Crib Safety: How do I make sure my baby’s crib is safe?

While there are now safety regulations that all crib manufacturers must abide by, it’s important that we still double-check that where our baby spends so much of their time is up to standard! Whether the crib is brand new or a hand-me-down, here are a few things to check for to make sure your baby’s crib is safe:

1. Size

Make sure your crib is the right size. This means that the crib bars should be at least 2 and ⅜ inches apart, and the top of the crib rail should be no less than 26 inches from the mattress. Needless to say, there should be no missing bars. If there are corner posts that are taller than the crib rail, make sure that they are longer than 16 inches. This is to ensure they don’t catch your baby’s clothes in the event that they attempt to climb out.

2. Hardware

Make sure that there are no loose screws or bolts, with no cracks or splinters of wood emerging. Avoid attempting to fix any of these issues with your crib yourself; instead, replace the crib or contact the manufacturer. Your child’s safety is too important to risk it with some dodgy DIY! Make sure there is no peeling paint too.

3. Mattress

Make sure the mattress fits snugly inside the crib. If you can fit two fingers comfortably between the mattress and crib, this mattress is too small! Make sure the mattress is firm to decrease the risks of SIDS. Also, remove any plastic coverings from newly purchased mattresses.

4. Room Temperature

Baby’s room should be kept at an appropriate temperature (16-21 C) and it should be well ventilated, a fan may help with this. If using a fan you need to be careful about where the fan is placed. Keep the fan out of reach of your baby and not on top of any surface where it could be pulled down. Also, use a fan guard to ensure your baby doesn’t curiously stick their fingers into the fan.

5. Keep the crib empty

In order to dramatically decrease the risk of SIDS, your baby should be left to sleep in your crib alone. Avoid placing any toys, comforters, or bedding in the crib as they pose a suffocation hazard. As nice as they can look, bumper pads are another big no-no for the same reasons. No pillows, cushions, or sleep positioners should be used.