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The Latest Crib Safety and Infant Sleep Guidelines

Better Crib Construction

On June 28, 2011, new legislation, HR 5386, went into effect, making it illegal to sell cribs with sides that drop down. This includes secondhand stores and yard sales. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s mandate for cribs manufactured after the law went into effect:

Bans cribs assembled with sides that drop down,

Requires cribs to have stronger supports for the mattress, and

Defines more comprehensive components of the testing protocols which include the integrity of the slats, the crib’s durability, and the strength of the mattress support.

Safety Check for Parents Buying a Crib

Check the rails. They should not drop or be adjustable, but fixed.

To prevent babies from falling through the slats or getting their heads stuck, the slats on the rails should be no further apart than 2-3/4 inches.

Check the mattress by pushing on the center and each side. It should be firm and spring back when you push on it.

The mattress should fit snugly in the crib leaving no room for an infant to get stuck there.

Product Recalls

A recall list is available at To ensure your child’s safety, always check for recalls and also check on cribs you borrow from hotels or from family or friends. If you buy a new crib, be sure to fill out the recall form and drop it in the mail. They’re usually postage-paid, and the company will send you a notification if their product has been recalled.

AAP Sleep Recommendations for Baby

In 2016, the American Academy of Pediatrics released new sleep guidelines for babies in order to prevent sleep-related deaths. These include:

  • Babies should always sleep in a crib or bassinet, not a bed, sofa, armchair or other surface.
  • Co-sleeping is strongly discouraged.
  • Set up the crib or bassinet in the parents’ bedroom, ideally for the first 12 months of baby’s life. This decreases instances of infant death by 50%.
  • For bedding, only use a fitted sheet, and make sure it’s tight. Do not use pillows or crib bumpers. Instead of blankets, keep baby warm with pajamas and (for newborns) a hat.
  • Do not place stuffed animals or toys in the crib. The only item in the crib should be your little one.
  • Place babies on their backs to sleep, not their bellies or sides.
  • Avoid exposing baby to secondhand smoke, including the odor on clothing.

These seem like a lot of rules, and we know they change with every generation. However, all of these recommendations are evidence-based and proven to reduce infant deaths. Save the toys for play time. Your little one will be having sweet dreams, and won’t mind complying with these guidelines at all.

Posted in Blog on April 7th, 2017