Crib Safety, Get the Facts!

When you bring your baby home from the hospital, you want your home to be a safe haven for him or her. It’s easy to get scared and overwhelmed by all the warnings and safety messages that we parents are inundated with today. But our recommendation is, when you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask the experts! There is no reason to fret and worry when you can just ask. When our friends at Newport Cottages reached out to us wanting to share more about crib safety with our readers, we jumped at the chance. With their gorgeous nursery furniture known for exceedingly high standards and wonderful quality, we know they don’t cut corners when it comes to safety.

Max Crib by Newport CottagesMax Crib by Newport Cottages

While Newport Cottages knows all the ups and downs of their own cribs, they pulled in the end-all be-all of crib safety—the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)—for these tips. Here are just a few that we pulled from Newport Cottages’ crib safety brochure and the CPSC’s website as of May 2015.

1. Use a firm, tight-fitting mattress (there should be no gaps larger than two fingers between the sides of the crib and the mattress), and never use extra padding, blankets, pillows or positioning devices in the crib.

2. Correct assembly of the crib is a must. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and regularly check the crib for loose, missing or broken parts.

3. Make sure your baby’s furniture is non toxic, and ensure your baby’s crib meets new CPSC standards and has fixed sides.

4. Place cribs away from windows and window covering cords and away from baby monitor cords.

For a complete list of crib safety tips, visit the CPSC. Make sure you check their site every time you welcome a new baby into your family for any updated safety standards or recommendations as things can change.

Ricki Crib with Upholstered Panels by Newport CottagesRicki Crib with Upholstered Panels by Newport Cottages

We figured while we had Newport Cottages on the line, we’d ask some of our other crib safety questions, and they were gracious enough to share their expertise with us and you.

As a mom of babies who eventually ended up gnawing on their cribs, I wonder, how do you ensure that your crib finishes are safe for babies?
To ensure the safest possible finishes, our coatings are tested by CPSC approved independent laboratories. We have them tested for over 100 different heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, mercury, etc. Manufacturing in California and working with local paint suppliers eliminates the possibility of toxins in our finishes.

There are some terms that are confusing like offgassing. What is that, and how do you avoid it in the nursery?
Offgassing is the release or emission of chemicals trapped or absorbed in a material. Some of these chemicals are potentially harmful, so it is especially important to know what you are placing in your nursery. Offgassing is the release of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that are found in products containing plastics, foam, fire retardants, paint and glue, just to mention a few. I recommend parents research all items that are going into their nursery in order to see where they are manufactured and the company’s philosophy on sustainability. Newport Cottages is a Southern California based manufacturer and falls under very stringent CARB (California Air Resource Board) guidelines, which bans manufacturers from using products containing high VOCs.

Bahama Blue Newport Cottages Crib in Boy's Nursery - Project NurseryWalk in the Park Nursery

There are obvious standards in the industry when it comes to cribs. Can you tell us what to look for and what’s most important?
Crib standards have changed over the past years as the CPSC seeks to improve crib safety. The industry has seen issues ranging from toxic finishes to inferior construction. When shopping for a baby crib, it’s important to review the CPSC website for any product recalls or issues with the manufacturer.

Hilary Crib by Newport CottagesHilary Crib by Newport Cottages

You guys have been making high-quality and safe furniture for fifteen years. Congrats! Anything else you can share about safety? 
Over the past fifteen years that Newport Cottages has been making baby furniture, we have seen significant advances in nursery safety. Consumers are much more sophisticated when it comes to researching baby products, and social media has also helped in this area. However, regardless of how safe a product claims to be, this should never take the place of parental supervision and individual responsibility.

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