Choosing a bassinet is an important thing if you want to be sure that your infant is safe. To assure this you can follow our bassinet safety recommendations.
There are a lot of variety of models and styles of bassinets. A lot of them are stylish and really beautiful but the main important thing that parents should take in consideration is bassinet safety. The important thing is to make sure that baby is going to sleep in the safest place.
One of the first things that parents should do is to choose a bassinet with a sturdy bottom and a wide and stable base without edges. Parents should also avoid sharp points. Besides, it should not have small parts.
Play yards, such as Graco Pack ‘n Play, are safe for sleep for babies. Most play yards have breathable mesh sides and come with a thin and firm mattress for preventing SIDS.
Bassinet safety advices:
- Thick and soft mattress: babies have to sleep in a firm mattress or sleeping surface and it has to fit the bassinet without gaps at the edges. Babies should not sleep on beds, waterbeds, air mattresses, armchairs or any kind of soft or squishy surface because they can suffocate when sleeping there. The mattress or pad in a bassinet should be no more than 1,5 inches thick; a thicker mattress is a suffocation hazard.
- Mesh sides: The edges of the bassinet should be made of breathable material, that’s why most bassinets come with breathable mesh sides. It is important because mesh sides allow air circulation. If your baby rolls during the night to the edge, his mouth and nose can be pressed against the edges. With mesh sides he doesn’t become suffocated against the side. Besides, mesh sides are also important for visibility for checking on baby during the night.
- Mobiles and toys: you should put the mobile firmly attached and in a place that baby can’t reach. The bassinet should be completely empty, there’s only has to be the mattress and the fitted sheet. Don’t use bedding or soft objects because they can be suffocation hazards. You should also avoid blankets, pillows, stuffed toys, bumper pads and sleep positioners.
Never use an attachment that leaves toys hanging into the bed as they could be a strangulation hazard. You should place accessories in a place for looking at only, well out of the baby’s reach.
Also avoid placing the bassinet where hazards like windows, doors, lamps, candles, electric plugs, curtain cords or small objects are near and reachable.
- Mattress must fit perfect: mattress should fit the bassinet without gaps. If a mattress is not intended for your bassinet you shouldn’t buy it because it can not fit well. It is important to check also that mattress is firm because mattresses that are too soft could create a gap between the bassinet and the edge causing to the baby to suffocate. The gap between the mattress and any part of the bassinet must not be more than 1,2 inches.
- Folding mechanism: Don’t move a collapsible bassinet while baby is inside because it can cause folding mechanisms to unlatch and collapse.
Besides, if the legs or frame of the bassinet can collapse for storage you should lock into place when the bassinet is set up.
- Missing parts: if you are going to use a used bassinet which may be worn out, be sure that there are no missing parts and that it is made of materials that meet today’s safety standards. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for setting up the bassinet. Do not use parts if the manufacturer does not provide them. Check often the bassinet’s hardware, it should not have damages and it also shouldn’t have sharp points.
- Follow weight recommendations: bassinets have a short life span. Bassinets have a maximum weight recommendation, which is usually between 15 and 30 pounds. You should follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for the size requirements to be sure that your baby is safe.
However, no matter your baby’s weight because if he can roll over or begin to push up on his hands and knees it is time to move him to a crib.
- Casters must be locked: don’t use a bassinet with wheels or casters that don’t lock, because they can roll. If your bassinet has wheels, you must be sure that when baby is inside they are locked.
Parents should unlock wheels only when they move the bassinet from room to room and they never have to do it with baby inside. Lock the wheels as soon as you finish moving the bassinet and always keep them locked.
- Fitted sheet: you should use only a fitted sheet designed for use with your bassinet. You should avoid to buy a sheet that is not designed for your bassinet because it should not fit well. The sheet that covers the mattress should always fit it snugly. We recommend to buy at least three fitted sheets: one to use, one for the wash and the last one as a backup.
- Baby’s position: apart from having the safest bassinet you should place you baby to sleep on his back to minimize the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Back position is the safest sleep position for babies during their first six months. Always put your baby on his back to sleep, at naptime and at bedtime.
- Room sharing: all experts recommends to share the room with your newborn during his first six months.
- Bed sharing: if you share the same surface to sleep with your baby he can suffocate if he becomes trapped. Parents can roll over onto the baby and besides bed parents’ surface is not firm enough for baby. Besides, usually there are soft bedding materials like pillows that you should not use in your babies’ bed.
Moreover, baby can fall off the bed and can be hurt. Research has shown that is good for babies to share a room but not to share the bed.
- Blankets: parents should not use blankets. They can be dangerous if the blanket covers baby’s head while he is sleeping.
It is better to use a pajama or a wearable blanket (swaddle sack) instead of covering the baby with a blanket. To avoid blankets you can also consider dressing your baby in light sleep clothing.
If you still want to use a blanket, use a thin, lightweight and breathable blanket.
- Overheating: Room’s temperature too high is a risk factor for SIDS. If the temperature is good for parents it is also comfortable for babies, don’t overheat the room for the baby.
- Smoke: keep your home completely smoke free, no one should smoke near your baby.
Besides, if parents are smokers, they should not share the bed with their baby.
- Sleepwear: sleepwear fabrics are very important. Nylon and polyester are hard to catch fire and burn slowly. On the other hand, cotton, cotton-blend and rayon catch fire and burn quickly.
Tight fitting sleepwears like pajamas or sleepers are less likely to catch fire.
It is important to check for loose buttons or small parts that can be a hazard when dressing your baby for sleeping.
Parents also have to stich firmly belt and ties. Children can strangle on any type of cord, that’s why parents have to take care to avoid cords on children’s clothes.
- Rocking motion: if you choose a bassinet with rocking motion you should try to get one with not a very pronounced rocking motion. A pronounced rock can roll your baby against the side of the bassinet and can cause suffocation hazard. Look for a model with a locking hardware to stop the rocking motion and don’t let the baby rock unattended. Stop the rocking motion before your baby’s bedtime and naptime if you are not going to be with him.
- Receipt and instructions: you should keep the receipt and all packaging and materials that come with the bassinet. Keep them because you can need them if you have problems with the bassinet.