Choosing a Safe Modern Crib

So you’re having a baby! You’re excited! You’re scared! And then suddenly you realize that you need to buy about a gazillion things and you have 9 months to do it. On top of that, you have absolutely no idea where to start.

Well, a good starting point the crib.

Because your baby will spend most of his infancy in the crib, it’s important to get one that is comfortable, sturdy and, most of all, safe. Let’s face it, unless your baby is getting a good (and safe) night’s sleep, neither are you.

That being said, buying a safe, comfy crib is not nearly as overwhelming as it you think. Most of the cribs available in stores today (including on Design Public) meet both mandatory and voluntary safety standards. In fact, many cribs made from 1991 on meet these same safety standards. But to be sure you’re giving your baby the best, here are some important things to be aware of:

Crib Bars/Slats

The bars/slats of your babies crib should be no more than 2 3/8” apart to prevent baby’s head or body from getting trapped. To be extra cautious, it’s a good idea to purchase bumper bedding to cushion the crib walls and prevent baby from sticking an arm or leg through the crib slats. Just be sure the bumpers line the entire inside of the crib with no gaps and are firmly secured to the crib slats.

Adjustable Side Rail/Mattress Support

Cribs that feature adjustable side rails that lower and raise are a major convenience when trying to pick up an infant. A safe crib would allow you to raise and lower the side rail with one hand (so the other can hold baby) and would also include a locking mechanism to avoid an accidental release.

Some cribs feature an adjustable mattress support which, set at its highest (like the adjustable side rail), allows you easier access to lift your infant.

How do you know where to set the side rails and the mattress support to keep your baby safe? Experts would say that the top of the side rails should be at least 9 inches above mattress support at their lowest setting, and 26 inches above the mattress support at their highest. Too much to remember? A good rule of thumb: Once your baby becomes mobile and can sit up, it’s time to adjust the mattress support to the lowest position and, when baby is in the crib, keep the side rails locked at their highest

Crib Frame

The crib, when put together properly, should feel sturdy if you give it a shake. Once assembled, you should run you hands over the entire crib frame to ensure that there are no misaligned parts, jagged edges or irregularities


There are two main types of crib mattresses: foam or innerspring. It doesn’t matter what kind of mattress you get as long as it correctly fits the crib. You want the mattress fit snug inside the frame to prevent the baby from slipping into the space between the side of the crib and the mattress. If you can easily fit two fingers in that space, the mattress is too small.


Just as important as a safe crib, it’s equally important to choose a safe location for the crib. Be sure to keep the crib away from anything that could make it easy for your baby to crawl out. This includes other furniture or windows, especially those that have drapes or blinds which could potentially strangle or trap your baby

Check out all of Design Public’s safe modern cribs.