One of the most important decisions you will make for your baby is which kind of crib to use and how to set it up. After all, your baby will be spending a good deal of her first few months of life inside her crib. You want her to be both safe and comfortable.
We suggest buying a model of crib which has been out for a while. While we’re not suggesting anything is wrong with brand new models (in fact, we applaud many of the advances), there’s a reason why the brands and models which have endured are still around.
That said, we don’t suggest buying a used crib, and we especially don’t suggest getting an old or antique crib. Older cribs were generally not made to the exacting safety standards which today’s cribs must meet and are not as safe for your baby.
If you do decide to get an older crib, make certain that the slats are no more than 2 3/8 inches apart. An easy way to test this is to take a 12 ounce can of soda and try to pass it through the slats. If a soda pop can will pass through any of the slats, so will your baby’s head.
You should also make sure that any crib you buy does not have other openings or cutouts. Cutouts were all the rage some time back. While many of them are cute, and they make the crib attractive, older babies can get arms or even heads stuck in them. Your best bet is to pass on any crib which has cutouts on the head or foot boards.
Make sure that the mattress to your baby’s crib fits snugly into the crib. You should not be able to get two hands in between the side of the crib and the mattress. Baby’s mattresses should be nice and firm.
As a matter of fact, you should be cautious about putting anything soft inside a baby’s crib, as this could lead to SIDS or suffocation. Stuffed animals, dolls, toys, and pillow all have their place, but that place is not in the crib until baby is about a year old.
Most experts suggest placing baby’s crib in your room. Not only is this more convenient for you when you need to get up to take care of the baby, but it is more comforting for baby if she can see you, too. This often leads to sounder sleep for you and baby.