Babyproofing your child’s room and crib is perhaps the most important of all babyproofing steps. Why? When your child is in their crib, they are unsupervised. Sure, you have a baby monitor, but you are still not directly supervising your child when they are in their crib. For this reason, it is crucial that you carefully inspect the room to make sure there are no hazards.
The crib should contain only a well-fitted crib mattress and a tightly fitted crib sheet. Children under the age of one should not have any additional blankets, stuffed animals, pillows, etc. Even when your child is older than one, the safest crib is still one without any additional items.
Avoid introducing pillows or blankets until your child moves out of the crib and into their own bed. Although their sleeping environment might seem uncomfortable to you, remember that the child has only slept in their crib, and thus is used to sleeping without these items. In fact, many children are confused and have trouble sleeping when unfamiliar items are introduced into their sleeping environment.
The general rule is that there should be no dangers within 3 feet of the crib. Look carefully above, below and on both sides of the crib for any of the following:
- Cords, string, or anything that could potentially strangle a child should be moved or very carefully secured to the wall.
- Secure or remove all cord blinds
- If you have a wall-mounted baby monitor with a cord, move it further than 3 feet away from the crib and secure the cord with wall-mounted cord hiders.
- Cover all electrical outlets. Move the crib away from the wall to ensure you find them all; many outlets sit around the same height as the bottom of a crib and can be hidden from view when the crib is pushed against the wall.
- Look for any objects that are within 3 feet of the crib, such as toys, diapers, blankets, shelving, books, etc. Ideally, these items should be moved further than 3 feet from the crib. If the items remain within 3 feet of the crib, ensure they are safe, with no small pieces that can be removed.
This list is not comprehensive; inspect the area carefully. When babyproofing the crib, you should feel 100% confident that any item or wall mounting left within 3 feet of the crib is safe for the child to use unsupervised.
In addition, be sure that the mattress height of your crib is appropriate for the age of your baby:
- The highest setting is appropriate only for very small babies who cannot sit.
- Lower the mattress to the middle setting as soon as your child can sit unassisted.
- Use the lowest setting as soon as the child can pull to a standing position.
Other Considerations for Baby’s Room
There should be absolutely zero chemicals, cleaning agents or medicines anywhere in the child’s room, but especially within reach of the crib.