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When To Buy Baby’s Crib & How To Make Sure It’s Safe

 

Pregnancy can be a confusing time for a first-time mom and the checklist can seem never-ending. Not to mention that you seem to be getting advice from every direction. But, first and foremost, you need to create a safe sleep environment for your baby. 

Although you can use a crib right away with a newborn, some parents choose to use a bassinet initially and then transition their infant to a crib after a few months. However, even if you’re not planning on using a crib immediately, it’s recommended to do your crib research during the second trimester — from four months to six months of your pregnancy. During this window, you have plenty of time to shop and set up the crib well before your due date, while you aren’t sleep deprived with a newborn.  

How long is a crib used for?

Cribs are usually used for the first two to three years of life. Your baby’s going to spend a lot of time in their crib, so make sure you see it as an investment. This means purchasing one that is built to last, includes a warranty and meets industry health standards, like the cribs handcrafted by our friends at Milk Street baby furniture. You’ll know your little one is ready to move into a toddler bed when they are noticeably too big for the crib and can climb out with minimal effort.

What are the important crib safety considerations?

All baby cribs manufactured after 2011 are required to meet U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission standards. One of these standards is that the date of manufacture must be printed somewhere on the crib, which makes it easy for parents to ensure it’s up to code. 

Here are a few more things new parents should look for in a safe crib:

Side bars: Crib slats or bars should be no wider than 2 3/8 inches apart. The Consumer Product Safety Commission suggests gauging if a soda can would fit through — if so, they’re dangerously far apart. Why? This spacing helps prevent baby from slipping out or getting stuck. Cribs with cutouts on the headboard and footboard should also be avoided for the same reason.

Skip the bumper: The American Academy of Pediatrics has noted the risks posed by bumpers, and there’s no evidence that they make the crib environment safer for baby. 

Sturdiness: Make sure the crib doesn’t wobble when you shake it. If it moves it might have been put together improperly. And if the crib is on wheels, make sure they lock in place.

Corner posts: The height of corner posts should not exceed 1/16 of an inch. Anything taller can catch your child’s clothing. Look for any screws or nails that stick out anywhere on the crib.

The importance of a firm crib mattress: The American Academy of Pediatrics, the Consumer Products Safety Commission and First Candle all recommend a firm, snug-fitting sleep surface that reaches every corner of the crib’s frame with no gaps. If more than two fingers fit between the crib and the side of the mattress, the mattress is too small. Mattresses should be dense and not sag under your baby’s weight. 

A good crib mattress is essential to keeping your baby protected and comfortable while sleeping. In fact, carefully selecting your crib mattress is one of the most important things you can do as a new parent. Wait to buy a mattress until after you’ve picked out and purchased a crib, because the proper fit is absolutely essential. 

Bare is best: There should be no toys, stuffed animals, pillows or blankets inside the crib with your baby. The only bedding they’ll need is a fitted sheet that is suitable for the mattress. If your little one seems cold, use a sleep sack to keep baby warm while sleeping without having the risk of loose blankets that might smother baby.

Cords and strings: Keep the crib away from windows, curtains, cords and anything else your little one can pull. Hanging baby mobiles are okay to use as long as they’re kept out of reach.

Deciding on the right crib is a huge decision that you’ll want to start thinking about by the mid-point of your pregnancy. Not only is it the foundation of the nursery, it also keeps your new addition safe as they slumber away.

 

New Year Crib Safety Checklist For Parents

Becoming a new parent is a blessing in so many ways. Along with all of the amazing first moments, there are also challenges, such as keeping baby out of harm’s way. As 2021 brings new opportunities and refreshed priorities, let one of your resolutions be to keep your little one as safe as possible in their crib. 

 

Your baby will often be unattended when in his or her crib, so this should be a completely safe environment. Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the unexplained death, usually during sleep, of a healthy baby less than a year old. SIDS is sometimes known as crib death because the infants often die in their cribs. In 80 percent of these cases, babies were either sleeping in an adult bed or in their crib/bassinet with pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, fluffy bumpers or loose clothing. 

 

With COVID-19 unfortunately being so widespread, it is one more potential stressor for babies and parents. So Colgate Mattress wants to lighten your load a bit by helping you make sure infants have the safest sleep environment possible. We encourage you to follow the below checklist from the Safe Sleep Guidelines developed by The American Academy of Pediatrics: 

 

Back To Sleep For Every Sleep

  • Infants should be placed for sleep in a supine position (wholly on the back) for every sleep by every caregiver until the child reaches 1 year of age.  
  • Side sleeping is not safe and is not advised. 
  • Skin-to-Skin is care is recommended for all mothers and newborns, regardless of feeding or delivery method, immediately following birth (as soon as the mother is medically stable and awake) for at least an hour. Thereafter, or when the mother needs to sleep or take care of other needs, infants should be placed supine in a bassinet. 

 

Use A Firm Sleep Surface

  • Infants should be placed on a firm sleep surface (eg, mattress in a safety-approved crib) covered by a fitted sheet with no other bedding or soft objects to reduce the risk of SIDS and suffocation. 
  • Infants should never be left to sleep on sofas, armchairs or in sitting devices. 
  • Soft bedding remains a risk for infants older than 4 months 

 

Keep Soft Objects And Loose Bedding Away From The Infant’s Sleep Area 

  • Soft objects such as pillows and pillow-like toys, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, and loose bedding can obstruct an infant’s nose and mouth.  
  • Infant sleep clothing is preferable to blankets and other coverings to keep the infant warm 
  • Bumper pads are similar products that attach to crib slats or sides are not recommended for infants. 
  • A large percentage of infants who die of SIDS are found with their head covered by bedding. Therefore, no pillows, sheets, blankets, or any other items that could obstruct infant breathing or cause overheating should be in the bed. 

