If you have a recalled Stork Craft crib, or you're worried generally about a drop-side crib of any make, where should baby sleep while you sort this out?
I asked Valerie Lee, executive director of the Infant and Toddler Safety Association, whether it's safe to put a crib mattress on the floor and simply not use the frame in the intervening time.
"No," said Lee. "A young baby could roll off. If it's against something they could get trapped and suffocate. If it's an older child they can move around. We can not recommend that that's a safe thing to do."
"The only safe place to put a baby or small toddler down is in a crib that meets standards and is in good condition," she said.
But that doesn't necessarily mean you need a new crib today, or even that your baby won't be safe in the crib you own for some time to come.
Lee advised parents to look carefully at the recall details of the Health Canada recall website.
Before throwing out a crib just because it's has a drop-down side, note that the recall only applies to Stork Craft drop-side cribs (some bearing a Fischer-Price logo) with plastic hardware, said Lee.
If the hardware is metal it is not being recalled.
"If parents have one of these cribs but the hardware is in good condition, it is perfectly safe to use while you wait for the repair kit," said Lee.
"Just check it every time you put the baby in the crib and order the repair kit right away."
To do that, you need to call Stork Craft's toll-free line, (1-877-274-0277), which, unsurprisingly, is ringing busy.
In a letter posted to customers at the company’s blog (storkcraft.blogspot.com), Stork Craft manager Adam Segal said the company is currently "working through the initial surge of inquiries and requests at the moment" and their website is experiencing heavy traffic.
They suggest emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information, all of which can be found on the bottom right corner of the mattress baseboard: model number of the crib, date of manufacture and country of manufacture. The company also asks parents to include complete shipping information in order to receive a free repair kit that will modify the cribs so the sides are fixed.You can also get more information by checking the company's twitter feed.
If your child is just about ready for a big-kid bed, you may be thinking of making the switch.
There's no precise recommended age, but Health Canada says your child should be at least two. Readiness depends on a number of factors including size of the child compared to the side of the crib, as well as the child's nature. Yours could be the type of child who is an active explorer, as opposed to one who will call for you in the morning before leaving the bed, explains Lee.
These factors, as well as whether or not your child has figured out how to climb or jump out of the crib, should be weighed in the decision.
What about sleeping with you?
The "family bed" is about as politically charged here as Roe V. Wade. Many families don't use cribs at all. I'm setting aside the debate on the merits and safety issues associated with co-sleeping for today and just relaying the official safety information. Please feel welcome share your thoughts in the comments below.