How To Choose Your Babies New Safest Crib For Your Nursery

  What is the safest baby crib?

There are definitely some laws and other safety factors to make understand to make a good decision on buying the safest crib you can afford.

The safest crib for your baby is based on a number of factors, which I have thoroughly researched so you can make an informed decision. Choosing the right infant bed for your precious child is of the utmost importance.

safe crib

I know for my new grandchild I have been doing plenty of research and have been surprised by the new standards.  At first I will admit I thought what is the big deal, my children survived just fine with the old cribs, however it is always best to update and not take any chances with inferior potentially unsafe crib products. ​As parents we all want the safest crib possible for our loved one.

Starting in 2010 there was a sequence of requirements made into law concerning the construction of cribs for the safety of your child. In 2014 the final laws went into effect. Let’s check them out without getting too dry and dull.

So what are the 5 new key requirements for all crib makers to abide by and which crib brands are the safest?

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  1. Traditional drop-side cribs cannot be sold nor made for use.
  2. To prevent breakage wood slats must be made of stronger wood types.
  3. All crib hardware must have anti-loosening devices to keep them from coming loose
  4. More durable mattresses are required.
  5. The company must do rigorous testing.



The biggest issue was with the drop-side cribs is both with the manufacturers as well as the with the consumer.  Both parties need to follow the safety standards to protect the lives of babies



New federal crib safety standards were effective in June of 2011. Crib manufacturers can no longer make drop-side cribs as of that date. Retail stores should no longer be carrying drop side cribs, so be sure to check on that fact.

At the beginning of December 2012, daycares, hotels, and other facilities had to comply with the new regulations. Should you use a crib at a hotel be very sure to make sure they are in compliance and do not bring you a drop side crib. If so talk with them and seek action if necessary.

If your child goes to a daycare one of the items, you as a parent should personally check for is the style of crib your baby will be using. Make sure your daycare is in compliance with the new laws.

Click the item in the table below to skip to your most pressing question, or continue to read the whole review.

  Tell Me The Safety Issues With Drop-Side Cribs?

  • Plastic drop-side hardware can warp and potentially break
  • Various types of softwood could allow the hardware to come loose faster
  • Many parents install the drop-side upside down, which can cause wear and tear
  • Sometimes the drop-side pieces get lost
  • Cribs are not assembled correctly

The above issues can allow a gap to form between the crib mattress and a part of the drop side. Unfortunately, babies can become trapped and suffocate in that gap. No one wants this to happen!

Old vintage cribs and family heirlooms can be beautiful and full of memories. Please do not be tempted to use an old crib because of traditional family values. Cribs that do not meet the updated 2014 safety standards need to be destroyed or used for decorative purposes only. Do not attempt to wire and screw things together!

Your infant’s life is not worth the risk!

sleeping baby

It is not illegal to use a drop side crib if you have it in your possession, however, be sure to check that it is completely safe. Personally, I would be very careful, and if I could, I would purchase a new crib with the updated safety.guidelines. By Clicking this link, you will find a list of the best overall safest cribs.

 Some stats on recalls:

According to Consumer Product Safety Commission recall archives, there were more than 20 different crib recalls issued since 2007. That is a lot of recalls.

The recalls have affected more than 11 million cribs made by different manufacturers. Recall reasons were not specific. However, almost all the recalls were based on issues with durability and hardware problems creating a gap between the crib rail and mattress thus, allowing a baby to become entrapped and possibly suffocating.

On Dec. 28, 2010, the CPS Commission issued new mandatory standards for both the full-size standard and the non-full-size baby cribs as mandated by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA). Shockingly, the federal crib standards were 30 years old and outdated. Fortunately, these new rules were welcome in creating a safer generation of cribs.

Recalls on cribs or other baby products can always be seen at Consumer Product Safety Commission Product

​ Crib Safety Brainstorming Groups:

Safety standard groups have met with crib manufacturers and brainstormed ways to make baby cribs not only a much safer place to sleep but also a useable and viable piece of nursery furniture that can accommodate every size and shape of parent or caregiver’s needs.

There have been some interesting suggestions in crib design in the Wall Street Journal. Apparently, a Toys R Us product safety expert indicated there might be a trend towards shorter legs on cribs. A shorter crib would make it much easier to reach inside to lay your infant down as well as to pick your baby up.

  What Other Crib Options Are Available?

Drop-side cribs were the only option for many years. I used them with my children, and we did fine. However, there we issue with loose screws and the side dropping when it should not have. I can understand the need to make cribs safer.

So what does a mom do when the side does not drop down so you can lay your sleeping infant carefully on the mattress? Are you short like me and it is impossible to reach over the rail? Seems even if you are a tall person it would be difficult to reach that far.

