Choosing a Crib
When choosing a crib, avoid antiques or heirlooms. Older cribs may be weak with age or covered with lead-based paint. You want a new or very recently handed-down crib with a label stating that it meets the Consumer Product Safety Commission's standards. The bars on the bed should not be more than 2 3/8 inches apart (about the width of a soda can). Make sure there are no missing or cracked slats, and no wood splinters. Dropside cribs are not recommended.
You'll also want to buy a firm mattress that fits tightly into the crib. You shouldn't be able to get more than two fingers between the mattress and the crib's side.
The mattress should adjust up and down, and at its highest should still be 26 inches away from the top of the railing. The corners of the crib should not have posts or knobs sticking up above the rail; this is important because you don't want baby to get stuck and hurt in the actual crib structure.
Never place a crib near a window with blind, curtain cords or baby monitor cords; babies can strangle on cords. Don’t put pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, pillow-like bumper pads or pillow-like stuffed toys in the crib.
For more information on cribs and sleep safety for infants, visit:
American Academy of Pediatrics
Updated April 2015
Parenting advice is given as a suggestion only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider.