Beds – Cribs, Cradles and Bunk Beds


  • Look for a baby mattress with holes that allows air to circulate, to prevent suffocation.
  • Firm mattresses are next safest. But avoid a soft mattress.
  • Children younger than 1 year should not sleep with pillows.
  • Avoid lying baby face-down on thick bedding like a duvet.
  • When covering or wrapping baby in sheets and blankets, be sure she can breath easily.
  • Suspended crib-mattresses should be propped up from underneath. Snugly stacked milk crates make good props.
  • When buying a crib or bed, look for places where a little head or limbs could be pinched or trapped – for instance between a mattress and its frame, or between crib bars.
  • If you get an older crib, make sure it is solid. If it has been painted, strip and repaint it with lead-free paint.
  • Once a child is old enough to stand, keep toys like activity centres out their crib. Toys have been known to act as a helping step out of the crib and onto the floor – often head

Rocking cradles

  • Rocking cradles can be great for soothing a child, but they shouldn’t be used once the child can push herself up on her arms, or is able to roll-over, (which can be as early as 3 months). By this early stage she could easily topple herself over.
  • Keep a rocker on the ground, never on a table, bed or dresser.
  • If the baby falls asleep in the rocker, put wedges under the legs to stop further rocking.
  • No matter what, never leave a child unattended in a rocker.

Beds and bunk beds

  • Avoid bunk beds. But if you need to have one, use adequately high guard rails to stop a child from rolling out of bed.Children under 6 years of age should not be allowed to sleep in the upper bunk.
  • The child’s bed should be as close to the ground as possible.
  • Don’t let pets share the child’s bed.

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Pediatrician DR.PAUL Roumeliotis is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The information provided above is designed to be an educational aid only. It is not intended to replace the advice and care of your child’s physician, nor is it intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. If you suspect that your child has a medical condition always consult a physician.