Donate

Summary

Ensure your baby's crib is a haven of safety with our comprehensive guide on crib safety and baby well-being. From the importance of 'Back to Sleep, Tummy to Play' to assembling the crib with original parts, we cover crucial tips like mattress size, security, and staying updated on the latest safety standards. Discover expert advice to create a secure environment, promoting healthy sleep and development for your little one. Prioritize crib safety with our essential tips for a worry-free nursery.

While safety is important throughout the house, baby’s room is a place where safety is especially important! One place where baby will spend a lot of time completely alone is their crib. That means it’s important for their crib to be a totally safe environment for them. Learn more about what’s recommended to keep baby’s crib safe. Remember, every home is different, so be sure to think about your particular setup when considering baby’s safety.

Back to Sleep, Tummy to Play

Just a friendly reminder that baby should only sleep on their back!

Make sure your baby is safe when they are lying their crib

This includes pillows, toys, or blankets. It also means keeping the headboard and footboard free of any decorative items. Even items that some may think of as safety items, such as bumper pads, should be kept out of the crib.

When assembling the crib, be sure to use the original parts.

If you notice a part is missing, it’s important to get the correct part from the manufacturer. This is because cribs are specially designed to meet safety standards, and every part plays a role in that. If parts are replaced with materials from a hardware store or are not replaced at all, the crib no longer meets safety standards. Even after the crib is assembled, it’s best to routinely check it and make sure everything is in place and there are no cracks, splinters, or other issues. If you have a hand-me-down crib, you must check to see if the older model meets current safety standards and it has not been recalled for any reason.

If baby has a mobile over the head, make sure it is secured and at no risk of falling in the crib.

Only using a piece of tape won’t do—it should be securely fastened with no way of falling into the crib. Once baby is either able to get up on their hands and knees OR is 5 months old, the mobile should be removed entirely.

Pay attention to the mattress height and size.

Crib safety for your baby can be ensured by following expert tips

The mattress should be the same size as the crib so baby doesn’t trap their arms, body or legs. A good test is if you can insert more than 2 fingers between the mattress and sides of the crib, the mattress is too small. For the height, the mattress height will change with baby’s age and motor skills. This is important because if the mattress is too high, baby could possibly crawl out of their crib. Before baby is able to sit up on their own (a 4-6 month motor milestone), lower the mattress so they can securely stay inside. Once baby is tall enough that the crib railing is lower than their chest, it’s time to transition to a toddler bed!

Remember to remove all plastic on the crib!

If the crib is new, it will probably come wrapped in plastic, so you want to make sure every piece is off of it. This includes the mattress!

The slats of the crib should be no more than 2 and 3/8 inches apart (or 6 centimeters).

This should keep baby from getting body parts trapped between the slats. If there are corner posts on the crib, they should be flush with the end panels and very tall. How tall? The top of them should be completely out of baby’s reach. This is because if they are too short, baby’s clothes could get stuck on the corner post.

Place the crib away from a window or any cords.

This helps to prevent injuries by keeping baby away from window blinds, drapes, and cords. Also place the crib away from any cords attached to monitors.

Check to make sure baby’s crib follows the latest safety standards.

In the US, the Consumer Product Safety Commission provides updated guidance and recall information.

Crib Tip

Remember to change the direction of baby in their crib every day. This helps to prevent flat spots and build strength by activating muscles on both sides of the neck!

Learn More

Download the FREE Pathways.org Baby Milestones App!

App store button

Google Play