When it is time to start the family, one of the first pieces of baby furniture you need to buy is a crib. In the first few months of life, your child will be sleeping most of the day and to ensure it sleeps well you want a crib that keeps is safe, secure and comfortable.
There are a plethora of baby furniture cribs available, and some can be extremely extravagant. Therefore the first thing you should do is set a price range. Once you know your budget, you now have to seek out which of the different types of cribs available come closest to satisfying your needs.
The Main Types of Cribs for Babies
A new parent could be forgiven for thinking that a baby crib is just a bed with safety bars. The reality is that there are seven main types of cribs that you will have to choose from.
As the name suggests, standard cribs are those which have a classic rectangular design. They will have one or two sides that drop down to make it easier to pick up your baby. They come in a variety of colors, styles and material including wood, metal and plastic. A standard crib can cost as little as $80 to over $400.
Convertible baby cribs are also called 3-in-1 cribs. These can be converted into a small bed once you child has grown to be too big for a crib. They are a practical choice for parents who want to pay for a little more now and save later as their child grows. Some effort will be required when it is time to convert the crib into a bed. They range in price from $150 to over $300.
Cradle or Bassinet
The main advantage of a bassinet is that it is easy to have the baby next to your own bed. This way you can keep an eye on them during the night and you don’t have to move very far when it is time to feed or change them. They are also a good alternative to portable baby cribs and take up less space than a crib. The downside is that the child will eventually outgrow the bassinet and you will need to move them into a crib. For some babies, this can be unsettling for a few weeks.
Canopy Baby Cribs
A canopy crib is a stylish option for parents who are concerned about the baby room décor. It comes with a decorative canopy that is held over the crib by four posts and can look great when the right one is chosen for a particular room. It has a ‘royal’ feel to it. However, you should be cautious that the cloth canopy can’t fall over your baby while they sleep.
Round Baby Cribs
A round baby crib is a popular choice for those who live in small homes or apartments. The round shape means that it can save space and can fit neatly in the center of the room or a corner. They are also versatile with many coming with caster wheels so that they can be moved about the house or apartment. A round crib can range from $100 to over $6500 if you are in the market for expensive designer baby cribs.
Antique Baby Cribs
You don’t have to buy a crib that is new. In fact, many used baby cribs are valuable antique pieces. Many antique cribs are beautiful works of craftsmanship that have often been made by hand. They can be constructed from wood or iron tubes. It is important that you consider the safety features of any crib you buy as it may have been made before modern product safety standards that became mandatory in 1974. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has been reported as saying that only cribs made after 1991 are likely to meet all current safety standards.
An alternative is to look at modern baby cribs which have been made to look like antique pieces.
The most important feature of any crib is not how it looks but how safe it is. Laws were passed in 1974 that made it mandatory that baby cribs need to meet certain product safety standards. This was the result of a number of unfortunate injuries and deaths. These laws are imposed by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) and cover such things as lead-free paint, slats are less than 2 3/8 inches apart, mattresses fit the crib exactly without gaps, and sufficient support so that the crib can’t collapse.
You should look for cribs which meet the CPSC standards plus the voluntary standards as set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM F-1169 and ASTM F-996). Also, check the manufacturer’s home page to see if the model number has been recalled for any reason.
Of course, always follow the safe sleeping guidelines to help avoid Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). This includes lying your baby on its back towards the bottom of the crib, avoid smoking around the child and keep fabric like blankets and clothes away from its mouth and face.
Other Features to Look For
Cribs come in various choices of wood, metal or plastic. And shapes too – there is triangle, square and round baby cribs. The most popular color is white followed by black then cherry.
All new cribs will have a notice that it meets the minimum government requirements, thus regardless of the price you pay for a crib, it will be safe provided you follow the manufacturer’s instructions in setting it up and use it according to the explicit directions. By government standards, the slats in the baby crib need to be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart.
Most modern baby cribs are available with one-drop side and two-drop sides. This makes the baby much easier to lift out of the crib, and you may wish to have a two-drop side if you are going to place the crib in the center of the room. Some cribs come with storage underneath, and this may be important to you if the baby is kept in a very small room.
You may wish to consider a crib that has casters so that you can move the crib about for vacuuming and such. Be sure to check that the casters are of good quality so they won’t fall apart in use.
Purchasing a crib with adjustable mattress height settings may prove to be important. When you have a newborn the higher settings are much easier on the adult, but as the child is able to pull itself upright, the mattress will undoubtedly need to be lowered. Be sure to that the mattress is not being held up using cheap vinyl straps that can easily come apart, thus endangering the child.
Specialty products include baby cribs for twins, custom made or Amish made, and sleigh cribs.
Some of the popular brands that sell the best baby cribs include Simplicity, Million Dollar Baby, Simmons, Jardine, Graco, Da Vinci, Pali, Sorelle, Storkcraft, Sears, Cosco and Childcare.
Where to Find Baby Cribs for Sale
Of course, your local large retailer will be showing one or two choices for cribs, most of them being in the lower price range and quality. Small baby shops may carry a few more choices, but because of their limited size, you may have to special order the crib. Large baby retail shops like Walmart usually have cribs that are kept in the house, and you may or may not have to special order the crib. If you are patient you may be able to find discount baby cribs during the annual sales period.
This leads us to online shopping. You can look at reviews, information and prices in quick time. Prices may be the most affordable online, but never forget to add the cost of shipping and handling! This may make what looks like cheap baby cribs actually very extravagant spending.