 

Room Share Without Bed Sharing

  • Infants should sleep in the parents’ room, close to the parents’ bed, but on a separate surface (room sharing). The infant’s crib, portable crib, play yard or bassinet should be placed in the parent’s bedroom for at least 6 months, but preferably a year. 
  • Even though it is not recommended that infants sleep on the same surface as the parents, there are times when parents may fall asleep while feeding their infant. Evidence suggests that it is less hazardous to fall asleep with the infant in the adult bed than on a sofa or armchair, should the parent fall asleep.  
  • Because there is evidence that the risk of bedsharing is higher with longer duration, if the parent falls asleep while feeding the infant in bed, the infant should be placed back on a separate sleep surface as soon as the parent awakens. 

 

Explore more recommendations and relevant resources to create a safe sleep environment for your baby at The American Academy of Pediatrics’ website.

stressed parents working with baby

5 Tips for Managing Parenthood Overload During Stressful Times

stressed parents trying to work with baby

When daycares and schools close, the mental load of parenthood increases. If you’re feeling overwhelmed right now, like millions of other parents out there, this one’s for you. Here are 5 tips for managing parenthood during this stressful time.

Stay home, and stay connected 

Social distancing and “shelter in place” mandates may require us to stay in our homes, but that doesn’t mean we have to completely isolate. It’s important to stay in communication with family, friends and neighbors, as well as find ways to keep calm. Use the phone, text, video chat and email – all means possible – to stay connected to people who matter to you. Especially those who can help provide a sense of calm.

Ask for help

Now is the time to turn toward each other. We are here to help each other out, so avoid being a do-it-yourselfer when you’re not qualified. Reach out to a clear-thinking person to ask what she thinks or what he would do about stockpiling food, taking that road trip, talking to little Suzi about what’s going on with grandpa in the hospital. You may choose not to follow their advice, but it’s always helpful to have another perspective.

Don’t procrastinate about preparing

Anxiety can mount if we postpone or ignore expert counsel. Inaction will make fear grow. If you haven’t done your best to get a couple of extra weeks’ supply of food or medication, do it today. If you feel frozen, ask a buddy to push you to act and help you make wise decisions about how much you need of what.  

Remember to self-care

Now, more than ever, self-care is essential. Slow down, engage in healthy practices and try to continue regular routines that bring comfort and stability. Conversation, exercise and spiritual practices are good starting points. And don’t forget about the healing impacts of making art, singing, journaling and being useful to others. Make a point to find a little peace of mind, even if you start with just one thing.

Place your baby (safely) to sleep, so you can recharge

While your little one sleeps, you will have a little time to refuel your mothering self. Take a hot shower, watch the latest episode of her favorite TV show, or even take an online yoga class. 

Colgate Mattress offers the following advice for baby’s safe sleep:

  • Your baby should sleep on a firm mattress covered with only a tight-fitting crib sheet.
  • Use a wearable blanket or other type sleeper, instead of  blankets, to keep your baby warm and safe during sleep.
  • Crib bumpers, wedges and positioners should never be used in your baby’s sleep area.
  • Do not place any other items in the crib.
  • Always place your baby on his or her back for sleep.

A note from your friends at Colgate Mattress. Do not let fear stop you from acting with clarity, compassion and courage. Unfortunate things happen, but it is still possible to move forward with love and hope.

Enter the “Flip My Crib” Contest

flip my crib

Every year 3,700 infants die due to sleep-related deaths

That’s more than 10 babies a day. Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the unexplained death, usually during sleep, of a seemingly healthy baby less than a year old. Of those, about 90 percent of SIDS cases occur before baby hits the 6-month mark.

SIDS is sometimes known as crib death because the infants often die in their cribs. A great majority of these deaths could be prevented by following the Safe Sleep Guidelines developed by The American Academy of Pediatrics.

 

What does a safe crib environment look like?

Did you receive the most beautiful handmade blanket or precious stuffed animal from a friend or family member? We know you may feel the desire to let your baby sleep with their cute gift, but it is simply not safe.

Keep it clean and simple when setting up your crib. Here are a few tips to creating the safest sleep environment for your baby:

  1. The crib should not have bumper pads.
  2. Provide a firm mattress with a fitted sheet.
  3. Remove from the crib any stuffed animals, blankets or anything with soft surfaces that could possibly block baby’s airway during sleep.
  4. Lay your baby on his/her back.
  5. If the crib is near a window, remove pull cords or use cord shorteners on window dressings.

By following these simple guidelines, you can help reduce your infants’ risk of SIDS.

 

How can I help spread awareness?

During April and May, we are teaming up with First Candle to kick off the “Flip My Crib” campaign to help raise SIDS awareness and increase education for Safe Sleep Guidelines.

We need moms, dads and influencers to help model a safe sleep environment to generate visibility for unaware parents, grandparents and other caregivers and help them understand the vital importance of safe sleep practices.

 

“Flip My Crib” Contest

You can help us educate families on what a safe sleep environment looks like while entering into the chance to win a prize bundle valued at over $250, including a bag from Petunia Pickle Bottom, a $60 gift card for Blue Apron, a sleep sack and other educational toys for baby! Plus, for every photo submitted a donation will be made by Colgate Mattress to First Candle.

 

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Snap a photo of your safe-for-baby nursery or crib.
  2. Follow both @ColgateMattress AND @FirstCandle
  3. Comment using @colgatemattress and @firstcandle AND hashtag #FlipMyCrib in your post

The contest winner will be announced on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 12th! We hope you will help us educate families so that we can reduce the number of sleep-related deaths in the US.

For more information and resources, please visit https://firstcandle.org/.