If your due date is just around the corner, it’s about time you familiarise yourself with some crib safety tips. Those bad boys are going to cost you a lot, might as well get the most ideal one for your baby. And by ideal, we mean affordable, high quality, and most importantly, safe.
The kinds of baby cots there are in the market are growing in number. There are cribs, bassinets, co-sleepers, strollers, bouncers – and the list goes on. Then, there’s the concern of buying a brand-new one or getting one second-hand. What about hand-me-downs? Are those worth trying?
All that and more, we will tackle in this article. We are giving you the complete lowdown about these baby cots. So, we can help you decide on the best one to get. So, if you’re ready, just keep on reading.
What’s the Difference?
There are different kinds of baby cots, and they differ in terms of their size and purpose.
Most bassinets are essentially portable cribs. So, if you want to take your baby with you outside but worry that they might feel sleepy during the trip, get yourself a bassinet.
A co-sleeper is a crib that is designed to fit next to your bed. You can pull down one of its sides, so it feels like your bed just has an extension for your baby to sleep on. If you don’t have a lot of space for a traditional crib, a co-sleeper is a great alternative. Just make sure it meets all of the safety standards set for cribs. We’ll discuss that later in this article.
Now, if you have space to spare and want a crib that can last your baby years, you want to go with a crib, preferably a convertible one. This type can transform into a bed long enough to fit your baby in their toddler stage. Imagine the money you can save not needing to buy another bed after your child outgrows their crib.
Choosing a crib over the other baby cot options is one thing. Finding the right crib is another. So, we did some digging, and found that you ought to keep these 7 things in mind during your crib shopping.
Image Source: iStock
Crib Safety Features to Look Out For
The American Academy of Pediatrics reported that there is an alarming rate of 10,000 crib-related injuries in 2011 . This staggering figure compelled the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to set mandatory crib standards, which include more meticulous testing on the safety of these cribs. And such standards are the following:
- No missing or broken hardware or slats
Any missing parts of a crib can be detrimental to the safety of your child. Imagine if the crib you purchased is missing one screw. You probably might think: “Ah! It’s just one screw. This is going to be fine.”
Then, your child grows heavier by the month, to a point that their weight is putting a strain on the crib’s capacity. Next thing you know, the crib falls apart. That’s how important it is to check if your secondhand crib is complete and in mint condition.
- Slats no more than 2 3/8 inches apart
This distance is tight enough to prevent babies’ heads from going through. Most of those 10,000 crib-related injuries include babies getting stuck or wedged in these slats. So, when we advise that you take this factor into consideration, we highly encourage you to take said advice.
- Crib sides need to be 26 inches above the mattress
You want the crib to be high enough to prevent your baby from climbing out. But, you don’t want it TOO high that you struggle to pick your baby up from the crib. So, get one that is at least 26 inches above your child’s mattress.
Don’t get drop-side cribs. They may seem convenient, but the corners of those crib types are not safe for babies heads. They could easily wedge themselves into those corners.
- Solid head and footboards
Headboards or footboards with cutouts may look cute, but they are definitely not safe. CPSC has prohibited them in order to avoid any baby body parts from getting caught in those holes.
- Smoothened and levelled corner posts
Corner posts should be as tall as the crib’s headboards or taller, more specifically 16 inches. The reason for this is to avoid your child’s clothes getting caught on any of these corner posts once they are old enough to climb out of their cribs.
Corner posts should be smooth as well to avoid scratching or clothes getting caught. So, if the crib you’re eyeing has fancy finials or knobs, you ought to saw them off and sand them to smoothness.
Some of the earlier cribs produced (specifically ones made before 1978) are coated with lead, which could be harmful to your child. So, if you’re unsure about the paint job of your crib, best if you look for another.
Your mattress should fit the dimensions of the crib like a glove. If you can fit more than two fingers between the mattress and the crib, it’s not snug enough. Make sure to check the mattress’s label if the fabric used is flame retardant as well. Finally, remove the plastic covering of the mattress as soon as you get it home as it can be hazardous to your child.
Baby boy sleeping | Image Source: iStock
So You Want a Secondhand Crib
We get it. Buying a crib often feels like digging holes in your pockets because your baby will grow fast and eventually outgrow their cribs. The concern is valid. But, should you risk getting a secondhand crib?
The answer is yes and no. Yes, you may if the crib you’re getting has all the said safety features. Your baby’s safety ought to be more important than your budget. If your winner secondhand pick misses one of these 7 safety features, then we suggest you forget it and opt for a new one.
You Bought the Perfect Crib – Now What?
Choosing the right crib is only half of the struggle. The other is other crib safety tips that you ought to keep in mind as you lay your little one in your perfect crib.
- Keep plush toys and comforters away
Toys may seem cute, but they can suffocate your baby. So, best if you keep them in a box away from your child. Avoid comforters too as they can easily block your child’s airways. Opt for muslins or swaddling blankets instead. You can also try lightweight mobile toys that are safer in nature.
Image source: iStock
- Don’t fall for bumper pads
Ignore those salesladies (or salesmen) telling you to buy bumper pads. There is no proof they actually keep your kids from bumping into the slats of their cribs. In fact, they might even cause more hazards because kids can pull them off and get suffocated from them.
- Position the crib away from the windows
Direct exposure to sunlight and cold breeze can easily make your infant uncomfortable. Plus those strings that pull your blinds up can get caught around your child’s neck. So, best if you position the crib next to a bare wall.
There you have it. Hopefully, this guide has given you a clearer insight into what to look for in a crib. That said, happy hunting!
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