Trouble Spot 1: A crowded crib
"The safest crib contains a snug mattress with a tight-fitting sheet, and that's it," says Nancy Cowles, executive director of Kids in Danger, an organization that advocates for children's product safety. In the first year, an infant can suffocate on a blanket, stuffed animal, pillow, or any other soft objects. Keep Baby warm with a wearable blanket.
Trouble Spot 2: A drop-side crib
In June, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a ban on sales of cribs with this feature, due to suffocation hazards. (The sides are prone to detaching, and babies can get trapped between the mattress and the crib.) "Purchase a new crib if you can," Cowles says. "They're a lot safer now than even just a few years ago."
Trouble Spot 3: A sleep positioner
These padded mats with cushions that stop a baby from rolling onto her tummy are popular with parents trying to prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). But babies have wriggled into precarious positions or suffocated on the foam. Last year, the CPSC and the Food and Drug Administration warned against them.
Trouble Spot 4: Yankable dècor
A mobile over the crib is fine, but "you should remove it once Baby is about 5 months old and can sit up enough to be able to pull up on it," Cowles cautions. Same goes for any hanging objects near your child's bed.
Trouble Spot 5: A baby monitor that's too close for comfort
"Never put a monitor in the crib," Cowles says. A baby can go from being a sack of potatoes to on-the-go seemingly overnight, so there's always the risk he can get a cord stuck around his neck. Keep the monitor (even a video monitor) at least 3 feet from the crib, with cords inaccessible.