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When To Buy Baby Crib For Your Newborn | Buying Guide

By Amy A. Vincent | Fact checked by Dr. Leah Alexander, MD, FAAP | Updated on April 24, 2022

There are a lot of things to think about when you’re pregnant. One of the most important decisions you’ll make is when to buy a crib. You want to make sure you have enough time to find the perfect one, but you don’t want to wait too long and end up with a lesser quality option.

You also don’t want to purchase one too early and have to store it away in a closet. This blog post will provide an ultimate guide to help you determine when is the best time to buy a baby crib, what features to look for, and how to choose the right one for your child.

So whether you’re just starting out on your parenting journey or you’re looking for an upgrade, read on for tips on choosing the perfect baby crib!

When to buy baby crib
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when should you buy a crib during pregnancy?

When it comes to pregnancy, there are a lot of questions and concerns that first-time moms have. It seems like the checklist is never-ending. But the first and mandatory thing you need to make sure of is that your child has a safe sleeping environment.

Though you can use a crib right after the birth of your baby, some parents use a bassinet or co-sleeper for the first three-four months. And then, they transition the baby to a crib. We have a detailed guide on when and how to transition a baby to a crib. You may read it for further information.

Even if you aren’t planning on using the crib right after bringing your newborn home from the hospital, the best time to buy cribs is in the second trimester – from four months to six months into your pregnancy.

It’s because you’ll have plenty of time to conduct your crib research, do the shopping and assemble the crib before your due date while you’re not sleep deprived.

Our Amy Baby Review expert team have posted a new guide on crib for tall baby. You may read it for further information.

Do I really need a crib?

Do I really need a crib
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But do you really need a crib? According to experts, yes! “A crib is the best place for a newborn to sleep,” says Dr Stephlee. “It provides a secure sleeping environment for the infant.”

“Co-sleeping is also not recommended. It’s because the infant sleeping in the same bed as his or her parents may put them at risk of suffocation. The blanket could go on the baby’s face or the parents could accidentally roll on top of the infant”, she added.

But it’s important to make sure that your crib meets all safety standards and is in good condition.

On the other hand, some parents use a bassinet for their infant to sleep in for the first few months. When the baby outgrows the bassinet, they will need a crib. Otherwise, they might bump their heads against the sides of the bassinet and wake up crying.

What are the factors to Consider When I’m ordering a Crib?

There are many factors to consider when you are buying a crib. Here, we’ll discuss each of these factors in detail and help you make the best decision for your child!

No Scrollwork or finials:

The crib should have simple lines. It should not have scrollwork or finials. The scrollwork in the crib might be hazardous to a baby. If their dress gets caught in those detailed work, the infant might find it difficult to remove it. Similarly, the finials have the risk of poking in the infant’s eyes and harming him badly.

No drop-side crib:

Drop-side cribs allow the parents to raise and lower one side to get the infant out. It may seem to be a wonderful thing for parents, but it is hazardous for their children.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission banned these drop-side cribs in 2011 because they were linked to at least 32 infant deaths over a few years.

The standard crib should have rigorous new durability testing and improve warnings and labelling.

Buy new crib:

You should buy a new crib if possible. Avoid purchasing an older one. It’s because the old model might not meet the current safety standards, or the hardware might have been weakened for rough use.

Don’t forget that the crib must have the production date labelled on it or its box. It’s a law.

There are still more things to consider when it comes to safety concerns. After you’ve got the crib at home, take a ruler and measure the distances between the slats as well as other areas on the crib. If the distance between the rails is greater than 2 3/8 inches, they are too far apart.

Make sure there are no sharp edges or protruding screws, nuts, corner posts, decorative knobs, and other components that might catch your baby’s clothing at the neck.

Check material and craftsmanship:

You can take a simple test to see if the crib is firm. Shake the crib gently. If the frame shifts, it indicates that it is loose. 

Also, try rotating each slat with slight pressure to see if it’s firmly attached to the railings. A new crib should not have loose slats or spindles, and if they’re made of wood, there shouldn’t be any cracking.

If there are metal rods connected to both end boards beneath the crib, it makes the frame more robust.

The mattress should be properly fit in the crib:

Make sure the crib you buy and the mattress are a good fit. According to federal law, a mattress used in a full-size crib must be at least 27 1/4 inches wide, 51 5/8 inches long and no more than 6 inches thick.

However, don’t take chances. If you can fit more than two fingers between the crib mattress and the crib frame, it’s not tight enough.

Check the hardware after the crib is assembled:

When your crib is put together, double-check all of the hardware for wear and tear. Tighten or replace anything that’s missing or loose on a regular basis.

It’s because they might provide a gap where a baby’s head and neck can wedge, suffocate or strangulate. Small missing and loose parts are one of the most common causes of accidents and fatalities.

