Buying Guide for Cribs

This is a huge concern of mine since my child fell through the bottom structure and was pinned at his throat in a hotel rental crib. He was not injured just scared as were we! Double check, double check and then check again.

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The lowdown on cribs

Babies probably spend more time in their crib than anywhere else, so while comfort is important, safety is essential. And since most children sleep in a crib until it’s time to move into a real bed – typically between the ages of 2 and 3 – you’ll also want a sturdy one.

Many moms like to have the crib set up several months before their due date. It’s nice to get this task taken care of, but if your baby arrives before your crib does, don’t worry. Babies will do fine in a bassinet for the first several weeks or even months.

When it comes time to set up the crib, be sure to choose a spot away from windows, window blinds, and draperies. Babies can strangle on the cords, and older babies could possibly pull themselves up and fall through the window. To keep cords out of your child’s reach, use a clamp or clothespin, tie the cord to itself, or cut the loop in half to make two separate cords.

The cord on a baby monitor can also pose a danger. Between 2004 and 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) received seven reports of babies strangled by monitor cords near their crib. Use wireless monitors or keep the cord well away from the crib.

  • Find out more about crib safety in “what to look for when buying” and “important safety notes,” below.
  • Get safe sleeping tips about crib bedding and sleep position to reduce your baby’srisk of SIDS.

What to look for when buying

Safety standards: When you buy a crib, look for the Juvenile Products Manufacturing Association certification. This ensures that the product was tested for quality and safety. Also check BabyCenter’s Product Recall Finder to see whether your crib – or the one you’re planning to buy – has been recalled.

Slats no more than 2 3/8 inches apart: Your crib should have slats that are close enough together to prevent your baby’s head from slipping through or getting stuck. The distance between the crib slats must be no more than 2 3/8 inches (about the size of a soda can).

Safe corner posts: If the crib has corner posts, they should be no higher than 1/16 of an inch (unless they’re over 16 inches high to support a canopy). If corner posts are higher than 1/16 of an inch, clothing can catch on them and injure or choke an infant.

Adjustable mattress height: Most cribs let you change the height of thecrib mattress by simply raising or lowering the mattress support. The time to lower the mattress is when your child begins sitting up. As kids get more active and move to pulling up and standing, you don’t want them to climb or fall out of the crib.

Stability: Give the crib a good shake in the store or after you put it together at home. If it wobbles or rattles, it may have been put together improperly. But wobbling or rattling could also be a sign that you should look for a sturdier crib.

Frame size: The crib interior should snugly accommodate a standard crib mattress – at least 51 3/4 inches long by 27 3/4 inches wide. If you can fit more than two fingers between the side of the mattress and the crib, the mattress is too small. This poses a significant danger, as babies can get trapped in that space. Make sure that with a mattress in place, the crib sides are tall enough to keep your baby safely inside.

Versatility: Many cribs are designed to convert to a toddler bed, a children’s bench, or even the headboard and footboard for a full-size bed. While this sounds appealing, make sure that the crib makeover is relatively easy to perform and that you like the look of the new furniture.

We can not be reminded enough

BabyCenter News

The latest child safety recalls

Keeping track of all the recalls isn’t easy! That’s why we do it for you.

You can search for recalls in our Product Recall Finder.

Here’s a list of the most recent ones.


Nap Nanny recliners recalled by retailers after five infant deaths

Baby and children’s jeans

Hug N’ Tug toys

Expanding toys recalled for ingestion hazard

Baby Jogger strollers

Dream On Me bed rails

Dream On Me bath seats

Nap Nanny infant recliners

Children’s inflatable waterslides

Trampolines sold at Sports Authority

Riding toy recalled for fall hazard

Elephantito girls’ pajamas

Boden children’s pajamas

PeaPod child travel beds

Graco glider rockers

Britax car seats

Halloween mini projection lights

Double Dazzler Light Show toy

Eddie Bauer bassinet

ValcoBaby booster seats

Upholstered toddler chairs

Dream On Me highchairs

Dream On Me swings

Sweatshirts and T-shirts sold at Target

Graco highchairs

Denim girls shorts

Pirate toy gun

H&M children’s water bottles

Death prompts recall of window blinds

Girls and boys bikes

2 million Summer Infant baby bathers

Care Bears pacifier

Mini Micro scooter

Babylicious crib fringe

4 million Bumbo baby seats recalled after 21 skull fractures

Animal snap bracelets

Children’s nightgowns and pajamas

Kenta and Kenta Plus child carriers

Green Toys mini vehicles

Peg Perego strollers

Kolcraft tandem strollers

Children’s beach chairs

Children’s mini trampoline

Old Navy toddler aqua socks

Chicco Polly high chairs

Flexible Flyer swing sets

Discovery Kids animated marine and safari lamps

Ishtex cotton pajamas

PajamaGrams children’s pajamas

Evenflo highchair recalled due to fall hazard

Activity centers sold at Toys “R” Us

Safety 1st toilet latches and cabinet locks

Trampolines sold at Toys R Us

Bassinets recalled for fall hazard

Inflatable Banzai pool slide recalled after death, paralysis

Children’s letterman jacket sold at Dillard’s

YMI Jeanswear hooded sweatshirt

“Goddess” hooded sweatshirt

Walmart trampolines recalled after broken bones, back injuries

Girls’ winter jackets

M.M.M. jogging suits

O’Neill Pluto hooded flannel shirts

Onboard 35 and Comfy Carry infant car seats

Puma children’s jackets

Girls’ jackets sold at Ross

Whoozit Starry Time baby rattle

Sippy cups sold at Target

Drop-side cribs sold at JCPenney

Child bicycle seats recalled after fingers crushed, nearly amputated

Kelty single and double jogging strollers

Playground slides recalled after serious injuries

Indie single and double strollers

Ikea high chairs

Bugaboo Bee Strollers

Bugaboo car seat adapter

Try our Product Recall Finder
See what else is going on in the news

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