Every parent wants nothing but the healthiest and safest sleeping environment for their babies. In honor of Baby Safety Month this September, we’re highlighting the biggest crib mistakes to avoid so you can ensure your little one sleeps soundly — and safely.
Check for product recalls
Since 2007, more than 7 million cribs have been recalled, most of them drop-side cribs. As a result, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) finally decided to implement strict safety standards for cribs in 2011. But how do you know if your baby’s crib has been recalled? A few ways:
- Register your crib with the manufacturer, who should notify you of any safety issues or recalls
- Check the ongoing recall list of baby cribs
- Sign up for CPSC emails to be notified of any infant or child product recalls
- Follow all CPSC crib safety tips
If your crib or crib parts are ever recalled, stop using the crib immediately until the issue is resolved.
Don’t use crib bumpers
Many parents often consider crib bumpers to prevent their babies from hitting their heads on the crib or getting stuck between the railing. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends crib bumpers be banned altogether. Yes, even ones that are labeled ‘breathable’ or made out of mesh fabric. Why? They pose a great risk for entrapment, suffocation, and strangulation. For older kids, they can be used to help climb out of their crib, causing them to fall and get hurt.
Don’t put blankets and toys in the crib
Another common (but fatal) mistake parents make is allowing their babies to sleep with soft bedding — items like blankets, pillows, sleep positioners, and stuffed animals. According to the AAP, unintentional suffocation is the leading cause of death for infants — a high number of them because of soft bedding. Their guidelines for the safest sleep environment include:
- Placing your baby on their back
- Use a firm, safety-approved mattress with a fitted sheet
- Remove all objects from baby’s crib
Don’t add bright mobiles or toys to the wall/ceiling
Buying a cute mobile is one of the first things people associate with their baby’s bedroom, but the truth is: bright colors and movement can actually distract baby and keep them from sleep! We recommend that you do not have a mobile toy over the crib or a bright picture hanging on the wall above the crib.
Keep colors and accents as neutral as possible within baby’s view, so they can sleep!
Don’t use an old or ‘antique’ crib
Old or antique cribs may have sentimental value or add the perfect accent to your baby’s room, but they can also be incredibly dangerous. Here are a few reasons why:
- Baby’s clothes can get caught on corner posts, causing strangulation
- Crib slats may be too far apart, allowing baby’s head to get trapped
- Older cribs may contain lead, a major health hazard for you and baby
The best rule of thumb here is to purchase a crib with a manufacturing date no later than 2011. That’s because all cribs made since then are required to meet CPSC’s safety standards.
Don’t try to fix it yourself
A loose screw, a missing attachment, a piece that doesn’t quite fit — these all seem like small issues to overlook or fix yourself but could end up a fatal mistake. If your new crib has any missing parts or pieces or breaks while being used, stop using it immediately and contact your manufacturer for replacement parts or an entirely new crib.
Help your baby sleep soundly and safely
To ensure the safest sleep for your baby, pay close attention to what health experts recommend and regularly check for crib recalls. To ensure the soundest sleep for your baby, turn to the Maternal Instincts team. Our sleep training coaches help train you and baby to get the rest you need — and deserve. Schedule a sleep consultation today!