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Your baby's crib is one of the most important furniture purchases you will ever make. Though guests will not be asked to sit on it, and it will not be in your home for too terribly long, it's your child's dreamland for the first year or two. You and your baby are relying on its security and safety to get many a good night's sleep.

When buying a crib, you need to do seven safety checks:

  • The slats need to be no more than 2-3/8 inches apart.

  • The corner posts should be no higher than 1/6 inch so that your baby's clothes cannot get caught.

  • There should be no decorative cutouts that your child's head might get stuck in.

  • The mattress needs to fit into the crib so that there are no more than two finger widths between the edge of the mattress and the crib.

  • The mattress support should be firmly attached at both the headboard and footboard.

  • The drop-side latches should be inaccessible to your child and impossible for them to release.

  • All the appropriate screws and bolts should be present and should fit in tightly.

If you're assembling the crib yourself, follow the directions very, very carefully. The safety of your baby's crib is in your hands. If you have any safety concerns about the crib you purchased, or any other furniture or supplies you and your baby depend on, contact the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) any time of the day or night at 1-800-638-2772 or

The contents of your baby's crib are just as important to your baby's safety as the crib itself. Make sure that none of the toys you put into or near the crib have strings that are longer than six inches, and none of the toys should be thick or plush. It is very important that your baby's crib remain free of all soft bedding and toys, which have been associated with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). You want to put your baby to bed, face-up, in a warm sleeper rather than under a blanket. If you do use a blanket, it should be thin enough for your baby to breathe through, and you should tuck it around the crib mattress and up only as far as your baby's chest. With your baby safely put to bed each night, you may be able to get some sleep yourself in the coming months!


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