Keeping Your Toddler Safe At Night

Toddler bed with removable safety rail, and toddler climbing carefully around it.While the risk of SIDS is greatly reduced by the time an infant reaches the age of one, parents of toddlers should still be concerned about and take action to ensure their child’s safety. The three greatest steps a parent can take are to make the crib/bed safe, childproof the room for mobile toddlers, and monitor their toddler.

Make Their Crib/Bed Safe

You can breathe a sigh of relief when your child turns one that your fears of SIDS haven’t come true, but don’t get careless with your toddler’s nighttime safety. Suffocation is still a risk that you should take steps to minimize. Don’t let your toddler sleep with too many toys, especially plush toys or stuffed animals. Don’t put any toys with ropes or strings near the bed. While your child can now sleep with a blanket, continue to limit blankets, quilting, and other bedding to what is necessary. Try to wait until your child is at least 18 months old to introduce a pillow, and only do so when the pillow will help them be more comfortable and sleep better, which may not be until they are three years or more. All of these actions can protect from suffocation and give you peace of mind when your little one is sleeping.

One of the biggest questions parents of toddlers face is when to transfer their child to a “big boy” or “big girl” bed. For safety, wait as long as you can for this transition. Many parents make the switch when their son or daughter starts climbing out of his/her crib. While it’s easier to control what a toddler gets into from a crib, your child could get hurt by falling when climbing out of his/her crib, so the actions of escape artistry are good signs to make the switch. With a toddler bed, you will still need to be concerned about safety. Keep up your precautions against suffocation. Put toddler rails on the sides of the bed so your child doesn’t fall out. And be sure to childproof the room so your toddler can be safe at any hour.

Childproof Their Room

You may worry about your toddler getting into trouble while they’re alone in their room, and these fears can be well-founded. When your child can get out if his/her crib at will, things that posed no threat because they were far from the crib are suddenly hazards you need to deal with.

One of your top priorities needs to be the safety of the furniture in your child’s room. Every year many toddlers are injured from pulling furniture over on top of themselves, and too many of these preventable accidents are fatal. Check whether each piece of furniture can bear the full weight of your toddler if he/ she were to climb on it. Play it safe by anchoring furniture to the wall with specially-designed straps. And clear anything that would fall if pulled or shaken. Also consider covering the sides of sharp edges and corners on furniture that could cause serious damage if your child fell onto them.

Use a hand sander to smooth the corner edges of walls. Check for other sharp corners that need to be smoothed as it can prevent a serious bruise on their head if they directly hit the wall corner. If your hand sander is not working, you can find the right parts to repair it here.

Turn a keen eye to anything else in the room that could be a hazard. This includes electrical outlets. At minimum protect your child against electrical shock by using outlet plugs. These may not be enough, though, if your child can mimic you and knows how to take them out. Consider investing in special outlet covers for top safety. Also, you may want to cover up any exposed cords if your child is likely to pull them out. And finally, think of whether any toys are too dangerous to allow easy access to (again, ones with strings may be big concerns), and put these where your child can only play them with under supervision.

You may feel like your childproofing is a little excessive, but you can never be too safe when protecting your kids. It only takes one curious night for your child to get seriously injured, so prevent dangers before you are forced to respond to them.

Monitor Your Child

This one may go without saying, but many parents may need the reminder. You may have been okay letting your child play safely in their crib, but a child can get into a lot more trouble with a whole room to explore. You can use a video monitor to keep an eye on your son/daughter, and check on them frequently if you know they’re awake. Be ready to intervene as the need arises.

No parent can stop worrying completely about their toddler being safe at night. But following these tips will help you minimize threats and hazards and give you peace of mind that your child is safe in his or her room at any time of day or night.

In Brief: New Safety Standards for Toddler Beds in the US

A new safety standard for toddler beds has been approved in the United States by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission this week. The new standard builds on existing ASTM voluntary standard for toddler beds (F1821-09) adding extra protections to prevent injuries.

The new standards include requirements that

  • The upper edge of the guardrail must be at least five inches above the toddler bed’s mattress.
  • Spindle/slat strength testing for toddler beds must be consistent with the testing required for crib spindles/slats.
  • Separate warning labels to address entrapment and strangulation hazards must appear on toddler beds.

Naturally, these standards will also apply to baby cribs which convert to toddler beds.

