child safety

Baby Crib Safety Guidelines

Baby Crib Safety Products

A new parent has many things to worry about. Diaper changes, sleep deprivation, and visits from well-intentioned in-laws are just a few of the things that stress out a first-time mom or dad.

So what is a concerned parent to do at a time when crib recalls are common and crib safety guidelines can be confusing? Read on for helpful information about keeping your child safe as they sleep.

Before You Buy a Crib

If you haven't yet purchased a crib, be sure to do some research before spending your hard-earned cash. The internet is a valuable resource for looking up reviews and recall information about cribs you may have your eye on.

Websites like and have a wide variety of reviews for all types of cribs.

Another valuable resource for crib safety guidelines is This is the official website of the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, which tests and approves new cribs. This website will tell you if your crib is indeed JPMA certified.

Now, what if someone donates their old crib to you? Many experts advise against using a pre-owned crib altogether. It is possible that it may still be safe, but you need to be even more vigilant about researching recalls as the crib is likely older.

For example, drop-side cribs used to be the norm, but they have recently been found to cause accidental injuries and even death in infants. If your crib is drop-side, contact the manufacturer immediately to request the necessary tools to convert it to a fixed-side crib.

Setting Up the Crib

A crib may seem like a simple piece of furniture, but that doesn't mean that it's easy to assemble. Meticulously following the given instructions is essential to the safety of your child.

Before you begin, lay out all included hardware and compare to the charts on the instructions. If you are missing a part, be sure to contact customer service and obtain this missing piece before you take another step. Never be tempted to substitute a missing screw or bracket with something you find in your garage.

When putting the crib mattress into position, make sure that it is a tight fit. You should not be able to fit more than two fingers between the mattress and the side of the crib.

Positioning the crib in a safe location is also a very important crib safety guideline. A crib should never be placed underneath a window or anywhere near dangling cords. Never hang shelves, pictures, or any objects on the wall above a baby's crib. It may look cute, but any sudden jolt could knock these items down and injure your child.

Crib Bedding

To many new parents, one of the most exciting parts of setting up baby's nursery is getting to pick out the bedding that will go on the crib. While there seems to be no end of options available, they may not all be safe.

Crib bumpers are now considered by many experts to be unsafe to use because of increased risk of suffocation. Also, the small pieces of fabric used to tie bumpers to the bed may pose a choking or strangulation hazard.

In the past, bumpers were used to keep children from sticking their heads between the slats of the cribs and being strangled. If the slats in your crib are 2 3/8 inches apart or less, you should have no need for a crib bumper.

When your baby arrives, be sure that there is nothing in the crib but your child and the mattress, which should be covered by a snug-fitting sheet. Any other objects inside the crib, including stuffed animals or pillows, are a suffocation hazard. It is recommended that even blankets are kept out of the crib until your child is a year old.

Continued Crib Safety Guidelines

Setting up a safe crib is not a one-time job; a parent must always be on the lookout for safety hazards in the crib as their child grows. Any cracks, splinters, broken slats, or peeling paint is cause for immediate removal of your baby to a safer sleeping environment.

And as a precaution, be sure that your crib is registered with the manufacturer to ensure that you will know right away if a part of the crib is recalled.

One of the delights of becoming a parent is creating a safe, stylish, and comfortable place for your new baby to sleep.

If you take care in choosing the right crib and bedding, be vigilant about proper setup, and continue to monitor the condition of the crib, there is no need to let your crib be another source of worry.

More Child Bed Safety Resources:

Baby Crib Netting

Toddler Bed Transition Tips

Reduce the Risk of SIDS / Tips and Guidelines

Return from Crib Safety Guidelines to Child Bed Safety Rails.

Return from Crib Safety Guidelines to My Child Safety.

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