Your baby will spend a great deal of time in the nursery, so it makes sense that a great deal of time and resources will go towards making this room as safe as possible.  Many of the tips on this page are general safety tips, while others are specific to the room itself.

  • A safe crib should be free of paint (which could be lead-based) and the slats should be close together.  You should not be able to place a soda can between the slats.  The mattress should fit snugly into the base, allowing no more than two fingers between the mattress and the sides.
  • Place the crib in the right place.  If you must place the crib by a window, make sure that all cords are tied up properly out of the babies reach and the windows are locked.  Ideally, it is best to not place a crib anywhere near windows. Overhead shelves can also be a hazard, once your child begins to stand.  Once your baby can stand, you should remove mobiles and bumpers from the crib as well as these can become hazards.
  • Bedding.  While your sweet little baby bedding set may include a pillow and comforter, you should never place these things in with the baby.  Wearable blankets are the safest for small children.
  • Bookcases, dressers, changing tables etc.  All of these should be secured to the wall using L brackets to prevent tipping over.  Toy chests should all have air holes in them in case your child becomes trapped inside.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, National Safety Council and the American
Academy of Pediatrics have the following helpful safety suggestions for your child’s nursery.
· ALWAYS place your baby to sleep on his or her back. This greatly reduces the risk from
SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) or suffocation. Since the American Academy of
Pediatrics recommended back-sleeping five years ago, SIDS deaths in the USA have
declined by 38%.

  • Remove all soft bedding-pillows, comforters, blankets and stuffed animals-from the crib to
    further reduce risk of suffocation. Instead of a blanket, dress baby in a sleep sack or

  • Make sure the crib itself meets current safety standards. This means:

  • The slats are no wider than 2 3/8" apart

  • The mattress is firm-not soft (foam or coil - your preference)

  • There is no gap between mattress and crib walls. Two fingers worth of space is too

  • Corner posts are level with the height of the end panels (just 1/16" higher at most)

  • There are no decorative cut-outs in the headboard or footboard.

  • Top rails, when raised, are at least 26" above the mattress support in its lowest

  • Hardware is secure-no loose or broken screws or pieces. Recheck periodically.

  • Drop sides cannot be accidentally released by a child. (According to the National
    Safety Council, the crib sides should require two separate steps to release. If this is a
    one step process, it should require a minimum force of 10 pounds to release.)

  • Look for a JPMA safety certification seal on newly manufactured cribs.

  • Top rails should be covered by teething guards.

  • Keep blind cords, curtain pulls, décor, electrical cords and mobiles out of baby's reach.
    Maintain a cool room temperature give a recommended range to prevent overheating.
    Place baby's crib away from any source of draft.
    Make sure baby's fitted sheet is secured to the mattress and will not pop loose.
    Place a baby monitor in the nursery far from child’s reach.
    Consider purchasing a special crib mattress that circulates air around baby. This helps
    prevent the “rebreathing” of carbon dioxide, which is believed to be a leading cause of

  • if you use bumper pads, make sure they are tightly secured to the sides of the cribs. Trim
    excess ties or straps. Straps should be loose, easy to push down to mattress and not
    hung up on any hardware. You don’t want your child to get a foothold on bumper to be
    able to climb out.

  • When child is sitting up remove bumper pads and all other animals or pillows and lower
    crib mattress to lowest position.

  • Once the top of the crib rails are less than three-fourths your child's height or they are 36
    inches tall, it's time to move to a toddler bed.

  • If you have a child who climbs out of the crib before the above point, seriously consider
    using a crib tent. Some parent’s don’t like it but the potential alternatives are far worse.
    install finger guards on fast-closing doors.

  • Anchor all furniture, cover all outlets (even ones behind crib), and install locks or window
    guards on all windows.

  • When baby is sitting up remove all mobiles and any type of canopy over bed as they can
    pose choking or strangulation hazards.
    Do not place heavy object on shelves or hang pictures above crib.
    Use earthquake putty on all objects placed on shelving. Use Velcro the secure base of
    pictures on walls – stick to wall and back of frame and it will prevent it from falling and
    breaking during quake.
    Use locks on sliding closet doors until baby can open and close without pinching fingers
    or slamming causing glass doors to crack.

  • Pick up room every night before bed so in the event of an emergency you can get to your
    child quickly without incident.

  • When child is in toddler bed, use pressure gate in doorway to prevent child from walking
    around house unsupervised during the night. Instruct child to call for you when he is
    awake in the morning.






Nursery Checklist


New crib/mattress that fits properly





Wearable blankets


Electrical covers



L Brackets