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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Crib Safety by the Numbers

Your baby’s crib is perhaps the most important piece of safety equipment you will have in your house. You need to make sure that crib is safe and secure, and that it’s a comfortable place for your baby to rest her head at night.

You need to recognize just how important that crib is. Here are some facts about your baby’s sleep habits and his time in the crib you might not know:
  • Your baby is going to sleep an average of 16 hours a day for the first two months. That adds up to 960 hours, and the vast majority of the time is going to be in the crib.
  • The following four months – from age three months to age six months – that sleep amount drops slightly to about 14.5 hours a day. That gives you another 1,300+ hours, much of which is crib time.
  • The remainder of the first year gives you an average of another 2,500 hours of sleep time.
All told, you’re looking at nearly 5,000 hours of sleep in the first year. Assuming ¾ of that is in the crib, you’re talking about 3,250 crib hours. Now, you can begin to see why the crib needs to be safe, secure, and comfortable.

Here are some things you can do when buying a crib to help baby be safe:
  • If you’re buying a used crib, check out the Consumer Products Safety Commission to make sure there hasn’t been a recall on that particular model. Crib recalls are common, so do the homework before you buy used.
  • On any crib, the slats should not be any greater than about 2.5 inches apart. If you can put a can of pop through the slats, your baby can probably get his head stuck in there.
  • Corner posts should not have the potential for snags that can catch your baby’s clothing or blanket.
  • Headboards and footboards should not have cut-out designs.
  • Make sure the crib’s dropping side has a minimum of two locks so that your baby – as she gets older – isn’t able to accidentally release the crib side.
  • When your baby begins climbing, consider switching to a toddler bed as soon as possible.

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