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A convertible crib is a baby crib, purchased for an infant, that can be converted to either a toddler bed or twin size bed as the child grows. Most often, convertible cribs are purchased to retain the look and décor of a child's bedroom.
Since the late 1990s, all convertible cribs follow the Consumer Product Safety Commission standards. If the convertible crib carries the Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association (JPMA) seal of approval, it meets all safety standards.
If the convertible crib was manufactured before 1998, the crib should be tested for safety by the buyer. The things to look inspect closely include:
1. No rough metal edges. Teething rails should be replaced.
2. Latches and locks are in good, mechanical working order. The adjustable side rail should slide easily and lock into the desired position.
3. The crib should have an adjustable mattress support, allowing the lowering of the mattress as the child grows.
4. If painted, the paint should be high quality enamel. If unsure of the paint, thoroughly strip the crib and repaint.
5. Dowels on the side rails or slats should be no more than 2 3/8 inches (5.8 centimeters) apart.
6. Headboards and footboards should never have open scrollwork that a baby's head or arms can be caught in and trapped.
7. Screws, nuts and bolts should be covered with rubber or plastic to avoid scratches or other injury.
8. If the crib has casters, they should be removable.
9. The mattress should be no more than the width of two fingers away from each side of the crib.
10. The mattress should never be covered in plastic bags of any time as this can cause suffocation of the child.
Choose the location of the convertible crib well. Never put crib or bed near windows and never attach it to other furniture. As the child grows, lower the mattress. When the child is easily climbing out of the crib, from its lowest position, it is time to convert to the toddler bed.
Purchasing a convertible crib, while more costly in the beginning, can be a money saver in the long run. With proper care, a convertible crib can provide a child a familiar bed for five years or more. This can also make the transition from crib to regular bed far less traumatic for the child.
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