Cribs 101 – 1 of 2

Grandchild #2 was coming over and some friends of ours had borrowed our crib.  No problem, I still had the porta-crib I used when my two were born.

That was until I really looked at it.

The spindles were almost four inches apart, some screws didn’t tighten completely, and there was a big gap around the mattress.  The scary part was, if I hadn’t become a baby planner, I am not sure I would have even noticed these problems.

Our advice:  DO NOT BUY A USED CRIB – and if at all possible do not accept a hand-me-down from friends or relatives.  Cribs are the third biggest cause of injuries and deaths among nursery products.  Even with safety standards enforced, there have been MILLIONS of cribs recalled in the past year.

If you have no other choice, for economic or other reasons, here are a few things to watch out for:

  • The distance between spindles should be no more than 2 3/8” –a soda can should not be able to pass between the spindles
  • Make sure you have ALL screws and bolts and an instruction book on how to put it together.  One loose screw can be hazardous.
  • Avoid cutouts in the headboard
  • The mattress should fit very snug – no more than 2 fingers width away from the sides of the crib.
  • Find out the brand and model and check it for recalls

Even with new cribs, you should double check those screws and bolts every month just to make sure they haven’t loosened up.

Check out part 2 later for an overview of features and recommendations.

– WHN baby-bloggers Sarah and Linda at

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