How Wholesome: Child Furniture Safety Tips

As parents, we want to give our children the best. However, more than the best things and opportunities, we want our children to be safe. Safety concerns regarding newborns and infants is always a sensitive subject. We may disagree on the price-tag companies put on safety measures, but we all agree on one thing: when it comes to our children, it is better to be safe than sorry. Be it child furniture safety or babyproofing the room, Safety Comes First!

We, at Wholesome Nest, have always been of the opinion that no aspect of a child’s safety should be neglected. So we decided to write about some of the safety measures you should take to make your baby’s room as safe as possible. After all, this room is going to be their nest for the next few years.

There are several aspects of baby room safety, so we decided to split the information into two parts. The first part is going to talk about child furniture safety. In the second part, we will go into safety of non-furniture products like clothes, toys and toiletries etcetera.

Child Furniture Safety for Cribs

Creative Storage Ideas for Nurseries

For the first few months at least, the new baby is going to be either in your arms or their crib. During this time, they’re able to do very little on their own, so they are more vulnerable than ever. Hence, it only makes sense that the first aspect of child furniture safety you should focus on is the crib. 

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), all cribs manufactured and retailed in the U.S. must abide by the new federal requirements for overall crib safety, which were last updated in 2011. 

Trigger Warning: Content is sensitive in nature; mentions injury and death. 

Prior to the last update, the CPSC stated that between the years 2007 and 2010, the commission had received a total of 3,584 reports of crib-related incidents through their Early Warning System (EWS). Of these, 3,520 involved full-sized cribs, 82 percent of which were related to product failure or defect. While the majority of the cases reported were non-fatal or non-injury incidents, there were 147 fatalities. And out of all of them, 35 were attributable to structural problems with the cribs. 

For more information on the new safety standards for full-sized cribs, click here.

Crib Safety Quick Tips

In order to ensure that your baby’s crib is as safe as possible, we came up with an extensive child furniture safety checklist. We hope you find it helpful.

  • As pretty and elaborate as they may look, don’t place pillows, blankets, bumper pads or stuffed toys in the crib. This is especially important when the baby is asleep. If the baby rolls over, they may get suffocated.
  • Don’t use cot mobiles or hanging toys around the cribs, when the child is old enough to stand up. This usually happens at around 5 months of age. As they grow older, children tend to grab the sides of the crib and stand up, and grab anything in their vicinity. The toys can break, but more importantly, they could fall on them and hurt them.
  • Make sure that the crib doesn’t have any small objects in it that could be a choking hazard for the baby.
  • Slats of the crib should not be more than 2 and ⅜ inches apart (think: the width of a soda can). This is to ensure that there are no head/neck entrapments between the slats.

Child Furniture Safety for Portable Cribs and Playpens

For portable cribs and playpens, the rules are only slightly different in the sense that safety requirements for this line of products was updated in 2013.

  • Make sure you purchase a playpen that was manufactured after 2013, in compliance with the new federal standards for safety.

  • Do not add another layer of bedding or mattress to the playpen.

  • Never leave the side of a mesh playpen down. The baby might get trapped inside, and panic, which might aggravate their situation.

  • Try to place a non-skid mat under portable/movable furniture to avoid accidents.

Child Furniture Safety for Mattresses

  • Cover the mattress with a crib-sheet that is snug-fitted. Loose fitted crib-sheets are unsafe if they come off, since the baby’s arms/legs can get stuck in them and cause them distress.


  • Mattress support must be durable, and it is important for the mattress to be firm and of the correct size. If you want to check whether the mattress you’re using is of the right size, a good rule of thumb is to try and fit 2 fingers between the mattress and the side of the crib. If you can do so easily, the mattress is too loose.


  • While this is uncommon, do not use an inflatable or blow-up mattress for the baby’s crib. And you might be the most fun parent in the world, but please don’t make the baby sleep on a waterbed. Some crazy ideas don’t need to be tested out to see if they are bad or not.


