The Consumer Product Safety Commission released an article Thursday about bedtime routines for infants.  Part of that routine, the article says is to make sure that your child’s sleeping environment is a safe one.  In the case of small children, the fewer “things” that are in the crib, the better.  Here are some key ideas when putting your infant to sleep:

  1. Remember the “back to sleep” idea.  Put your child to sleep on his or her back.  If they are old enough to roll over, then that is okay.  However, until that point, put them to sleep on their back.
  2. Make sure the crib meets minimum safety standards.  Cribs that are sold today meet the minimum requirements for safety (or are recalled when a defect is detected).  If you are using an older crib, though, check the spacing between the rungs and all of the connecting pieces for durability and safety. 
  3. Never use a pillow in a crib.  If a child’s head needs to be elevated for a cold or other symptom, elevate the entire head of the crib by placing the legs on a small stack of books.  Babies should sleep on firm, infant mattresses, not pillow or other soft objects.
  4. DO NOT use a crib that has been altered or repaired.  The integrity of the furniture is compromised at that point.
  5. Make sure the mattress fits well in the crib.  The space between the mattress and the crib components should be minimal (two fingers wide at most). 
  6. Remove any strangulation or choking hazards, such as tie backs from a curtain or the cords from blinds. 
  7. Check with the CPSC for any recalls regarding the components you are using with any child.