Whether this is your first baby or not you need to look at baby cribs carefully. Do you have one already? Is it an antique? A second hand crib whether antique or not needs to be carefully checked out for the safety of your new baby. The screws, bolts, and/or other fasteners should all be in place and fitted tightly. Will the position of the mattress hold under your baby's weight? It is imperative that this be tested before you put your baby in the crib. Take something that approximates the weight of your baby at about 4 months old. Bounce it off the mattress a few times to be certain it will hold its position. If it doesn't it could cause serious injury to your baby or worse.
Yes there are some very exact standards for your baby's crib. In 1974 it became law that cribs should no longer be painted with lead based paint. It was discovered that the ingestion of lead (from any source) could cause learning disabilities and other difficulties in young children. The slats of the crib must be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart, to prevent your baby from getting his body or head stuck between the bars causing injury or strangulation. The side bar should be 26 inches above the mattress when it is in its lowest position. If your child is more than an inch taller than the sidebar it is time to move him into a regular bed.
The mattress must fit snugly in the crib. An ill-fitting mattress could cause your baby to slip between the mattress and the side bar causing suffocation. The mattress height should be able to be adjusted into at least three different levels. When your baby becomes more mobile you will want to put the mattress in the lowest position to prevent your baby from climbing or falling out. The slats should be tight, loose slats could pinch little fingers. Do not put the crib near a window to prevent your baby from possibly falling out or becoming tangled in Venetian blind cords.
Baby cribs are one of the major investments in outfitting baby nurseries. Consider very carefully before buying one of those "discount baby cribs" from the local flea market or discount store. The "Most Helpful Customer Reviews" is one of the main features I like about shopping at Amazon. Comments from previous customers are certainly a big factor when trying to decide which baby crib to buy. Be sure to check out the Customer Reviews for the baby cribs that appeal to you, especially if you are becoming or are a parent for the first time. Amazon's quick delivery removes the endless hours of mall shopping as well.