With "bed" here we refer to any baby size bed, usually wood, with a frame
(made up by the slats) around it to ensure baby cannot roll or fall
Some cribs have adjustable mattress heights. These can be used during
the first months when there is no risk yet of climbing out. With
the mattress higher upÂ you don't have to reach so deep to put
your little one in or take her out.
A safe bed
will have the following characteristics:
The bed is in
a perfect condition and correctly assembled. No loose or
slats high enough or the
deep enough to prevent baby from rolling out, or an older
baby from climbing out.
between the slats from 4,5 cm (1 3/4 inches) to 6,5 cm (2
and tight-fitting mattress so that baby cannot get stuck
between the mattress and bedside or slats.
No toys, pillows, quilts, stuffed animals,
strings, ... in the bed. In short:
a safe bed holds the baby and nothing but the baby
Crib bumpers (often used to decorate and soften the
sides of the bed) are not OK to use as they are deemed unsafe, even for babies who are not mobile yet, as per
these AAP recommendations
is OK as long as it cannot be reached and pulled into the bed. It should be removed from above the crib once your baby can sit up alone
like screws or protection pads can come loose
or stick out.
Crib material and all paint used should be safe; verify this with the manufacturer's specifications. Also think of safe crib rails with plastic top covers for during teething.
Crib safety questions
Is a travel crib safe?
used but is really only recommended when the real crib is not at hand, e.g.
when traveling or sleeping over at family or friends.
Most of all the travel crib must be in an excellent condition, be set up
correctly, have sturdy sides, have a firm and tight-fitting mattress and no gaps between mattress and crib ... and have nothing
but the baby in it.
When can I use a small pillow in the
Never use a
pillow under two years old.
The head can sink in the pillow and that prevent good breathing.
A pillow will also heat up your child which can be dangerous as well.
Can I use a duvet, blanket or quilt as a cover?
warm covers will heat up your baby too much which increases the risk of
It is better to use a layer, or several layers, of light
blankets/sheets. Remember to place the feet at the foot end of
the bed so she can not slide downwards and under the covers.
Heidi Holvoet, PhD, is the founder of the Baby Sleep Advice website and movement, an award-winning author, baby & toddler sleep consultant with 14+ years experience as well as a certified lactation counselor.
Over the years, Heidi has received several awards inluding a Mom's Choice Award (MCA) and National Parenting Awards (NAPPA) for her Baby Sleep Advice website, programs and books.
She is also a member of the Association of Professional Sleep Consultants of which she was one of the earliest contributors. She obtained her PhD degree in physics at the University of Ghent in Belgium.
Heidi is passionate about helping babies and their parents sleep more and better, with her trademark approach that has been proven and praised time and again by parents worldwide to be effective and truly no-tears. Respect for you as a parent and your baby, is at the heart of Heidi's warm and kind support. Her approach always keeps in mind a baby's needs and abilities at any given age, is based on pediatric science and the most up to date knowledge in infant care and sleep science.