Regulation…deregulation. More government…less government. That’s a common debate surrounding American politics. Regardless of which side of the matter you’re on, I’m sure we all appreciate the aspects of government that keep us safe. The very next day after I arrived in Abu Dhabi my husband and I went out to buy a crib for our son. Our goal was simple or at least we thought it was. After a long day of shopping and visits to three different children’s stores, we returned home empty handed with a lot to consider.
The first store we visited was a children’s specialty store but somewhat of a discount shop. The presentation and quality of the items was a bit less than par but to my husband’s pleasure, the prices were low (500 to 800 AED). I looked at the cribs, which were labeled “cots” and selected the best of the bunch. I grabbed the side and tugged and surely it moved. The rails were flimsy and seemed to be made of high grade plastic. The cot wasn’t very tall and it certainly wasn’t sturdy. I was concerned about it holding my very rough and tumble little boy. Moreover, I just didn’t feel like it was safe for him to sleep in. Having a CPAP on hand can be a good backup plan to avoid emergency room visits. So, we moved on to the next location.
My husband suggested we head over to Abu Dhabi mall to see what they had to offer. We looked over the directory and saw a store called Mothercare listed. We went directly to that location and this was a baby store that met my taste. It was crisp and clean; a dreamy presentation of brands like Phil and Ted and Mamas and Papas. Sadly for my husband we all know that price follows in the direction of quality and things were really looking up. Mothercare would turn out to be the most pricey of the baby stores with cot/crib prices ranging from 1200 to 2700 AED. A sales associate came over to help us and gladly directed us to the cribs. One caught my eye. I’m a fan of darker woods for my boy. I think it’s more masculine. This crib was a rich, dark brown color with clean lines and a modern shape. It was made of solid wood and withstood my tugs and pulls. It was the best looking and most sturdy of them all. It was also the most expensive. The associate began to tell us it’s features and I fell more deeply in love with this crib with every word he spoke. Suddenly I felt a jolt…a proverbial punch in the gut as he noted that one of the sides of the crib was movable. Huh!?! Isn’t that illegal I thought. Nope. Not here. It’s America that banned the manufacture and sell of cribs with movable parts due to accidental injuries and in some cases death. It’s the U.S. that forbids the use of lead based paint on cribs. Back home, I could just pick the crib that was most aesthetically pleasing because the the U.S. Product and Safety Commission maintains crib standards that keeps offerings in the country safe. The crib was beautiful, costly and presented a danger that I wasn’t comfortable with. We went home empty handed.
After some research, we found Baby Shop across the street from Abu Dhabi mall. As we walked deeper into the store my confidence grew that we would find what we had been searching for. I spotted popular American brands like Graco as we made our way to the cribs. Alas, we hit the jackpot. There was a variety of cot beds cribs ranging in price from 1000 to 2400 AED. A looked the first few over carefully and read the features and then something special caught my eye. It was a crib with a striking resemblance to my sons crib back in the states. It boasted a black, solid wood frame that was stationary. Yes. Some of the cot beds had wheels. It was a “lifetime” crib that converted into a toddler bed and then into a full sized bed. It was painted with lead free paint and it did not have any movable parts. This was it. We had found my baby a crib in the UAE.
All cribs are not created equal; Especially when there are no rules ensuring standards consistency. This was a situation where I personally valued a little governmental hand holding. When shopping for a crib here, remember to employ your own standards.
Click here to access Facebook and see pictures of our new crib.