For more information see the CPSC’s press release.

Baby Cribs Should Be Chosen With Safety in Mind

Dream On Me 4 in 1 Aden Convertible Mini CribMost families are very excited when a new baby is on the way. Getting the nursery ready and buying all of the things that will keep baby safe and comfortable are part of making the house ready.

This has been discussed in other articles here, but it cannot be emphasised too much: when purchasing baby cribs and other baby furniture, it is important to think about safety first.

The crib is where newborn babies and infants spend most of their sleeping time. Cribs should be chosen for their safety features rather than just their beauty. Heirloom cribs might not meet current safety standards designed to keep babies safe.

Baby Cribs should be sturdy, with sides that will not fall down when an older infant or toddler begins to pull up. The mattress should fit snugly to the sides of the crib to prevent a baby from becoming entrapped between the sides of the crib and the mattress.

One of the most important safety characteristics of baby cribs is the distance between the slats. There should be no more than 2 3/8 inches between the slats. This keeps a baby’s head from becoming entrapped between the slats. Corner posts should be no more than 1/16 inch tall to prevent a baby’s clothing from getting hung on the posts. There should be decorative cutouts that would allow entrapment.

Due to the importance of having a safe crib, it is important to purchase baby cribs and other baby furniture from stores that sell the safest products. Well meaning friends and family might have used or hand-me-down heirloom baby cribs that they would like to share, but some of these might be unsafe. The same goes for used baby cribs purchased at yard sales or used furniture stores. When this type of crib is purchased, it should meet the highest safety standards.

It may cost a little more to buy a crib that meets today’s safety standards, but keeping baby in a safe environment is priceless!

Picking Out a Baby Mobile

So which baby crib mobile is the best one and does it really matter which one you choose?

Most new parents are probably extremely excited to start decorating the nursery and planning the theme for the new baby’s room and there might not be a lot of consideration into the type of mobile you purchase.

It is common to simply choose something that will match the theme of the room but it doesn’t have to stop there.
Many baby mobiles come fully equipped with music as well as movement though there are quite a few that do not.

Both kinds can be of benefit, and non-motorised mobiles can often be spun or bounced while your baby is watching to engage her attention, which can be particularly beneficial when you are changing her diaper and want her to stay calm. Mobiles can be hung over baby cribs or change tables, or in a place that is visible from both.

If you want something that will soothe your little one then consider getting one that comes with music in addition to movement. The movement and the music both capture baby’s attention and engage her.

They both serve a purpose and the music just makes it easier to relax your baby when she starts to fuss. Many mobiles come with a wide selection of songs and sounds programmed into the mobile which is great for keeping your baby interested.

She might get tired of hearing the same song and it’s nice to offer her some variety in addition to new and different sounds. Many also come with sweet lullabies that can help put your baby to sleep and calm her especially when she doesn’t want to go to bed.

In addition, you can opt for a baby mobile that has different colors as well as characters attached. If you want even more options then look for those with soft, detachable animals that can later be used by your little one to play with and practice her dexterity.

This is especially helpful when she can no longer use the mobile. After they reach a certain age, it might be dangerous to keep a mobile hanging over the crib since many come with strings that may pose a hazard. If you have a mobile that hangs from the ceiling and is far out of your baby’s reach, then that is fine to leave in place.

For the first few months of your infant’s life do consider a mobile as they can help entertain her as well as sooth her.

Purchasing a New Crib

So you are wondering how you should go about purchasing a new crib. There are so many options out there, where is the best place to start? In the following article I will be giving you a few pointers to help you when trying to answer this question.

I for one am all for internet shopping. It just makes life so much easier and you can have all the best deals at just a few keystrokes distance. Some people don’t like shopping online because they are afraid that it might be unsafe and somebody could steal their information and, worst case scenario, steal their identity. My question to though is; isn’t it just as risky to give the waiter you credit card to pay? He’ll disappear for ten or fifteen minutes which is more than enough time to take a couple digital pictures of you card.

I am not saying this to make you stop paying by credit card when you go out to eat; I’m just trying to make a point. There are risks everywhere in life and I don’t think that we should let them dictate how to live or how to shop for that matter. I would take all necessary precautions of course and not give you credit card information to any iffy looking sites, but there are very trusted sites out there such as Amazon or Ebay. My point is I think the internet is a very viable option for shopping for new baby cribs.

