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Baby Crib Buying Guide: Finding the Best Infant Crib for the Nursery.

If you are a new parent buying a baby crib for your infant, you want to combine safety with a long-lasting, durable piece of beautiful furniture you'll be glad to someday hand down to your child. Baby cribs come in all sorts of styles, from the traditional canopy crib to baby beds made with springs like regular beds only with the addition of rails. Some baby cribs come with bumpers, but you may buy a bumper set to match bedding. A cradle is another option for keeping the baby near you while you work in the kitchen or living room-or your office. Designed to sit on the floor, cradles often have more solid sides and are fitted with a simple mattress. Newborns and preemies may do well in cradles, since they fit closer around the child and provide a comforting motion.

Specialty Round or Corner Cribs

If your nursery is small, choose a corner crib to make the best use of space in the room. Other specialty cribs include the crib tent, which is ideal for keeping the baby with you in the living room while minimizing distractions during nap time, and extra wide cribs built for twins. Probably the most unusual crib is a round one: after all, who says we have to sleep in rectangular beds? Check with crib manufacturers like Basset for a wide range of crib options.

Infant Safety and Choosing the Best Crib

The most important consideration in buying a crib is your baby's safety. Bumpers should surround the interior of the crib so your baby will be protected from hard wooden surfaces. Railings should be fail-safe, to prevent them from coming down when they aren't supposed to, and crushing the fingers of caregivers or hurting the baby. Parental safety is an issue, too. Make sure that the rails are high enough to keep your infant in the crib after he can pull himself up, but also that they are low enough for you to reach over to the far side and pick up your child without having to lower the bars. Choose crib mechanisms that allow caregivers to lower the rail with one hand; you'd be surprised how often you'll already be holding your child when you need to raise or lower the bars. A convertible crib will follow your child's growth from infant to "big" kid. A convertible starts out as a crib, but converts to a toddler bed. Look for convertibles from companies like Ragazzi or Martell.

Before buying a crib, check for product safety recalls at a consumer website. If you inherit a family crib or buy one at a discount store, make sure that every part is in perfect working order. Old cribs can be safety modified using new hardware: also, make sure the paint is lead free and there are no splinters or chips in wood where your baby might come into contact with rough surfaces.

Baby Visitors? Try a Crib Rental Service

Most people buy a crib or get one as a gift from a friend or family member, but if you have someone coming to visit for a short while, you can be the perfect host or hostess by providing a crib for the baby from a rental company. If you have guests with a new baby, find out if the baby sleeps with its parents or in a crib before renting one: many people co-sleep with their infants for increased closeness and comfort.

Crib Toys and Mobiles

Crib toys have traditionally been stuffed animals or teething rings, but perhaps the longest lasting and most soothing crib toy of all is a mobile. You can find brightly colored mobiles that turn in a faint breeze, or more complicated ones that wind up and even play a tune as they run. You can choose among sun-moon-stars, animals, fruits or design motifs like Winnie the Pooh to help your child drift off to sleep by providing soothing, repetitive motion and quiet music.

Continue reading more baby information about Baby Monitors Review and Buying Guide

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