We Know: How to Buy a Crib

What should I know about buying a baby crib?

When buying a baby crib, you need to know about the styles available, places where you can get a good price, and crib safety issues.

What types of baby cribs are available for me to purchase?

They style of crib you purchase will depend on your personal taste as well as your budget. They are:

  • Standard cribs are cribs where either one side or both sides drop down. One-sided cribs are the least expensive.
  • Convertible cribs can change from a standard crib to a toddler bed, and later to a full sized bed.
  • Canopy cribs have four posts, one on each corner of the bed. The posts hold up a metal frame on which you can place fabric.
  • Round cribs have a single drop down side and are the most dramatic, stylish, and expensive cribs available.

Where can I get a good price for a new crib?

Baby furniture stores and boutiques can leave you with a case of sticker shock. Instead, consider these other options when purchasing your crib:

  • Discount warehouses such as Burlington Coat Factory
  • Internet comparison services and review sites
  • Chain department stores like JC Penney, Target, & Wal-Mart
  • Large Furniture warehouses that also carry baby furniture.

How do I choose a safe crib for my baby?

Inspect the crib (or showroom sample) for the following:

  • A firm, tight-fitting mattress and a mattress support that does not pull apart from the corner posts (you should not be able to fit more than two fingers between the mattress and the rails.
  • Crib slats should be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart. None should be missing or cracked.
  • The paint should not be cracked or peeling and there should be no splinters or rough edges.
  • Missing, loose, broken or improperly installed screws, brackets or other hardware on the crib or mattress support.
  • The frame and headboard need to be strong, with no decorative cut outs
  • Corner posts should not be more than 1/16th inch high as your baby's clothes can be caught on them (unless you are using a canopy).
  • Sides should be tall enough to prevent accidents by discouraging babies from trying to climb out.

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