Baby’s Nursery Crib Safety

CribThe nursery crib is frequently the most major purchase you’ll face when designing and appointing your newborn’s nursery. It will be the focus of attention in the nursery and very often will be the place your baby spends the majority of her time when not being held, fed, and spoiled by grandparents.

Your first concern is the safety of the crib design. Make sure that the crib is in conformance with crib safety standards as set out by the American Society for Testing and Materials.

Test Requirements for Full-size Cribs (ASTM F1169 and 16 CFR Part 1508):

* Corner post extensions
* Dynamic impact testing for crib structural integrity
* Crib interior dimensions and component spacing
* Impact testing of crib side rails
* Mattress support crib attachment evaluation
* Latching mechanism tests
* Plastic teething rail tests

Make sure that the crib you select conforms with the safety standards set out by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) standards. Learn more about JPMA certification. To get you started, here is a list of the crib manufacturers and brands they certify. An excerpt of JPMA’s full-size crib safety information:

Full-Size Cribs

This first “home” should be cheerful and secure. Each year, approximately 50 babies suffocate or strangle when they become trapped between broken crib parts or in cribs with older, unsafe designs. Many older cribs, including the one that was used for you or your younger children, do not meet all current safety standards. Even if you are on a tight budget, you should not purchase an old crib at a garage sale or accept a hand-me-down that does not meet the following guidelines:

Tips for Selecting Product

* Infants should ALWAYS sleep in a crib, which meets current Federal and ASTM standards.
* The crib mattress should fit snugly with no more than two fingers width, one-inch, between the edge of the mattress and the crib side. Otherwise, the baby can get trapped between the mattress and the side of the crib.
* No pillow-like bumpers.
* Look for the JPMA Certification Seal.

Tips for Use

* Remember to ALWAYS keep the drop side up when the baby is in the crib.
* NEVER place the crib near windows, draperies, blinds, or wall mounted decorative accessories with long cords.
* Make sure there are no missing, loose, broken, or improperly installed screws, brackets or other hardware on the crib or the mattress support.
* Crib slats or spindles should be spaced no more than 2 3/8” apart, and none should be loose or missing.
* Never use a crib with corner posts over 1/16 of an inch above the end panels (unless they’re over 16” high for a canopy). Babies can strangle if their clothes become caught on corner posts. These should be unscrewed or sawed off, and the remaining end panel should be sanded smooth.
* No cutout areas on the headboard or footboard so baby’s head cannot get trapped.
* ALWAYS use a crib sheet that fits securely on the mattress, wraps around the mattress corners and stays securely on the mattress corners.
* No cracked or peeling paint.
* No splinters or rough edges.
* Use bumper pads only until the child can pull up to a standing position. Then remove them so baby cannot use the pads to climb out of the crib.
* Mobiles should also be removed when baby can pull himself or herself up.
* NEVER place infants to sleep on pillows, sofa cushions, adult beds, waterbeds, beanbags, or any other surface not specifically designed for infant sleep.

For Babies Under 12 Months…

* Normal, healthy infants should ALWAYS sleep on their backs unless otherwise advised by a pediatrician.
* Only a fitted sheet, mattress pad, and/or waterproof pad should be used under baby.
* When baby is put to sleep, remove pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, pillow-like stuffed toys, and other pillow-like products from the crib.
* Cover baby with a thin covering, such as a crib blanket, receiving blanket or other blankets specifically designed for infants, only reaching as far as baby’s chest, and tuck the covering around the crib mattress. For newborns, consider swaddling.
* Do not overdress your baby. Consider using a sleeper, sleep sack, or other sleep clothing as an alternative to any covering.