  • In order to reduce the risk of falls, set the mattress to its lowest position. When your baby is old enough to stand, make sure that the height of the side rail is more than three quarters of the baby’s height, so that they don’t lean, tip over and hurt themselves.


  • To reduce risk of Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), avoid making the baby sleep on any surface that is very soft. Infants need to sleep on their backs, on a firm mattress.


Child Furniture Safety for Secondhand Cribs

  • In an ideal world, we would discourage you from using second-hand cribs. However, should you opt for one, we would advise you to make sure that it doesn’t have any loose or missing parts, and that it still follows as many safety guidelines as possible.


  • For older models of cribs, make sure you do your research. Read reviews from parents who have used the model over an extended period (rather than briefly testing something out). And be sure to see if the worst reviews are related to safety concerns or not. Also check whether there have been any recalls for the crib model or not.

While this doesn’t apply to cribs manufactured under the latest safety requirements, if you intend to use a second-hand crib, make sure that it doesn’t have any elevated corner posts, or decorative cutouts at the head or the foot. Clothes can get stuck on the corner posts and be a strangulation risk, while cutout designs can trap the baby’s head or limbs.

Safety Tips for Changing Tables

Creative Storage Ideas for Baby Nurseries
  • Buy a changing table that has a 2-inch guardrail on all four sides, with a changing pad that is concave in shape. This would reduce the risk of the baby rolling over and falling.

  • Be sure to use the belt provided with the changing table to secure the baby, while changing them. Since changing tables are positioned at a height, using the belt would ensure that your child doesn’t suddenly turn and cause accidents or fall off.

  • Never leave your child unattended on the changing table, regardless of whether they are fastened with the safety belt or not.

  • Try to keep all cleaning supplies nearby so that the baby is never out of your reach while you are reaching for a diaper, a rash cream or a piece of clothing.

Do not let the baby play with toiletries while you are changing them. They could pull the cap open with their mouths, ingest or inhale something dangerous.

The Four Rs of Child Furniture Safety

Wholesome Nest Nursery Decor nursery trend

Regardless of what products you buy for the nursery, try following the four R’s of baby-proofing a nursery: Research, Recalls, Register and Read.


Do not buy something for your child’s nursery, based solely on marketing tactics and/or influencer recommendation. Do your research. Make sure you get information from multiple, credible, objective sources so that you buy products that are not only functional but also safe for your baby. Invest time in doing your research. A lot of positively reviewed products get unpopular upgrades, so make sure your research is as up-to-date as possible. Make sure you keep referring to the official resources for the latest federal rulings and regulations. These include:

(Check for) Recalls

Before finalizing any product, especially something as important and pricey as a crib, a stroller or a car seat, make sure you check for recalls. You can do so by visiting www.recalls.gov and search for the product that you wish to buy. The recall listing is updated every two weeks, so you will have to stay on top of things to be sure that the model you’re considering doesn’t make the list.

Register (your product)

When you buy something for the baby’s nursery, if you have the option, register the product with the manufacturer. You can do this by following the instructions given in the registration card that comes with the product manual. If you register the product, the manufacturer is obligated to notify you in case the product is recalled.

Read (the manual)

Much like the literature that comes with medications, many people underestimate the importance of the manual that comes with a crib, a playpen or a stroller. These manuals contain vital information not just about how the product works, but also how to troubleshoot problems, if need be. Other important pieces of information included in the manual are storage instructions, warnings and cleaning instructions. Please do not underestimate the importance of the manual, which is often what stands between good after sales services and a void warranty.

Nursery Safety Resources

We hope you found this article helpful. In the current social climate, safety in the outside world is an unguaranteed luxury. However, we hope we can help you make your baby’s room the safest it can be. So that they don’t look back and think they were born in a pandemic-ridden world, but that their little world was the safest it could be, despite being surrounded by four walls.

Happy Nesting!

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