Baby Crib Safety 101

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Crib Safety 101

A crib is one of the most important baby gear purchases you’ll make for your baby. It’s both a safeguard for when your child is at their most vulnerable, and also a major financial investment. While it is occasionally necessary to get a used crib, buying new will help ensure you’re benefiting from the most up to date safety specifications. Here are some basic but essential crib safety parameters that every parent should know while purchasing a crib.


From Sleeping to Standing

The two most important things to keep in mind when you’re purchasing a crib is safety and adaptability. In a matter of months, a child’s sleeping needs can change drastically, and you need to be prepared. If you invest in the right brand of convertible crib, you’ll also be able to save money.

It is advisable to opt for a crib with an adjustable mattress support height that can accommodate your baby in different stages of development. For example, lowering the height of the mattress support allows your child to stand when they’re ready and reduces the risk of tumbling over of the side. The Honest Company makes baby cribs specifically designed with this feature in mind, offering convertible styles that can keep up with a child’s rapid stages of development. Bedding needs change dramatically as a child grows from an infant into a toddler. Purchasing a state-of-the-art crib that can eventually convert into a regular big kid bed, while also offering all measures of protection for babies, is a wise investment.


Location Is Everything

While part of the fun of having a baby is planning out their bedroom and décor, it’s essential to remember the practical side of crib and play placement. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, cribs should be kept away from areas where dramatic temperature fluctuations can occur, such as bright windows and radiators. Exposing a baby to direct sunlight or extreme heat can cause serious injury. Always place the crib in an area where the temperature remains steady and doesn’t receive bright light. Don’t forget that you can also outfit your bedding with the cutest patterns, colors, and finishes, and avoiding sunlight will prevent your crib from fading or withstanding damage.


The Best Bedding Is No Bedding

The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s main policy about keeping baby cribs safe is that a bare crib is best. Not only is this their tag-line, but it’s also one of the most important things to be aware of when you’re putting your little one down to sleep. It may seem like an appealing idea to give your baby soft blankets and quilts to cuddle with, but in reality, this can result in major injuries such as suffocation. The CPSC also strongly cautions against positioning devices. Keep it simple by dressing your baby in warm footed pajamas or sleep sack in order to prevent chill and investing in a firm mattress. Babies can easily become entangled in excess bedding. The bottom line is that keeping it safe means keeping it simple.


Crib Stability

BabyCenter suggests one simple but dependable way to check crib stability is to shake it after assembly. If it seems wobbly or you hear rattling noises, chances are that it wasn’t assembled properly or you’ve got a low quality product. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. To protect your child, a crib should be in excellent condition. A high quality crib doesn’t have to be the most expensive. As long as it meets safety requirements you should be good to go. Don’t be afraid to call customer service if you’re not sure about what you’re doing or have questions.


Slat Width and Strength

The bars on a crib are one of the most important aspects of choosing the right type of bed for baby. There have been numerous laws passed regulating the strength and dimensions of crib slats. Consumer Reports states that a mandatory safety requirement is that the slats on a crib be 2 3/8 inches apart or less, and recommends measuring with a ruler. This is to prevent your baby’s limbs or entire body from becoming stuck or falling through a gap. Global Post warns that if slats are too wide or weak, your baby is at risk for enduring a serious fall and potential head injuries. They advise that slats are more likely to be strong in cribs made after 2011 due to a consumer protection act that required a specific width and sturdiness. All of these measurements should be clearly listed on any crib that you plan to purchase. Make sure that your checklist of necessary dimensions is met before saying yes to any crib.

Baby cribs come in all shapes, sizes, and prices, but that doesn’t mean they’re all equal. A crib might look amazing online or in the store, but make sure you get all the specifications before buying. Check for product recalls and make sure that all basic safety requirements are met. This way, both you and your baby can sleep soundly.


About Amy @ Oh So Savvy Mom

Amy is mom to three, wife to one, and a sister and aunt to many. Her family is a former military family now settled in Lehi, Utah. Oh So Savvy Mom began as a way for Amy to share parenting and product advice with others. Just as she has evolved, Oh So Savvy Mom has evolved into a resource for Healthy Living for Families, Food, Parenting, and Family Travel.


  1. Thanks for all the info. I agree with the best bedding is no bedding. Also, I have never seen the "Honest Compnay Cribs" so I will definitely have to check into these.
  2. Great information Amy. I have been reading all these crib safety tips recently as I'm training my 8-month-old son to sleep on crib. And gotta say that your article is one of the most insightful that I could find online. Thank you so much for sharing this out.