Are you an expecting parent, rushing around trying to get your house ready for your newborn? Have you got a crib, yet? Do you know what you're looking for?
There's a lot to get done, and a thousand opinions online about what works best.
If the question fills you with a sense of dread, you can stop worrying! We've put together a comprehensive guide to choosing the right cradle for your incoming bundle of joy to sleep the night away in!
Start with certification. If you want to sleep a little better, make sure your crib has been safety certified by the Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association. This not only protects your baby, which is the most important thing but also protects you from certain liabilities in the event of an accident.
For example, by this certification's standard, drop-side cribs have actually been banned, and an injury or death could be on you if you use one. When looking into where to buy cribs, make sure you choose someone whose products meet these minimum standards.
The next few tips are a bit more general. You'll want to make sure you put your crib in a well-ventilated room in your home. Add a fan, if you need to, but air needs to move around that room and in and out of the cradle.
When buying baby cribs, opt for a firmer mattress, for improved support for your baby. They only need a waterproof pad and a fitted sheet for bedding (though try for machine washable with a high thread count, to make washing easier). Anything more than that could be a potential choking hazard.
Also make sure you have easy access to the inside of the crib, that it isn't constructed too tall for you to be able to reach in and grab your baby in an emergency.
Make sure never to place your baby's cot too close to hanging drapes or curtains, which are a strangulation hazard. Also avoid cradle bumpers, which the American Association of Pediatrics has found to be potential hazards.
Avoid cot clutter at all costs. While it might be tempting to leave your baby with blankets, toys, and pillows, the truth is they are suffocation hazards. Use layered clothing and swaddling blankets to keep your baby warm when you're not around, instead.
Something many parents don't expect is the fallout from letting pets into the baby's cradle before the child moves in. While allergies and dirt can be an obvious problem, there's also the issue of the pets marking the space as their territory. Having a small baby living in the crib could end dramatically when the pet returns. Instead, keep pets away from this space entirely.
Crib 101: Are You Ready?
Bringing a new baby into your home is an exciting time. There's so much to do and a lot of learning to do about the new human you'll soon be roommates with.
Hopefully, with some of our crib-buying tips, you can cross "buy crib I can trust" off of your list.
Want to find out more about having a baby, from what names to what to look for in a crib? Be sure to check out some more of our excellent blog pieces, and get ready for the exciting world of parenthood.