It’s important to learn about crib safety tips to create a safe sleeping environment for our baby.
Crib Safety Standards 2018
Starting 2011, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) set strict standards for crib manufacturers and retailers.
New federal safety standards forbid the manufacture or sale of drop-side rail cribs, as they have been associated with infant suffocation and strangulation deaths.
The new laws also call for new cribs to have stronger slats and mattress supports in an effort to improve the quality of cribs and make them safer for babies.
What is a drop side crib?
A drop side crib is a baby crib where at least one of its sides slides down.
Parents used this type of crib so they can easily access their baby without having to reach over the crib to pick their baby up.
Well, what’s wrong with that?
Drop-side cribs can create gaps where a baby can become entrapped.
Crib Safety Tips
- The current crib safety standards slat spacing is 2 3/8 inches or less, which is intended to prevent a baby’s head from becoming stuck. If the spacing between the slats is wider than that, it poses an entrapment danger.
- When using the crib, there should not be anything else in there besides the mattress. Make sure you keep items like pillows, blankets, toys, and anything else out of the crib, as they can pose a suffocation hazard. A baby can get smothered if he is trapped under bedding or if his face presses against a pillow. The American Academy of Pediatrics also advises not to use bumper pads in the crib because they increase the risk of SIDS and other crib-deaths. Some older babies also step on bumper pads to climb out of the crib.
- Do not put your baby crib near the windows where there is direct sunlight or too near a radiator, as it can make your baby uncomfortably hot. Also make sure that there are no strings from blinds or curtains nearby, as your baby may reach it and wrap around his or her neck.
- CPSC states that babies should be put to sleep on their backs. They do not need any rolled blankets or anything else to keep them on their backs.
- Parents should check the baby crib frequently to make sure all the hardware is secured tightly and that there are no loose or broken parts.
- All fabrics used in your baby’s room should be flame retardant, such as bedding.
- As your baby gets older and reaches about 3 feet tall, he should no longer be sleeping in a crib. Instead he should be sleeping in a regular bed or toddler bed.
Used Baby Cribs
On a budget?
Thinking about just getting a used baby crib?
If you are considering a second-hand crib, you will need to determine whether it is safe or not.
Do not use any drop-side cribs because they are dangerous and have caused a lot of accidents.
Check CPSC’s crib recall list to make sure that the crib has not been recalled.
Used cribs that are unsafe should be disassembled and thrown away.
In addition, the finish on old cribs may contain layers of lead-based paint, which pose a serious health risk to babies.
If you must use the second-hand crib, you can strip it and repaint it with a high-quality, lead-free enamel. Just check the paint label to make sure it is safe. You can choose a non-toxic paint.
Even if the crib finish is lead-free, if the paint is peeling, it should also be refinished.
Ensure that the crib wood does not have any cracks or splits.
The hardware should also be firmly secured.
Crib Mattress Size
Have you bought a baby mattress?
You will need to check to see that the baby crib mattress fits snugly in the crib.
What does this mean?
Standard-sized baby mattresses should be at least 27 1/4″ x 51 3/8″ and no more than 6 inches thick.
You can do what is known as the crib mattress finger test.
There should be no more than 2 fingers of space between the side of the mattress and the crib frame.
If there is more space than that, it means that the crib mattress is too small and might be a suffocation and entrapment hazard.
If the mattress is new, you will need to take off the plastic.
The baby crib mattress should also be very firm.
Your baby should never sleep on any soft surface, such as a sofa or a pillow.
You can read our baby mattress reviews to help you choose the best crib mattress for your baby.