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!

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.

Kids Bedroom Furniture: Tips On Choosing Beds & Bunks For Kids

Attractive dark wooden bunk bed with staircase and trundle
Attractive dark wooden bunk bed with staircase and trundle
The Merlot Twin Staircase Bunk Bed with Trundle has a five star customer rating on Amazon

Sleep is such an important part of life for children. Many children suffer from a lack of good sleep and the results are not fun for anyone- cranky kids can be whiny or even hyper. They don’t perform as well in school as rested kids and they tend to leave their parents feeling frustrated and exhausted. For many kids, a new and exciting bed might be enough to make going to sleep a lot more appealing. Here are some tips on choosing good beds for kids.

One of the most exciting options is getting bunk beds for kids. Kids love to climb up on top and today’s bunk beds are a lot safer than they used to be, although you still have to follow the instructions and age guidelines set by the manufacturer. This is perfect for kids who share a room and it’s also a great way to save some space because you don’t have to place two beds side by side or use a double bed in the room. For this reason, bunk beds have maintained their popularity in kids bedroom furniture for many years. A captains bed provides a similar space saving function, with it’s drawers underneath.

One rendition of the bunk bed that can be adapted to rooms where only one child sleeps is the loft bed. The child still gets to enjoy all the fun of climbing up to the top bunk to go to sleep while you get the benefits of saving floor space in the room. Instead of having another bed in the bottom, a loft bed has a piece of furniture under it such as a desk or some drawers or cabinets. Sometimes kids with small rooms are forced to do their homework on the bed, which isn’t an ideal situation and not good for their backs either. With this type of kids bedroom furniture, the child has their own space to work that is separate from their bed.

Another variation on the bunk bed is the L shaped low-line bunk. In this case the top bunk is only around a 120cm (4 feet) off the ground, and the bottom bunk only has one end under the top bunk. This is the system we used when our three year old moved in with her older brother (aged 7). We felt that having a full size bunk bed was simply not safe with a three year old sharing the room, but couldn’t fit two beds in the room without removing all the other furniture. With this system not only could we manage the two beds, but the half of the top bunk not over the bottom bed had space under it for a good size set of drawers, and room at the back for a kid to hide!

On the down side, changing the sheets on the bottom bunk in this system was even harder than for a normal bunk bed, as the foot end of the bottom bunk only has about a one foot clearance under the top bunk! However, the two beds are completely structurally separate, so eventually we will be able to move the top bed into a separate room and use it as a loft bed, with lots of storage space under, making the set a good long term investment for our kid’s rooms.

Theme beds are popular with toddlers who are moving from the crib to their first “big kid” bed. This can be a scary and confusing time for your young one so getting a fun bed can really help make it something to look forward to. Princess beds are a lot of fun for girls. Boys can’t seem to get enough of the toddler beds shaped like cars and trains. These beds usually have removable sides that keep toddlers from rolling out until they are old enough to sleep in the bed without barriers.

Buying your kid the right bed will pay off for you and your family because you won’t be dealing with a tired kid and you will even get more sleep yourself! Take the time to choose a well-made bed that appeals to your child and you will be rewarded for your efforts. Choosing kids bedroom furniture that works for your house and your children can be time consuming, but in the end, it’s worth getting it right.