Baby Bedding and Crib Safety
Is Your Baby Bedding Safe?
The safety of baby bedding should be the foremost consideration. Use this checklist to ensure that you provide the safest environment for your baby.
The crib mattress needs to be firm, and fit tightly inside the crib. Gaps are dangerous. Babies can become wedged between the crib sides and the mattress.
Don’t use cribs that have corner posts of any kind. These posts can catch articles of baby’s clothing and cause a strangulation hazard.
Don’t re-use old hand-me-down cribs that may be painted with lead paint. Screws and bolts can be worn out and cause the crib to collapse on baby.
The spaces between the crib slats should not be more than 2 3/8” or 60mm as to prevent entrapment or strangulation of the baby.
Be sure that no cords or strings are near the crib. Electrical cords and window blinds cords should be secured out of baby’s reach.
To minimize allergic responses to baby bedding fabrics and optimize ‘breathability’, comforters and blankets should be made of natural fibers or natural and synthetic blends which are machine washable.
Do not put pillows, stuffed animals or any loose baby bedding in the crib with your baby.
The sheet needs to fit the mattress snugly, and be securely installed. If the baby squirms around or clutches one of these items with his tiny fingers, make sure they can’t pull them to their face and cause suffocation. Too many babies have died due to loose bedding materials because parents did not think of the dangers these items can present to a baby.
Quality in the Baby Bedding You Choose
Baby Bedding will need to be laundered often due to the occurrences of spitting up and leaky diapers. You want fabrics of quality that are durable to hold up without getting lumpy or having loose threads that little fingers or toes can get caught on. Cotton thread is a better choice than the nylon in many comforters. Nylon threads are harder to break should one become loose and get caught on baby’s extremities.
Choosing the fabric is not only important for minimizing allergic reactions, you also want to pick the softest and temperature appropriate bedding for your baby. Cotton is always a good choice, but for cooler climates, fleece, chenille, down and wool may be a better choice. Don’t let baby get too chilled, but over doing it and making baby too warm is just as detrimental.
A good way to decide how to keep baby covered is to look at how you are dressed – if you feel the need for long sleeves or a sweater – then it is probably wise to cover baby a little more warmly. If you feel like you can’t take enough clothes off because of the heat – then baby’s covering should be minimal too.
Avoid drafty areas, but fresh air is good for baby, and you too. Try to spend a half hour or more outside each day with baby, indoor air is sometimes more polluted than the worst outdoor atmosphere. If you can’t get outside due to rain or excessive heat, try opening a window in baby’s room a few inches while they sleep.
The amount of detailed information on bedding for baby is as diverse and detailed as you might imagine. In future posts I will be more specific on these details and review some of the more popular brands and designs currently available in baby girl, baby boy and neutral themed baby bedding.