If you are a new parent, you will want to make sure that your baby is safe at all times. A crib, also referred to as a cot, is one of the most crucial pieces of furniture that you will need in your nursery because this is where your infant will spend so much of his or her time sleeping and playing

But do you know if the bed you provide for your baby is safe for your child or conforms to the safety standards? 

Starting from the stability of structure to the correct placement of slats, there are certain rules to be followed when it comes to creating the right sleeping environment for a child. 

In this article, we are going to discuss further what these safety standards are all about and how you can guarantee that your baby’s crib is truly suitable for your baby to have a good night’s sleep

So, without any further ado, let’s dive into the topic of crib safety!

Understanding Crib Safety Standards

1. Slat Spacing:

An important measurement that is also vital to the crib’s safety is the distance between the slats. It is recommended that the space between the slats bar ought not to be more than 2 3/8 inches (or 6 cm) so that the baby’s head cannot fit in between the bars.

2. Sturdy Construction: 

It is important for a crib to be safe and free from corruptible materials so it should be strong and well-built. It should not wiggle or shake and that wiggle and shake only disappears when you assemble the two parts together. 

All bolts, screws, and other hardware pieces should also be tightened. Always make sure to inspect the bolts and tighten them, if necessary, after a while.

3. Mattress Fit: 

The crib mattress should lie in such a way that it cannot be shifted, side to side front to back, or from one corner to the other, and should fit tightly up against the sides of the crib so that only the thickest part of your finger cannot easily be squeezed in between the mattress and the rails of the crib. 

The size and shape of the mattress may also pose a significant suffocation risk if the baby is trapped in the space between the mattress and the surrounding walls.

4. Mattress Support: 

The bed frame should be properly designed with a well-fitted sprung base or strong and sturdy frame. Some cribs may have a drop side or fall side to bring about change in certain heights of the mattress. 

Lastly, in providing a comfortable sleeping center for your baby, reduce the height of the mattress as your baby progresses in age to avoid it from falling off.

5. Non-toxic Materials:

Choose a crib that does not have toxic substances present such as lead paint or any other type of finish. Children use crib rails as teething objects, and therefore paint should not pose toxic effects when ingested.

6. Drop-side Cribs: 

Some cribs known as drop-side cribs due to their ability to lower a side have been banned in many countries due to their safety flaws

If you have an older model of the drop-side crib, it is advisable to have it swapped with a new one that meets the current set priorities on safety.

7. Corner Posts: 

The corner posts should not be installed to a height of more than 1/16 of an inch above the ground so as not to cause strangulation when clothes get caught. As another option, make sure that posts are taller than 16 inches so that dangers of entanglement with garments are less likely to occur.

8. Crib Bumpers and Accessories:

Some of the deadly hazardous products that a crib contains include crib bumpers, pillows, and stuffed animals. Some of these belongings should be kept out of sight, more so when the baby is asleep, and it is preferable not to put them in the crib.

Setting Up Your Baby’s Bed Safely

1. Choose a Safe Location: 

Position the crib in a safe environment, well beyond the reach of window cords extension cords, or blinds and curtains which can lead to strangulation. Avoid placing the crib near shelves or tables with weighty or sharp things that may fall on the crib.

2.Use a Firm Mattress: 

It also has to be firm to avoid suffocation and minimize the chances of a baby succumbing to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Silent and soft floors can present humps that may lead to suffocation.

3. Fitted Sheets Only:

Only use a fitted sheet that is tightly tucked into the mattress and that should not be too large in comparison to the size of your mattress

Bed covers, blankets, quilts, and loose materials should not be used, as these can pose a suffocation risk. Do not swaddle your baby and make them sleep in blankets, but use wearable blankets or sleep sacks instead.

4. Proper Bedding: 

Avoid using pillows, comforters, quilts, and fluffy toys on the crib and bed. These things can obviously hinder your baby’s breathing and contribute to SIDS occurrences. 

According to Dr. National Institutes of Child Health, the best sleeping environment is a crib that is devoid of any bedding apart from a fitted sheet.

5. Monitor Temperature: 

See to it that the room environment is appropriate to your baby’s preferred all-time temperature. 

SIDS can also be linked to overheating, although it makes sense only if we consider that an overheated child’s body will sweat, creating a humid environment in the sleeping space.

6. Crib Placement: 

Place the crib somewhere that is not exposed to the sun’s rays and not in a place that has cold drafts. Also, ensure that the crib is placed at the appropriate height from the floor to avoid tripping or falling by placing it on a flat surface.

7. Regular Maintenance: 

The crib should also be checked for any basic signs of dropping apart or any destroyed components like the screws. If something is loose pursue and fix it immediately if it causes any damage.

8.Avoid Modifications: 

Never change the crib or try to fix it with some material that might not safely serve the purpose of the crib. Always use manufacturer-recommended spares and ensure that you follow both the mechanical and electrical assembly instructions diligently.

Practical Tips for Parents

1. Invest in a Quality Crib:

Selecting the right crib is very important especially if you want to protect your child in the best manner possible; this can be achieved by buying a good brand crib set that has been tested for safety. When choosing cribs, ensure they are certified by relevant departments or authorized organizations.

2. Be Cautious with Second-Hand Cribs: 

If you are thinking of buying a used crib, what you need to note is its safety based on the current standards. Search for any possible crib recalls and also physically examine the crib for any signs of defects or lost pieces. Do not use a crib that has a drop-side since these have been deemed too dangerous for use.

3. Educate Caregivers: 

If you have grandparents, babysitters, and any other caregivers, it is essential to ensure that they recognize and maintain crib safety and other aspects of safe sleep for your infant.

4. Follow Safe Sleep Guidelines: 

It is also important to follow several precautionary measures recommended by pediatricians in a toddler’s sleeping environment. These include keeping the baby in a back sleeping position, not using a fluffy blanket or pillow, and locating the crib close to your bed for the first half a year.

5. Stay Updated on Recalls: 

Learn about crib recalls and make sure to register your crib with the manufacturer regularly. This guarantees you are informed of any safety concerns that arise occasionally. You can find updated information on recall over the Internet as well.

Create A Safe Sleep Sanctuary For Your Child

It is always important to see that your baby’s crib is of the right standard as this is the bed he or she is going to use for a long time. Some of the measures that you should take include using a firm mattress for your baby’s crib and avoiding the use of loose bedding items. Another important aspect is to ensure that, at least once in a while, caregivers should ensure that they check for any signs of wear and tear in the crib to avoid mishaps. Again, you should always adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines and advice on how to assemble and use the crib. Ensuring the safety of your baby’s sleeping area will help you have a good night’s sleep as well as your baby. It is recommended to check your baby’s crib twice, so make sure you do it today.

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