Baby Cribs - Safety Is Key
You have just learned that you are expecting a baby. Even if you have other children, you must take a look at cribs. Is the crib you already have an antique? You should look carefully at your second hand crib whether it is an antique or not. The safety of your new baby makes this necessary. The screws and/or other fasteners such as bolts must be in place and not loose. It is of the utmost importance that this is tested before you place your baby in the crib.
Take something that is almost equal to your 4-month-old baby's weight. In order to be certain that it will hold its position bounce it off the mattress. If it doesn't your baby could be hurt seriously or worse. When you set up your nursery, if it isn't set-up already, seriously consider where you will place your crib. If you have to place the crib near a window with Venetian blinds, you can either shorten the cords or anchor them to prevent your baby from reaching and getting hold of them.
Avoid, if possible placing the crib near the window. As your baby grows into a toddler and begins to climb out of the crib, s/he could become seriously injured in a fall. Blankets are not necessarily a good idea to use with your baby. Be sure that you avoid anything that could put your baby at risk, especially in the light of SIDS incidents today. The most advisable way to put your baby to bed is in a blanket sleeper. Make sure to tuck the blanket tightly around and under the foot of the mattress with you baby's feet touching the footboard if you must have a blanket on your baby. You also want to help prevent your baby from sliding under the blanket and suffocating by not putting the blanket any higher than his chest. There is a risk of your baby slipping between the mattress and the bumper pads causing suffocation, if bumper pads, which are a great concept, are not secured properly. Bumper pads if used should be fastened in each of the four corners and evenly spaced on each of the two sides. There should be sixteen ties in all, eight for the top and eight for the bottom.
Although mobiles are nice additions you need to take a precaution to prevent your baby from getting entangled in it. It must be removed when your baby starts sitting up by himself. You must also check to see if there are small parts that are removable that your baby could choke on. No matter is your crib is second hand or one you had for a previous child, or you got it from someone else, the mattress must by checked out carefully. The mattress covering should be checked for any holes or cracks. The mattress must fit in the crib properly. Your baby could slip between the mattress and side or end bars and suffocate if you are not careful. The mattress should be snug in the crib. The sheets you use in your baby crib should fit properly and not slip and slide. There are sheet hooks available that attach to the sheet under the mattress and keep it in place.
Placing the mattress in the proper position is extremely important to your baby's safety. When the baby comes home most parents put the mattress in the highest position because it is easier to reach the baby and change him. Lower the mattress according to the growth and activity of your baby. If your baby can come to a standing position in the crib the mattress should be put in the lowest position and to add to his safety you should measure the distance between the mattress and the top of the sidebar. There should be no more than 26 inches from the top of the side bar to the mattress when it is in the lowest position. Moving your child to a regular bed might be a good idea if your child is climbing out of the crib or his head is above the side bar. There are convertible cribs that become beds and grow with your child. Inspect your child's crib to be sure there is nothing that will put your baby at risk. The ornate designs carved into the end boards of cribs are beautiful but could pose a hazard to your child. Have you seen them? Your child could be injured if his head, arm, or leg get caught in them and possibly sustain an injury.
A simpler design may increase your child's safety. Safety guidelines from 1974 for cribs state that slats should be no more than 2 and 3/8th inches apart; to keep your baby from getting his head caught between the slats. Your baby's safety could be compromised if getting stuck caused him injury and necessitating the removal of some slats.
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