Crib Buyer's Guide: How To Choose The Safest Crib For Your Baby

White crib in baby room
When you find out you’re expecting, the first baby item you search for is most likely a crib, and for very obvious reasons. Your baby will spend most of their time in the crib in the early days of their life.

And because babies sleep so much, nothing is more important than crib safety! But how do you know which cribs are the safest?

The experts at Newton Baby can help! In this article, we’ll discuss safe sleep guidelines, different sleep options, and how to choose a safe crib for your precious little one.

General Safe Sleep Practices

Up close of sleeping baby in crib

We all worry about our babies during the night! Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ensure your little one is sleeping safe and sound.

Follow these safe sleep best practices to give your baby a good, safe night’s sleep in their crib.

Place Your Baby To Sleep On Their Back

To minimize the risk of suffocation, always place your baby on their back when putting them to sleep in their crib. This is a general rule for all healthy babies.

Unless otherwise stated by your baby’s pediatrician, always follow this safe sleep practice.

Bare Is Best

To make sure your baby’s crib is as safe as possible, abide by the “bare is best” rule. This means no extra blankets, crib bumpers, pillows, stuffed animals, toys, or other bedding.

We suggest “bare is best” as a safe sleep practice because when your baby starts rolling over and moving around, they may not be able to move their body if their airway gets constricted.

This is why Newton Baby created a breathable mattress! Our mattresses can put your mind at ease at night knowing your sweet baby is sleeping safely.

And if you’re worried about your little one getting cold, grab a pack of Newton Baby’s swaddle blankets to safely keep your baby cozy and comfy all night long!

Avoid Co-Sleeping

As much as you might be tempted to snuggle up with your sweet little one at night, don’t do it. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends sharing a room with your baby, but not the same sleeping surface.

We know there are a lot of cute co-sleeping options out there in the baby product market. But go ahead and skip them, and then check out our article 21 Must-Have Minimalist Baby Essentials to narrow down your list!

So, how should your baby sleep if co-sleeping is out of the question? Take a look below for some safe sleeping options for your newest member of the family.

Sleeping Options: Bassinets, Mini-Cribs And Cribs

brown and white crib in baby room

Bassinets

Based on the AAPs recommendation of having your baby sleep in the same room as you, bassinets are a great option for the first few months.

One drawback of bassinets is that they’re only for short-time use. Sooner or later, you’ll end up purchasing a crib. Many parents decide to skip this option and invest in a crib right off the bat since they’ll eventually have to purchase one anyway.

For more information on bassinets and whether they’re right for your family or not, check out our Bassinet Buyer’s Guide: What To Look For When Buying Your Baby’s Bassinet.

Mini-Cribs

Mini-cribs are another short-term, space-saving option for having your baby sleep in your room. But just like with a bassinet, your baby will eventually outgrow their mini-crib.

Even though your little one can sleep in a mini-crib for longer than a bassinet, a crib purchase is still in your future. If you decide purchasing a mini crib is the right choice for your family, Newton Baby has you covered!

Our Safe And Breathable Crib Mattress provides all the same safety and comfort benefits as our standard-sized crib mattress but is smaller in size, measuring 24-inches wide and 38-inches long.

Cribs

As you can see by now, you will eventually need to purchase a crib. Your baby will spend the first year or two (or three if you have a crib that converts into a toddler bed) in their crib.

Because of this, choose a crib that is safe and built to last. Here’s how.

How To Choose The Safest Crib For Your Baby

baby room with crib and rocking horse

Because cribs come in a variety of options, it can be difficult to pick the right one. Check out our list below of what to look for to help you choose the safest crib for your baby!

Width Of Crib Slats

The crib slats should be no wider than two and three-eighths inches apart. If the slats are any farther apart than that, they create a risk of your baby getting a body part stuck in-between them.

Always pay attention to this measurement and check it yourself if necessary.

Parts And Assembly

If you can, have a professional assemble your baby’s crib. But if you can’t, call up a friend or family member to make this a memorable shared experience of putting your little one’s crib together!

We strongly suggest following the instructions word-for-word to ensure proper assembly. And after you’ve assembled the crib, do a thorough check for things like:

  • Sharp edges
  • Protruding screws
  • Decorative knobs or other pieces that could catch your baby’s clothing

We also recommend periodically tightening the hardware and checking for any missing or loose screws.

Sturdiness

Test the crib after assembling by pushing on the sides and the inside to guarantee it’s sturdy. You can even give it a good shake to check the frame for durability.

If it’s wobbly, go back to the beginning of the instructions and retrace the steps. If you’re convinced you assembled everything correctly, you may need to consider buying a different crib.

Condition

When you buy a used crib or accept a hand-me-down, the hardware might be worn down or loose. It’s best to buy new to provide the safest crib for your baby.

When shopping for a new crib, look for one that is Juvenile Products Manufacturers Associated-certified (JPMA) and has stationary sides.

Register your crib right away after purchasing. If for any reason your baby’s crib is recalled, the crib manufacturer has your information and can notify you. If you choose a hand-me-down or used crib, you won’t be notified of any recalls.

Mattress Fit

Once you purchase your crib and crib mattress, make sure the mattress fits snugly inside the crib. This means there shouldn’t be any gaps in-between the mattress and the corners or sides of the crib.

A good rule-of-thumb: If you can fit two fingers between the crib frame and the mattress, then it’s not a safe fit.

Tips For Keeping Your Baby Safe In Their Crib

Choose A Firm And Breathable Mattress

view of crib from above

The mattress is another investment you don’t want to take any shortcuts on. Just like with their crib, your little one will spend years sleeping on this mattress! It should be firm, comfortable, and breathable.

A breathable crib mattress not only helps reduce the risk of suffocation but also helps regulate your baby's body temperature (no more sweaty backs!) and reduces dust mites and allergens.

All of this allows your baby to sleep more comfortably — and longer — through the night.

And while you’re at it, go for a washable mattress. That’s right: a mattress you can wash. Newton Baby has the ONLY washable crib mattress from cover to core. Say goodbye to mold, bacteria, and allergens!

Adjust The Mattress To The Correct Height

Your baby’s crib has different levels so that you lower or raise the mattress height.

The higher levels allow you to easily place your baby in their crib and are ideal for the first several weeks, but these levels become dangerous once your little one can pull themselves up.

Before your little one reaches this milestone, move the mattress height to the lower levels to provide the safest sleep area for them. Pay attention to their development and stop using their crib once your baby (now toddler!) can climb out of it.

Most cribs can be converted into a toddler bed. Simply move the mattress height to the lowest level and take off or adjust the rails. No need to buy a new mattress!

Your little one will still experience the benefits of Newton Baby’s breathable Crib Mattress for years to come!

Use Proper Sheets

When you buy a crib and a mattress, don’t forget to choose crib sheets that fit tightly around your baby’s mattress.

Tip: if Newton Baby is your go-to for a crib mattress, it’s OK to skip the sheet! Our mattress has two layers of Breathe-Thru spacer fabric that are quilted together in an attractive cloud pattern to create soft pillows of air.

But should you not have a Newton Baby mattress, our Breathable, Organic Cotton Sheets guarantee a safe, snug fit for any crib mattress!

Give Your Baby Healthier, Safer Sleep

looking down at sleeping baby in crib

As a parent, you have a lot of decisions to make regarding your new baby! We want to make the decision-making process as smooth as possible for you.

When shopping for your little one’s crib, keep this guide in mind and look for one that is new, durable, has no loose or dangerous parts, is sturdy, and has the right distance between slats.

And once you’ve found the perfect (and safest!) crib for your baby, shop Newton Baby for all of your safe sleep essentials!

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