- Family and Parenting
How to Choose a Baby Crib
Congratulations on your pregnancy! You will have many fun months to prepare for your little bundle of joy. One thing you’ll want to think about is which crib is best for your nursery. You may be shopping for the first time ever for a crib. Maybe you’re confused by all the choices. Don’t worry. It’s easy to find the right crib that will look nice and be safe for baby.
Do you already have a crib?
Baby Crib Basics
Start with the basics. There are four types of cribs. Cribs come in standard, canopy, convertible, and round. Think about how long you want to use your crib. Are you going to use it until baby is two and then move him to a toddler bed? Do you want your crib to be able to convert so he can use it through to college?
Choosing the right crib
1. Standard Baby Crib
If you want to have just a sturdy, safe crib that you take down when baby outgrows it, go for a standard crib. This is a regular size crib that takes a standard mattress.
Its slats should be no more than 2-3/8 inches apart so that baby’s head can’t get stuck between them. Modern cribs should already be sized this way, but if you are borrowing a crib that may be older, measure the bars.
2. Canopy Crib
The second option is a canopy crib. These cribs are mostly chosen for their decorative appeal.
Like a canopy bed, they have four posts that stick up and are attached to a metal frame. You can decorate the nursery with a canopy cover and make it look sweet.
If you’re not in the market for decorative, but only a functional crib, skip the canopy style.
3. Convertible Crib
The third type of crib is the convertible. This type is a marvel. It’s actually several pieces of furniture rolled into one. Your baby can use it first as a crib. Then, by switching around the parts (no new pieces to buy) it converts into a toddler bed, then it converts to a twin bed, and finally a full sized bed headboard. There are different configurations that vary by manufacturer. Some will convert to a daybed after a crib and nothing more. Some will have all four configurations built in. Go with a sturdy option that looks good, too. Choose a wood that you know will look good now and into the future. Light ash, oak or dark mahogany are all good choices.
4. Round Crib
The fourth type of crib is the round crib. These cribs are popular because they look different and are so cute in the nursery. They require a specially made round crib mattress and sheets, but if you don’t mind that, the round crib may be for you.
One thing you might want to consider is that older cribs that may have been handed down in your family or that you borrow from a neighbor or get second hand can be a safety hazard. They may have chipping paint, sharp edges, or give splinters. And the bars may not be properly spaced. The mechanisms that work the side rails may not function correctly. If you are in doubt, get your crib new. It’s best to invest in a good crib now and keep it for years to come. And always get a new crib mattress whether you are getting a second hand or a new crib.
Find Crib Essentials
No matter which crib you choose, be sure that it is safe for your baby as well as fits the area that you put it in.
Remember, when you stumble into the baby's room at two in the morning, you want to be able to get to your baby quickly and easily. You will want to have enough room in the nursery to walk around, or place a rocking chair in the room so you can wrap your little bundle in their baby blanket and snuggle up in your arms.
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