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Buy a safe crib without paying big bucks

August 7, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
"I didn't know a lot about baby items," said Lauren Vigna, a new mother. "I had to do a lot of research to find out what I wanted."Vigna wanted a new crib for her baby, realizing that secondhand cribs often do not meet the latest safety standards and may have loose screws or spindles that are unsafe.

Consumer Reports tested more than 20 cribs, ranging from $120 to almost $1,000.

First, testers built a machine to assess mattress support. The machine mimics the impact of jumping little ones to see how each crib holds up.

The spindles and slats of each crib were also tested to make sure they do not spread apart enough for a baby to get trapped. In addition, testers looked for helpful features.

"Some cribs have sides that drop, which makes it much easier to reach your baby," said Consumer Reports' Tobie Stanger.

Testers made sure the dropping mechanism would work smoothly, even after lots of use. They also checked for sturdiness and found that some of the cribs were pretty wobbly.

"All the cribs we tested passed the safety standards, but we think the standards should be tougher and should include a test for sturdiness," Stanger said.

In the end, Consumer Reports found a great crib at a great price. The Graco Lauren Convertible Crib is easy to assemble, has a convenient drop side, and costs just $150.

Remember, when you put your baby down in the crib, it should be completely bare. Do not use bumpers, padding, or sleep positioners, which pose suffocation hazards.

 

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