Color. More retailers are offering cribs in nontraditional colors, Walker said, allowing parents to bring color into the nursery with the furniture instead of just the bedding or a rug.
Smaller profiles for small spaces. Land of Nod is contemplating offering a mini-crib, Walker said, for urban customers who live in small spaces. Mini-cribs, which are about two-thirds the size of a standard crib, “were previously very institutional and used mostly in day cares, but with the current housing market, people are staying in places they wouldn’t have thought they would be staying in,” Walker said.
Buy new if possible. To make sure your crib meets the updated standards, it’s best to buy new, said Julie Vallese, managing director of government and public affairs for the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association. Don’t get a used crib unless you have all of the parts and the assembly instructions, and make sure it doesn’t have a drop-side. Drop-sides were banned because the moving parts presented a risk of strangulation or suffocation, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Check the crib often to make sure nothing is loose or broken. Tighten any loose screws or parts and use only replacement parts from the crib manufacturer, JPMA advises. Broken cribs should be discarded.
Don’t use any pillows, blankets, quilts or stuffed animals in the crib. Keep the soft bedding and toys out of the crib until your child is at least a year old, Vallese said. Fitted sheets should wrap around the mattress securely. The JPMA recommends that if you use crib bumpers, they should be thin and tightly attached to the crib.
Placement matters. The crib should not be near windows or window cords, Vallese said. Parents should also place cribs at least three feet from baby monitors, and out of reach of products that a curious baby could get his hands on, such as diaper cream. Mobiles should be high enough to be out of baby’s reach.