Whether you are a new parent or a veteran, it’s highly important to exercise crib safety for your baby. As a parent, you should inform yourself on how to keep your baby’s crib from becoming a health hazard. For the most part, a crib is where your baby will be most of the time, so it should be a place where you won’t have to worry if your baby will be safe if left unattended. The number one health risk for babies is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). SIDS is an unexplainable death that occurs usually when a baby is sleeping. Most of these deaths occur with babies between 2-4 months. It is very rare a SIDS death will occur in a child less than 1 month old and even older than 6 months. Research has shown that putting babies on their back while sleeping eliminates the occurrence of SIDS.

Crib Design

A crib’s design is more than the style and color and whether or not it matches the nursery’s theme. The way a crib is engineered plays a huge part in your baby’s safety. As a parent, you want to be aware of these safety measures when choosing the right crib design:

  1. First and foremost, you must check is the particular crib you are interested in purchasing hasn’t been recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
  2. The slats need to be 2 3/8 inches or less apart.
  3. If purchasing a used crib, make sure there are no missing slats. Also check if the slats are either cracked, loose, or damaged in some other way.
  4. Again, if purchasing a used crib, check it for stability.
  5. The corner posts need to be 1/16 inch high or less.
  6. If the crib has a drop-side latch, it needs to be rather difficult for a young child to have the ability to release it on their own.

Mattress

Along with the crib, the crib’s mattress also plays an important role in keeping your baby safe. Just how it’s important for an adult to choose the right mattress, it’s even more of a priority for a parent to choose one that is most compatible. When choosing a crib mattress, pay attention to the following guidelines:

  1. The mattress must fit snugly into the crib. To check, you shouldn’t be able to put no more than two fingers in between the edge of the mattress and the side of the crib.
  2. A crib mattress should not be soft but firm to avoid suffocation.
  3. The measurement of the mattress should be 27 ¼ inches by 51 5/8 inches and the depth should be no more than 6 inches.
  4. Plastic coverings also need to be removed.

Crib Hardware

Putting a crib together can be an exciting time for parents. It’s an indication their new baby will arrive fairly soon. When putting a crib together, you must make check off these safety measurements in order to ensure the crib is put together properly:

  1. All of the hardware needed is right at your fingertips and none are missing.
  2. Make sure each screw, nut, and bolt are tight when assembling the crib.
  3. The mattress support hangers and brackets must also be intact.

Crib Accessories

Parents can get pretty fancy when accessorizing their baby’s crib. Although quilts, blankets, bumper pads and toys are stylish accessories, they can pose a safety threat to your baby. If you want to dress the crib up, follow these safety rules:

  1. Do not put pillows, comforters, or large stuffed animals in the crib for fear of suffocation.
  2. Crib mobiles should be removed from the crib once your baby is 5 months old.
  3. Bumper pads need to be placed securely around the crib. If need be, cut the strings of the ties in order to avoid strangulation.

Crib Environment

Not only does your baby’s crib need to be safe, the environment around the crib needs to be hazardous free as well. In order to ensure your baby is safe while in the crib, you must pay attention to the following:

  1. Do not hang any objects above the crib to prevent any injury to your baby.
  2. The placement of the crib should not be near any window blinds or drapery. This will prevent strangulation and your child from falling through the window screen.

Purchasing a crib means you’re one step closer to the big day when your newborn baby will arrive into the world. By following these simple guidelines, you can assure your baby will continue to be happy, healthy, and most of all, safe.