Mar 29 , 2020

Choosing Safe And Comfortable Cribs

Planning and designing a brand new nursery is one of the most exciting parts of being a new parent. Some creative parents look forward to lining their child’s room with all sorts of creative and colorful patterns, while others prefer to focus on stocking up their new nurseries with fancy and inventive items.

No matter how many new and exciting products fill up the shelves at your local mall, you should always put a good crib on top of your shopping list. Newborns and older babies won’t always appreciate toys with bright lights and sounds, but they will definitely look forward to dozing off in a safe and comfortable space. Here are a few tips for choosing the best crib for your nursery room.

Avoid Drop-Side Cribs

Drop-Side cribs were banned by The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in 2010 for a very good reason: they simply aren’t safe for delicate babies!

First and foremost, drop-side cribs are huge suffocation hazards. The moving mechanisms of these cribs often dislodge mattresses and create gaps where babies can get stuck and suffocate. In contrast, other crib models without any moving sides don’t run the risk of SIDS or suffocation as there’s no way for the mattress to move out of place.

Another huge risk factor of drop-side cribs lies in their construction. Since drop-side cribs are engineered with moving sides and mechanisms, there are many more things can go wrong after they are built. The plastic hardware of some drop-side cribs can deform or break over time, while other important pieces of hardware can become loose or defective after only a few months. Your baby could become injured instead of well-rested if their cribs fall apart while sleeping, so it’s always important to choose a crib that isn’t likely to break because of faulty designs.

Building a drop-side crib yourself isn’t always a viable solution, either. Many drop-side cribs in the past often turned into dangerous hazards because their movable mechanisms were installed upside-down or because they were built with incomplete pieces.

Check The Slats And Corner Posts

You might be surprised to know that crib slats evolved from whiskey barrels that were used to shield babies in their sleep. In order to avoid accidental injury or choking at night, parents in Italy would place half a whiskey barrel with three slats over their children while they slept in bed. Eventually, this unique practice served as the design basis for many of the cribs we use today.

Just because your crib is built with slats doesn’t always mean it’s safe. Cribs that are built with slats that are too far apart can become just as dangerous as drop-side cribs since they can also cause babies to become stuck and suffocate in their sleep. Safe cribs should have slats that are only 2 and 3/8 inches apart. If you can fit something as thick as a soda can or pencil cup in between the slats, you’re better off picking something else.

Poorly built corner posts can also cause a lot of trouble for you and your baby. The clothes of sleeping babies can get stuck to posts that are too large or rough. Since these babies are nowhere near strong enough to unhook their clothes on their own, they can choke or become severely injured. The corner posts of your crib should be no more than 1 1/16-inches thick.

Ornamental wood carvings that stick out too much are also capable of bruising or choking delicate babies. If you have an older crib that just doesn’t live up to modern safety standards, it’s best to switch it out or revamp it yourself.

Make Sure The Mattress Doesn’t Move

Safe cribs are designed so that soft mattresses can fit safely and securely inside. This is because mattresses that don’t fit well or move a lot can cause your baby to sleep in bad positions or become stuck in gaps. You can test out a new crib using your fingers or other small items. If you can squeeze in fingers, pencils, or other objects between the mattress and crib, that means that brand new crib just isn’t that safe.

Don’t Cram The Crib

Less is more when it comes to baby cribs. Too many soft pillows, plush toys, and bumper pads inside the crib are huge choking hazards. Even if your baby doesn’t fall into any gaps or sleep in bad positions, they can still suffocate when they sleep face down on a pillow or bumper pad. You’re better off saving these items for when your child is old enough to sleep however they want without choking or getting hurt.

Inspect The Paint

Even if a crib is well-constructed and durable, it can still be dangerous if it’s coated with the wrong paint. Many cribs built before 1978 contain trace amounts of toxic lead—a poisonous chemical that’s been proven to lead to several health issues and impaired neurological development—so do have your crib tested if it isn’t exactly brand new.

If you plan on painting a crib yourself, be sure that the paint you’re using is free from any volatile organic compounds (V0Cs). VOCs are chemical substances that can vaporize in the air and turn into toxic fumes. The more you or your child inhale these fumes, the more likely you are to develop severe health complications later on. There’s no need to freak out at the DIY Store though as many paint brands nowadays are formulated to be safe and non-toxic.