There used to be only one choice in baby crib; the rectangle crib with one side that had to be forced down with great parental effort. Today, there are multiple styles and designs. Some have a classic, luxurious look and others are all about functionality for life. The baby crib parents choose needs to offer a safe and comfortable place for baby to sleep and sometimes luxury means added safety concerns.

Safe Bets for Baby Cribs

The classic rectangular crib is a safe bet. The two varieties are one drop side and two drop side. If the crib will be placed with the narrow end butted against the wall, the two drop side could come in very handy. Otherwise, a single drop side is fine. The classic rectangle is the least expensive crib out there and all are created to the latest crib safety standards.

Convertible cribs are gaining popularity. They look just like a classic crib, but pieces can be removed as baby grows up to create a toddler bed and then a twin bed frame. The cost is a bit higher, but the baby crib can be used for life so the cost is quickly returned in functionality.

Round baby cribs also follow the same safety guidelines as classic cribs, but a round mattress and bedding is needed. There is usually one side that drops down. Round cribs are very expensive and mattress and linens are custom made or need to be ordered from a specialty store. They do not typically convert, so they are not a budget friendly buy.

Not so Safe Baby Cribs

Canopy cribs combine the classic rectangular crib design with a metal canopy. The look is beautiful, but the safety risks rise dramatically. Fabric can be placed on the metal frame above the crib. If parents do not secure the fabric correctly, it can fall into the crib and cause a choking or suffocation problem. This is simply not a risk most parents are willing to take.

Safety Rules and Regulations for Cribs

  • There is nothing wrong with buying an inexpensive or second hand crib, but all cribs must follow a set of safety rules and regulations before they are purchased.
  • Gaps between the slats should not exceed 2 3/8”.
  • When the side is lowered, the distance from the mattress to the top of the drop side should be more than 9”.
  • Raise the drop side back up and secure in place. The distance from the top of the side to the mattress spring should be no less than 26”.
  • Drop sides need to have working safety latches.
  • The crib needs to be free from damage, peeling paint or splinters

Buying a crib is about more than just picking out the prettiest bed for her or the coolest bed for him. Crib safety is essential to raising a safe and happy baby.