Choosing Your Baby Crib
When you start planning for the arrival of your Bouncing New Baby one of the most important, and expensive, items will be the baby crib. The choice of crib you make will affect the baby for a long time, maybe up to two years, so it is a choice that needs to be made carefully from the options available.
Although I say the baby crib is an expensive item, the cost varies greatly. As with most things that you buy, you basically get what you pay for. The most attractive and best quality will undoubtedly cost you more than the basic crib. However, there are things other than cost and attractiveness to take into account when choosing a baby crib.
One thing first time parents may not be aware of, before it is too late, is that the baby crib you select may be in for quite a battering. While the baby you bring home from hospital will be inactive in the crib, and not put it under any sort of strain, that all changes remarkably quickly. It will not be many months before that innocent little cherub is hauling herself up, shaking the side of the crib, and jumping up and down. It is best to plan for a caged gorilla, not a docile newborn baby.
It is not easy to assess the durability of a baby crib online, and may not be perfect in a store either. If you do opt for buying the crib online, then carefully check the guarantee. Also, try to pick out those which appear to be sturdily built, for they are more likely to survive the onslaught of the growing baby, long enough to move them on to their first bed with the crib still intact.
If you are looking around the stores at baby cribs then check that the wood is solid; if it’s flimsy, it is best to avoid that crib, as you may end up having to buy a replacement in 12 months’ time. You should also take a close look at the joints. Even if the wood is good quality, that does not mean the joints are well made. As we found out with Saffron’s crib; as soon as she got a little bit mobile, the side of the crib started working itself loose. We had to urgently call in a carpenter to reinforce it.
That crib has survived very well since, but I do recall very clearly being pleased when we found it in the store, as it seemed good quality. Yes, the wood was fine, but it was the joints that caused the weakness. Most baby cribs come flat packed for self assembly, so if the manufacture and assembly is not perfect, and the design of the joints is not good enough, then that crib will not have a long enough life span without repair.
It is not just the robustness of a baby crib that needs to be taken into account at the time of selection. There are other practical issues that should be considered and checked before purchase.
An important feature of the crib, you will soon find, is access to pick up the baby. You will find it easier, especially if it is quite a deep crib, if one of the side panels can be lowered. If possible, try out the demonstration model in the store. Take a close look at the way the panel fastens and unfastens, and ensure it is smooth and easy. You will want to be able to lower it easily when you are half asleep in the middle of the night; and after feeding, draw it up and fasten again.
Take a close look at the mechanism which holds the panel in place when it is raised. That will be crucial as the baby grows and experiments with ways of escaping the crib while you are not in the room.
If the crib is painted, ensure that the paint is lead free. While in most countries lead will not be allowed in paint on a baby crib, you do need to check if you are unsure. Once baby starts teething, the bars on the crib can make a quite handy teething ring! As will many other things!