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Bedroom Ideas, Home Decor & Furniture August 2, 2019

Crib Buying Guide: How to Choose the Right Crib

Choosing the crib your newborn will be sleeping in is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make as a new parent. For peace of mind, you owe it to yourself and baby to have a sturdy crib in your nursery that provides a secure space while they sleep. After all, it’s where your newborn will spend majority of their time during the first few months (up to 16 hours a day, in fact), so it’s essential this piece of furniture passes all safety standards with flying colors.

Finding the right crib requires safety knowledge and industry regulations and choosing the best option that suit your needs and budget.

Safety Guidelines

Did you know that cribs are federally regulated?  Your best bet for a baby crib is to buy new, since regulations from 2011 onward have become more stringent from the Consumer Product Safety Commission. This happened due to linked deaths from drop-side cribs over the years. These new standards enforce additional durability testing and warning labels so you’re kept well-informed as a consumer. You can also research certifications and safety through the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association to find models and recent recalls.

Here’s what you need to look for in a safe crib:

  1. Never use an old or hand-me-down crib. The hardware could be worn out, there could be lead paint (especially in older cribs and bassinets) or there might be pointy decorative elements that baby could get hurt on, or your clothes could snag—the list goes on. Don’t take the risk; your baby should feel safe while they sleep, and you should have the peace of mind to leave them there. If you’re unsure of a crib’s production date, by law, the shipping carton and crib need to have it clearly displayed. If you can’t see that it’s from 2011 onward, don’t use it.
  2. Check for safe crib standards. Get a ruler—crib slats should not exceed 2 3/8 inches apart. Also, the top of the crib rail should be 26 inches above the mattress (for adjustable mattresses, this can be lowered as your baby grows). This is to minimize the risk of falling out of the crib, especially for active babies.
  3. Mattress safety. Ensure your baby’s mattress is firm and doesn’t sag or dip while they’re in it. Mattresses for baby cannot have any excess space around the sides or loose fabric sheets, or else your newborn could get stuck or suffocate on the excess. It’s highly recommended to buy your crib, mattress and sheet sets all at the same time so you’re 100% certain everything will fit snugly together. If you can fit more than two fingers between the mattress and the edge of the bed, it’s not a good fit.
  4. Opt out of bumpers. There’s no substantial support from experts that bumpers help babies with additional safety, so don’t have this in the crib with them.
  5. Do the wobble test on your new crib. Once constructed, give your crib a good shake to make sure no parts jiggle or feel loose. If you hear anything rattling or feel something wiggle, you may have assembled something wrong. Most stores offer in-home delivery and assembly for an additional fee—if you can afford it, this is highly recommended to ensure baby’s crib is properly built. 
  6. Inspect for any defects. Look at all the crib parts for any protruding nails, screws or glue. Cracked or peeling paint also shouldn’t be anywhere on a brand new crib.
  7. If your crib has wheels, lock them while baby’s resting. This is especially important on hardwood floors, so there’s no chance a sibling or pet could bump or move the crib around.
  8. Keep away from windows. Keep your crib a few feet away from windows, as they could get tangled in curtains or strings. Also, excessive sunlight can harm their skin and eyes, as your little one is still developing.
  9. No stuffed animals or thick blankets. Contrary to popular belief, your baby doesn’t need extra pillows or blankets for support. Plus, any stuffed toys or animals in the crib can help them escape out of the crib as they get older, so don’t make it a habit—even if it does look cuter in with them.

As you can tell, there’s a lot to consider when looking for a safe crib, so take the time to choose wisely! We know you’ll get the perfect fit for you and your newborn.

Mckenize Noriega's little one plays near their crib.A neutral crib creates a space for a baby's room.

What Kind of Crib is Best?

There are many different kinds of cribs—all high quality and safe—but it depends on your family’s needs and preferences.

Standard cribs are great if you have the space. Many of these full size frames have styles that allow for adjustable mattress heights as your baby grows, and the extra room lets them stretch out. Just be sure to assemble this crib in the desired room, as these are not usually easy to assemble and can be cumbersome to move once built.

Convertible cribs are the perfect solve for a lifetime furniture investment. These models transform from a crib to a toddler bed to a daybed or full size bed for your child as they grow. This is a fantastic investment if you don’t want to worry about constantly buying them a new bedroom set as they get older, but it also requires you paying for and storing the other assembly parts upfront.

Portable cribs work well if you’re having to travel or live in a smaller space. Keep in mind, though, that your baby will quickly outgrow this and it may only be a temporary solution for their sleeping arrangements.

Multipurpose cribs integrate features such as a changing table or extra storage for added convenience. These can work well depending on the size of your nursery, but it’s something that’s quickly outgrown once baby becomes a toddler and a changing table is no longer necessary. The models can also be very bulky—so measure, measure, measure!

Round cribs look beautiful and maintain a large sleeping surface for your baby. Space efficient and able to be placed anywhere (rather than just a corner of the room), these models lack harsh corners, which can be an added bonus for parents extra concerned about safety. That said, there aren’t as many options out there, and the limited selection also comes with a greater expense. Be sure you get a mattress and bed sheets that fit snug; you’ll want to do this while you’re buying the crib, as you may not be able to find it later!

Bassinets, while not cribs, are typically smaller and only good for the first few months of a baby’s life due to weight limits and restrictions. If you need an immediate solution, live in a smaller space or need portability throughout your home, this can be a viable option, but cribs are a better investment, as they last for much longer.

