A Safe Crib

One question when preparing for your new baby is how to decorate the crib.
If you go in any baby store there are lots of options of cute bumper pads and beautiful matching blankets. You can find them in any theme you want: jungle animals, princess, spider man, and many more. They are adorable.

What the stores do not tell you is that your baby’s crib should be plain and boring.
Yes, a safe crib should only contain a firm mattress covered with a fitted sheet. No bumper pads and no cute comforter!



The reason a boring crib is recommended is to help in the prevention of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Unfortunately we still do not know the exact cause of SIDS but we do know some things which reduce the number of SIDS deaths.

The recommendations for safe sleep for the first year are:
1. Place babies on their backs to sleep, both at nighttime and at nap-time. Research shows that this is the only recommended position for sleep and it is known to reduce the risk of SIDS. Fewer babies die of SIDS when they sleep on their backs.
2. Place babies on a firm mattress in an approved crib. Do not put babies to sleep on soft mattresses, sofa, sofa cushions, waterbeds, sheepskins, or other soft surfaces.
3. Remove all fluffy and loose bedding from the sleep area. Make sure you take all pillows, quilts, stuffed toys, and other soft items out of the crib. Loose blankets increase the risk of entanglement.
4. Make sure the baby’s head and face stay uncovered during sleep. Keep the baby’s mouth and nose clear of blankets and other coverings during sleep. Research shows that some infants may have difficulty handling the re-breathing of their own air. Good ventilation around the baby’s face has been shown to be beneficial in the prevention of SIDS.

5. Do not let babies overheat during sleep. Keep babies comfortable during sleep, not too warm or too cold. Too many layers of clothing or blankets can overheat babies. Babies have difficulty bringing their body temperature down if they are overheated.

6. There should not be any loose blankets in the crib. Young babies sleep best when they are tightly swaddled to control their arms. When no longer able to be swaddled, sleep sacks work well in place of a blanket.

As a Sleep Consultant I do not recommend mobiles or other toys attached to the side of the crib. We want our babies to associate the crib with sleep, not play. Sleep is our goal because a tired baby is a grumpy baby. A well-rested baby will be happy.

Helping Babies Sleep


Arlene Fryling

Arlene is a registered nurse and certified sleep consultant for children 0-5 years. She has cared for premature, sick, and many healthy babies. For over 15 years she has taught expectant parents how to care for their newborns through classes teaching basic baby care, infant massage classes, and moderating support groups for new moms as they deal with parenting issues.

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