Newborn essentials purchased? Check. Adorable wardrobe? Check. Test drove the rocking chair? Check. All done! Well, not so fast – the perfectly furnished nursery needs to be completely safe for your new delivery and this starts with the crib.
According to KidsHealth.org, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of death among infants. Kathleen Fernbach, director of the Minnesota Sudden Infant Death Center at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, urges parents to “think safe sleep to reduce the risk of SIDS, suffocation and accidental infant deaths.”
Here are some precautionary measures she suggests when laying your little one down for a nap or hopefully a restful night’s sleep:
- Baby should always sleep on her back in a crib or play yard that meets the 2011 crib safety standards and February 2013 play yard safety standards (e.g. no drop sides, no cut outs at head and foot), with a firm mattress (returns to firm surface after pressing on) that fits snug (no more than two finger widths between slats and the mattress), covered with only a tight fitting crib sheet. Check at least monthly to make sure all crib bolts, screws, etc. are tight.
- No bumpers, blankets or stuffed toys in the crib. Consider using cute quilts or comforters as wall hangings or as other decorative touches and use stuffed toys for awake play time.
- Instead of blanket use a wearable blanket sleeper for baby.
- Do not use positioners or wedges to prop baby or to keep him on his back.
- Don’t hang anything with strings or ribbons on baby’s crib.
- Place the crib away from the window, and at least three feet away from cords for monitors, white noise machines, etc.
- Use cordless window coverings. Check your window coverings for exposed or dangling cords which can pose a strangulation hazard.
Check out the crib information center at www.cpsc.gov for more insight.