How to: Create a Nursery Inspired by Safe Sleep

Baby_featureMany parents and caregivers feel the need to nest to create a peaceful space for newborn children. Yet, with so many hazardous products on the market, and mixed messages coming from advertisers, creating a nursery inspired by safe sleep does require a little extra effort. This blog post will share tips for better understanding safe sleep and creating a safe sleep environment for the infants in your life.

Why is Safe Sleep Important? Safe sleep strategies protect babies from Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) and other hazards. The most up-to-date research about safe sleep suggests that babies should sleep alone on their backs on a firm surface in a crib, bassinet, or play yard. Don’t include additional bedding, blankets, or pillows (including crib bumper pads), which can put a child at risk for accidental suffocation, asphyxiation, or strangulation. Although experts recommend infants sleep in the same room as parents or caregivers, sharing a bed (or other sleeping surface) is dangerous – 2 out of 3 babies who died while sleeping were sharing an adult bed, couch, or chair. Check the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP’s) most recent safe sleep guidelines for a full overview on current safe sleep practices.

Only Buy and Install Products that Meet the Current Safety Standards

Whether you’re putting your baby in a crib, bassinet, or play yard, make sure the structure is sturdy and that it doesn’t pose any risk of choking, entrapment, lacerations or other injuries. Always buy products that haven’t been recalled and meet the most recent federal safety standards.

  • Cribs are involved in more infant deaths than any other nursery product. Choose cribs that are manufactured on or after June 28, 2011 and therefore meet the strongest crib safety standards in the world. Choose a bassinet that was manufactured on or after April 23, 2014, or a play yard manufactured on or after February 28, 2013. Use a firm mattress and a tight-fitting sheet.
  • When purchasing durable children’s or nursery products – like cribs, play yards, or bassinets – it is important to register your product with the manufacturer. This is the only way that manufacturers are required to inform you in the event of a recall. Click here for a list of product registration pages for major manufacturers.

Never Include Additional Items in the Crib
Soft bedding, blankets, pillows, and crib bumper pads can be a suffocation hazard if they cover an infant’s mouth and obstruct breathing. During colder months, we recommend using sleep-sacks or wearable blankets rather than blankets to keep baby warm. Although stuffed animals and toys make look cute and cuddly, they should be left outside of your child’s sleep space – decorate the room not the crib!

Where to Find More Information
To check your nursery products for recalls, visit www.cpsc.gov. You can also visit http://www.SaferProducts.gov to read safety reports posted by other consumers, even before a product is recalled. For more information on safe sleep, check out the KID website or the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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