To make the best choice for the baby’s crib and mattress, consult the article Choosing the Baby’s Crib and Mattress.
The temperature of the baby’s bedroom should be the same as the rest of the house—never overheat the room! The first months, the crib can be installed in the parent’s bedroom to facilitate their adaptation. However, if sounds made by your baby make it difficult to sleep, you should place them back in their bedroom.
To ensure your baby’s safety when you place them in their crib, here are some suggestions:
- Remove all objects in their bed: pillow, stuffed animals, bottle, toys, etc.;
- A mattress with a cover and sheet is often enough for a baby; if you need to add an additional cover, use one that is thin and breathable to avoid suffocation. This could occur with a cover made from bamboo tissue, for example;
- Always place the crib far from shutter or drape cords;
- Lay your baby on their back in their crib if they’re unable to turn on their own (often not before six months); you can then let them reposition themselves;
- During the day, change where your baby sleeps to get them used to daily sounds. Place them in different positions under supervision-on their side, stomach…
Good to know: in 2010, the Canadian government announced a study targeting the banning crib drop sides because they cause serious injuries to some children. Currently, there are no regulations to this effect, but it’s expected that many crib manufacturers will follow this trend by selling fixed side cribs. The mattress can be raised and lowered as the baby grows to avoid falls.
Additionally, many parents ask me if the family bassinet, baby basket or cradle should be avoided. Based on the above-mentioned recommendations, we can safely place a baby in these types of beds up to about three months; just before they can completely turn over or the weigh less than the regulatory weight indicated by the manufacturer. On the other hand, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, place a baby between the two parents in the bed. This also goes for waterbeds, inflatable mattresses, sofas, futons or armchairs. They all have suffocation risks given their softer texture. The Canadian Pediatric Society has found that each year several babies die while sharing the bed with their parents. It states that the crib is safest place for a baby to sleep up to six months of age. Here is a bit of advice on safely co-sleeping or shared sleeping.
As for the right age to shift your baby from a crib to bed, for safety recommendations, it’s recommended that it should take place around 2 years of age or when they’re taller than 90 cm (35″). This is when they may be able to climb over the side of their crib and fall. They should be shown how to safely climb out of or into their crib by transforming it into a daybed. The transition barrier on the side of your child’s bed isn’t mandatory, but it can help both baby and parents feel more secure when transitioning from the crib to bed.
Health Canada (Consumer product safety/Child-bed safety)
To learn more about mattresses, go to the entry Now Let’s Talk Mattresses!