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7 Crucial Baby Crib Safety Tips For A Baby-Loving Cot Bed And Mattress
If you are a mom-to-be planning your baby's nursery furniture and decor, the thought foremost in your mind probably is that you need to make sure that you create a safe environment for your precious new charge. The cot bed is the place where the infant will be for a substantial part of each day. What are the most important baby crib safety tips you need to keep in mind when decorating a nursery?
Bodies such as the Juvenile Products Manufacturer's Association has a certification program and seal that reassure parents that a particular product has been thoroughly tested. Products only qualify to receive the seal it they meet or exceed the standards as set by the industry watch dog, ASTM International. Always check for this certification seal before making a buying decision.
1. Spacing Of Slats
All the cot beds that are certified will have slats that are no more than 2 3/8 inches apart. This is an extremely important baby crib safety aspect. If you want to bring in an antique heirloom, make sure that it has the required spacing between the slats, otherwise do not use it. It just isn't worth the risk. You need to check the slats from time to time to make sure that they are secure. Never use a baby bed if some of the slats are missing. Many older baby furniture versions have cutouts in the headboard or footboard. This is an absolute no-no. The side bar needs to be 26 inches above the mattress when it is in its lowest position.
2. Crib Mattress Measurements
Don't use an inferior mattress that fits loosely into the base of the bed. The fit should be snug and fairly tight. Baby crib safety regulations specify that you shouldn't be able to fit more than two adult fingers (about 1 inch) between the mattress and the edge of the cot. The sheet should also be a tight fit and you need to be sure that it will remain in place. Rather struggle a bit with the crib bedding. This is far better than exposing your baby to the risk of getting trapped. Move the mattress to the lowest position as your baby becomes more mobile. Never use any form of plastic to cover a mattress. This is extremely dangerous.
3. Beware Of Window Blinds
Position this piece of nursery furniture as far as possible away from windows with window blinds, drapes or shutters with long cords. An accident happens in an instant. Remember to keep your eyes open for possible hazards around the bed. Don't just focus on infant crib safety itself.
4. Cut Down Corner Posts
A cot with corner posts of more than 1/16 of an inch above the panels will never pass the JPMA inspection. It represents a strangling risk, as a baby's clothes can get caught there. Remove these dangerous lengths and make sure that you sand the area down smoothly. Of course, if there are canopy posts that are more than 16 inches in length above the panels, this should be fine as far as baby crib safety is concerned.
5. Finishes And Finery
Check all the hardware regularly to make sure that everything is tight and secure. Loose screws or brackets present a danger. The finish on the wood should be non-toxic. Handle this with care to prevent peeling and chipping. Don't use abrasive or toxic cleaners. Check that the wood remains smooth. Splintering or damage to the edges can injure your baby.
6. Nap-Time No-No's
Remove all stuffed toys, pillows, quilts or comforters or other stuffed items during nap-times. All of these can turn into a suffocation hazard when you turn your back. Cover your baby with a light receiving blanket if necessary. Pull it up only to the chest and keep it away from the child's face. Tuck it in securely around the mattress. Make sure that the baby isn't too hot. For baby crib safety's sake you may even want to consider looking at alternatives such as a sleep sack. By using this, you can avoid using blankets.
7. Bye-Bye Crib Bumpers
Bumpers and mobiles are fine until the baby is old enough to pull himself into a standing position. At that time it is safer to remove these. Also try to get bumpers that aren't so stuffed that they look like pillows. These may be dangerous. Keep bumpers securely fastened at all times.
If the baby furniture comes with a drop side, always double check that it is up and secure before you leave your infant. When you put your baby down for a nap elsewhere, make sure that it is never on a soft surface such as a sofa or beanbag. If you travel and use a cot in a hotel, do a thorough check to make sure that it is safe. Ask your pediatrician about the safest sleep position for your baby.
Rather spend a few dollars more and get the best you can afford. You can never pay too much attention to baby crib safety.
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