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Are drop-side cribs safe?

While they may seem convenient to use, drop-side cribs can pose a serious safety hazard. Their manufacture and sale has been banned in the United States and Canada. Organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend they not be used. Let’s learn about drop-side cribs and the dangers associated with them.

Baby sleeping in a crib
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The history of the crib

The earliest raised beds designed specifically for children date back to the early 1600s in what is now Italy. They evolved to look more like modern-day cribs in the 19th century. Cribs once were an item made by traditional woodworkers, and while handmade cribs are still available, mass-produced beds are more common. In the United States, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has regulated crib manufacturing standards since 1973.

Why these cribs were banned

Drop-side cribs were especially popular in America up until their ban in 2011. These types of infant beds allowed a caregiver to more easily access a child by simply lowering one side of the crib, which unfortunately created a gap that babies could get stuck in. After more than 30 infant deaths from strangulation and suffocation, the CPSC prohibited the use of these cribs in homes as well as motels, hotels, and child care facilities. In addition, the safety commission required more stringent safety tests for cribs, stronger mattress supports, and sturdier hardware.

Modern-day recommendations

Baby boy lying in crib
Pixel-Shot/Shutterstock.com

All of those soft, cuddly items that used to be common in cribs also can be hazardous. The AAP suggests that to avoid the risk of suffocation, infants sleep in a crib (not drop-side) with a firm mattress and no blankets, bumpers, stuffed animals, or any other soft object. In addition, infants should sleep in their own bed near their parents (not co-sleep) on their backs to reduce the chance of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

In a nutshell, drop-side cribs are not considered safe. Older cribs, perhaps those that have been handed down through generations, may not meet modern safety standards. Check the width of the gaps between slats, among other measurements as explained by the CPSC on any used crib you purchase. There also are immobilizer kits for purchase online that will turn a drop-side crib into a fixed-side crib.

Want more? Read on further to find crib-training solutions for your baby.

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Get inspired with these fantasy choices
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If you love all things fantasy -- from books and movies to video games and beyond, you may have considered a fantasy-inspired girl name for your baby. Thanks to the emerging popularity of this genre, fantasy names are becoming more and more common. Consider names like Arya, which took off after the premiere of Game of Thrones, or Arwen, which was popularized by J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings series. Names from fantasy books and movies can be an endless list to choose from.

If you've been thinking of a fantasy girl name for your little one, you have a lot of choices. We've compiled a list of nine beautiful fantasy girl names for your baby that are out of this world and that can help you narrow down your options.
Aurora
Meaning "dawn," Aurora is well known for being Sleeping Beauty's given name. It is also the name of the mystical aurora borealis, otherwise known as the Northern Lights, which much of the U.S. was able to witness recently.
Guinevere
The name alone evokes images of fair maidens and fantastical settings and was also the name of King Arthur's Queen. The name was often translated into Jennifer, but we think Guinevere is a beautiful option for someone looking for a fantasy-inspired name.
Juno
From Latin meaning "youthful" or "queen of the gods," this name would be ideal for any little girl. Despite the name being around for centuries, it has grown in popularity over the last two decades or so.
Seraphine
A fantastical take on the traditional Sarah, Seraphine is less common than Seraphina, which is also a stunning name option, making it a great name choice for those who want something unique but not unheard of.
Eowyn
Another name popularized in The Lord of the Rings books, Eowyn, pronounced "ay-oh-wyn" is a nontraditional name rooted in the fantasy genre.
Melisande
Another name that gained attention is Melisandre, which is of Old German and Old French origin and means strong in work and brave strength. The fantasy series Game of Thrones featured a character named Melisandre.
Sorsha
Fans of the 1988 movie Willow will recognize the name Sorsha as the name of the princess in the film. Meaning "bright" or "freedom," this is a beautiful fantasy name for a girl.
Dauphine
Evoking images of royalty, Dauphine is the name you're looking for if you want a fantasy name with some French flavor.
Luna
Give your little girl the moon with the name Luna, the choice of Chrissy Teigen and John Legend for their eldest daughter.

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When do babies start walking? This is what you should expect
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We bribe. We beg. We will set that baby up for those first steps any way we can. But your little one will not start walking before they're ready. When is that? When do babies start walking? It's the next major milestone after crawling, and parents cannot wait to capture the moment their baby discovers they have two feet that will take them anywhere. If you have a baby who's about to become a walker, this is what you should expect before the first step is attempted.
Look for clues to tell when your baby will start walking

First things first — there are markers to watch out for to know your baby is about to walk. If you keep an eye on that little human of yours, they give hints as to when they're ready to start walking. By then, you can obsessively watch them so you don't miss a step.
Your baby will hit these milestones when it's almost time to walk

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Unisex baby names: These are our top picks
Take the stress out of baby naming with these unisex name options
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Unisex baby names are gaining in popularity as parents realize they have more options than ever when it comes to naming their baby. Some parents choose a unisex baby name because they love the name regardless of the gender of their baby, while others choose a unisex name because they are looking to distance themselves from those traditional "boy" or "girl" naming conventions.
Why we love unisex names

Although gender reveals are still incredibly popular, choosing a unisex baby name allows parents to give their baby a name they love, regardless of their sex. Many unisex baby names fall into the less traditional category, which is perfect for parents looking for something a little more unique for their child. If you're making a list of potential names for your baby, here are our favorite unisex baby names for consideration.
Atlas
Atlas is the ideal name for any parent who wants their child to travel the world! This name of Greek origin has swiftly begun to climb the ranks of popularity in the U.S. since 2015. Celebrities like Edward Norton and Shay Mitchell have used this unisex name for their children.
Blair
Although Blair originated as a Scottish surname, it has grown popular as a unisex name in North America.
Chase
This name was more popular among boy names, but now Chase is often used by parents looking for a cool, unique unisex name for their daughters. Chase is giving us those athletic vibes.
Dylan
Like Chase, Dylan was once primarily used as a boy name but has grown in popularity in recent years as a common choice for girls. The Welsh name means "son of the sea," but we can all agree that this is the perfect unisex name for any water baby.
Kai
Kai, often seen as a form of Kaia, is a name of Hawaiian origin dominating unisex name charts. It's simplistic but far from basic and is a beautiful choice for any parent looking for a dreamy unisex name.
Mackenzie
Mackenzie is another name of Scottish origin that has been adopted from the surname and is almost equally popular as a name for both boys and girls.
Paris
Paris is known as the City of Love, making it the perfect name for your baby. Thanks to public figures like Paris Hilton, it may be known more commonly as a girl's name, but it is commonly used for both genders.
Morgan
Morgan is one of the most traditional unisex names, making it great for parents who want a combination of the two. You could probably name as many girls as you could boys Morgan, making it a very popular unisex baby name choice.

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