The Baby Crib: Your Child?s First Bed

It is up to you as parents whether you want a baby crib to be your child's first bed or not. Some parents are proponents of "co-sleeping," in which a baby sleeps in bed with the parents, sometimes up to two or more years. Other parents choose a baby crib for their child to sleep in, especially if their baby is an active sleeper or makes lots of noise at night. Remember, it is up to you--don't let anyone make you feel bad about your decision.

Baby Crib Safety

Baby cribs are safe places to sleep when parents follow some important rules. The slats of the crib must be close together to prevent your baby from getting his or her head, hands, or legs trapped. A crib mattress should fit very snugly in the crib, with no more than ½ of space on each side. This helps prevent a baby from rolling down in the cracks between the mattress and the crib.

It is important, especially during the first four months, to avoid putting your baby to sleep on his stomach or side in the crib. There has been a decrease in "Sudden Infant Death Syndrome" since the common practice has been to put babies on their backs to sleep. Also, keeping overly fluffy objects out of your baby's crib is a good idea. You never know when your baby might roll into such an item and accidentally smother, unable to get the object away from her face.

Popular Styles of Baby Cribs

The traditional wooden crib is the most popular. However, it varies widely in style as well as price. A standard, bare-bones crib that meets safety standards might only set you back $100, while the new "convertible" cribs that turn into a bed later on can go for $400-$800, depending on the model. If you want to go with something extremely impractical but kind of unique, you could purchase a round crib (which, of course, requires a special round crib mattress and limited choices of bedding that are all expensive)

Whatever kind of crib you get, make sure it is sturdy and safe. When you put your baby in a crib, you are putting your trust in that crib also.

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