The addition of a new young member in a couple's life is undoubtedly a joyous and special moment. Once it happens, every couple desires to put their best foot forward in their parenting career. However, one thing is for certain, from the right baby crib to the right education, parenting is always easier said than done, especially when the child is young. One of the few preparations that parents have to do in the early days of their parenting is decking up the nursery to make it baby-ready, and an indispensable accessory for this purpose is the baby crib.
Even a decade ago, parents had little choice for decorating the nursery, but times have changed now and there are plenty of attractive and purposeful designs of cribs to choose from. A proper crib allows your baby to have a healthy sleep cycle, and also enables you to handle important tasks while caring for your tiny tot at the same time. Good news is, choosing a crib is not tough, and with the knowledge of few crucial facts, you can surely make a sensible decision regarding the same.
So here are the top 10 things to consider while buying a new baby crib:
#1. Give Importance to The Size & Weight of Your Baby
When it comes to choosing a crib, your baby's statistics are an important consideration. After all, there is no point in getting a crib that is too frail to support your child's size and weight. A crib that is too low in height is risky as you shall always have the fear of your kid falling down, whereas a crib that is too small in size will not make your baby comfortable. So, when you go out shopping for a new baby crib, don't just take into account the current weight and size of your baby, instead, go for the 20% rule, wherein the crib you buy should be capable of supporting at least 20% more of your baby's statistics. This is a safe method to ensure that the crib you invest your money in gives you good returns and lasts long, even when your baby has outgrown herself.
#2. Simplicity & Safety First, Style Later
While purchasing a stylish and fancy baby crib can be tempting, there's nothing more important than your child's safety. For this reason, do not ditch safety for a fancy, forward-design that do no good to enhance the comfort and protection of your baby in the crib. In other words, you can go for any design as long as it ensures adequate security. One of the factors you should consider here is the presence of fixed sides, versus drop-sides that are simply style hoax. Additionally, the slats ( side bars) must not be more than 2.36 inches apart. Slats around 2 3/8 inches apart will keep the baby from slipping out and getting stuck. For this reason, avoid purchasing cribs with decorative cutouts in the footboard or headboard. If the new crib arrives with pretty decorations attached, remove them before you place your baby in the crib. This is because a curious infant may get wrapped up in these fanciful add-ons and even end up swallowing the small pieces. Moreover, toys and stuffed animals pose suffocation hazards to the baby. If you do wish to add some color to the crib, invest in dust ruffles or bed skirts, but do ensure to vacuum under the bed every day, as dust mites can be majorly irritating to the baby.
#3. Consider The Space & Place for The Baby Crib
Whether it's a wooden crib or a hanging crib, the place where you keep the crib is very important. Ensure to choose a place which has proper ventilation and is secluded from the entrance and outlets. Additionally, keep the crib away from table tops, mantel pieces, cords and dressers to prevent accidental injury from falling of objects or strangulation. If, in case, you are short on space, you may want to purchase a portable crib or a mini-crib, both of which tend to take up less area than full-size cribs. Other space-saving options are collapsible crib for easy storage and cribs with wheels for convenient portability. In order to understand the exact type of crib you need, the first thing you have to do is measure out the area in which you wish to place your new baby crib. By knowing the amount of space available, you can finally narrow down on the types of cribs you can select from. If you have an abundance of space, you're fortunate indeed to choose from any crib you fancy and that falls within your price range.
#4. Adjustable Mattress Height
It is important that the crib you choose has an adjustable mattress height. Most cribs allow you to change the mattress height simply by raising or lowering the support of the mattress. Basically, the time when your kid begins sitting up is perfect for lowering the mattress. When children start to become more active and move to standing or pulling up, they run the risk of climbing or falling out of the crib. Thus, at this point of time, you should lower the height setting to prevent any unforeseen accident. However, in the early days of your baby's life, it's makes more sense to raise the mattress height as that will allow you to place your baby to sleep easily. Long story short, a crib with an adjustable mattress height is capable of supporting your baby's activities whilst taking care of his safety.
#5, Cots on Wheels or Not
Just like toddler prams, baby cribs do come with the option of wheels. Now whether you wish for a crib with wheels or not is entirely your choice. While castors do make it relatively easier to move around the cot, they also mean that the bed is less secure than usual. And even when the wheels are locked firmly in position, older babies tend to stand up on the mattress and move the cot by themselves. Additionally, they may shake the sides of cot and end up moving themselves into a less safe location in their nursery. So, if you are opting for a crib with castors, make sure they are not flimsy, because you'll be moving around the crib a lot in order to vacuum, change sheets or grab toys. If you are unsure about needing them, simply leave them off the crib but keep them close by. However, by the time your child is four months old, you'll probably want to have them secured on the crib.