Additional Crib Features to Look For: 

Depending on how much you want to spend, cribs can have all the basic needs at $100 or be ultra sophisticated with Bluetooth operation. Some of these features are things to be mindful of when looking for your preferred crib:

  • Teething rails, which are plastic coverings that protect your crib against your baby’s gum mashing, are very convenient and usually cost-effective.
  • Caster wheels can be helpful if you need to move the crib between rooms. Just make sure there’s a locking capability.
  • Corner posts or decorative elements need to be at least 16 inches above the framed panels so a child can’t try to climb them.

Tips for Helping Your Baby Sleep Safely: 

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has some insightful recommendations to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in your baby:

  • Babies should ALWAYS sleep on their backs until their first birthday. This helps avoid sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). They use the term “back to sleep for every sleep.”
  • Babies should always sleep in the parents’ room for at least the first 6 months, as this “decreases the risk of SIDS by as much as 50%.”
  • Any form of breastfeeding is shown to be protective against SIDS.
  • Offering a pacifier anytime your baby sleeps can help, even if they don’t always take it or it falls out.
  • DO NOT use any form of heating pad or electric blanket, or over-bundle your baby so they overheat.
  • Keep mobiles out of reach, as they’re for visual stimulation only.
  • Change the direction your baby sleeps in daily so they’re always looking in different directions, as this helps avoid plagiocephaly, or flat-head syndrome.

We hope this guide was helpful to inform you on the right kinds of cribs and which one is best for you and baby. For more information on upcoming baby content, feel free to subscribe to our blog or leave us a comment on what you’d like us to discuss next!

 

Home Decor & Furniture, Home Office Ideas, Living Room Ideas July 24, 2019

Hey Wanderer’s Studio Brings Boho Farmhouse to Nashville

Hey Wanderer, a blogger duo based in Nashville, brought their own touch to our mane + mason™ farmhouse style assortment. Blog runners and long-time friends Savannah and Casey post insightful content related to their travel adventures, business ventures and lifestyle. We worked with Hey Wanderer to recreate their studio and office space in Savannah’s home and are excited to share it with you!

DIY, Home Decor & Furniture, Kids Room Ideas July 23, 2019

Small Kids Room Design Ideas

Achieving that sweet spot of storage and style is possible in any child’s space with enough planning and inspiration. Whether your little one wants to reach for the stars or is content with tummy time for now, we’ve got small kids room design ideas that are both small space friendly and stylish.

Neutral Color Blocking

A nursery with a patterned wall

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Going with brighter neutrals (like warmer gray and taupe shades) opens up your nursery space makes the room feel bigger. Rather than just painting a wall a solid color, use painter’s tape to make stripes or triangles like the above picture for something truly eye-catching.

Vertical Storage

Storage shelves with children's books and a bench with cubbies.

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Since your little one most likely isn’t big enough to have an elevated bed that requires a staircase (the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no children under 6 should sleep in a loft bed or upper bunk), make sure you utilize the walls for extra storage. Use wall shelves, cubbies and other kids organizers to keep everything clean–and place other keepsakes higher than your toddler can climb so they remain safe.

Remove the Closet Doors

Open closet concept in a small child's room.

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Transforming your child’s closet into a storage hub for clothes, books and toys is the perfect way to maximize the space (especially if room is limited). Keep out of season clothes tucked away in a bin or cubby and hang any jackets or dresses on hangers. The less there is to fold, the better!

Use Space Behind the Door

Polka dot wallpaper and behind the door wall shelves with books.

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In small spaces, every square inch is a precious resource that cannot be wasted! Case in point: the back of your door and the wall space behind. They’re both handy places to stow away extra toys, towels, books and other commonly used items.

Put Your Child’s Bed in the Corner 

Small kid's bedroom design with colorful polka dots and a canopy over a beanbag.

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This is especially important for babies transitioning into toddler beds–you want a place they’ll feel safe and secure. Push the bed against the wall so there’s fewer sides they can risk falling or hurting themselves. Although most toddler beds come with rails, some small children can get inspired to climb, so it’s important to be mindful.

Make a Statement with Color 

Colorful child's room with colorful hexagonal wall cubbies.

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Brighten up your little one’s room with a mix of vibrant and soft colors–not only do they complement and present as very eye-catching, but there are so many ways you can play with color: picture frames, wall art and bedding are a few that come to mind. Accenting with a bright color can make the room seem bigger and livelier. You can also color code bins so your child can start learning cleanup early and know where things go.

Feeling inspired yet? Creating a space that encourages kids to dream and imagine bigger is something they’ll always appreciate –now and in the years to come. Check out our website and Pinterest to get more small kids room design ideas. We’d love to see how you end up decorating your little one’s space–feel free to use the hashtag #MyAshleyHome on Instagram for a chance to be featured!

 

Kids Room Ideas July 12, 2019

10 Nursery Decorating Ideas

Setting up a nursery is one of the many exciting things you’ll do in preparation for baby. That said, picking a theme can feel overwhelming with the thousands of options out there, so we’ve narrowed down some of the most stylish and practical finds for baby’s new space.

Entertaining, Outdoor & Patio Ideas April 16, 2019

Patio Perfection with Big Green Egg

Summer is right around the corner, which means it’s time to get excited about enjoying the outdoors with friends and family. Ashley HomeStore is partnering with Big Green Egg and Dr. BBQ to help one lucky winner kick off this social grilling season in style. There’s more than one ideal outdoor living space, but no matter what yours looks like, we’re checking off a few boxes to make sure your patio is, well, perfection.