Crib Safety Rules

One of the most important things you will get for your baby is her crib. Be careful when choosing a crib, especially if you are getting a used one. Make sure you are aware of the current safety standards and that your baby’s crib meets them. When you consider just how much time the average baby will spend in her crib, it becomes clear why it’s so important to make it the safest, most comfortable place you can. Here’s an average of how much time babies will spend in their cribs:

  • For the first two months, babies will average almost 16 hours of sleep per day. That’s 960 hours.
  • From three to six months, your baby will average about 14 ½ hours of sleep per day. That’s another 1,305 hours.
  • From seven months to one year, your baby will average about 14 hours of sleep. Chalk up another 2,520 hours of crib time for baby.
  • For the second year of baby’s life, he will average just a bit over 13 hours of sleep per day (and hopefully at least six hours of it at a single stretch). Assuming your baby uses the crib until her second birthday, which is about average, she will spend 4,745 hours in her crib during her second year.

All told, that’s 9,530 hours spent in the crib, even if you don’t have your baby in the crib while he’s awake. That’s roughly 54% of baby’s life that’s spent in the crib. Obviously, we want to make it as safe as we can for her.

Here are some tips to ensure your baby’s safety in the crib:

  • Mattress should be firm and fit snugly.
  • Slats should be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart. If a soda can passes through the slats of the crib, so can baby’s head.
  • No corner posts higher than 1/16 inch. Corner posts present a snag hazard with baby’s clothes and blankets.
  • No cutout designs on head and foot boards.
  • Drop side cribs should have at least two locking mechanisms to make sure older babies can’t release cribs accidentally.
  • When baby starts trying to climb out of crib, use a crib net or consider moving baby to a toddler bed.