Before you decide on buying one of the bassinets, you must know what is safe and what may not be so safe so that you don’t endanger your baby in any way.
Why Is Bassinet Safety So Important?
Bassinets are specially designed for babies to sleep safely in the bassinet. If your baby sleeps in a bassinet, his head will be below the mattress and can’t roll over onto its side. The baby’s head is also usually very warm and soft, so it will be resting on a hard surface which may cause some discomfort to your baby.
Unfortunately, many manufacturers use thinner and less durable materials to manufacture their bassinets, which do not meet the same safety standards as those made of plywood. These thinner materials may buckle and fail over time, and this weak suspension may cause severe injuries to your baby.
There are many health hazards involved:
Suspension of the bassinet mattress easily causes the baby to fall off, especially during movement or when awake. The baby can risk suffocating due to a lack of oxygen in the stomach.
Risk of Strangulation:
The baby may be strangled by a loose piece of fabric or may be unable to reach it with his hands if he falls from the bassinet.
Sids (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) Risk:
This disease is serious and sometimes fatal. The baby cannot cry or move his neck and body in time to prevent suffocation. SIDS is the leading cause of infant deaths.
Risk of Injury:
This risk is serious, especially when the bassinet only has thin and flimsy fabric and not a solid structure.
How to Make a Bassinet Safe?
There are various ways of making bassinets safe. Here are some of those methods:
1. Attaching padding on the sides of the frame.
2. Using soft foams to separate the mattress from the frame.
3. Use a special baby pillow to keep the baby’s head elevated.
4. Choose your bassinet wisely. Make sure you buy one which is safe for your baby. The rule is, if you don’t know how to make it safe, then don’t buy it.
5. Make your bassinet safe by using safety covers to separate it from any sharp edges.
Standards for Bassinets:
The baby bassinets are designated American National Standards Institute (ANSI) safety standards. These safety standards are designed for child products and products intended to be used by children.
Securing the bassinet to the base of the bed is very important. Ideally, you should secure it with two types of devices: at least one locking device and at least one adjustable device. There must be no possibility of the bassinet slipping out from underneath.
1. The bassinet should be properly attached to the bed. The base of the bassinet must be bolted or screwed.
2. The bassinet should have a firm surface on which the mattress rests. If you plan to use a waterproof liner, it must fit snugly in its place so that no air can escape from beneath it.
3. To secure the mattress, you should use foam or rubber pads or adhesive tape on all four sides of the mattress. You may also use Velcro straps.
4. Use foam or rubber pads to raise the mattress from all sides. The cushions should be firm and thick enough to raise the baby high enough from the foam base.
Handle and Mechanism for Opening and Closing:
The bassinet must have a mechanism for opening and closing easily, smoothly and uniformly. You should make sure that you can open or close it with one hand. The side should also be easy to separate because you should not use any sharp objects to separate it.
The bassinet should have a bassinet handle for easy movement. When closed, the handle must also be able to hold the weight of the baby without slipping.
You should ensure adequate storage for all the items you use to prepare the bassinet. You may store them under or beside the bassinet to save up space.
Stability and Strength:
You should consider the stability and strength of the bassinet before making it safe. You should check whether it is stable and strong enough to hold the weight of the baby safely. For this purpose, you should check its stability by pushing it from its sides or by shaking it gently. Also, you may sit on top of the bassinet and see whether it can easily collapse.
The bassinet must be made out of sturdy materials that can handle the weight of the baby. The mattress should also be firm enough to support the baby’s weight evenly.
To ensure that your bassinet is strong enough, you should check whether the side panels are properly attached. You should also check whether the bottom of the mattress is flat.
The bassinet should be made out of plywood or similarly strong materials to hold heavy weights without buckling. The plywood should not be warped or curved in any way because this can cause instability and a weak suspension system.
Sizes and Weight Limit:
The bassinet should have a safety rail at least 20 inches from the bottom of the mattress. The bassinet should be in a size where the baby’s face does not contact any item in it while he is sleeping.
The bassinet must have a maximum weight limit so that you don’t exceed the maximum weight of the baby that it can hold safely.
The length of the safety rail should be 1 to 2 inches longer than the shoulder height of the tallest adult who will use it.
Checking of Cribs and Bassinets:
You must check for any defects in the bassinets and cribs that you are using for your baby. For this purpose, you should check its structural integrity and stability by rocking or shaking it. You should also check whether there are any sharp objects or rough edges in it.
You should also check the mattress to see whether there are any signs of mold on it. Mold on the mattress can irritate the skin. If you think this is the case, you should wash the bassinet and mattress with warm water and mild soap or detergent. You may also use a disinfectant solution or spray to kill bacteria on them before putting them back in the bassinet.
The cover of your bassinet should not be loose because it can become loose if your infant climbs on top of it; this can make the mattress unstable and susceptible to tipping over.
The bassinet should be washed with warm water and soap or detergent to remove any germs present on it. You may also wipe off any food particles on it with a wet cloth. Make sure that the mattress is not stained or torn before placing your baby in it for sleeping.
In case you find any of these defects, you should not use this bassinet until you have fixed the defect.
Safety should be the most crucial factor to consider when choosing a bassinet for your baby. Before using it for your baby, you should check whether it is made of strong materials, sturdy and stable, whether the safety rail is tall enough, etc.
For this purpose, you should focus on the safety standards of bassinets before purchasing them. All the safety standards mentioned above are necessary for keeping your baby safe while sleeping in his bassinet or crib.