By |October 27, 2011 |Nursery|

The following set of crib safety checklists comes from one of our respected Approved Vendors, Baby Eco Trends. We’d love to hear your thoughts and insights if you have any additional points to offer when looking for a safe and non-toxic sleeping environment for your baby.

This summer, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) implemented new safety standards for baby cribs.  Federal crib safety standards had not been updated since the 1980’s and were largely in reaction to the overwhelming number of crib recalls in the last few years. These new mandatory standards caused some manufacturers to update their operations and others to close their doors.  Several crib manufacturers had always opted to go above and beyond even these new standards and are well worth the investment.  Looks can be deceiving and it isn’t always easy to tell a well built crib from a not-so-well built crib at first glance. Finding a safe, well designed, well built crib requires a little homework and a lot of questions.

Purchasing A Baby Crib Consciously

Many used or a hand-me-down cribs do not meet current, mandatory safety standards and therefore should not be used.  When purchasing a new baby crib, consider the following:

  1. Look for solid wood construction with thick, solid posts and rails
  2. Crib should be free of composite woods.  Composite woods (MDF, pressed wood, plywood, veneers) often contain glues and adhesives with high levels of formaldehyde.  If there is any plywood, make sure it’s a formaldehyde free product manufactured in the USA, such as PureBond by Columbia Forest Products
  3. Wood joints should be inter-locking (ie, mortise & tenon) and not simply nailed together
  4. Mattress supports made of heavy gauge steel offer the firmest sleep surface and withstand greater pressure than plywood mattress supports.
  5. Hardware should be steel and not made of plastic
  6. Glues and adhesives should be water or soy based
  7. Stains, finishes and paints should be child safe and low VOC
  8. Consider the overall weight of the crib.  An assembled crib that weighs 50lbs cannot withstand the pressure that a 100lb assembled crib can
  9. Opt for a manufacturer that has never issued recalls on its cribs
  10. For maximum value, consider convertible cribs that allow the crib to grow with your child.

Keeping A Baby’s Crib Safe Inside

Once your crib is assembled, it is a good idea to periodically check all parts.  Where you place your baby’s crib and what you place in it are important considerations:

  1. Check crib regularly to ensure all hardware is in place, securely tightened and free from damage
  2. Do not place crib near drapery, window blinds, lamps, electrical cords and electrical outlets
  3. Do not hang objects on the crib or use any strings on or near the crib.
  4. If a mobile is hanging above the crib, make sure it’s out of baby’s reach.
  5. Remove bibs, necklaces, teethers & pacifiers from baby’s neck anytime baby is in the crib.
  6. Crib bumper pads should fit around entire crib interior, be securely tied or snapped in place and removed when baby gets old enough to pull herself up into a standing position.
  7. If your crib bumper pad has strings, cut off excess string once the pad has been securely attached.
  8. Keep stuffed animals, dolls, pillows, quilts, comforters and other soft, plush objects out of baby’s crib.
  9. Make sure baby’s sleepwear does not have drawstrings or ribbons.  Consider using a baby sleeping sack.
  10. Keep bottles, sippy cups & any edibles out of baby’s crib to avoid choking hazards.

Safety Elements To Consider When Purchasing A Crib Mattress

The crib mattress is a very important part of a baby’s nursery and care should be taken when purchasing a crib mattress:

  1. Use a mattress that fits snuggly in the crib with no gaps between the four sides.  A standard, full size crib mattress should be 27.25″ by 51.6″ & no more than 6″ thick.
  2. Crib mattresses should be flat and firm.
  3. Remove all packing materials from crib mattress before use.
  4. When baby is old enough to sit, move mattress support to its lowest position.
  5. Use sheets designed to fit a crib mattress & make sure sheets are fully tucked under corners & edges.
  6. Conventional cribs mattresses are treated with chemical flame retardants; consider purchasing an organic crib mattress that is naturally flame retardant & has not been chemically treated.

If using an older or used crib:

  1. Check the crib’s label(s) to make sure it was made after 1978 to avoid any possible lead exposure.
  2. Check the finish or the paint for chips, cracks and wear.
  3. Avoid cribs with cutouts or large openings as this can pose an entrapment hazard.
  4. Check crib for rough surfaces, splinters and cracks.
  5. Make sure slats are no more than 2 3/8″ apart.
  6. Inspect mattress support for bent, cracked or missing parts.
  7. Ensure that there is no missing hardware.  Inspect screws, nuts & bolts regularly and tighten if necessary.

A crib is the one place we can securely leave baby unattended.  With care & diligence, parents can furnish a baby nursery with safe products that allow both baby & parents to have a restful night’s sleep.

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This post was submitted by Nasrin of  Thanks Baby Eco Trends!