Choosing a bed for your newborn. Recommendations for safe infant bedding.
A newborn baby sleeps most of the time. Restful sleep is the source of mental development, cheerfulness, activity and vitality for your infant. That is why you should carefully choosе a safe baby cot. Every detail is significant — size, color, material and construction.
Safe materials for a baby cot
The best material option for a baby bed is natural solid wood. Tree species differ in their properties. Pine crib is cheaper, but this tree contains resins, which may cause allergic reactions. Moreover, it is one of the softest wood used for furniture production. Therefore, more scratches and dents will remain on pine baby cot. In a few months, your baby will become very active and he will need a more durable baby cot.
Birch baby bed is environmentally friendly. It is also more solid and resistant to various manifestations of a baby’s activity. Beech furniture is the most durable. If you are planning more than one child, choose a beech baby bed. First, all your children and then your grandchildren will sleep in this bed.
Also, remember that new furniture — especially synthetic — has an industrial smell. In order to get rid of this smell, buy a baby coat at least two weeks beforehand and place the cot into a well-ventilated place. By this means, you’ll avoid possible allergies.
Baby beds: extra features
Baby beds with pendulum mechanism are very comfortable. They help a mother to rock her newborn to sleep. However, when buying pendulum baby cot, remember two important things. After a few months, your baby will be able to rock the bed himself. All baby beds with pendulum mechanism should be equipped with special stops that allow you to block the pendulum. Now you can be sure that your baby won’t accidentally tilt the cot at night. Don’t buy a baby bad without such clamps.
The second important point is that pendulum in the cot can be longitudinal or transverse. Therefore, when you choose a place for a bed remember that there must be 7−10 or even more cm extra space on both sides for baby beds with transverse mechanism, and 7−10 cm in front of the footboard and headboard for longitudinal mechanism. This tip will help you avoid the unpleasant situation when the bed doesn’t fit into its place in the baby’s room.
There are baby beds with drawers. Typically, these beds have one or two drawers on wheels, which stand on the floor and are easily extended. The drawers give the opportunity to save space for toys or clothes. Not all of these beds have lids for the drawers. If the bottom of the bed is in high position, things in the drawers are visible and they collect dust. Usually baby beds with drawers are quite heavy, which excludes their mobility.
Baby cribs with changing table are usually equipped with a chest of drawers under the changing table and two more drawers under the crib.
Safety in baby bed
A good cot is the one with several levels of the bed bottom. During first months, a higher position of bottom will be convenient for parents — as in this position it’s easier to put your newborn in and out of the bed. Then change position of the bottom. Make sure that the depth of the crib is sufficient to protect you baby from falling out. If the design of your cot provides a descending side, make sure it is safe and won’t accidentally drop.
In addition, it is desirable to have a baby cot with a removable side. It will be very convenient for a 2−3-year-old child to get out of the bed, and will reduce the risk of injury.
A bed for a newborn baby should not have sharp corners and details. Many parents really want to have a beautiful crib with intricate carved detailing. However, an ideal baby cot is simple and durable. If the crib has many details and ornaments, it can only hurt a baby. Superfluous decoration is an additional danger. A baby can take different small parts and swallow them.
The distance between the bars of the crib should be at least 5−6 cm. In this case, your baby’s head, arm or leg won’t stuck. There shouldn’t be any difference between the size of the crib and the mattress.
Baby bed durability is important for the safety of the baby. Therefore, make sure that the details of the cot are tightly connected with each other. The crib must be able to withstand gusts of your baby’s enthusiasm and to be resistant to all types of his violent activity — jumping, swinging, etc. For this reason, high durability must be one of the main criteria while choosing a baby cot.
It is important that the crib stand on a flat surface. Otherwise, the baby will slide to one side. Check that the bed is stable and doesn’t shake. If this is a cot with a pendulum mechanism, fix it after your baby has fallen asleep. Check all joints and fastening details. Bolts and nuts must be hidden in the wood and securely closed with plugs. There mustn’t be cracks between the parts of the crib, otherwise the baby can hurt a finger. Make the bed examination regularly — every 4−5 days. Check, if everything is properly fixed. If problems are not noticed in time, they can lead to serious injuries.
All surfaces of the crib, to which the baby can reach, must be perfectly smooth. If there are any defects, they should be smoothed out with sandpaper and varnish. Otherwise, the baby may get scratched or get a splinter.
The right place for a baby cot is essential to the health and safety of your newborn baby. The crib mustn’t stand in the pass. No batteries and heaters nearby, so that the baby is not overheated. Sockets and appliances within reach are also risk factors. It is important that a crib stand in a place protected from drafts. So do not place it between the window and the door.
Useful cot safety accessories
Parents have all sorts of useful accessories that will help to provide additional comfort and safety for the baby in the cot.
- Bumper pads.
You can place soft bumper pads around the perimeter of the crib. Protection is the main function of the bumper pads. Bumpers protect the baby from several troubles. First, they do not allow a newborn to hit against the hard bars of the crib. Although a newborn can’t crawl or walk, soon it will begin to make active movements. Secondly, bumpers protect your baby from possible draughts. Thirdly, protective side will not allow little researchers to chew and lick the bars of the crib, especially when they start teething. Even if the crib is covered with non-toxic paint, licking it is not good for a baby’s health.
There are special security requirements for cot bumpers. All ties must be no longer than 15 cm, make sure that the bumper is firmly tied. You can also tuck it under the mattress.
- Removable silicone pads
Many modern cribs have special removable silicone pads on the sides and corners. Such protection is convenient for small «gnawers». Silicone pads will protect the growing baby teeth. If the cot has no silicone pads, you can purchase them separately.
This accessory is not a mandatory attribute of a child’s bedroom. It is more for beauty and comfort. Use a canopy only if the baby room is too sunny. Don’t forget to wash it very often, as the canopy collects a lot of dust, and this can cause allergies. Make sure that the canopy is firmly fixed, otherwise it may fall on your sleeping baby.
More tips to ensure a newborn’s safety in baby bed.
- Do not use pillows for newborns.
Lying on a pillow is harmful for the immature spine of a baby. A newborn can bury the nose into the pillow and suffocate.
- Do not leave big soft toys in the crib.
- Make sure the blanket doesn’t cover your newborn neck and head.
A baby can crawl under the blanket or pull it over the head. It is dangerous for a baby, as he can’t get out of the blanket himself. There are special straps and clamps that fix the blanket. You can also use a special baby sleeping bag. Its upper part is in the form of vest and fastens with a zipper or buttons.
There are special mesh blankets for kids. The fiber in these blankets allows the air to pass. This increases the degree of security: the baby won’t suffocate under the blanket.
- Don’t attach toys on long ribbons, laces or elastic bands to the baby bed!
A baby can entangle in them, which may lead to injury. If you want to entertain your baby with colorful toys, use baby mobiles.
- If you have animals at home, do not leave them in the room with sleeping baby unattended.
For example, a cat can jump from the side of the cot on your sleeping child and scare or scratch him. Cats are also a source of dangerous infections and allergens for a baby, especially if it is not fully home and sometimes goes out for a walk outside.
- Mind the pictures and bookshelves above the baby cot.
Even if you are sure that everything is securely fixed, a certain percentage of risk remains. It’s better to remove all the pictures and shelves.