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Crib Buying Guide

image053The crib is the centerpiece of a nursery, and lucky for you, there are more choices than ever to fit your preferences and budget. When considering a crib, think about design, finish and long-term value. Knowing your requirements will help you narrow your search and zero in on the perfect crib and mattress.

Standard cribs

This is a classic choice, designed to get your baby from infancy through to their first big kid bed. In the past, many of these cribs were made with one side that dropped down, but that option is no longer available as it has proven to be potentially hazardous. If you’re offered a hand-me-down crib with this feature, you don’t want it. Crib mattresses are standard size (roughly 71 cm x 134 cm) and so is the inside of the crib. But every crib will have a different footprint size. Find one that works with your nursery.

Round cribs

These are a great evolution in the crib world, and are becoming increasingly popular. You can position a round crib in the middle of a room instead of up against a wall like many rectangular cribs. Since most parents are already in the mindset of, “the fewer corners, the better”, this crib’s complete lack of corners is a great safety feature. The only challenge may be finding sheets for it. Before you go this route, make sure your room is big enough for everything else you need like a chest of drawers and a chair for you.

Convertible cribs

Convertible cribs grow with your baby, changing from a crib to a toddler bed, a daybed and even a full-sized bed. They’re great for budget-conscious parents who don’t want to keep buying a new bed every time their child grows out of theirs. You should consider picking up the conversion kit and guardrail at the time you buy the crib, as the model (and accompanying kit) might be discontinued by the time you need it.

Crib mattresses

Just like cribs, mattresses have a range of durability, so pick one that suits your needs and timeline. Foam and innerspring are the two basic types of crib mattresses. Both are also available in organic options, but tend to be a bit more costly. As mentioned above, length and width are standard, but thickness does vary. Health Canada recommends crib mattresses not exceed 15 cm in thickness. At the very beginning, infant mattresses should be on the firmer rather than softer side. This is because a soft sleeping surface can be a suffocation hazard and raise the risk of SIDS. As your baby gets to be a Toddler mattress can be a tad softer for added comfort.

Mattress durability

Look for a mattress with fabric binding along the seams. Fabric binding allows air to escape, preventing the seams from straining and splitting over time. Also, look for carefully positioned vent holes that allow odors to escape. This is especially helpful as your baby grows into a toddler and their sweat glands start to develop. It can get pretty grimy pretty quickly, especially in the summer months.

Happy crib shopping!

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