There are so many products and variances of baby cribs that it’s just impossible to recommend one to a new parent.
It’s also partly because personal preferences will be a factor when buying a crib.
Would you want somebody to tell you how your child should be raised? I guess not.
However in home evaluations, safety is one of the primary issues that directs an inspector’s approach. If safety at home is not a critical concern, then hiring an inspector is redundant.
And safety does not go more important than for kids and babies.
The crib is the most important piece of furniture you will buy for your baby. Yet every year, thousands of babies suffer from crib-related injuries. And that is in the United States alone.
So here are some tips to consider when choosing a baby crib for the nursery.
1) Not a recalled product
While most of us will think that it is ridiculous and downright evil to continue selling a product that causes a health or safety hazard, many businesses or individuals have no problems with it.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has jurisdiction over 10,000 products. And you can bet that have no problem recalling a baby product that pose a safety issue on babies.
Products concerning infants very often get reported very quickly by parents. Action is taken just as fast. So do a check on the product to see if it has a recall status.
2) Inspect for loose hardware
Look for loose joints, exposed screws, parting gaps between wood, bolts, rivets, etc.
Anything that looks out of the ordinary is most likely… not ordinary… unless it’s been specified as a special feature on the product packaging.
While minor cut are often negligible to adults, they are not the same to babies.
Since are in this phase, also do reference checks using the manual that comes with the crib or the packaging to ensure that there are no missing parts of the crib.
3) Don’t buy second hand
I understand that not every young family can afford a better crib. Some don’t even see a crib as a necessity.
But whatever you do, make buying a used crib a last resort.
A pre-owned crib can have missing parts without you knowing. They also tend to be weaker due to age. They can contain lead paint. And might also have designs that are not up to the current safety standards and requirements.
In my opinion, even a budget but new crib is better than an old one.
4) Slats are not too far apart
When slats are too far apart, the baby’s head can get caught in between.
They should not be more than 2 3/8 inches of space between them.
This roughly means that an adult making a fist with his hands should not be able to put the fist through the gap between slats.
5) Corner posts height
The corner posts at the end panels should not be more than 1/16 inch higher.
The exception is when they are for a canopy that is at least 16 inches high.
6) Cut out sections
There should not be any cut out areas on the head board and foot board.
This is to prevent a baby’s head from getting trapped.
7) Mattress fit
The mattress should fit nicely and securely onto the crib. In other words, the mattress should not be easily removed or repositioned.
This is to prevent a baby from getting caught in an awkward position between the mattress and the crib.
8) Secure mattress support hangers
When the mattress is not properly secured to the crib frame, there is always a risk of the baby falling through it and onto the floor.
Preferably, closed hooks or bolts are used.
Especially with old used cribs that some people buy, there is always a risk with lead paint.
While lead paint has been outlawed because of how it can cause serious health problem was discovered, old fixtures, appliances, and items can still have them.
And sometimes even the law can is not enough to prevent rouge manufacturers from producing products that don’t comply with national health and safety standards. This is especially when they are produced in countries that don’t enforce strict quality controls.
For assurance, a crib has to be smooth and have no cracked or peeling paint to prevent lead poisoning.
10) Minor cosmetic defects
Splinters and rough edges ca be perfectly acceptable to products for adults. We know how to take care of ourselves.
But for babies, this can pose a great danger.
They don’t know any better. A scratch on the arm might heal quickly, But what if a splinter pokes a baby in the eye?
11) Cribs with drop sides
I can totally understand how much convenience a dropped side rail can bring to a parent.
But with more moving parts, there is also a higher probability of damage and accidents where you thought it was locked but in fact not.
While convenient and space-friendly in a room, they are less safe and less sturdy that a typical one without any dropping siding.
Finally, as you start shopping for a suitable crib, look out for labels stating that it meets the safety standards set by CPSC. This label will give you a lot of assurance that an authority has somewhat endorsed a product. Making your selection less of a headache.