What should I look for in a crib?
There is a huge variety of cribs on the
Great Beginnings has over 120 cribs on display. All of our
cribs meet required safety and quality standards. The average crib can
be ordered in five finishes - natural, white, cognac, pecan, and cherry, however, some come in as many as a dozen
or more finishes.
Make sure your crib meets the U.S. Safety Standards.
Standards can be both mandatory and voluntary. Standards are adopted by the industry and enforced by
the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC). No law governs the actual
manufacture of cribs, but the standards enforced by the CPSC ensure that
crib safety standards are met. These standards adopted by the industry
address crib features such as the spacing between the slats on the sides and
ends of cribs, they define the height between the mattress and the top of
the safety rails and crib ends, and recommend that there be no decorative
items sticking up more than 1/8 inch to rule out the possibility of the
child's clothing getting stuck on the decorative item. For example, at one
time cribs were sold with large pineapple shaped finials at the top of each
end posts which would catch the child's clothing as they tried to climb out!
Never use a borrowed crib manufactured before 1978 as they probably have
lead in the finish.
Look for cribs made from hard woods.
As a general rule, woods grown in colder
climates are superior since they are harder and more durable. The woods
grown in warm climates tend to be softer and more likely to dent and crack.
In addition, the metal screws which hold the cribs together are far less
likely to pull out of a hardwood crib. Also, cribs made from pine woods are
more apt to dent. The type of woods that are
recommended for cribs include Maple, Birch Oak, Ash, and Beechwood.
Set a budget and concentrate on cribs in
this price range
Cribs vary in price from under $200 to $900 or more.
The price of the crib will depend on the type of wood used to make the crib,
the amount of detailing and/or color of the crib, and whether the crib was
manufactured in America, Europe or Canada. On average, most cribs will range
from $220 to $900 (see suggestions below for more
crib pricing information).
Choose a style that you like
this is one of the most difficult decisions for many couples to make because
the crib is the symbolic piece of furniture in the baby's nursery.
There are hundreds of designs available ranging from very traditional to
contemporary (modern) in design. It is important to visit a store that
have large selections so that you can determine the style you like best.
When deciding on a dresser or a crib, also remember that the dresser is
likely to stay in the room for many years and will eventually be added to
with a computer desk and bookcase but the crib will be used for only
a few years. Therefore, it is often better to choose your dresser
first, and then find a crib to match the dresser style. You don't want
to have to keep buying furniture as the child grows!!
Some things to
think about while shopping include:
Do you like a
contemporary, Shaker, or a traditional design?
Are you trying to match existing
furniture? Bring in a drawer and we will show you potential options.
If you prefer the Shaker
look, does furniture with accent colors appeal to you or do you prefer
the furniture in one color? If you order two tone dressers, the body will be
one color and the tops and knobs will be another color.
If you like the traditional look, what are
your feelings about an old fashioned look with brass handles or pewter knobs?
Do you want a separate changing table or do you want a dresser which can
accommodate a flip kit or a changing pad? The double dresser combo which includes a
flip kit changer has become our most popular option. It is preferred
by our customers as a stand alone changing table only takes up valuable
floor space, is easy for pets to raid your baby's diapering essentials, and
becomes a relic in the basement when your kids are out of diapers. The more
favored flip kit allows mother to change the baby vertically allowing easier
view of the desired target area.
White makes a beautiful baby nursery but if you plan to add on teen
furniture down the road, make sure you are willing to potentially have white
painted furniture in a boy's room. Good nursery furniture is an financial
investment. Make sure your choice is suitable for the next 18 years.
Why do crib prices vary so?
Production and transportation costs
are the biggest factors. More intricate crib designs usually involve
significant labor and machining costs. These frequently have turned spindles
and fancy headboards. On the other hand, cribs with straight slats and
relatively plain ends costs less. Popular cribs are produced in high volumes
which reduces production costs. Also, foreign exchange rates and the type of
wood used in manufacturing the furniture help to dictate the price.
Some cribs have
extra parts such as storage drawers.
Under crib storage drawers are quite useful,
particularly in a small nursery. Most American and Canadian crib
manufacturers do charge extra
for the inclusion of a drawer. Most European cribs have drawers
included during their manufacturing. If you have to pay extra for the
inclusion of a drawer, expect to pay about $99.
How much time does it take to order a crib ?
Great Beginnings has over 800 cribs in stock in
our warehouses. Given the large number of design and color selections offered by
the leading crib manufacturers, however we find it impossible to
have all choices in stock. Most large specialty stores carry a large number
of stock cribs but a more limited selection of dressers. It is always
possible to come into Great Beginnings and leave with a crib and/or a bassinet. If,
however, the customer shops early, preferably 12 or 14 weeks ahead of the
due date, virtually all of the cribs sold in the store will arrive on time.
Procrastination may narrow your choices dramatically.
My family is superstitious and we don't
want baby furniture in the house before the baby comes home. Can furniture
be held until after the baby is born ?
Great Beginnings does offer this
service and, in fact, we had to purchase a second warehouse for our
superstitious customers!! However, some stores won't provide this
customer service and mail order houses can't provide timely delivery on
If you've asked that your furniture be held, be certain that
you can have someone pick up the crib when the baby is due to come home or,
if you have paid for delivery, call the delivery service and make
arrangements as quickly as possible. We will do our best to try to deliver
your nursery furniture within 48 hours of being notified.