#6. Check for Teething Rails
As time passes, your baby will soon begin to experience the joys of teething. When babies start teething, they have an innate tendency to gnaw on the crib's wooden rails like a little woodchuck. Unfortunately, as cute as it seems, this behavior can lead to a mouthful of paint, splinters and wood- things that you definitely wouldn't want to see inside your baby's mouth. Thankfully, many manufactures now incorporate the baby cribs with some called teething rails, a covering which acts as an extra protective divider between the crib and your baby's mouth. The additional advantage is that teething rails are durable and also prolong the life span of your crib, which is a necessity when you plan on having more children in the future and wish to reuse the same crib your baby is using at present. Even if cribs with teething rails do not fit in your budget, don't worry for you can always buy crib rail covers separately at a minimal cost.
#7. Check for Versatility
Would you like your toddler to transition from the crib to a smaller bed before moving on to a bigger bed? Then, you surely need a crib that converts easily to one. Toddler beds serve the purpose as they are more to the ground level than a single conventional bed, and can still provide the same feeling of security to children like they felt when they slept on the same crib bed they had as a baby. While most cribs come with conversion kits, others have kits that you can buy as and when you need them. Look for a crib that is designed to convert seamlessly into a day bed, a toddler bed, or even a headboard and footboard to simulate the exact look and feel of a full-sized bed. Also, ensure that the crib makeover requires little effort on your part and that the look of the transformed furniture is appealing to the eye.
#8. Check for Type of Mattress & Mattress Support
The two common types of mattresses sold for the crib are foam and innerspring. Both of them are available in a thickness varying between 3-6 inches. If you are choosing a foam mattress, give more importance to density rather than thickness. Weight is another indicator of a good mattress. Keep in mind that a heavier mattress will be denser than one of the same size but lighter. Additionally, ensure that the mattress fits tightly inside the crib, as the baby might get caught accidentally between the two. A nice way to check this is by seeing if you can get no more than two fingers between the sides and the mattress. Another factor worth noting is whether the crib offers robust mattress support or not. Most cribs feature supports made of metal frames or wooden boards. Whatever be the type of support the crib has, as long as it appears stable and resilient enough to withstand the pressure of a toddler jumping on it, it's fine.
#9. Check for Sturdy Construction & Workmanship
While most cribs are made of wood, other types of materials may be used as well. You can find cribs in dark finishes as well as light ones, such as natural woods, maples, oaks or classic white. A little irregularity in the finish is not a problem as long as there is no discernible defect, such as peeled paint or splintering. When you're buying the crib from a retail, brick-and-mortar store, do check if the construction is sturdy and tight. The metal rods fastened to the end boards beneath the crib should be rigid and shouldn't wobble upon shaking. If the frame makes a rattling noise, you know it's loose. However, it's important to note that in-store models on display are not always assembled tightly. Without applying excess pressure, try to rotate every slate to check if it is securely firmly to the railing. You are not likely to find loose spindles or slats on a new crib, if they are made of wood. Lastly, check for protruding screws and sharp edges, basically any piece that could get caught up with your baby's clothing.
# 10. Choose a No-Nonsense & Waterproof Bedding
The only bedding your baby really needs is a soft, tightly fitted, waterproof bottom sheet. Flannel, high-count woven cotton and knit cotton are wonderful options for fabric. Just make sure whatever you avail is machine-washable. Also, take care to buy a few extra pieces of each so that you don't end up doing laundry each and every time your baby spits up. However, it is important to wash the bedding after the first use in order to remove any residual skin-irritants left over from the harsh manufacturing and dyeing process. Following the first use, wash weekly or whenever the baby soils the bedding. Always use a mild and unscented detergent to wash, and unless the baby is overly sensitive, you need not use a specialty baby soap. This allows you to streamline the laundry technique and use the same detergent for washing the loads of the whole family's, rather than running special cycles for the baby.
The last thing you need when consoling your crying infant is to be bending down awkwardly over a crib that is either too high or too low, or takes up excessive space in the room, especially when you have spent a ton of money on it. Needless to say, the right baby crib will reward your baby with a healthy and restful sleep cycle, and you as well, with the mental peace of knowing that your child is safe and comfy. With the knowledge of 10 things to consider while buying a new baby crib, you can ensure to make a sensible decision that lasts you well through the ravages of time and gives you a greater value for your hard-earned money.