Baby Crib - Find Answers To Your Baby's Crib Health and Safety Issues

Baby cribs and baby bedding safety have received a lot of press in recent years because of the risks of sudden baby death syndrome associated with certain types of baby mattresses, among other things. Accidental infant deaths (by falling, suffocating or choking) have also been linked to unsafe cribs and bedding. So how do you, as a concerned parent, negotiate this labyrinth of baby safety issues when it comes to putting your little one down to sleep?

Baby Crib

You'll find lots of information about baby furniture, including cribs, on consumer websites and in baby gear magazines. Some reviews focus more on attractive design features than on baby health and safety, while others strike a sensible balance between the two.

A reliable source of online information on cribs and other safe baby products is the website of the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association. The JPMA is a trade organization representing 95% of manufacturers of products for prenatal to preschool children. The JMPA gives its seal of approval to baby products that fulfill its safety criteria. Its website provides updates on baby product recalls, including recalls of cribs with safety problems.

In 2010, for example, the JMPA publicized several recalls of well-known brands of drop-side cribs, owing to a risk of entrapment, suffocation and falling. Working together with manufacturers, JMPA found a constructive solution to the problem - fitting locking devices to prevent undesired or sudden movement of the crib's components.  It is also worth checking out for all of the latest information on baby products and baby product reviews.

Sudden Baby Death Syndrome

Although statistically very rare, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is a nagging fear for many parents. Unfortunately, we still don't know exactly what causes sudden baby death, but there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of SIDS or of accidental death caused by unsafe sleeping arrangements.

Your definitive source of online information on this issue is the website of the American Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Institute. This organization's key recommendations include the following:

- Always put your baby to sleep on her back (even if she sleeps more soundly on her front).

- Always choose the firmest possible mattress for your baby's crib.

- Don't put bumper pads or any other items such as pillows or covers in the crib while your baby is actually sleeping in it. A clutter-free crib reduces the risk of suffocation or choking. Feel free to decorate your crib with any baby accessories you want while it's not in use - just not during nap time.

Choosing A Safe Baby Crib

Modern baby cribs come in all shapes and sizes to suit any décor or lifestyle requirements.

You have convertible cribs that change into toddler beds as your child gets older; soft-sided portable cribs that provide a comfortable baby bed wherever you go; drop-side cribs for easy access to your child; and cocoon-like bassinets for very young babies.

Whichever style of crib you opt for, there are certain safety requirements your crib should always adhere to - these include:

- No rough metal edges (nuts and bolts should be covered with plastic).

- Functioning locking devices on cribs with movable sides.

- Slats in the crib's sides should be no more than 2 and 3/8 inches apart (to stop your baby's head getting trapped!) - likewise, no elaborate cut outs in the headboard or footboard.

- A firm mattress without any plastic covering.

- No spaces between the edges of the mattress and the sides of the crib.

- Plastic or cloth teething rails on any parts of the crib that your baby may chew on while she's teething (avoids wood splinters or paint getting into her mouth).

Designing Your Own Baby Crib

If you're buying a custom-made crib through a baby boutique or using your own carpentry skills to put one together, make sure that your baby crib plans conform to the most up-to-date baby safety requirements. If you're unsure whether or not your design skills are up to the job, then hand the task over to an experienced professional, or consider buying a readymade crib in your preferred style.

Used Baby Cribs

If you're looking for a discount baby crib, a second-hand or used crib may be good option. These can be bought at garage sales, in thrift stores, or from friends or relatives. You could even place an ad in a local newspaper saying that you're looking for one.

Many parents buy used cribs and never experience any problems with them, but that doesn't mean that you don't need to examine a second-hand crib extremely carefully. All the factors that go into choosing a safe baby crib also apply to used cribs. Be aware that older cribs may not meet modern safety standards.

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