Consumer Reports recommends that parents use only the mattress that came with the cradle. Adding a different one may create too large of a space between the mattress and the cradle's edges, raising the risk for suffocation between the edge of the cradle and the mattress. For bedding, use only the mattress cover that was provided with the cradle. Buy at least three covers so you'll have backups when one of them is in the wash. Never substitute another sheet of a different size. Sheets, blankets, pillows and plush animals add to the risk of suffocation.
Back to Sleep
Place babies on their backs to sleep. According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, placing babies on their backs makes them less likely to die of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Never leave your child unattended in a cradle, and avoid picking up and moving it while your baby is inside.
A cradle should be constructed according to the most recent safety guidelines, with a sturdy, wide bottom and a firm mattress. When your baby and you are sleeping, lock rocking cradles to prevent accidental movement. Check the bolts and screws periodically to ensure they are tight and that no piece is missing. Always read and follow the weight and age limits for a cradle, and fill out the registration card that comes with it so you will be informed immediately about recalls.
Place your baby cradle in a safe spot with no hazardous surroundings. If the cradle is near a window, close the blinds to prevent excessive sun exposure and tie the cords well out of your baby's reach to avoid risk of strangulation. Toys should not be in or around the cradle. Hang infant mobiles high enough so that your baby cannot reach them.