Posts Tagged ‘crib safety’

Escaping the Crib

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Some children never do it. Some children are born knowing how. But once they’ve done it, there’s no going back.

The first thing you need to know about cribs is that if your child can stand, the crib needs to be set all the way down, and you need to make sure all blind cords, curtains, furniture and décor is at least three feet away from the top of the crib. You will be absolutely astonished how determined they are to reach anything dangerous. If you don’t believe me, watch this video:

There are a few ways you make the transition to the big-kid bed, but one thing is sure: once they can get out of the crib, they can’t sleep there anymore. I know it sucks. It was safe, they could play themselves to sleep, and it was guaranteed worry-free naptime. Sorry, but that’s over. Grab a glass of wine and mourn it properly, and then get over it.

Escaping the Crib

Toddler rail: Many cribs either come with a toddler rail or have one you can buy separately. This screws right into the crib ends with hardware—it’s not removable. While it won’t keep your child in bed, it will keep them from rolling out while they sleep.

Toddler bed: A toddler bed is a mini-bed that your crib mattress will fit in nicely. This isn’t the best option if you are trying to clear out the crib to make way for the next child though, because you’ll be out a crib mattress. The benefit to these is that they offer the feel of a big kid bed while staying low to the ground.

Big bed with bedrail: If you don’t want to have to transition your child twice, or if you already have a big bed ready to use, there’s no need to get a toddler bed. Bed rails run about $30 and you can get them at any store that sells baby furniture. They also come in a variety of sizes, including extra long. I liked that you can fold them down during the day to avoid injuries from kids playing on it, and also to keep your child’s room from looking like a hospital suite, if that matters (for me it did). There are also double rails if you need them for both sides.

You may have also seen crib tents or crib canopies for sale online or in stores, but Consumer Reports lists them as a strangulation hazard and also reccomends removing baby from the crib as soon as they are able to get out.

No matter what option to you chose to transition your child, going to bed will not be the same. There is no more putting baby down and walking out of the room. We did have issues with our kids getting up. With our first, we chose to keep putting her back to bed over and over and over and over until she fell asleep. With our second, we’ve chosen to cuddle her to sleep as a more efficient option for both time and our patience levels.

Many parents I asked advised me to reverse the locks on my child’s door as a way to keep them in bed when I was having issues. This guy even says it saved his marriage after six months of sleeplessness (he threatened to leave his wife if she didn’t do it, so make your own judgment there). The fire department will recommend against this as a fire hazard. If you have stairs in your home, you will want to make sure you have a reliable and toddler-proof baby gate in front of them in case your toddler does get up in the night. It’s also wise to keep doors to the outside baby proofed as well.

TV is the bedroom is another solution I heard often. I would rather snuggle to sleep than try this because of the fact that light in the form of nightlights or TV disturbs the child’s circadian rhythms. Although it may help in the short-term, in the long run it can lead to lifelong sleep issues. I don’t know any adults who still need their parents to sleep, but I know lots of adults who need the TV on.  Not to mention it being a hazard if your toddler gets curious and tries.

My kids still get up some nights. Rather than do bedtime over again in the middle of the night, we just let them get in bed with us. My oldest has already outgrown this need and sleeps through the night most nights. Not because anything we’ve done, but because she feels secure going back to sleep when she does wake up. I am confident the same will be true of our three-year-old. The baby has been sleeping through the night since she was about 10 months old. She’s just weird.

Whether it’s nursing to sleep, waking at night, or during a meltdown, when my children need security, I don’t hesitate. To me it’s important that my kids know that I am there when they are scared and they need me, even at night. It’s my most important function as a parent. And if I do my job right, one day they wont need me anymore, because the security I have given them will be inside them. It will be confidence.

Erin Burt is a freelance writer and mother of three girls who lives and writes in Queensbury, New York.




Safe Sleeping Habits for Babies and Toddlers

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Karyns phone 174

Another infant has died due to unsafe sleeping habits. The sixth death was recently reported from an infant sleeping in a Nap Nanny Infant Recliner in New Jersey. So as a mom, my questions are: Why are these dangerous to babies? How do I keep my baby safe while sleeping?

Dangers of the Nap Nanny

The Nap Nanny Recliner looks pretty comfortable for baby. It’s made of plush fabric and has a fun shape. However, it is not safe for baby. According to an online source, five of the six deaths were due to the Nap Nanny being placed in a crib and the infant falling or hanging over the side. Two of these infants were secured by a safety belt. The sixth infant died in the Nap Nanny while it was placed on the floor. Suffocation is a huge risk with these products–the baby could become trapped between the Nap Nanny and crib bumpers. Nap Nanny Recliners are no longer being sold in stores.

Other Crib Dangers

Here are some other common dangers moms should be aware of:

  • Cute bumpers My daughter’s crib bedding set came with the cutest, pink monkey bumpers. Sadly, they were never used. Bumpers are recommended to help baby from not getting stuck in the crib slats, but they pose a major suffocation and sudden infant death syndrome risk. Many moms opt for the breathable bumpers, while others stick with nothing.
  • Sleep Positioners These are designed to help baby stay in a certain position while resting. However, they are a huge suffocation risk. Some believe they help aid in acid reflux treatment, but the best thing to do is place baby on their back in their crib and talk to your pediatrician if your baby suffers from acid reflux.
  • Pillows and Blankets It still makes me nervous to put my almost 2-year-old in her toddler bed with a pillow. Pillows and blankets can cause a suffocation risk to infants. Dress your baby in footed pajamas or invest in a cute sleep sack to act as a blanket. Baby doesn’t need a pillow to stay comfortable, unlike mom.

Safe Sleeping

Here are a few tips on how to make sure you are giving your baby the safest sleeping environment possible.

  • Stick with a firm mattress and a fitted sheet only.
  • Ensure nothing is covering baby’s face.
  • Keep baby’s favorite stuffed animals out of the crib during sleeping hours.
  • Keep baby away from areas where smoking has occurred.
  • Keep baby’s room at a temperature that is not too hot or too cold.

While it breaks my heart to hear another precious infant has died, it is important to reeducate ourselves on safe sleep habits for infants. While baby’s crib may not always look super cute during nap time, our priority is taking care of our little ones, not having the cutest nursery all of the time.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of one and one on the way who lives, writes, and sleeps in Northeast Indiana.