What is a baby crib, and what do they do?
Cribs are beds designed for babies and have high sides to keep your baby safe overnight, preventing them from rolling or falling out of bed. Cribs typically come in two different forms: regular and portable. Regular cribs are sturdy, with four sides and four legs, and are designed to stay in one place. This will most likely be a permanent fixture in your baby’s room once they are ready to sleep on their own. Portable cribs, on the other hand, are typically smaller than normal cribs. While they also have four sides and four legs, they are often collapsible for easy storage. Most have wheels on the legs so that they are easy to move around the house.
Cribs come with a lot of advantages, and a few disadvantages as well, and knowing some of these pros and cons may help you make a decision on whether to get one for your infant or not.
A crib is a safe and sturdy option once your baby is old enough to be in his or her own room. As an aside, it’s recommended that infants sleep in a bassinet in their parents’ room until 6-12 months of age. Cribs come in a range of styles to match your home’s decor, so it can be fun to search for the best option for you and your baby. Cribs also come with the option to lower the mattress as your baby becomes more mobile, ensuring that they have less of a risk of climbing out of bed and injuring themselves.
Moving Baby from a bassinet in your room to their own crib can be challenging and takes some patience. If you choose a non-portable crib, it’s intended to be stationary, so you won’t be able to move it far once it’s set up unless you have help. Shorter parents may find it hard to put their baby down in a crib since the high sides can make it hard to get the baby all the way to their mattress.
New Cribs are Worth it
You might consider it appealingly frugal to use an old crib that has been in the family for a long time, but you should keep in mind that old cribs are not the safest options for your baby. Older cribs may have grown weak with time; they may also carry potential hazards like flaking paint or too much distance between the slats. Many older cribs most likely will not meet present-day safety standards.
When purchasing bedding for your baby, it can be tempting to get a cute quilt and bumper set. However, these are not safe for your baby until they are at least one year old. The only thing that should be in your baby’s crib - aside from Baby - is a firm crib mattress covered with a mattress protector (if you’d like) and a fitted sheet. If you’re worried about your baby being too cold at night, dress them in fleece pajamas with a sleep sack that has an appropriate TOG rating for the temperature.
Your Baby’s Sleeping Position
When in the crib, the best position to place your baby is on its back, not on their stomach or side. Most doctors agree that once your baby is able to roll on their own, they can safely sleep on their side or stomach if they roll to that position. Still, always put your baby to sleep on his or her back.
The room temperature recommended for a baby to sleep in is 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit. Ensure that your baby isn’t too warm - a good trick is to feel the back of their neck to make sure it’s not sweaty.
How to Set up Your Baby Crib
While setting up your baby crib, ensure that you follow the instructions in the user manual. There should be no missing or loose screws, no sharp or jutting edges, and you should occasionally check for breaks or any signs of damage to the crib body.
The distance between the crib slats should be no more than 2 3/8 inches to make sure that the baby’s limbs don’t get stuck between them. There should be no cutout patterns in the headboard to avoid the baby’s head getting trapped. To keep your baby from climbing out of the crib, the mattress should be able to lower and should be at least two feet from the top of the railing. Most sleep specialists say you should lower the crib mattress as soon as your baby is able to sit independently.
Bassinet Safety Practices
If your baby is in a bassinet, you should put into practice all of the safety tips mentioned above, including having a firm mattress and avoiding soft beddings and toys.
What About Co-sleepers?
Co-sleepers or bedside cribs are a good option for parents who do not want their child sleeping in a separate room from them. These options attach to the side of your bed so that you are sleeping right next to your baby, but on a different surface.