​You have two choices:  The "stationary side "or the "drop-GATE crib", not to be confused with a drop -SIDE crib.   I will explain the differences and pros and cons below:

First Crib choice is  the one many crib manufacturers moved towards making which is the stationary side crib. Many were making these  before the drop-side cribs ban. The makers knew this would be an issue so designed cribs with a lower front rail. The lower front rail helps to a point. When your baby is small, you can raise the mattress, so it is easier to reach in. As your child becomes more active, the mattress will need to be lowered, so your child is in a more contained safe position for safety reasons.

A second crib type is called the drop-gate crib. This is actually, pretty innovative because a part of the crib front rail folds down. The ability for a part of the rail to fold down allows easier access to the bed portion of the crib. The metal parts that hold I a drop-gate crib together are simpler than those of a drop-side crib, which makes it easier to assemble.

Although there is not nearly the risk of incorrect assembling or the device failing and causing any serious safety issues, there is the possibility that your toddler can get his foot on the horizontal cross bar and try climbing out of the crib.

Another potential problem is the fact that the drop side crib takes two hands to open. What does a mother or father holding a sleeping infant do? As good as the option sounds especially for a short person, it is not much of an option.

  Standard Safety Requirements are as follows:

                   Requirement:

Standard

Slats/spindles static load strengths

Total lead content in paint

Total lead content in substrate

Phthalates

  80 lbs

<.009%

<.009%

.01%



As you can see, there is virtually no lead content in the paint allowed!

The  80 weight limit as standard in the industry is pretty impressive!  That is substantial considering a toddler usually is out of their crib by 1.5 years to 2 years and doesn’t weigh this much. Keep in mind this includes a mattress and bedding as well. These factors add up to plenty of peace of mind for the safest crib possible for your baby!

​ The active up to date link or ASTM.  

Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Full-Size Baby Cribs

  Inside the Crib Safety:

Have you given much thought to the safety inside the crib where your sweet baby spends so much time?

​I am going to give you some items to checkout and guidelines to follow!

  Bumper Pads:

Over the years it has become clear that bumper pads are not a necessity. Wow, who would have thought that true? When I was raising, my children bumper pads were clearly thought of as adding an extra layer of safety to keep your child from harming themselves if a leg or arm went through the rail slats. Nowadays the vertical crib rails are close enough together that bumper pads are not warranted as good. In fact quite the opposite.  However, I still like the idea of some type of bumper pad!

There is no law or requirements stating not to use them. The best advice is to use a firm bumper pad in a crib. As soon as your child starts standing remove the bumper pads as children often stand on them using them for leverage to climb out of their bed. Also, toddler age will often pull at the ties and can potentially undo the whole bumper pad so get rid of it.

Consider Breathable Bumpers developed by Dale and Susan Waters. The first plus of the bumpers is the fact they are mesh and breathable.

Second this style of bumper protects a child's arms and legs from going through the rail slats. I love this as it is so easy for little ones to roll over or scoot and partly fall through the rail space. What a frightening experience.

Bare is Best is the mantra with inside crib safety. Many recommendations are only to use thin blankets for covering and nothing very thick and fluffy for infants under four months of age. After that age, they can move and roll over, thus less chance of smothering. Remove all over stuffed toys as well as large stuffed toys as well.

So nix the thick fluffy items and toys in a crib! Keep all the elements that are not essential out of your babies crib.  Safest Crib guidelines can be found here.

I know it 's hard to keep some infants and toddlers covered. Some children are movers and frequently end up without a blanket covering them. Be aware of the temperature of your room and dress your baby and toddlers appropriately.

Tight fitting Crib Sheet on Mattress:

​Simply make sure your crib sheet is tight so it will not come off as a child can get wrapped up in it.

Cords on Mobiles and Window Shades:

Keep all monitors and cords at least 3 feet away from a crib. Cords and little ones do not mix well. If a child gets ahold of the monitor cords, they could potentially hard themselves.

Mobiles are to look at and not play with, be sure to hang it high enough that the baby cannot reach it. When an infant reaches the stage where they are pulling themselves up in a crib than remove the mobile. It is no long useful and a danger to the toddler. So many kids can put the pieces in their mouths or once again get wrapped up in strings.

CPCS records 7 known deaths and 3 near-strangulations since 2002 involving video and audio baby monitor cords.

Be aware of placing your crib close to a window with shades. Shades should be cordless if you have to put your crib next to that window. Kids can get wrapped up in long string style cords found on window shades

A couple of guidelines to check for the safest crib:

slats that are no greater than 2 3/8 inches apart

Stable with no loose parts

Frames with standard mattress fitting snugly. Use the finger method to check, less than a 2 finger gap

Comply with voluntary and federal safety regulations.

