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  • Writer's pictureLeticia Lugo

Baby Crib Safety Guidelines

Safety is always the most important factor when it comes to children. Here are a few guidelines you should consider for your baby's crib:

  1. Make sure the crib meets all current safety standards. Check for recalls and make sure the slats are no more than 2 3/8 inches apart.

  2. Always use a firm, tight-fitting mattress. Make sure the mattress is not too big or too soft.

  3. Do not place any toys, bumpers, pillows, or other soft items in the crib. These can pose a suffocation hazard.

  4. Make sure the crib is in a safe, non-smoking environment.

  5. Make sure the crib is away from any cords or window blinds.

  6. Make sure all hardware is secure, and that all screws and bolts are tightened.

  7. Do not hang any items above the crib, as this could be a choking hazard.

The above guidelines are just a few of the safe sleep guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics. I hope these guidelines help! Best of luck, and all the best to you and your little one!

  • Choose A Safe Crib

This tip seems obvious. Of course, you want to choose a safe crib! But knowing exactly what that

means is not always clear.

To start, you’ll want to check when your crib was made. On their blog called, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends opting for a crib that was manufactured after June 2011.

Why? They write that’s “when the current safety standards banning the manufacture or sale of dropside rail cribs became effective.

There is a good chance that an older crib no longer meets all the current safety standards, especially if it has a drop side.”

Secondly, grab your measuring tape when you go shopping for a crib. The AAP also recommends that crib slats are no more than 2 ⅜ inches apart. Similarly, you’ll want to stay away from cutouts in the headboard or footboard.

Big gaps in the slats or the headboard or footboard pose a safety hazard for your little one that can and should be avoided.

  • Check The Crib For Loose Parts

Once you’ve picked out a crib, you need to be sure it’s assembled correctly.

Whether you assemble the crib yourself or it comes to you put together, you’ll want to do a thorough once-over to make sure everything is a-OK.

That simply means checking to ensure there are no loose or missing parts, loose screws, sharp edges, or broken pieces.

  • Make Sure The Mattress Fits Correctly In The Crib

Once you have a safe crib and a firm mattress, you’ll need to check the fit of the crib mattress in the crib.

While the sizes of cribs and mattresses are both regulated by the government, there’s a bit of wiggle room. The safest thing to do is to check for yourself that the fit is snug!

While the mattress should fit easily into the crib without having to be forced, a large gap between the edge of the mattress and the inside of the crib is a big safety risk for your baby.

How can you know if the gap is OK? When the mattress is inside the crib, you should not be able to fit more than two fingers between it and the crib frame.

You’ll also need to keep the mattress height in mind. The AAP says, “Before your baby can sit, lower the mattress of the crib to the level where he cannot fall out either by leaning against the side or by pulling himself over it. Set the mattress at its lowest position before your child learns to stand.”

  • Consider Crib Placement

With a safely assembled crib, the next thing to think about is where you position it.

It’s important to choose a safe place in the nursery.

Avoid putting the crib within reach of curtains, blinds, cords, lamps, and the like. Your baby’s curious hands should not be able to grab anything outside of the crib.

Additionally, if you hang a wall decoration or mobile above your baby’s crib, make sure that it’s securely attached to the wall. If you want to play safe and skip the wall hanging all together, there are lots of fun nursery paint ideas or wall decals that look adorable above cribs!

  • Use Only A Fitted Sheet

You’re getting closer and closer to a safe bed that is ready and waiting to welcome your little one!

Crib safety includes choosing a safe crib, assembling it correctly, and putting it in a safe location, but what goes inside the crib is also a huge part of crib safety.

When it comes to bed linens for babies, they should include a fitted sheet and nothing else. No top sheet and no blankets, which are both safety hazards for babies.

Choose a cozy, cute fitted sheet. Finally, since you shouldn’t cover your baby with a blanket or top sheet, use a swaddle or sleep sack to keep them warm and cozy all night.

  • Keep The Crib Bare

Another rule for sleep and crib safety: keep the crib bare. As we just mentioned, that means no top sheets or blankets but — sorry to break it to you — it also applies to lots of other adorable baby items.

As cute as baby pillows, stuffed animals, and toys are, the crib is not the place for them. In fact, it’s best to avoid crib bumpers as well. They might seem like a good idea, but the AAP recommends against them.

To sum it up: only a fitted sheet and your baby should go in the crib. After all, your baby is cute enough that you won’t need anything else in the crib!

  • Put Your Baby On Their Back

Once you’ve been to the hospital or gone to adopt your little one, it’s time to lay them in the safe crib that you’ve prepared for them!

That brings us to the last crib safety tip: put your baby on their back to sleep. This goes for naps as well as nighttime.

Just remember that once your baby gets the hang of rolling over, you won’t have to tiptoe into their room and turn them if they roll over in the middle of the night. But if that makes you nervous, a breathable mattress might give you the peace of mind you need to rest easy!

Your baby will spend a lot of time in their crib, and almost all of that time is unsupervised. That’s why crib safety is so important.

I hope these guidelines help! Best of luck, and all the best to you and your little one!

Suggested Swaddles*


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