Crib Safety & Bedtime

In addition to the crib safety tips already mentioned, it’s a good idea to remember the following.

  • Infants should be alone, on their back, and in a crib with a firm mattress and tight sheet every time they sleep. Do not use bumper pads, blankets, or pillows.
  • Always keep crib rails up when a child is in a crib. Make sure the side latches are holding securely.
  • Never tie or harness your baby in her crib.
  • Lower the crib mattress as your baby grows and before she is able to pull herself up.
  • Do not put pillows, stuffed animals or thick blankets in the crib. A child can suffocate on a pillow or stuffed animal or use them as steps to climb out.
  • Do not use plastic mattress pads. The plastic can cling to her face and cause suffocation.
  • Never allow your baby to rest or sleep on a waterbed. A waterbed mattress against a child’s face can cause suffocation.
  • A child should be moved to a bed when she learns to climb out of her crib or is 32 inches tall. Use guardrails on your child’s bed to prevent falls.
  • Children under 7 should not be permitted to sleep or play on the top bunk of bunk beds.
  • Guardrails on beds should be 3 1/2 inches apart or less to prevent a child from getting stuck.

Portable Crib Safety

Many of the same recommendations for crib safety apply to portable cribs; however, you should also keep the following in mind when using a portable crib.

  • Ensure that the mesh fabric sides are intact. Inspect the fabric frequently for tears.
  • The thickness of a mattress pad in a portable crib should not exceed 1 inch.
  • Do not use an additional mattress or padding. Infants can get tangled up in extra padding and suffocate.
  • Never leave an infant in a crib that has a side folded down. The child could roll into the space between the mattress and the mesh and become trapped.
  • Make sure the latches on the crib are in place and locked to prevent the crib from collapsing.
  • There should not be any screws, rivets, wing nuts, etc., sticking out of the crib.

Crib Monitors

A crib monitor provides added safety and comfort when your baby is napping or sleeping. Use these general guidelines for crib monitors.

  • Use a safety-tested product.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use and maintenance, and keep the instructions for future use.
  • Test batteries regularly.
  • Keep the monitor out of your baby’s reach.