What you should know about crib safety

Home & Family   |   Age: 5 weeks 4 days

What you should know about crib safety

The crib is a cushioned palace for any baby, and an important purchase (or inheritance) for any new parent. And because your baby will be spending a significant portion of her time in this cozy space, it’s super important to understand what to look for when acquiring a crib and how to keep that crib safe for her.

Not all cribs are created equal.

All products have their strengths and weaknesses, but considering you’ll be placing your baby in her crib every night, there are certain potential cribs to steer clear of. First, cribs with adjustable side rails have been outlawed by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The CSPC's guidelines for crib safety also outlines the fact that cribs with gaps between slats wider than 6 centimeters can increase the risk of a serious accident. Soft mattresses can increase the risk of smothering, and firm mattresses that fill the entire crib space are considered to be safest. Older hand-me-down or heirloom cribs may not meet current safety standards, including lead paint, decorative cut-outs, and measurements.

Cribs are made for back-sleeping.

Once you’ve settled upon a suitable crib and assembled it for your baby, bear in mind that there’s one resoundingly recommended sleeping position for babies: flat on their backs! Studies have shown that the average baby takes in less oxygen when sleeping on their stomach, and because side sleeping can easily transition into stomach sleeping somewhere in the course of the night, you’ll want to avoid placing your baby in any position but on her back at bedtime. Placing babies to sleep on their backs is the simplest, most effective way to help prevent SIDS. Other factors which may reduce SIDS risks include not smoking in the room, keeping the room at a moderate temperature instead of letting it get too hot, and sleeping in the same room as her for the first 6 months.

A well-maintained crib is a safe crib.

Keeping a regular eye on the composition and contents of your baby’s crib will ensure many a good night sleep. Make sure that there are no fluffy pillows, blankets or plush toys in the crib, as these items can increase the risk of suffocation. Crib bumpers are also a no-no. Check the crib for loose screws or bolts on a regular basis. And once your baby begins performing junior pull-ups on the crib rails, remove any mobiles or crib gyms to prevent her from getting entangled.

  • “Cribs and crib safety.” MedlinePlus. U.S. National Library of Medicine, May 18 2016. Web.
  • “New Crib Standards: What Parents Need to Know.” Healthy Children. American Academy of Pediatrics, November 21 2015. Web.
  • “Safety Education Resources: Cribs.” United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Web.

More articles at this age

Is it safe to drink coffee while breastfeeding?

We know now that a moderate amount of caffeine each day is generally safe during pregnancy, but what about while you're breastfeeding? After all, a cup of coffee can seem like the least of your needs when you're dealing with a baby who just doesn't quite get the hang of this whole "people need sleep" situation.

Why postpartum depression shouldn't be ignored

Postpartum depression affects the whole family, and it's critical that if diagnosed, a person gets help right away.

Daycare: how soon is too soon?

How soon is too soon for daycare? It's the million dollar question, sometimes almost literally, as you weigh not just the costs and benefits to your baby's development and happiness in her child care situation, but also the cost of child care versus the cost of not going back to work.

How can I get more milk when I'm pumping?

By now, most breastfeeding moms have probably picked up on the fact that breastfeeding doesn't always feel quite as "natural" and "instinctive" as it's so often described.

Tips for playing safely with baby

Your little one has grown a bit and no longer looks quite so tiny and new as she did before. Follow these tips to ensure that playtime with your baby is both safe and fun.

Can lack of sleep stunt growth?

Sleep might not seem like the most active part of your baby's day, but it plays a definite part in her growth.

Welcome to lil'bee!

It looks like you're using an ad blocker. That's okay. Who doesn't? But without advertising-income, we can't keep making this site awesome. Please disable your ad blocker and refresh this page.

Thanks for understanding 🙏