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Baby Cribs

Monday, 27 October 2008

Cribs are beds specifically designed for babies and toddlers that will keep them safe from falling while they sleep, or safely contained while they play.

 

   BUYING TIPS

The Basics

  • If one side drops down, it's easier to lift baby in and out. Check that the mechanism works easily and that you can operate it with one hand. Make sure it clicks securely back into place when it's in the upright position.

  • With most cribs, you can change the height of the mattress by raising or lowering the mattress support. Lower the mattress when your child begins to sit up on her own. Make sure the mattress support is made from metal and that the height won’t adjust without using tools.

  • A crib on wheels can be handy. Try to find one with locking wheels for stability; and metal wheels are better than plastic.

  • Many cribs are designed to convert to toddler beds, twin and daybeds for later use. Make sure the crib makeover is relatively easy and that you also like the new look.

  • There are a number of safety considerations to keep in mind:

    • Make sure there's a label with the manufacturer/distributor information and the model name and/or number clearly marked in case there's ever a recall on that crib.

    • Make sure the mechanism for adjusting mattress height is essentially foolproof — you don't want your child's jiggling to knock the mattress out of place.

    • The mattress should be the correct size and fit snugly in the crib to avoid any injury.

    • You should be able to fit no more than 2 fingers between the frame and mattress, or a baby could get her head or limbs caught. If a pop can fits between the slats, so could baby's head.

    • Make sure that there are no protruding posts a baby could get hooked on.

    • The mattress should be firm with no soft spots that could become a suffocation hazard. If in doubt, purchase a new mattress.

Be Aware

  • When using second-hand cribs, be aware that tougher safety regulations were introduced in 1986, so any crib made before then may not be up to today’s standards.

   TEST CRITERIA

With the help of some babies, toddlers, and parents, we put a selection of cribs to the test, including:

  • IKEA: $150
  • Stork Craft** day-bed conversion: $400
  • Morigeau: $600
  • Natart day-bed/twin bed conversion: $1,200

(** Please note: On January 13, 2009, a precautionary recall was issued for some Stork Craft crib models. More information can be found at Health Canada's website.)

Our tests and specific results included:

Assembly Test

  • Morigeau: easiest, built in only 25 minutes

  • Storkcraft: directions were affixed to the base of crib, which made it a little awkward to assemble

  • IKEA: straightforward assembly

  • Natart: our entire crew had to help us build this one

Functional Test

  • IKEA: too low to the ground so it was difficult to pick up toys that got trapped underneath; side didn’t drop down; no wheels

  • Natart: solid construction; a little expensive; may suit when there’s only one child especially with the convert-to-bed feature

  • Morigeau: well-built; easy slide-down side: the only crib our toddler testers couldn’t escape from

  • Storkcraft: wheel feature was handy

   OUR TOP PICK

The favourites, both for ease of assembly and ease of use, were the Morigeau and Storkcraft.


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