Crib Tents for Babies: How to Choose, Safety Tips & More
Babies are curious, and once they can move around on their own, it can be tricky trying to keep them in one place, especially their cribs! This is why some parents need to find creative ways and inventions to keep their little ones from escaping their cribs. One of these inventions available on the market is a crib tent.
But, are crib tents dangerous, or are they indeed as safe as we assume? What is it, and what are the pros and cons associated with them? Here, we will take a look at all this and more.
What Is a Crib Tent?
Shaped like a dome, crib tents are very similar to the pop-up tents we are familiar with that spring open when unpacked. Crib tents are often made with mesh and given shape with some flexible wires.
Crib tents are marketed as being great for preventing your toddlers from climbing out of their cribs once they have learned how to pull themselves up, stand and climb. They are also said to be a great way to keep pests and insects out of the crib.
Pros of Crib Tents
It is always wise to look at every angle before deciding on something. Here are some pros for you to consider when you find yourself questioning, “are crib tents safe for newborns and toddlers?”:
- It stops your baby from falling out of the crib, preventing mild or severe injuries, especially to the head and neck.
- It keeps your baby’s things from falling out of the crib, removing the temptation to climb out and get it back.
- Your baby is kept safe from insects.
- Pets and fur will not disturb your sleeping baby.
Cons of Crib Tents
While crib tents may have been designed with the safety of babies in mind, everything has its cons. Here are some crib tents risks you should be cautious about if you are seriously considering a crib tent for your little one:
- If the crib somehow gets detached and moves around or becomes inverted, it could be hazardous for your child.
- Broken zippers or wires could injure your child.
- Torn mesh or fabrics are a suffocation hazard.
- If there is an insect already inside the tent, you may endanger your child by trapping them in with the insect.
- If there is an emergency, it will take a few more seconds to get to your baby, as you will need to first get through the entry. With nervous and fumbling hands, it may take even longer to unzip or undo the entrance. In an emergency, a few seconds or minutes is the difference between life and death.
What to Consider Before Purchasing Crib Tents
Whether or not you need a crib tent depends on your situation. While some parents have managed to get a handle on the crib-escape situation that they have found themselves faced with, other parents cannot. For some parents, a crib tent may be the only option to keep their child safe as there is more risk to their child without the crib tent than with it.
With the many different makes and styles of crib tents available on the market today, you may find yourself lost as to how to choose the best crib tent you can. Here are a few things for you to consider before purchasing a crib tent:
Babies are messy, and the crib tent will inevitably need to be cleaned. Picking a crib tent that can be machine-washed will be ideal in saving you time.
3. Right Fit
Size matters when it comes to crib tents. Your baby should not be able to move the tent around inside the crib, as may happen with a tent that is too small. The tent should also not be too big, as these may create folds inside that your baby could get stuck in.
4. Practical Features
Depending on your needs, different tents offer different features. Some tents offer a blackout feature – this means that your baby will be able to sleep peacefully even if you have the lights on in the room. Others may provide a place for you to keep your baby within your monitoring. However, the essential feature to look out for is whether you can remove your baby from the crib tent easily and quickly.
Your child should be able to stand comfortably inside the tent. Having enough space to move around will also prevent your child from feeling suffocated or uncomfortable inside the crib tent.
5 Ways to Keep Your Toddler Safe From Climbing Out of the Crib
Once your little one reaches toddlerhood, you are going to need to be wary of them climbing around and even trying to get out of the crib! Here are some ways that you can keep your child from climbing their cribs:
1. Try Out a Sleep Sack
Sleepsacks perform similar functions to a swaddle and will restrict the movement of your child’s limbs only enough to make it harder to climb out of the crib. Some babies find sleep sacks cozy and comfortable, but others take some time to get used to it.
2. Childproof the Room
Make sure your child’s entire room is child-proof. This means that in addition to adding some gates and locks, you will need to make sure that the furniture around the crib does not aid your child in an escape attempt. Any furniture around the crib that your child can use to escape should be moved away from the crib. Where you place the crib is also essential. Never place a crib by an open window, and always ensure that you place the shortest side against the wall.
3. Lower the Mattress
As soon as your baby can stand, lower the mattress in the crib. This is the simplest solution to ensuring your baby is not tempted to go over the side if they learn to climb soon after. This is only a temporary solution that will work for a few months.
4. Switch From Crib to Toddler Bed
If your baby is already climbing out of the crib, it may be time to graduate to a toddler bed. These beds are considered one of the best alternatives to crib tents and are much like regular beds, except they have safety rails in place to prevent your little one from falling off while sleeping.
5. Crib Furniture Matters
How to Ensure Safety Protection in Crib Tents
Though you know you need a crib tent to keep your child safe, there may always be a nagging doubt lingering at the back of your mind. You may still wonder and question, “Are crib tents safe for babies?” and if you are making the right decision.
Just know that if you feel like you need a crib tent, there are some ways through which you can make sure that your baby is protected and safe inside it.
1. Fix it Securely
Children move around in their cribs, so ensuring that your baby will not accidentally shift the crib is another crucial aspect of ensuring your baby is safe in a crib tent. Check all the ties or clasps regularly and ensure that they are always holding the crib in place.
2. Check for Damage
Set aside some time in your daily routine to check for any damages, or at least make sure you do it a few times a week. By catching damage early, you can prevent several problems later on.
3. Do Not DIY
If your crib net has damage to the mesh or zippers that are not working correctly, leave it. Do not try to fix these things yourself, as it may make things worse. If you are unwilling to buy a new crib tent or cannot repair the damage, you may want to consider moving your child to a toddler bed.
4. Monitor Audio
If you want to be made aware of something wrong with your baby when left alone in the crib tent, use a baby monitor to monitor any audio around your baby.
5. Ease of Access
Picking out the right crib tent is essential, and one of the most important things to look at is how easy it is to get your child in and out of the crib tent. Make sure that whichever tent you choose, you pick one that will not hinder you from getting to your child as soon as possible in the event of an emergency.
Remember that there will always be people out there with their own opinions of what is safe for your child and what isn’t. As a parent, you will always have your child’s best interest in mind, and if you feel like the safest thing for you would be to use a crib tent, keep the precautions in mind and choose your crib tent wisely. There is no reason you should not be able to use it successfully if you are mindful and careful.