Crib safety is important to your child’s health and to us!
When parents are deciding on decorations for their baby’s nursery, they may turn to Pinterest and see cribs that look like an adult’s dream bed. These cribs are filled with soft pillows and blankets, cushy toys and lush bumper pads, all covered by magical mobiles dangling into the bed. While parents themselves may want to crawl right in, these cribs are not safe for your baby.
At New Canaan Pediatrics, we want your baby to sleep safely and avoid SIDS, sudden infant death syndrome and other tragedies.
Beware of vintage or used cribs.
An antique crib sounds lovely, but can be dangerous as they rarely meet modern safety standards. Your baby should sleep in a crib with slats no more than 2-3/8” apart to prevent baby’s head from getting stuck between slats. Check each slat regularly to be sure it is secure; not cracked, loose or splintered. Replace a missing or broken slat before your child sleeps in the crib again. Ensure that sides latch securely and that latches cannot be reached or released by your child.
Keep the crib empty.
The American Academy of Pediatrics agrees: never ever put stuffed toys, blankets, comforters or pillows of any kind in the crib with a baby. Do not use crib bumpers. Fluffy, cushy items can cause your infant to suffocate. When your baby is too close to these objects, they can also form a “pocket”, resulting in your baby breathing in their own exhaled carbon dioxide, which experts believe is a major factor in SIDS.
The mattress in your baby’s crib should fit snugly, with no gaps between the mattress and crib slats. The mattress should be firm and covered in sheets that fit tightly.
Adjust mattress height as your baby grows.
When your baby first comes home, setting the mattress at the highest level makes it easy for you to pick up and lay down your newborn. However, as soon as your child attempts to roll over, start moving the mattress lower. Once your child can stand, the mattress should be set at the lowest position so the baby cannot climb over the railing and fall.
Keep the crib away from windows and other furniture.
Position your baby’s crib as far away from any windows as possible. Your baby should not be able to reach (and pull down) shades, drapes or curtains. Adjustment pulls or strings on blinds are a choking hazard; keep them as short as possible not just in the nursery, but in every room. If the crib is close to dressers, make sure it’s clear of objects the baby can pull into the crib. Keep the crib far enough away from the dresser so you baby can’t use it to climb out.
Babies outgrow mobiles very quickly.
Make sure any decorative mobiles are well out of reach of the baby, and any strings or ribbons are shorter than 7”. As soon as your child can push up on their hands and knees, remove the mobile or anything that dangles, as they become a strangulation risk.
If you have questions about your child’s crib safety, contact New Canaan Pediatrics. We’ll help you prepare a sleeping space that is healthy and safe!