Never use antique or heirloom cribs. They may be gorgeous, but they have not been designed to meet today's safety standards. They often have hazardous openings or points of entanglement. They may also be weak with age or covered with lead-based paint.
Choose a new or very recently handed-down crib with a label stating that it meets American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards. Check to be sure that:
No bars on the crib are more than 2 3/8 inches apart.
There are no splinters or cracks in the wood.
Corners do not have posts or knobs sticking up above the rail.
The mattress should adjust up and down, and at its highest should be 26 inches away from the top of the rail.
The mattress should be firm and fit tightly into the crib. You should not be able to get more than two fingers between the mattress and the crib's side.
Dr. Bettye M. Caldwell Ph.D. Professor of Pediatrics in Child Development and Education
Our parenting advice is given as suggestions only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, and urge you to contact them immediately if your question is urgent or about a medical condition.