You’re elated about your on-the-way little one and planning down to the last detail to have everything ready for baby’s arrival. Choosing the right crib is a big decision! As a mom of two little guys myself, I feel you, mama. I remember buying our baby crib and all the research and thought that went into choosing what I felt would be the perfect crib for my babies. There are a lot of factors to consider. First and foremost, no matter what your individual, unique needs are, every baby needs a safe crib.
It can be overwhelming to try to sort through all the safety standards and regulations. What makes a safe crib has to do with manufacturing, use in the home, appropriate baby bedding, certification through JPMA, and being in compliance with CPSC, and ASTM guidelines.
Say what, you say? I totally understand, and to save you the hours and hours I spent scouring the internet for everything I wanted and needed to know, I’ve compiled a sort of study guide on crib safety. Here, you’ll find a brief but thorough overview of the most up to date information and standards on crib safety as of the date of publication of this article.
What Are Crib Safety Standards?
Crib safety has always been a hot-button topic for parents. Understandably so, because crib safety somehow fell off the official radar for a fairly long time. In 2010, for the first time in almost 30 years, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission released the updated requirements below. The following year in 2011, new ASTM mandatory crib safety regulations were put in place.
• Traditional drop-side cribs cannot be made or sold; immoblizers and repair kits are not allowed
• Wood slats must be made of stronger woods to prevent breakage.
• Crib hardware must have anti-loosening devices to keep it from coming loose or falling off.
• Mattress supports must be more durable.
• Safety testing must be more rigorous.U.S. CPSC Full-Size Cribs
Granted, these are the manufacturing requirements, but they’re still important for parents to know. This way, you know what to look for in choosing a crib that meets all the most current safety standards.
How Should a Baby Sleep?
Remember, the above safety concerns deal with the manufacture and construction of a crib. Of course, there are also plenty of safe sleeping practices like a firm mattress and tightly fitted sheet with no pillows, blankets, or stuffed animals to keep little one sleeping sweetly and safely throughout the night. Now that we have the basics of safety covered, it’s time to choose the perfect crib for your little one’s sweet dream space.
The Bare is Best Campaign from the CPSC
Have a look at the video below, released by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, to gain an understanding of a different element of crib safety.
A quick overview of the campaign is that a safe baby crib is one that is not older than 10 years old, is unmodified from its original form, and is free of frills and fluff.
There should be no pillows or blankets, and the sheet should have a super snug fit on the mattress.
Additionally, if your crib or play yard includes a mattress, you should use it as-is, and you shouldn’t try to add extra padding.
Crib placement is important, too. Don’t place your crib near a window with blinds, curtain cords, or any type of electrical cord or plug-in.
What Makes a Crib Safe?
You can find tips like the ones below on Kidshealth.org. I personally love this website because it has information about all the most important parenting questions you might have and, their information is reviewed for accuracy by doctors.
- Crib Slat Placement. We hear a lot about the distance between crib slats because its incredibly important. Inappropriately spaced crib slats pose a serious danger if babies can wiggle between the slats and potentially get caught. The CPSC says 2 3/8 inches, which they compare to the size of a soda can.
- Mattress Fit and Style. Similar to crib slat placement, mattress placement is a question of keeping baby safely out of small spaces between the mattress and the crib. Remember to use only the original mattress when one is provided. Also, be sure to choose a firm rather than a soft crib mattress to offer baby the best support and safety.
- Corner Posts. If you choose a crib with corner posts, be sure you check the measurements carefully. They shouldn’t be over 1/16th of an inch high, which is pretty much flush with the headboard. If they are over this height, it’s by a lot, as they need to be over 16 inches high (think canopy baby beds). Otherwise they could pose the risk of catching baby’s clothing.
- Toys and Mobiles. Avoid strings and ribbons more than 7 inches in length and take them down entirely when baby is around 5 months or when they begin to get up on hands and knees.
- Used Cribs. Make sure that the crib is not more than 10 years old and that it is not a drop-side crib. Its okay if it looks gently loved, but if there are cracks, splintering, loose hardware, or obvious damage, be polite with a thanks, but no thanks.
- Baby bedding. Basically the answer to this whole question is a resounding no. Safe sleep for baby means no blankets, no pillows, no bumper pads. It sounds a little harsh but when you consider that statistic you may have missed on the photo up there, it becomes quickly clear why you’re better off choosing a footed-onesie than using a blanket for warmth. Didn’t catch it? Here you go.
Nearly half of the infant crib deaths and two-thirds of bassinet deaths reported to the CPSC each year are suffocations from a baby being placed on top of pillows and thick quilts or because of overcrowding in baby’s sleep environment.U.S. CPSC Safe Sleep: Bedding, Pillows, Safety and More
How Do You Do CPR On An Infant?
Great question! Getting safety-prepared for baby is easy to do and will be worth your while. As seasoned parents know, you’re in for far more expertise in the medical field of kid disasters than you can possibly imagine or desire. Get ready, prospective Mom and Pops. If you don’t already have some background or training, now would be a good time to get certified in CPR and First-aid.
It’s also a great idea to save emergency numbers, other than 911, in your contacts. This way, you have them easily available at all times and its simple to share with caregivers or family members who might be with baby for a bit while you’re away. The toll-free poison-control number is 1-800-222-1222, for example. Also, have the number to your pediatrician’s office, and nearby neighbors, or emergency contacts.