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Going to the market or on the internet and ordering a baby cradle seems simple enough, right? But your little one is super delicate and needs only the gentlest care. Only when he sleeps well can he be fully rested and ready to learn new skills. So, the cradle that you buy must meet all the required safety and comfort guidelines for it to suit your little prince or princess.
Buying a Baby Cradle – What to Look For
1. Pick As Per Your Baby’s Age
Cradles and cribs are designed keeping the age of the baby in mind. Follow this rule of thumb when shopping for your baby:
- Till 6-8 Months: It is generally safe for babies to use cradles till the age of 6-8 months
- Till 3 Years: After the age of 8 months, it is recommended to move the baby to a crib
- 3 Years +: At this age, many parents transition the child to a bed, though this can vary across children Pick a cradle or crib depending on your baby’s age.
2. Check for Compliance With Safety Standards
This is the most important consideration for cradle safety. Make sure the product is in compliance with accepted cradle safety standards for design, structure, usage, etc. Confirm this with the seller. For example, RforRabbit, a company that offers a wide range of baby gear products, is fully safety standards certified. Their baby cradle is EN Certified, which is the most stringent certification defined by European standards for safety of babies.
3. Pick a Sturdy Baby Cradle Mattress
The mattress inside the cradle must be sturdy and stable. It should fit snugly into the cradle with no loose ends. Look for a cradle that comes with strong mattress support.
4. Automatic Swing Option
Baby cradles may have become modern with time, but there is one trick that all mothers know will never get old: swinging! Scientists have proved that lightly swinging babies (like in a hammock) is an effective method to help them fall asleep. You can look for a rocking cradle that lets you swing the baby safely. The RforRabbit Auto Swing Baby Cradle has both an automatic and manual swing mechanism.
The automatic swing, fashioned like an Indian style baby cradle, can be controlled and timed as desired, with a simple on/off mechanism.
5. Get a Cradle with Either Lockable or No Wheels
It can be tempting to purchase a cradle that has wheels so you can easily move it around. However, an infant cradle with wheels can become dangerous as soon as your baby learns to stand up. If you want a cradle with wheels, make sure the wheels can be locked when not in use.
6. Lullabies to Help Babies Sleep
Mothers know that a lullaby is one of the most effective ways to help babies sleep. But there may be occasions when you are unable/unavailable to sing to your baby. These days, you can get baby cradles that have stored lullabies that can soothe your babies at any time! The RforRabbit Auto Swing Baby Cradle offers 18 tunes and 6 nature sounds that can be used to help the baby fall asleep. Check for this feature when you’re buying a cradle for your baby; it can come in really handy.
Did You Know?
According to a recent report, only 5% of parents of babies up to the age of six months are getting the recommended amount of sleep each night!As many as 43% of new parents get only 1-3 hours of uninterrupted sleep which means severe sleep deprivation! In this scenario, getting up at midnight and trying to help the baby fall asleep, either by swinging or singing a lullaby, can be extremely taxing.Both experts and moms agree that opting for a cradle with lullabies and auto swing can be really helpful to combat sleep deprivation in both mothers and babies.
7. Avoid Cradles with Sleep Positioners
Some cradles come with sleep positioners intended to keep the baby sleeping on their back through the night. Sleeping on the back is recommended to avoid the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). However, sleep positioners can become suffocation hazards. It is best to avoid them and instead periodically check on the baby to ensure they are sleeping in the right position.
Note: By the time your baby is old enough to roll over, the risk of SIDS is very low.
8. Choose Cradle of a Comfortable Height
Even when your baby is merrily sleeping away in the cradle, and it seems as if the nap will easily last for some time, you can never be sure! Babies tend to wake up frequently when they are hungry, need a diaper change, miss their mother, etc. This means you will have to pick up your baby several times. Choose a cradle that is of a convenient height for you.
9. Ensure Portability & Ease of Travel
The cradle that you pick should be flexible enough to transport if needed. You might have to travel with your baby during the initial months, and this makes a portable cradle a must.
Precautions to Take When Using a Baby Cradle or Crib
- Remove any decorations that came attached to the cradle in its packaging, such as bows, strings, streamers, etc. Cradle accessories are best avoided especially at sleep-time. Babies are curious by nature and might get hurt trying to tug at/swallow these decorations
- Do not use any pillows, soft toys, etc., in the cradle as they can become a suffocation risk. If your baby was playing with toys in the cradle, remove them when he sleeps
- Check that there aren’t any broken/loose screws, sharp edges, hardware, etc., anywhere in the cradle or mattress
- Choose to place the cradle or crib away from windows, wires, blinds, etc. Babies could strangle on cords or get hurt
That’s it! Keep the above considerations in mind when buying a baby cradle for your little darling, and his safety and comfort will be assured. Good sleep and rest are essential for overall development in children, and the right cradle/crib will go a long way in ensuring this.