You can also go the old fashioned way and go to the local baby store to buy a crib. This can rather limit your options to what they have in stock but you do have the advantage of seeing the crib ‘in the flesh’ which can give you a much better idea of whether or not you like it. You can also flood the salesperson with questions about the crib and get an instant response which is nice. You can also talk to them about crib safety, and you might spot your ideal baby blanket in the store too.

In conclusion I would say that shopping on the internet has a lot of advantages whereas shopping in a store kind of limits your options. I won’t tell you which is better as both have their times. I will say however that whether you are shopping in a store or on the internet be sure to do your research so that you can be assured that the crib that you choose is safe and secure for your baby.

Baby Crib Safety Tips

We have talked about different kinds of baby cribs, but what matters as well is crib safety which is usually taken for granted. In this article, we will talk about crib safety. For first-time parents, they are usually very particular with detail as well as new information about the welfare of their newborn. Being knowledgeable about safety is always the best for your baby.

Your old crib might still be okay but remember that if it is not new, there might be materials that are already lacking from that crib and so would be dangerous for your baby. That is why new purchase should always be considered. If you are going to purchase a second hand crib, make sure you are aware of the current safety standards in your country and that the crib meets them.

Decorative materials are not essential in buying your crib. Ribbons may look good along with the crib but your baby might pull it up and tangle it with himself so you better think twice.

Also take note of the slats in your crib. Slats that are too far apart are dangerous because a baby may get head, arms or legs trapped between them. In Australia, for instance, the standard is between 50mm and 95mm gaps. In the US it is no wider than 2 3/8 inches. Make sure your crib mattress fits closely into the crib, so your baby can not squeeze between the mattress and the side of the crib. Also, expecially with an older crib if it is painted you should check out that they used non-toxic paint. Remember that common respiratory infections are acquired through inhalation and most babies spends a lot of their time in their crib.

If you want to complete your crib then you need to purchase a mattress as well. For mattress reviews, you may visit: http://cribmattressratings.org. You can find there a lot of useful info about baby mattresses, including product reviews. You will also want to find the best baby bedding and your ideal baby blanket.

For further information about crib safety standards and relevant links see wikipedia.

Choosing Baby Cribs

Buying a baby crib is part of preparing for a new baby. Choosing the right cribs, bassinettes and moses baskets are important since the baby will spend quite a lot of time sleeping in them in the first few months. The practice of swaddling newborns means that most babies will be quite comfortable in a small crib or bassinette for the first three to six months of life, but after that a full size baby crib will be necessary.

As with all kids bedroom furniture, it is most important that the crib is safe and comfortable, but you may also want to choose one that fits the style of your nursery. There are many different types of baby cribs that you can select from:

The Standard Crib – This is the typical baby crib with just the frame, mattress and baby bedding.

The Canopy Crib – These come in rectangular or round shapes. They have a canopy to cover the baby when he/she is asleep. The baby bedding for a canopy crib include the canopy itself and can be pricey.

The Round Crib – These cribs come in a round shape. This makes them convenient since you can place them in a corner of the room and still have easy access to the baby, from either side.

The Convertible Crib – This is the most cost efficient crib today. It has the ability to convert into a toddler bed as the baby grows up, and some can also convert into a full sized bed that your child can use from teenage years into adulthood. This will save you the cost of buying a new bed once the baby outgrows the crib and becomes a toddler. It also means that you do not have to buy a bed as the child continues to grow. Of course they can be expensive; but then you will never have to pay for a new bed again.

The Portable Crib – These are the smallest types of baby cribs. If you have a small nursery then this may be your crib of choice. They are also low priced hence they will fit into any budget. Portable cribs, like the name suggests, are light in weight and fold up, and therefore ideal for travel. The downside is that you will have to find a new crib or bed in the short term because the baby will outgrow the portable crib more quickly than a full size crib.

Selecting baby cribs can be confusing. You want to give your baby the best that you can, and consider crib safety. You also have to consider your budget for the crib as you consider the budget for buying all the other items that a child will need when it comes into the world, from a baby blanket (or several) to baby sleepsuits and other clothes. You will also need to look at the size of the nursery. Once you know the size of the nursery and the budget that you can afford, then you will be prepared to go out a find a fantastic crib for your little bundle of joy.