No drop sides

No cutout in head or footboards

​Bare is Best

Do not put your car carrier inside the crib with an infant in it. Depending on the age and abilities ofyour baby, they may be able to roll or wiggle out of the seat and get caught between the carrier and the crib rail, this is a dangerous situation!

Bottom line about the safest crib for your baby?

Honestly with the new safest crib standards put into law all crib makers are held accountable for safety, so as far as safety if you have a crib purchases AFTER 2011 you can be sure it is made within the rules of safety. 

My list of Top Choices I choose based on a brands that went above National Safety Standards in being Eco friendly with beautiful design style in a budget that is affordable.

  TOP CHOICES:

   First Choice: Babyletto Brand

 Babyletto is a newer company on the market with modern stylish design. Safety is their number one concept surpassing all National Safety Standards.  This companies furniture is Eco Friendly clean and sleek.  You will find that Babyletto Cribs exceed industry requirements to me that means a lot of peace of mind that you will be purchasing quality!

Babyletto cribs are made from sustainable New Zealand pine. When construction in one of the products such as a dresser, requires the use of medium density fiberboard (MDF), Babyletto uses only materials that are CARB II compliant. 

Each crib  slat withstands at least 135 lbs of pressure which exceeds the minimum requirement of 80 lbs. Slats are a maximum of 2 3/8" apart which is industry and law standard.

25% of Babyletto's full-size crib models are tested quarterly and adhere to all guidelines and remain active participants of the JPMA Certification Program.

Mattress supports are metal with springs, which provide optimum support and security.

The 3 in 1 Convertible : crib to toddler bed to a daybed growing with your child.

Hudson:    has clean sleek lines, 4 colors available  with combinations making 6 choices, round spindles, sits low to the ground with different mattress heights so easy to lay a sleeping infant down. Comes with the toddler rail.

One complaint of customers is that the metal mattress support is brown and it is hard to put a bed skirt around the bottom. There are ways to fix that if it really bothers you. Get a can of spray paint and change the color.

     Prices appear to run in the $379 range for all the Babyletto Hudson Cribs.

The matching Hudson Changing Table Dresser Combo runs about $379 on Amazon as well. You will want to buy the Summer Infant Contoured Changing pad for the top as a soft place to change your infant.

The interior of Babyletto cribs is 27.5inches while most crib mattresses have been standardized to 28inches width.  There are mattresses that are this size so be sure to check your width. The Babyletto brand is standard length at 52". 

The changing piece on the top of the dresser can be removed so you can use it for your child for years. Amazon has a 3.7 stars on these.  It does come in pieces and reviewers say to be organized as it has quite a few pieces. 

     This is the all white version of the Hudson.

      Read more reviews on Amazon.

safest baby crib

You can dress this up with so many vibrant colors and it is especially nice for a baby girl.

Matching White Hudson Changer Dresser

 

Dimensions are 39.8 x 19.2 x 37 inches

3 drawers with metal glider and one door with a shelf inside. Hidden latches. Amazon says this is tip proof and weighs 69 lbs.


    Note the Grey trim with white spindles.

     Read more reviews at Amazon.

The solid grey is stunning as well you can see it on Amazon by clicking here.

 Matching Grey  Hudson Changer Dresser


Dimensions are 39.8 x 19.2 x 37 inches

3 drawers with metal glider and one door with a shelf inside. Hidden latches. Amazon says this is tip proof and weighs 69 lbs.



    Espresso with white trim is very boy!

    Read more reviews at Amazon.

  Check out the the solid dark Espresso at Amazon.


 Matching Espresso Hudson Changer Dresser

Dimensions are 39.8 x 19.2 x 37 inches

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3 drawers with metal glider and one door with a shelf inside. Hidden latches. Amazon says this is tip proof and weighs 69 lbs.

Matching Washed Natural Hudson Changer Dresser

Dimensions are 39.8 x 19.2 x 37 inches

3 drawers with metal glider and one door with a shelf inside. Hidden latches. Amazon says this is tip proof and weighs 69 lbs.

 Modo:   is very square in style with wider flat style slats. Some customers feel this is a more masculine crib. It comes in a mix and match color scheme. White or Espresso or white with grey base or white with espresso base. Again it has a low profile setting closer to the floor and easy to reach over stationary sides. Hidden hardware is a plus.

Reviewers on Amazon give this a 4.7 star rating as a crib, however there are some complaints that this is not a good toddler bed, even though they love it as a crib!

