Baby Crib – Make Them Comfortable and Safe for Baby
The baby crib is the one place where your baby spends a lot of time from birth up to 3 or sometimes 4 years of age. It is therefore very important that the baby crib provides the maximum comfort and safety for the baby during this stage of growing up.
Although it is easier for breastfeeding moms to have the newborn baby sleep in a bassinet, it is better to be ready with your baby’s crib when the baby starts to roll over. This then makes it important to have a safe and comfortable baby crib.
In choosing and buying baby cribs, make sure they meet or exceed mandatory safety standards (16CFR part 1508) set by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) and the voluntary standards (ASTM F966 and F1169) set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Also, the baby crib you buy must be certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturersâ€™ Association (JPMA).
However, if you want a custom baby crib for your little one and incorporate your own design, the following guidelines are enough to ensure your baby’s safety:
- Crib railings, bars or slats should be no more than 2-3/8″ apart to prevent your baby’s head from slipping through or getting stuck.
- Avoid cutout designs along the rails.
- Make sure the crib does not wobble or shake; give it s good shake to ensure that it is well-built.
- Preferred crib materials are hardwoods or metal. Make sure that finish and paints are lead free and non-toxic.
- The minimum height of crib dropsides when lowered must be at least 9″ above the mattress support; when raised, the top must be at least 26″ above the support at its lowest position. Raising or lowering the side rail must be a one hand operation since you will probably have a sleeping baby in your arms when doing so.
- Go for an adjustable crib mattress support. Newborns can rest higher in the crib, while a baby who can sit up needs a lower mattress. Adjustments should be done by simply raising or lowering the mattress support. The mattress support should have lockable safety clips that lock into notches to prevent accidental release.
- Make sure all hardware and fixtures are flush in the wood or do not have sharp edges or points that could hurt your baby.
- Wheel casters should be the lockable; this makes moving the crib around easier but prevents baby’s movements from moving the crib.
- Ensure that the mattress fits snugly into the crib. As a test, if you can fit two fingers between the side of the mattress and the crib, it is too small.
- Use only nonflammable and hypoallergenic bumper padding, mattress covers and linen for your baby’s crib.
Other safety considerations you have to keep in mind are never position your baby’s crib against a window, near curtains, drapery cords or near furniture that could help your baby climb out; remove crib toys, blankets and pillows when baby is sleeping and remove mobiles when your baby is able to grab at objects.
With these simple steps, parents can sleep peacefully knowing their baby is safe and comfortable in the new baby crib.