Getting a crib that meets current safety standards is only the beginning of safety in the nursery. The area around where baby sleeps must also be secured from possible hazards, inside and outside the crib. Parents should frequently look around the nursery as the little one begins to grow because decorations once deemed harmless can become a danger as babies become mobile.
Bedding, Blankets, and Bumpers
Selecting a crib and the coordinating bedding is the first action that makes new parents really believe they are going to have a baby. There are many beautifully designed ensembles in various patterns and equally varying price ranges. Whether purchased as a package or separate items, make sure each follows these guidelines for safety:
- Sheets should fit snugly around the mattress and not easily pop off the corners when pulled. Only use sheets made specifically for a crib mattress. Soft bedding or loose sheets may pose a suffocation risk for newborns that are not able to turn their heads.
- Blankets used should be small such as receiving or crib size only. Avoid fluffy blankets, comforters, pillows and sheepskin.
- Bumpers look nice and help prevent infants from banging their heads but should be removed as an infant’s mobility increases. A child able to pull up to standing can use a bumper as a stepping-stone to climb out of a crib. For safety, the bumper should be secured in several places and fit snugly around the crib. All ribbons and bows used to attach bumpers should be no longer than 8” length to prevent entanglement.
Play areas are where toys should be kept, not in a crib where baby sleeps. Stuffed animals may be cuddly and lovable but are a hazard in cribs due to the possibility of choking on small parts or suffocation while sleeping. Crib gyms or toys that stretch across the crib using strings, cords or ribbons can be dangerous for older or more active babies and should be securely installed at both ends if used.
Mobiles are for looking at, not touching, but their movement is enticing to little hands so make sure it cannot be reached by your little one. String or ribbon used to attach small pieces can cause strangulation. Mobiles along with crib gyms should be removed (before baby helps you do it) when your baby begins to push up on hand and knees.
Accessories Around the Crib
Be careful where you place the crib when arranging the nursery. Newborns quickly grow into sitting infants then to climbing toddlers. As they change, so should the items around their crib. Framed pictures, wall hangings or other items on the wall above or beside the crib should be firmly secured to the wall or removed. Objects within reach on furniture near the crib should also be removed to avoid tempting curious toddlers from pulling them into the crib.
|Wall decor and items stored next to crib may be ok….until baby is old enough to stand in the crib and grab anything nearby. Keep area around crib clear.||Wall hanging, mobile, decorative items all need removed to make this nursery safe.|
Cribs should never be placed near windows where an infant can reach draperies, blinds or other window treatments. Cords pose a strangulation hazard and should be safely wrapped around cleats near the top of the window well out of reach of infants, toddlers and small children. Better yet, avoid using treatments with cords in the nursery.
Safety does not end with selection of furniture. Placement of each decorative accessory is important as is carefully monitoring you baby’s newfound abilities in reaching them. You don’t know what your little one might be doing in the middle of the night! Make sure the area around where baby sleeps is hazard free.
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