Many working parents today use baby cots to help keep their babies away from harm’s way. Commonly known as a baby’s ‘first home’, they are believed to be a safe haven for babies. While considerably safe, these infant beds can/do pose a significant danger to the child.
A new study shows there are 10,000 children taken to the emergency room each year — an average of one every hour — after falling or becoming wedged or caught in cribs, playpens, and bassinets.
It is, for this reason, parents are advised to be particularly careful when shopping/using baby cots in their homes. The tool that is otherwise meant to keep your little angel safe can turn somewhat dangerous in one way or the other.
Baby cots, when used properly, can prove handy and especially when you want to keep your child safe. Outlined below are a few tips and ideas on how to keep your baby safe in his/her cot.
1. Avoid Old Baby Cots
As tempting as it may be, it wouldn’t be a good idea to invest in an old baby cot. As much as you wish to save a few coins, the risk of investing in an old/used baby cot is simply too high. One of the reasons why is that most of these baby cots weren’t built/designed with the new safety standards in mind. If this is the only choice you have, you should then check to ensure it is at least not a drop side cot or among those in the ban list. In other words, it should have a broad and firm mattress, as well as sturdy frames.
The baby cot must also be strong enough to support the child’s weight as well. Be sure to check all nuts and screws, and ensure they are all well secured and tight. The guardrail should also be higher than the child’s height- to prevent him/her from attempting to go over it. The sides should also be fixed permanently to reduce the risk of opening unexpectedly/accidentally.
2. Choose The Appropriate Mattress
Baby cot rental company, Direct Appliance Rentals says, “some of the best baby cots on the market today come equipped with the right mattress. The mattress plays a crucial role in keeping the baby comfortable, one of the reasons you need to choose the appropriate one for that purpose. It not only needs to be comfortable and fitting but also firm enough to support the baby’s weight. They suggest, “avoid soft mattresses as they could cause suffocation. Consider foam and spring mattresses if working on a tight budget.”
3. Do Not Leave Accessories And Toys In The Baby Cot
In as much as parents want to make their baby’s bedroom perfect, making it safe must be the top priority.
This is particularly important when the baby is asleep. Most people will allow their kids to play with toys while in the cot. Some of the preferred toys include stuffed animals, shakers, and bumpers, among others. While these may make the baby cot more beautiful as well as keep the baby occupied, some of these can be potentially dangerous. The CDC (Disease Control and Prevention) recommend emptying the cot as soon as the baby is asleep, or just about to sleep.
Some of these accessories and toys can cause suffocation, while the baby is asleep. The baby might as well accidentally swallow the accessories, leading to even more problems. Researchers also believe that toys and some of the accessories might distract the infant from sleep. Be sure to get rid of all pets and accessories from the cot as soon as the baby starts dozing off. If possible, hang the accessories (securely) on top of the crib in such a way that the baby can only see but not reach them.
4. Place The Baby On His/her Back In The Cot
As a rule of thumb, the baby should always be on his/her back while in the cot. This reduces the risk of SIDS (Sudden infant death syndrome), also known as crib death. Unless the baby is old enough to toss over, you should never place him on his stomach or side. Doing so will only increase the risk of suffocation, overheating, and smoke, among others. Studies show that at least 2000 babies die of SIDS every year in the United States. While the main cause of these deaths is yet to be determined, your baby is much safer on his back than the stomach.
Young babies (less than one-year-old) should always sleep on their back. Doctors have also put a lot of emphasis on having your child sleep on his/her back for the first 6 months. It is during this time that the baby is at the highest risk of SIDS. This is also the best time to watch over your baby and never let them out of your sight, even for a few minutes. Doctors, however, advise against sleeping in the same bed with a child this young.
5. Avoid Sleep Positioners
While a sleep positioner may come in handy while the baby is asleep, they too pose a significant risk to the child. Studies show that dozens of babies have either been injured or died, all from sleep positioners. The positioner may entrap the child between the side of the baby cot, or even worse, cause suffocation. You should therefore never use or even think of investing in a sleep positioner. If concerned about the baby turning over, you should then ensure the mattress is covered properly with a fitting mattress cover.
While meant to be a baby’s safe haven, a baby cot can be potentially dangerous and especially if one isn’t careful enough. Taking all the required measures to keep the baby cot safe can, therefore, help ensure the baby is safe while you handle other things and chores around the house.