and also read over our descriptions and parent reviews of the various cribs on the market today.
Buying A Baby Crib And Crib Safety
By about 3-4 months most babies will have outgrown their bassinet, cradle or Moses basket and will need a crib for sleeping. Although style, color and fashion may be important criteria when shopping for a baby crib, you also need to consider safety before making a crib purchase. However, you can rest assured that all cribs sold in legitimate stores, even the cheapest, must meet at the least the minimum government safety standards. However, design flaws do occur and you need to watch out for crib recalls.
When choosing a baby crib make sure you purchase a firm crib mattress. Firm crib mattresses help to decrease the occurrence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Also, be sure that the mattress fits snugly in the crib. (Most mattresses and cribs are a universal size so that all mattresses will fit all cribs.) There should be no more than a two finger width of space between the mattress and the crib bars. This is important so that your baby’s face never gets caught in a wide gap, trapping or suffocating your baby. Also check that the crib has no broken or missing crib slats and the slats are no more than 2 3/8 inches apart. This will prevent your baby’s head from getting stuck between the slats. Older cribs such as used cribs or family heirlooms may not meet this newer safety standard and therefore should not be used. Ensure that there are no decorative cutouts in the crib headboard or foot-board as again, your baby can become trapped in these decorative elements. Crib corner posts should be no higher than 1/16 an inch.
Also ensure that your crib’s paint or wood laquar are non-toxic, just in case your little one tries to chew on the crib, and remember that any cribs, like a family heirloom, painted prior to 1978, the year lead in paint was finally banned, may contain lead paint.
Drop-side cribs have been banned in the United States as of 2011. Since 2007, twenty different models of baby cribs, affecting more than 40 million cribs on the market from various manufacturers, have been recalled. Almost all of the problems necessitating the recall had to do with faulty drop-sides that created a gap between the rail of the crib and the crib mattress, causing babies to become trapped and suffocate. In 2009, Toys R Us began voluntarily removing all drop-side cribs from its stores and website, only selling stationary side cribs.
If you are considering buying a used crib, or accepting a used crib from a friend or family member, make sure that the crib in question has not been affected by one of these recalls.
Crib Wish List
Things you may want to look for when shopping for a crib are crib wheels. Wheels are a much desired feature on cribs because you will need them to easily move the crib when you change the crib sheets and when you need to clean under the crib or reach anything that rolled under the crib. Moving a crib that is not on wheels is very difficult. You will also want to purchase a crib with an adjustable mattress height. Almost all cribs today come with this feature. When the baby is young you keep the mattress at a high height so that you do not have to bend low to put your baby down in the crib. When your baby is older and can begin moving around, you lower the mattress height so that you provide better safety for your baby in the crib. Now your baby cannot easily climb out. Inexpensive crib models will come with at least two adjustable mattress heights. More expensive models may come with as many as five adjustable mattress heights.
You may also want to consider purchasing a convertible crib. These are cribs that can convert to toddler beds by taking off the crib rail on one side of the crib when you baby is older and no longer needs the safety of a crib. These cribs will come with a conversion kit which will include a safety bar for the toddler bed. However, these cribs tend to be more expensive so decide if this is a feature you really need. If you plan on having another child soon after the first and want to reuse the crib for the new baby, you may not need a convertible crib since you will have to buy a toddler bed, or twin bed, for your first child anyway.
Most stores only keep a few models of cribs in stock. Check and see which cribs your local store has available because if you need to order your crib it can take up to 12 weeks to arrive. Make sure you leave yourself enough time. You can also order a crib from an online store, they usually have everything in stock, but you will have to pay shipping and handling at most sites.
Check out our parent reviews to find out about the best cribs, crib mattresses, cradles, bassinets, and Moses Baskets on the market today.