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Baby Crib Bedding Safety

Sweet Peaches Bedding for Babies and Children cares about the well being and safety of your children. We hope to inform and encourage all families to take precautions when putting their babies to sleep. Beyond the baby bedding and nursery decor, there is the issue of a secure and safe crib. SweetPeachesBedding.com offers these tips to help parents become informed.

Crib Design

Dispose of antique cribs with decorative cutouts, corner posts or lead paint. Although these cribs may look beautiful in your baby nursery, they are hazardous.

The space between the slats should be no more than 2-3/8 inches apart to prevent infants from getting their head stuck between them. Cribs manufactured after 1974 must meet this and other strict safety standards.

The corner posts should be the same height as the end panels or less than 1/16 of an inch higher than the end panels.

No cut-out areas on the headboard or footboard so a baby's head cannot get trapped.

The top rails of crib sides, in their raised position, should be at least 26 inches above the top of the mattress support at its lowest position.

As soon as the child can pull himself to a standing position, set and keep the crib mattress at its lowest position. Stop using the crib once the height of the top rails is less than three-fourths of the child's height.

Mattress

The crib mattress should fit snugly next to the crib so that there is no gap. If two adult fingers can be placed between the mattress and the crib, the baby mattress should be immediately replaced.

Do not use plastic packaging materials, such as dry cleaning bags, as mattress covers. Plastic film can cling to children's faces and should never be in or near the crib.

Put your baby to sleep on his or her back in a crib with a firm, flat mattress and no lofty crib bedding underneath. Talk to your pediatrician about which sleeping position is best for your child.

Crib Hardware

The drop side(s) of the crib should require two distinct actions or a minimum force of ten pounds with one action to release the latch or the locks to prevent accidental release by the child.

The crib hardware should be checked for disengaged, broken, bent or loose pieces. Special checks should be made of the mattress support hangers and brackets so they cannot drop. The hardware and the crib should be smooth and free of sharp edges, points and rough surfaces.

Crib Accessories

Bumper pads should cover the entire inside perimeter of the crib and tie or snap in place. Crib bumper pads should have at least six straps or ties and any excess length of straps or ties should be cut off. Bumper pads should never be used in lieu of proper spacing between the slats and should be removed from the crib as soon as the child can pull himself to a standing position.

Teething rails that are damaged should be fixed, replaced or removed immediately.

To prevent possible entanglement, mobiles and crib gyms, which are meant to be hung over or across the crib, should be removed when the child is five months old or when he begins to push up onto hands and knees or can pull himself up.

When it is sleep time, keep the crib clear pillows, and large stuffed animals or toys. These can be suffocation hazards or can enable youngsters to climb out of the crib. Use these special nursery decor items when the baby is not sleeping.

Any cloth or vinyl items that are loose or torn should be replaced or repaired immediately.

Crib Environment

Do not place crib next to a window. Drapery and blind cords pose an entanglement hazard and window screens are not intended to keep a child in, only insects out.

Install smoke detectors. Follow the manufacturer's directions for placement. Check at least once a month to make sure battery and smoke detector are in good working condition.

Lead is a health hazard, especially to young children. It can be found in dust and soil off busy roadways, in old paint on walls, toys and furniture and sometimes in paint on new imported items. If you think your child has taken in leaded paint or soil, or you need help with identifying or removing lead paint, call the National Safety Council's National Lead Information Center at 800-424-5323.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Tragically, many babies will die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS. As the specific cause is not fully understood, many experts believe that suffocation is a major contributor. There are many resources available to families who need more information on SIDS. It is better to be safe than sorry. Here are some tips about sleeping babies and prevention of SIDS.

SIDS is less common in babies who sleep on their back.

Put your baby to sleep on his or her back on a firm flat surface. You do not need anything special to do this. Babies who sleep on their back are not more likely to choke. Some babies have a medical problem that means they must sleep on their tummy. Ask your doctor which position is best for your child.

When the baby is awake and being watched, some "tummy time" is necessary for the baby’s development. This will also avoid temporary flat spots which sometimes develop on the back of their head from lying on their back.

Older babies may be able to turn on their own from their back to their tummy. It is not necessary to force babies to sleep on their back when they are able to turn from their back to their tummy on their own.

Avoid soft crib mattresses, fluffy baby pillows, thick comforters and stuffed toys in the baby’s crib as these could prevent proper air circulation around your baby’s face. Plastics, such as the manufacturer’s mattress wrapping, may also prevent air circulation, and should be removed to reduce the risk of SIDS and also suffocation.

Bedsharing is a common practice for many families. However, the risk of SIDS will not necessarily be reduced if your baby sleeps in the same bed as a parent, brother or sister. In fact, the risk of SIDS increases if the baby sleeps with a person who smokes. Your baby is also at risk if the person has been drinking alcohol or taking drugs that may make them less able to respond to the baby.

Shopping for baby bedding or crib bedding should be one of the most joyful experiences for an expectant family. Do not feel like you have to leave a crib bare with stiff sheets and no bumper pad. Just use common sense and save the super fluffy baby blankets and the adorable baby pillows for when the baby is not asleep in the crib. Provide a warm, safe bed with all of the beautiful crib bedding your baby deserves, but be vigilant about every safety precaution.

Shopping for baby bedding or crib bedding should be one of the most joyful experiences for an expectant family. Read more to find out how to provide a warm, safe bed with all of the beautiful crib bedding your baby deserves, while being vigilant about every safety precaution.