Baby Crib Safety & Cautions
There is nothing quite as sweet as seeing your baby sleeping peacefully in the crib it took you several months to find. However, each year thousands of babies are hurt due to accidents that could have been prevented. There are a few things that every parent must know about crib safety to ensure that your child is sleeping in the safest place possible.
The first piece of advice is to forego the offers of used or hand me down cribs. Many of the older cribs have larger slats and decorative cutouts that are not up to current safety standards. Additionally, with an older antique crib you have to worry about durability and lead paint. These can cause your child to become entrapped or even strangled. Instead, purchase a crib within your price range that meets or exceed the current Juvenile Products Association stamp of approval. Also, purchasing a new crib means that you will be able to take full advantage of the warranty and recall information should something become a problem. Additionally, follow these rules!
- Purchase a crib with slats that are no more than 2 3/8ths inches apart to ensure your child won’t become entrapped. This is a standard on new products.
- Make sure that decorative cutouts cannot be used as footholds when your baby grows into a toddler.
- Purchase a mattress that is firm and fits snugly into the crib frame. You should not be able to put more than one finger between the crib frame and the mattress.
- Your best bet is to purchase a crib where the mattress can be moved down as your baby grows. It is very common for young children to crawl, climb, or topple out of their cribs as they grow.
- NEVER use parts that were not designed for your crib. If pieces are missing, then make sure you order a new assembly package from the manufacturer or return it for another.
- NEVER place a crib near a window. Not only can drapery cords and blinds pose a problem but children can accidentally climb out of windows. (NOTE: Parents don’t know their child can climb out of a crib until they DO – which means it can be too late if you place your crib near a window)
- Once your child can move around – don’t put mobiles or anything hanging above the crib to tempt your child.
- As cute as bumper pads are – resist. Cribs should not have any stuffed animals, stuffed toys, heavy blankets, or large pillows in them. Babies can easily suffocate.
- Don’t use knitted blankets in the crib. A newborn can catch her finger on the blanket and pull it over her head, then become unable to get it back off.
- Never dress your baby too warmly or use blankets that are too warm in the crib. An infant easily overheats, which has been linked to SIDS.
As you get your crib together, make sure it is sturdy. It won’t be long before your baby will be literally jumping up and down and playing in their crib as if it were a stage set for romper room. In order to save money in the long run, you may want to look at cribs that will convert to a toddler bed. The crib is wonderful, but this stage of infancy does not last long.