Cribs, cradles and bassinets

Learn what to look for when buying a crib, cradle and bassinet and how to use them safely.

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Buying safety

Before you buy a crib, cradle or bassinet, check the recalls and safety alerts database.

Cribs, cradles and bassinets sold in Canada must meet current safety regulations. This includes items sold at second-hand stores and online second-hand retailers.

If you're buying a crib, check when it was made. Cribs made before September 1986 don't meet current safety regulations and should not be used. As of December 29, 2016, the sale, importation, manufacture or advertisement of traditional drop-side cribs is prohibited.

When buying a crib, cradle or bassinet, look for:

  • a product label (model name or number)
  • instructions on proper use
  • the date of manufacture
  • posts that are not higher than 1.5 mm (1/16 in)
  • bars that are spaced 6 cm (2 3/8 in) or less
  • a tight-fitting mattress with up to 3 cm (1 3/16 in) between the sides and the mattress
  • a mattress with the right thickness
    • for crib mattresses, 15 cm (6 in) thick and under
    • for cradle and bassinet mattresses, 3.8 cm (1 1/2 in) thick and under

If you've had a crib, cradle or bassinet for a while, you will need to:

  • replace the mattress if it's worn out or too soft
  • check that all wood and metal parts:
    • are free of splinters or burrs and other defects
    • have a smooth finish and no sharp edges and points
    • have no loose nuts or bolts
  • destroy it if it's damaged or has missing parts

Safe use

Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when using a crib, cradle or bassinet and do not modify it. You should check that the item is solid and that screws and bolts are tight. This should be done frequently.

Place your crib, cradle or bassinet away from:

  • lamps
  • curtains
  • windows
  • patio doors
  • blind cords
  • electrical plugs
  • extension cords
  • electrical cords, such as those found on night lamps or baby monitors

Also use a fitted bottom sheet made specifically for a crib mattress of the same size.

When your baby can sit upright or push up on his hands and knees, you should:

  • take away mobiles and toy bars
  • move the crib mattress support to its lowest level

To avoid the risk of suffocation, you should never:

  • harness or tie your baby to the crib, cradle or bassinet
  • use pillows, comforters, stuffed toys or bumper pads in the crib, cradle or bassinet
  • leave your baby in the crib, cradle or bassinet with:
    • a necklace
    • an elastic band
    • a scarf
    • a pacifier on a long cord

When to change to the next bed

Each crib, cradle and bassinet is geared towards a certain age. Follow the manufacturer's recommended age, weight or height limit, whichever comes first. You can also move your child from a:

  • bassinet to a crib or cradle when they can roll over
  • cradle to a crib when they can push up on their hands and knees
  • crib to a junior bed when they can climb out on their own or are taller than 90 cm (35 in), whichever comes first
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