Selecting a suitable and safe sleep environment for your baby can be overwhelming. Keep baby safety in mind with these considerations.
What Are Some Tips When Buying a New Crib?
- Look for products that meet baby crib safety standards, such as those certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, which ensures your crib has been thoroughly tested.
- Check the floor model for loose spindles or a shaky frame. These could be signs of poor construction and an unsafe environment for your baby.
Crib Safety Tips
Safety tips for new cribs:
The structural integrity of the crib matters as much as its contents and location when it comes to baby safety. Keep the following recommendations in mind:
- When selecting a crib mattress, use a firm mattress that fits tightly against the crib sides with no more than two-fingers' width of a gap.
- Remove soft or loose bedding and toys - like blankets, quilts, pillows and stuffed animals - which can cause suffocation or sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
- Avoid using crib bumpers that can obstruct baby’s breathing.
- Place the crib away from blind cords and other potential strangulation hazards.
- Don't hang anything heavy over the crib, and avoid decorations with hanging pieces that a baby could grab.
Safety tips for older cribs:
- Make sure wooden crib spindles or slats are no more than 2 3/8 inches apart - about the width of a soda can. Anything wider could allow baby's head to get caught.
- Have the frame tested for lead paint and make sure it doesn't have any structural weaknesses.
- Avoid older drop-side cribs, which have been connected to infant deaths and are now banned.
- Check for crib side rail safety by ensuring that the side rails do not move.
What Are Non-crib Options for a New Baby?
There are no federal safety standards for co-sleeping or bedside baskets. If you'd like your infant to sleep in your bed, on a same-surface "sidecar" co-sleeper, or in a bassinet, remember the following (from The Behavioral Sleep Laboratory):
- Infants should always sleep on their backs.
- Sleeping surfaces should always be firm, fitted and clean.
- Sleeping environments should be free of blankets or loose bedding. Instead, use a swaddle wrap or wearable blanket on your baby.
- Infants should never have their heads covered during sleep.