Scoot:  has gently tapered feet, with round spindle slates. You can buy this in either white with contrasting natural base and feet or white with a walnut stained feet and base. The low stationary profile with the 4 mattress levels and hidden hardware make it a beautiful crib. There is also a matching dresser available for your nursery. This crib has a 4.7 star rating on Amazon.

Mercer:   is a little different as it is on a base not legs. The nice addition is the drawer under the crib to store items. I see this as a plus when you make it into a toddler bed or daybed. What a great place to store extra bedding, toddler books or a variety of items.

This crib in 4 varieties of color combinations. Check out these links on Amazon to see them. Solid white, solid  espresso brown  or white with grey end panels, and last white with espresso brown end panels for a nice contrast.

The slates are flat and wide matching the white or espresso brown color on the long panel side. A stationary crib with 4 mattress levels and a low profile.

The prices on Amazon are about $299 except the Grey and White is priced at $349.00

Bingo:    Scandinavian design with pretty contrasting colors, and a handy 4 cubbie storage unit on each end. Coordinates with a changing dresser of the same look in a 3 tone of white, grey and mint green or a 2 tone of washed natural wood and white.

Scandinavian style Bingo Check out Amazon Reviews here.

Harlow:  Acrylic Slats crib so you child has a clear view is pretty unique!  The unique platform base is a modern design and works well because this crib is as low as the standard will allow. Being 34.5" in the front is great for short mom's, making it so much easier to lay your sleeping infant down. Plus there are 4 mattress levels to choose from.

Price is about $649 with free shipping

The Acrylic slat Harlowe Check out Amazon Reviews here.

The 4 in 1 Convertible converts from crib to toddler, daybed, lastly to a full sized bed with headboards.


Sprout:   has tapered spindles with triangular feet. Interesting part of the design is that since this crib will become a regular full sized bed the long sides of the crib are destined to be your head and foot boards. These two pieces are solid with the legs built into them as one piece.  The back of this crib is slightly higher than the front. Your back will be the headboard and the front which is shorter will be the footboard. I like how this is designed for future use. Because this is a 4 way convertible bed the Product Dimensions are 56 x 30.8 x 39.2 inches. This cribs inside dimensions are for a standard crib mattress but it takes up a slightly larger foot print in a room by about 3"in length is all. 

Gelato:  This crib is a newer design for Babyletto with its round tubular style spindles and corners. The sides are all the same height so when you make it into a full sized bed the head and foot boards would be even. It is very attractive in white or natural. To give a punch of character and color you can purchase leg covers to slip right over the wood in either cool mint or spring yellow. Available is a matching 3 drawer changing dresser you can also add colorful leg covers to.  Once again it is low profile with 4 mattress levels.

   Second Choice: DaVinci

DaVininci  Cribs are a leader in safety and quality at an excellent value. These cribs are GreenGuard Gold certified making them very healthy for indoor environments. They meet ASTM international and U.S. CPSC safety standards and JPMA certified.

   DaVinci 3 in 1 Convertible top choices:

                             This is my single pick for DaVinci 3 in 1 Convertible.

Jenny Lind  is beautiful old fashioned style with spindles and on Wheels which is rare!  A crib on wheels is easy to move around. On Amazon the "outside" product dimensions are 54.6 x 30.4 x 41.1 inches which is slightly longer than some baby cribs.  However, the inside dimensions fit a standard crib mattress.  The reviews do say it is made of sustainable New Zealand pine wood but the product description states it is painted cherry wood. 

This crib has a 4.7 star rating on Amazon however you will find several parents who do not like this crib. After reading the reviews I am wondering if there was a failure to properly secure the mattress frame correctly as there are 4 levels one is able to use in raising and lowering the crib mattress. 

    DaVinci 4 in 1 Convertible top Choices:

Reagan  is a solid pine wood with an oak finish beautiful crib with detail. Rounded edges, low profile with 4 mattress levels. Sturdy with out being heavy. 

Kalani     is a favorite among crib buyers for it's stability, safety and style. The sleigh style is higher in the back and lower in the front making it easier to reach your child. Eventually, this crib converts into a beautiful full sized bed for many years of use.

Highland    has mid-century subtle lines has chestnut finish with contrasting natural wood tapering spindles.  This is a beautiful American design crib. The front is lower than the back. There are 4 mattress settings.  A matching dresser can also be purchased.

 Baby cribs are uniquely and widely designed with a great variety of choice. Personally, I love the Babyletto modern design with the great price tag. These safe cribs compare to the more expensive Oeuf brand cribs.

Plenty of choices can be made just in the BABYLETTO line or in the DaVinci line of cribs. When you are looking for the safest crib for your baby nursery these are hands down the ones I believe are the best choices.








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Anna

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