Baby cribs are not something that can be handed down from generation to generation. Safety standards are changing as incidents show certain styles of cribs are dangerous. A crib that is over ten years old may not be considered safe to use. Such cribs may have lead paint, cut outs, slates too far apart-you can easily slide a soda can between the slats, drop sides, and bed posts greater than 1/16″. Also the wear and tear on a crib will loosen joints and make the crib less structurally sound.
Inspecting the crib
Whenever you change the sheets on your baby’s crib, take time to inspect it. Stick your fingers between the mattress and the slates. If there is more than two fingers, stop using the crib. Look for any loose screws and tighten them. The crib is unsafe if any bolts, screws or parts are missing. Inspect joints to see if any are broken or have pulled apart. Cribs with joint failure need to be discarded. Shake the crib to determine if it is solid or feels wobbly.
What Not to Do
Do not continue to use cribs that have been recalled. Please refer often to the CPCS recall list.
Do not replace missing parts with your own screws or bolts. The parts on baby cribs are specifically designed to withstand stress. Do not attempt to fix using zip ties, wire or tape. Eventually all these will stretch causing gaps.
Do not place the broken side of a crib against a wall. The side can break causing the baby to slide between the crib side and mattress.
What to Do
If your crib failed the above inspection, stop using and move the baby to a playpen. Check to see if the playpen has been recalled. Do not add padding to the playpen as the baby may get trapped between it and the side of the playpen. Follow all the recommendations in the “Sweet Dreams Baby” article about items that should be in the playpen. Or if the baby is younger than six months and does not push herself up, she can be placed in a bassinet.
Before your baby starts pushing herself up on hands and knees, you will need to drop down the mattress. It should be all the way down before the baby can pull himself to a stand.
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