Welcoming a new child into the world is a magical time for parents, and it’s natural for them to want the very best for their newborn. If you are in the process of designing a nursery, you may be wondering how to incorporate the highest-quality and most beautiful items that are still safe for your infant. One such item you might be considering is the crib and the accessories you can put in, above, and around it. It might feel overwhelming to navigate the dos and don’ts of this process, but Simply Nursery is here to help. Keep reading for eight safe and not-so-safe accessories for cribs so you can confidently create the quality, stunning nursery you want while ensuring your infant’s safety.
Why Does Crib Safety Matter?
Infants are vulnerable to many unusual risks that might not even cross adults’ minds. For instance, parents may not know that blankets and pillows are dangerous for their newborn. Infants don’t know how to properly place their heads or lay on their sides, so blankets and pillows pose a suffocation risk. Even certain items meant for nurseries and crib spaces, such as mobiles, pose a risk if parents don’t take steps to ensure safety.
Because infants don’t know how to safely navigate the world yet, they need controlled environments to prevent them from accidentally hurting themselves. So make sure to keep safety risks in mind when picking out what to use for the crib. Below, you will learn about certain accessories’ risks and how to ensure a safe crib environment for your child.
The Not-so-Safe Crib Accessories
The following items might seem unassuming at first, but they all pose a risk for your newborn in their crib. Avoid these items to limit the possibility of your infant getting stuck, entangled, or in a position where they are unable to breathe.
The idea of a bumper pad sounds fine—they’re supposed to keep children from sticking their bodies through the crib slats. However, they don’t help much. These pads easily get knocked out of place or moved around, and babies still get their heads or arms stuck.
Fortunately, you shouldn’t need bumper pads in the first place. The Consumer Product Safety Commission requires slats to be no more than 2 3/8 inches wide. You can check the width of your crib slats by placing a can between them; if it falls, the planks are too wide.
Pillows and Blankets
As we mentioned, pillows and blankets don’t belong in a newborn’s crib. These items might seem harmless, but babies under 12 months old shouldn’t be using them yet. Infants could accidentally cover their heads with a blanket and not know how to remove it. A pillow is in the same situation—a baby could roll over and not know how to return to a safe position for proper breathing.
If you want to keep your baby warm at night, put them in a sleep sack or zip-up onesie. And if your child is still in a crib in their toddler years, putting in a small pillow and blanket is OK to do. Just ensure that the pillow is firm and not bigger than their head and that the blanket isn’t heavy.
Stuffed animals are cute, cuddly, and fun and belong on the shelf—not in the crib. Like pillows and blankets, stuffed animals could cause suffocation. Newborns don’t know how to interact with these toys just yet, so keeping them out of the crib until your infant grows into a toddler is best.
A crib tent does help keep pests away, but it also poses a safety risk. And as your baby grows, they may become curious and try to take it off the crib. If the structure falls, your infant could become entangled. For this reason, it’s best to not use a crib tent at all. But if you must, make sure to only prop it when necessary and supervise your child when it’s in use.
The Safe Crib Accessories
Despite the many risks associated with crib accessories, don’t worry! There are convenient, safe crib accessories out there! To ensure you don’t buy the wrong thing by accident, carefully read the below sections to learn what is OK to place above, in, and around your baby’s crib.
Sheets made from breathable materials, like cotton or silk, are the safest bedding to put in a crib. Because you tuck sheets under the mattress, there is very little risk of your infant getting tangled in them. Sheets work great to cover up your crib mattress and pad, making it more comfortable for your little one to sleep on. Additionally, sheets protect the mattress from accidents during the night.
Accessories near the crib are fine if they don’t take up much space and aren’t easy to grab. A nursery camera is stationary, nestled near a corner to make it discreet enough to where it naturally blends into the room. This item is beneficial to have instead of a walkie-talkie–style baby monitor since you get live video feed of your infant.
Crib Skirts and Rail Covers
Skirts and rail covers are great to use in a crib. The skirt hides the bottom of the crib well, and the rail covers prevent babies from biting on the frame material once they start teething. Plus, crib skirts don’t interfere with the baby’s sleep, and rail covers provide your baby with something easy to hold onto as they learn to stand.
Mobiles are a great addition to a baby’s bedroom and crib space. However, keep in mind that your mobile’s string shouldn’t be longer than 7 inches. The longer it is, the easier it is for your baby to pull it off the wall or ceiling. As your baby grows and starts to reach, shorten the length of the mobile.
Buy the Right Crib for the Nursery
Now that you know the best and worst accessories for the crib, you need to find a high-quality crib to put the safe accessories in. When buying a crib, you want it to be infant-safe and beautiful with the best modern qualities. In that case, you’re in luck because you found a seller who designs cribs that will meet and exceed your expectations.
Simply Nursery is a brand all parents can trust because our cribs are handmade with parents and babies in mind. Every piece of wood in our solid wood baby cribs comes directly from rehabilitated Brazilian forests. Create the nursery of your dreams by browsing our website for multi-functional, eco-friendly, and long-lasting furniture!