Today’s cribs are thankfully safer than their predecessors. The cribs of old are lovely to look at, but short on safety features. Children used to get their heads stuck between the bars all the time. Since mattresses didn’t adjust, bigger babies as they grew could one day stand up and flip themselves out of their cribs. Today’s cribs will let you sleep a little sounder at night, don’t worry.
First, buy a new crib. It can be tempting to take on an old or used one, but there are a few problems with that. Yes, you will be saving money, but you don’t know if important screws and safety bars are missing. Even if you’re just bringing your own baby crib down from mom’s attic, remember, in just a few years, no less decades since you’ve used it, crib safety has improved greatly. There are now standards in place that were not even considered even as recently as the 1980s. Choosing a new crib in a modern model will give you peace of mind. It’s worth the extra money. You can register for it and hope you get it for your baby shower. Or, you can just go out and pick it out yourself. Don’t worry that it’s a chunk of change. If you invest in convertible crib, you can get a piece of baby furniture that your child will use from infant to college. These cribs change from crib to day bed to full bed with just a few quick turns of a screw. Some even have nightstands incorporated in them that switch out from changing table form when baby outgrows diapers. Amazing!
As for other safety issues you should be concerned with are the spacing of the bars. If they are not close enough together, baby’s head could be caught. If you purchased a new crib, don’t worry as the manufacturers have to abide by crib bar spacing regulations.
Never put crib linens in the crib other than a fitted sheet. You may want to add bumpers and pillows and blankets which all look cute, but are actually choking hazards. Babies can get caught in and under crib bumpers and have suffocated under blankets without having the mobility to get themselves out from under them. Babies do not need pillows, so don’t feel like you’re robbing them of comfort. They are supposed to sleep on their backs to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, SIDS, so be perfectly confident in laying them on their backs without pillows to sleep.
Don’t hang a mobile over the crib that could fall and become tangled. If you want to use a mobile, make sure it’s new and secure. Older models, again, are cute but questionable as to their safety.
Adjust the crib mattress so that as baby grows, the mattress goes lower and lower. That way he can’t climb out. New cribs have adjustment levers that allow you to raise or lower the mattress for this purpose.
Use a monitor so you can hear what’s going on in baby’s room when he’s in the crib. Video monitors will also let you see him, so you’ll have another confirmation that he’s ok. If you follow common sense precautions, you’ll actually be able to fall asleep at night and leave all your worries behind.