Parenting & Pregnancy

How to Buy a Safe Baby Bed


You will need something for your baby to sleep on. He won’t be fussy as long as it is comfortable. It should also be secure, with a safety mattress that has air vents at the end where his head will be. A bassinet with a hood to keep out drafts and protect his eyes from direct light will be suitable, as will a baby buggy.

At about three months, you will need to move him into a crib. Some have adjustable bases so you can raise the mattress for ease of access and gradually lower it as he learns to pull himself up on the bars. Many cribs have a dropside mechanism, so you can lower one side to lift your baby in and out and change the bedding.

Cribs are expensive, and safety standards have improved in recent years. Some models convert into a child-sized bed which will last for a number of years.

Bed linen checklist

All crib bedding should be flame-resistant:

• Cotton sheets. Fitted sheets are best.

• Cotton waffle-weave blankets — light, warm, and easy to layer.

Safety first

• Make sure that the handles of a basket or carrier are robust and distribute your baby’s weight evenly when it is picked up.

• Choose a crib with bars no more than 2 1/2 in (6cm) apart. A larger gap is dangerous: your baby could get his head stuck between the bars, or his body could fall through and trap his head.

• Be sure that the mattress meets safety standards and that it fits snugly. A gap of more than 1-1/2 in (4cm) is unsafe because your baby might trap his head between the mattress and the side of the crib. You need a mattress that is firm and smooth; it should mold to your baby’s shape.

• Don’t use a crib more than 15 years old. The spacing of the bars may be too wide, and old paint finishes and varnishes may not conform to current standards.

• Don’t choose a dropside crib with a large-screw or screws at the top. Such screws could catch your baby’s clothing. In addition, you should make certain that as your baby grows bigger, he cannot operate the side himself

• Make sure that the paint is nontoxic and that there are no decals on the inside where the baby can reach them.

• Adjust the layers of blankets to provide your baby with a constant temperature while he sleeps.


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