In either event, it is wise to buy
or borrow a bassinet or cradle for use until the furniture arrives….usually
a few days after the birth of the baby. Plus it will take the pressure off
of setting up the nursery before the new baby arrives home for the first
Do you ship out of state?
Great Beginnings will ship most items, but
prefers not to ship furniture. This is because the cost of shipping
large pieces of furniture is very high and the damage rate is unacceptable
to us. However, every day we ship strollers, car seats, gliders and
many other items to people all over the U.S.
night's rest is something we all need, including your baby. Every time you
lay your baby down in his crib, make sure his sleeping environment is not
only a safe one but also is one that's comfortable and welcoming. Here's a
list of crib and accessory essentials:
- Make sure the crib is sturdy. If it's not, when your
baby starts to wiggle more, and then kick and climb, he could tip the crib
- The crib must meet all recommended safety standards.
The bars or slats of the crib railing should be no more than 2 3/8 inches
apart so a baby can't wedge his head between them. Many antique cribs
don't meet this safety standard.
- You should be able to raise and lower the side rail
easily with one hand. Some railings are more complicated and less
convenient, especially when you have your baby in your arms. And be sure
the rails have locking mechanisms to prevent accidental release.
- Choose a crib that lets you adjust the height of the
mattress. It will be easier on your back if your newborn rests higher in
his crib. When he starts to move more, you'll want to lower the mattress
so he can't climb out easily.
- Check the crib for sharp edges, holes, and splinters.
Sometimes even brand-new cribs have hardware with sharp edges or points,
cracks, or other irregularities. Examine the crib for anything that might
injure your baby and make sure everything's safe before you put him
- Carefully choose a location for your baby's crib. Don't
place the crib against a window, near drapery fixtures, or near furniture
which could help your baby climb out. Some drapery cords and fixtures
could entrap or strangle a baby, so be sure to check out all aspects of
the crib's surroundings before you decide on a spot.
The Crib mattress:
Crib Mattresses vary from expensive inner-spring models to
economical polyurethane-foam styles. An innerspring mattress gives good
support, but may be heavy to lift. Foam mattresses, on the other hand, are
lightweight and easier to handle.
- Choose a snug-fitting mattress for the crib. This will
prevent your baby from slipping between the mattress and the sides or ends
of the crib. When your baby's crib mattress is pushed into one corner of
the crib, there should be no more than 1 1/2 inches between the mattress
and any side of the crib. Foam mattresses may break down at the edges over
time, creating dangerous gaps.
- Check the mattress support. Rattle the metal hangers,
and push on the mattress from the top and again from the bottom. If the
hanger mechanisms dislodge, they need to be replaced or secured. There
also should be safety clips that lock the hangers into their notches.
- Cover the mattress with a protective pad. A
quilted mattress pad with a waterproof backing is placed over the mattress and under a fitted sheet
will keep your baby's mattress sanitary in case of diaper leaks. Great
Beginnings recommends a
2 in 1 quilted mattress pad. Be sure to more than one so if it becomes
soiled, there is always a backup.
The bumper pads:
The bumper pads protect your baby from direct contact with
hard crib slats.
- Count the bumper-pad ties. Make sure you can securely
tie the bumper pads to the sides of the crib in at least six places. This
will keep them from flopping over onto your resting baby. Straps with
snaps are more secure than those that tie to the crib.
- If the bumper pads secure with ties, trim off any
excess tie ends to keep baby from becoming entangled or chewing and
gagging on them.
- The bumper pads should fit around the entire inside of
the crib, leaving no area where baby could bang or wedge his head between
the bumper and the side of the crib.
- Check the label. It's best if the crib's bumper pads
(as well as its sheets and blankets) are nonflammable and hypoallergenic.
Make your baby's crib world stimulating
Babies prefer simple shapes, bright colors, and objects
with high contrast. Here are some crib-side stimulators that are sure to
fascinate your baby:
- Mobiles: These floating shapes are perfect for babies
who've developed enough head and neck control to face straight ahead while
lying down. To avoid any mishaps, be sure to remove the mobile when your
baby is able to grab at tempting objects.
- Mirrors: A mirror is great for letting your baby watch
his own reflection. Be sure the mirror is baby safe and unbreakable and
can mount securely to a side of the crib.
- Crib toys: Safe toys you place in your baby's crib can
give him lots of entertainment. However, even a stuffed animal can impair
a baby's breathing if it topples near his face. So keep a close eye on
your baby when he's playing with crib toys and remove them from the crib
when he's sleeping.
- Music: Soft, calming lullabies or instrumental music
can soothe your baby and make him more comfortable while he's alone in his
For newborns: a cradle or a bassinet?
When you bring your baby home from the hospital, you may
want to keep him in your room at night. Having your baby close by can ease
any new parent nervousness. And the closer proximity makes it a little
easier for breastfeeding moms-when the baby wakes up in the night, you can
just bring him to bed with you. A cradle or bassinet is small enough to fit
in your bedroom, and its smaller size may be more comforting to your baby
than an expansive crib. When your baby can roll over, then it's definitely
time for the crib. The traditional standard is no more than 3 months old or
Where to go for information
If you have questions about the safety of your baby's
crib, any of the products you're purchasing to go with it, or any other
items for baby, call the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission at
Did You Know...
You never should put a pillow in a baby's crib. A young
infant's movements aren't developed enough to let him safely use a pillow.
Even a fairly flat pillow can restrict a bay's breathing if it's too close
to his face.
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