Before you go looking at baby cribs you should determine your budget. A good idea is to have a price range to work with. This will allow for more choices in the long run.
The main concern you should have whether you are buying a new crib or a used one. The crib must meet government standards. When you put the crib together be sure to so following the manufacturer’s directions exactly to ensure the greatest amount of safety for your child. It should also be used properly.
Safety concerns include the mattress. The mattress must be firm and tight fitting and there should be no missing or broken hardware. There should be no missing or loose slats. The slats should not be any more than 2 3/8 inches apart – about the width of a soda can. There should be no cutouts in the foot or headboards. If there are corner posts they should be no more than a sixteenth of an inch above the foot or head bar.
Drop sides on a crib is very convenient and is probably the most used feature on any crib. Fixed sides do not have the drop down feature and is great for tall people or those who will only be occasionally using the crib.
Most parents opt for a single drop down sided crib that allows them to easily lift baby out of the crib and to place him in the crib. This is especially convenient if your crib is placed against the wall. Double drop down sided cribs are a popular option among those parents who have room to place the crib so it’s not against the wall.
There are several ways in which drop sides can be lowered. There is the knee push lever and all you have to do is lean your knee against the crib side and it will drop. This is convenient if you have your baby in your arms.
The knee push sides may be the most common type available. Another common type is the foot bar. You balance on one foot and push the bar down with the other to lower the side. There is the double trigger drop mechanism. There are levers on both ends of the crib and you need both hands free to use them. You squeeze the triggers and then the side will drop. The problem with this type is that if you have the baby in your arms it will be next to impossible to operate.
The wheels on a crib are a great asset because it makes the crib easier to move to clean under or retrieve dropped toys as well as changing bedding. Make sure the casters are strong and turn easily. If you don’t think you will need them you can put them aside in case you change your mind.
There are adjustable mattress heights available on all cribs with the exception of the cheapest models of cribs. The three position option is available and is the wisest choice. Two height position are acceptable. Single height mattress is not a safe choice because as your child grows the mattress should be lowered to prevent him from climbing out of the crib or toppling out of the crib.
You should look at the mattress supports as well. Some have vinyl straps that could wear out and break others have metal bar supports which is a better option. The best option however is a metal spring system where the entire mattress is supported and is the most durable of the three options.