Baby’s Room: Choosing Safe Bedding for Your Little Dreamer
Babies have special safety requirements when it comes to bedding. So, before you rush out and buy a new comforter for baby, here are a few things you should know.
Look For Fixed Rails
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) banned the sale of adjustable side rails, primarily on the grounds of safety. So, don’t buy a crib with an adjustable side rail. Do not accept one as a gift.
Before the ban, it was common for parents to want a drop side rail to make it easier to access the crib for baby.
But, according to Yvonne T. Maddox, from the National Institutes of Health, the gaps that may form between the crib and the mattress and the drop side rails may cause infant injury or death. In fact, the detaching feature has been associated with at least 32 infant deaths since 2000.
In addition to the deaths an additional 3,520 incidents and injuries have been reported. This includes infants falling from a crib, skull fractures, and babies getting limbs caught between crib slats on cribs with adjustable rails.
Pay Attention to Slat Distance
Slat distance is also important. Proper distance is no more than 2 and ⅜ inches or about 6 centimeters. This protects infants from falling out of the crib or getting limbs (including heads) stuck between the slats.
A Note about Corner Posts
Yet another concern is corner posts. If your crib does have corner posts, they have to be flush with the top of the headboard or footboard, or they must be over 16 inches. Anything less than 16 inches is considered a strangulation hazard.
There are more safety and comfort issues to consider. Even if you get the right crib, you still have to figure out the bedding and blanket issue. Should you use baby blankets? What about suffocation? Duvets and pillows aren’t usually recommended because it’s so easy for babies to suffocate themselves. Until baby is a year old, stick with lightweight blankets or better yet, warm baby clothes.
Duvets can also make baby too hot. Overheating can seriously injure or kill baby.
Cotton sheets and cotton cellular blankets, the ones used at hospitals with holes in them, are recommended. They’re easy to layer and keep baby at the right temperature. You can add or remove layers if you need to so that baby doesn’t overheat.
Most baby bedding can be purchased from Bedbathandbeyond.com.
Make sure you buy bedding that fits the crib perfectly (fitted sheets). Don’t use cot bumpers; there’s no evidence they prevent injuries. And, they could cause overheating.
Check Out the Crib
Before you buy a used crib, check it out. Make sure that it meets all current accepted safety regulations and guidelines. If it’s a used crib, it doesn’t have to conform to current regulations, but it may not be something you want to risk putting baby in.
Also, check the general sturdiness of the crib; make sure that baby won’t be in any danger sleeping and rolling around in there.
Lucinda Grey is a soon-to-be Mom, currently on maternity leave. Whilst sorting out the finishing touches for the nursery she is also enjoying a spot of blogging and hopes to continue writing after her baby is born.