Crib Bedding Safety Standards
You want your crib bedding to be beautiful and soft, but you also want it to be safe. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development have created a list of new safe crib bedding recommendations.Keep this list in mind as you search for the perfect coordinated crib bedding set:
- Use a firm, tight-fitting mattress in a crib that meets or exceeds all current mandatory and voluntary safety standards.
- Remove all plastic wrapping materials from the mattress. Never use plastic bags as a mattress cover: plastic bags may suffocate infants.
- Place your baby on their back to sleep. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies under 1 year should be put to sleep on their back to help reduce the risk of SIDS. Around 6 months, your baby may find a different sleeping position more comfortable. If this makes you nervous, you can always use a sleep positioner to help keep your baby on their back or side.
- Remove all pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, and stuffed toys from your baby's crib. Never place infants on top of fluffy or loose bedding. Fluffy or loose bedding can cover your baby's head and face, becoming a suffocation hazard.
- Consider placing your baby in a full sleeper or a sack-style nightgown as an alternative to blankets. A fleece sleeper will provide enough warmth for your baby during most times of the year.
- If you need to use a blanket, place your baby, feet first, at the foot of the crib. Tuck a thin blanket around the foot and sides of the crib mattress and pull it up only as far as your baby's chest. This leaves your baby's arms free and unrestrained. This not only decreases the chance of your baby rolling over onto their belly, but helps your infant feel bundled and secure, similar to swaddling.
- Make sure your baby's head is uncovered and free of pillows or stuffed toys while sleeping.
- Never place your baby on a waterbed, soft sofa, soft mattress, pillow, or other soft surface to sleep.
If after following these recommendations, you are still uneasy or nervous about leaving your baby unattended to sleep in their crib, you can install a baby monitor. A baby monitor can give you a constant auditory or visual account of your baby's movements.