Travel Crib Safety Tips

Filed under: Babies, Baby Essentials, Gear Guides: Pregnancy

The Baby Bjorn Travel Crib is easy to set up. Credit: Amazon.com

Just because you have a baby on your hands doesn't mean traveling is no longer an option. However, you do need to be prepared for all the challenges the road -- and your youngster -- are sure to throw at you.

Sippy cups, toys and blankets are essential items to take on any trip. But, if you're a family of real jet setters, getting a travel crib for your little bundle of joy is a must, as well. Of course, not all travel cribs are created equal, and crib safety is something you need to keep in mind. Here are some tips on making sure your child is safe away from home.

  • Collapsed cribs can be dangerous, so always set your travel crib up properly to prevent it from collapsing. Make sure to lock the top rails of the crib. Don't use travel cribs with rotating hinges in the middle of each top rail, as they present collapse and choking hazards to infants.
  • The right travel crib also should have the right sized mattress, which needs to run flush against the sides of the crib so your baby doesn't get caught between the mattress and the crib itself. Make sure it's a tight fit.
  • If you prefer to use a hotel or motel crib instead of purchasing your own travel crib, use caution. A study by the Consumer Product Safety Commission found that 80 percent of hotel cribs were unsafe. Many hotel cribs are poorly maintained and use adult-sized, rather than crib-sized sheets. Using adult-sized sheets in cribs can suffocate infants. If you are going to use a hotel crib, make sure to bring crib-sized sheets with you just in case.
  • Travel cribs should hold nothing but the baby. Infants may use toys to try and pull themselves out of the crib and they may get tangled up with accessories. Don't hang anything off of the side of your travel crib, either, as anything loose can become a strangulation hazard.
  • Check the mesh walls of the crib for tears or holes once you've set it up; any loose fabric could become a choking hazard. The openings in the mesh itself should be less than a quarter inch in diameter. If the crib has slats instead of mesh, the openings should be less than two and three-eighths inches in diameter to keep your toddler in place.
  • Never leave the side of a mesh travel crib down -- children can get trapped in the pouch of fabric that's created when the side is down, which can cause suffocation.
Remember, the right crib, set up and maintained properly, can be extremely safe and convenient. If you're in the market for a portable crib, the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib, $219.95, is highly rated. It only weighs 11 pounds, takes seconds to set up and is incredibly safe and easy to use.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.