All nuts, bolts, and screws should be tightened. Check the mattress support attachments on a regular basis to ensure that they are not bent or damaged.

Double-check that all support hangers (which keep the mattress up) are in place if you shift the crib.

Use the Proper Sheets:

Make sure the crib sheets fit tightly in the mattress. Otherwise, the infant may pull them up and become entangled. Hand-me-downs may be fantastic but double-check the elastic in the corners to ensure it is still strong.

Pull up on each corner to ensure that the sheet doesn’t pop off the mattress corner before using it.

Keep the crib empty:

Keep the crib empty
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You shouldn’t keep any stuffed toys, blankets, pillows in the crib. They can be a suffocation hazard for your child, especially if they are put in their mouth. A wearable blanket or a swaddle wrap is a better option to keep your baby warm and safe.

Adjust the Mattress to Its Right Height:

You can adjust the height in most cribs. Some come with three height positions, and some offer you more. The higher levels are easier to get your baby out of the crib, but they’re hazardous when the littleone is strong enough to pull herself up.

When your child is about 6 months old, the mattress should be at its lowest setting. If there are any pads in the crib bumpers or plush toys in the crib, the infant might attempt to climb out using them. So, make sure you don’t allow them in the crib.

The crib place should be safe and secure:

Put the crib at least 15 to 20 feet from any windows, wall hangings, curtains, toys, and furniture. To ensure that the infant can’t reach anything dangerous, don’t place it too near to these objects. Also, make sure the baby monitor and its cables are out of reach.

 Why DIY cribs aren’t a good idea?

DIY cribs aren’t a good idea because they’re not as safe as cribs that have been commercially made. Many parents choose to build their own cribs because they’re cheaper, but in the end, it’s not worth the risk.

Commercial cribs are made with specific safety standards in mind, while homemade cribs may not meet those same standards.

There have been cases of babies dying after getting trapped in gaps between the DIY crib slats or suffocating on mattresses that weren’t firm enough.

So if you’re thinking about building your own crib, it’s best to reconsider.

Here are a few reasons why DIY cribs aren’t as safe as those from the store:

They Don’t Meet Safety Regulations:

In order for a crib to be sold in stores, it has to meet specific safety standards set by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). These standards include stability testing and mattress height and slat spacing.

They also address things like lead paint, entrapment hazards, drop side construction, and more. If you build your own crib instead of purchasing one from a store, there’s no way to be sure that it meets those safety standards.

They Can Be Unstable:

Another hazard with DIY cribs is that they don’t usually stand up to the stability testing required of those sold in stores. For this reason alone, it’s not worth taking the chance and making your own.

One study showed that 30% of DIY cribs had at least one side rail that was more than 2 3/8 inches (6 cm) away from the wall. This is considered a stability failure since it doesn’t meet the CPSC safety standards for side rail separation.

The Mattress Doesn’t Meet Safety Standards:

Another problem with DIY cribs is that parents often buy used mattresses when they build their own cribs or buy non-standard mattresses that may not meet safety standards.

The CPSC has specific guidelines for the size of the Mattress you use in your crib, and how firm it should be.

If you use a used mattress, there’s no way to tell if it meets these standards unless you take it to an expert.

So, this is why it’s so important to buy your crib from a store, even if you have to save up for it. It will be safer than anything you’d build yourself.

Buying a Mini-Crib is a good option?

Buying a Mini-Crib is a good option
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We don’t think buying a mini-crib is a good option. It’s because a Mini-Crib will be way too small for your child as she gets older, which makes it not worth the investment.

You can’t put a Mini-Crib in your bedroom (sidecar it near the bed), so they force you to sleep with this big thing rocking back-and-forth all night long, thus potentially delaying natural sleep patterns.

Plus, these cribs are often made of thin MDF or particle wood that is cheaply produced, resulting in breakable surfaces.

Finally, even though these cribs meet U.S. government safety standards (known as ASTM), they’re not made to last long-term, and they won’t provide a safe place for your baby to sleep through the night.

For those reasons, we don’t recommend that people buy Mini-Cribs at all. Instead, invest in a quality crib from an environmentally friendly company like StorkCraft.

How long is a crib used for?

A crib is typically used for the first 2 years of a baby’s life, but you should stop using it for safety concerns if you notice that the child can climb out of the crib.

At that point, you should get a toddler bed with child railings or set the mattress on the floor. After the first “escape,” don’t put your kid back into his crib, no matter how young he is. A child attempting to get out of a crib may fall and suffer significant harm.

Wrapping up:

Thanks for reading the complete guide about when to buy a baby crib. We hope our information was helpful in giving some insight on when to purchase a crib for your baby.

To sum up, we just want to mention it again that you can buy a crib anytime before your child is born. But it would be best if you get one during your second trimester because you will have plenty of time to assemble it and decorate your nursery.

Please share this blog post with your friends and family so that they are also benefitted from this. 

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