Overview of ASTM F2194

ASTM F2194, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Bassinets and Cradles, establishes safety performance requirements, test methods, and labeling requirements to minimize the identified hazard patterns associated with the use of bassinets/cradles. ASTM first published a consumer product safety standard for bassinets and cradles in 2002. The standard was revised several times over the next 11 years. The current version of the standard is ASTM F2194-13. The more significant requirements of ASTM F2194 include:

  • Scope—describes the types of products intended to be covered under the standard.
  • Spacing of rigid side components—is intended to prevent child entrapment between both uniformly and non-uniformly spaced components, such as slats. Side rails should be close enough so that you cannot place a soda can between the slots.
  • Openings for mesh/fabric—is intended to prevent the entrapment of children's fingers and toes, as well as button ensnarement. Large mesh in old playpens do not meet the new requirements.
  • Static load test—is intended to ensure structural integrity even when a child three times the recommended (or 95th percentile) weight uses the product.
  • Stability requirements—is intended to ensure that the product does not tip over when pulled on by a two-year-old male.
  • Sleeping pad thickness and dimensions—is intended to minimize gaps and the possibility of suffocation due to excessive padding. Many older bassinets and cradles have thick mattresses, which do not meet the new standards.
  • Tests of locking and latching mechanisms—is intended to prevent unintentional folding while in use. "(5) In addition to complying with section 6.9.2 of ASTM F2194-13, comply with the following:....(iii) 6.10.2. The lock/latch shall automatically engage under the weight of the bassinet bed (without any other force or action) in all lateral positions. Older bassinets and pack and plays do lock lock without additional force, and therefore do not meet the current requirements for safety.
  • Suffocation warning label—is intended to help prevent soft bedding incidents. Older products did not have these labels.
  • Fabric-sided openings test—is intended to prevent entrapments.
  • Rock/swing angle requirement—is intended to address suffocation hazards that can occur when latch/lock problems and excessive rocking or swinging angles press children into the side of the bassinet/cradle. Bassinettes and cradles must lock when in the sleeping position. Many older cradles do not have locks.
  • Occupant restraints—is intended to prevent incidents where unused restraints have entrapped and strangled children. such as rock n plays, which are not safe sleep approved, AND RECENTLY RECALLED.
  • Side height requirement—is intended to prevent falls.
  • Segmented mattress flatness — is intended to address suffocation hazards associated with “V” shapes that can be created by the segmented mattress folds.

"(5) In addition to complying with section 6.9.2 of ASTM F2194-13, comply with the following:....

(iii) 6.10.2. The lock/latch shall automatically engage under the weight of the bassinet bed (without any other force or action) in all lateral positions

Older bassinets and pack and plays do lock lock without additional force, and therefore do not meet the current requirements for safety.

*Many people will argue that you can sell or give them away for 'crafting purposes', we have checked with CPSC,

and their response was this;    " No one can insure that the crib will be used for the intended purposes (as someone wanting to sell   it for craft). Therefore, regardless of intent, a recalled product cannot be sold. In this case, dropside cribs are non-compliant with current standards and therefore cannot be sold."

Drop side cribs

If your baby crib no longer meets safety standards then it should be destroyed in a way that it cannot be reassembled and used. This way you will prevent an unsafe baby crib from turning up at a yard sale or thrift store.

By properly disposing of unsafe cribs you may have just saved another baby’s life.

Selling used baby gear is a great way to recoup some of the cost of the things your baby has outgrown. However, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) recently made it illegal to sell recalled products, which means that you should be careful to investigate the baby items you're selling to avoid trouble down the line.

This is not a personal attack, merely a warning to the new crib laws, which you may not be aware of. We would hate to see a child injured in a recalled item, and we would hate to see   that parent bring a lawsuit against you for selling an illegal item . It is now illegal to sell any crib that does not meet the new safety standards. Traditional drop-side cribs cannot be made or sold; immobilizers and repair kits are also NOT allowed.

We wanted to make you aware that on June 28, 2011 a new federal law became effective that requires any crib produced or sold after that date to meet new federal requirements related to the safety of full and non-full sized cribs. Among other aspects of the new requirements, retailers must only offer cribs for sale that meet the new Commission requirements. Selling a crib on Craigslist/or another site is considered by the Commission staff to be online retailing. Traditional drop side cribs produced prior to June 28, 2011 will not meet the standard and cannot legally be sold. The new standard was put in place as a result of numerous injuries and deaths to infants in cribs.

  • If the crib was designed to be used as a toddler bed and has the flat wooden bottom (not the metal springs) you can sell it as such, but you cannot include the side that drops

if you want to give one away for a re-purpose project, you still need to dispose of the side that drops, first. (note: the community gardens love that one piece, for climbing plants such as beans and peas)

  • If your crib is not a drop side, and was purchased prior to this date, please check with the manufacturer to see if it meets the new standards. If it does, you can ask for a certificate that it does, making it easier to sell.

Here is a specific link for the new crib standard which is posted on the Commission’s website: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml11/11260.html.

Please also take a moment and visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website at www.cpsc.gov for recall and other consumer product safety information.

Under the law administered by the Commission
it is now illegal to sell or re-sell a crib that does not meet the new requirements of the Crib Safety Standard. It is also illegal to sell/donate a previously recalled crib even if that crib was repaired under a previously announced recall program that provided an immobilizer to prevent the drop side of the crib from being raised or lowered. These cribs do not meet the new crib standard and should not be sold/given away.

We urge you to remove your listing offering your pre-standard crib for sale and to take immediate steps to ensure that the crib is disposed of in a safe manner to prevent further use and to reduce the risk of injuries to infants placed in the crib. We also urge you not to donate or give away your pre-standard crib since it does not meet the new crib safety requirements.

Bassinets  and cradles

Play yards with newborn nappers: safe or not?

Our concerns with the napper was how it was designed and marketed
to parents as a place for newborns to sleep. Here’s how Graco describes it:

The Newborn Napper’s soft, cushy fabrics make it the perfect nap spot
for your new arrival.

We stated in the book that we consider soft fabrics and items like the
napper’s the head support a risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Graco contacted us to share safety and testing data on the Newborn Napper. So let’s take a second and look at this controversy and give you both sides of the argument.

First, a bit of background: the play yard in recent years as morphed into a second nursery. Graco was one of the first play yard makers to spot this trend and began adding features to their best-selling Pack N Play to meet this use. Hence, play yards began sprouting bassinets, diaper changing stations and the like.

In 2008, Graco introduced the Newborn Napper, a separate space that sat above the bassinet mattress. This proved popular and Graco has expanded the number of Pack N Plays with this feature in the past year to include ten models. It is currently the fifth best-selling play yard on Amazon.

Graco includes several safety warnings for the napper. First, the napper is only for “supervised sleep”: “You are responsible for providing adult supervision when using your napper,” says the instruction manual. Parents are supposed to discontinue use of the napper when a baby can roll over (that typically happens at two to four months of age).

As for safety standards, The Newborn Napper falls into a grey zone—there are no specific federal safety standards for a napping device that is attached to a playpen. Graco told us they believe the Napper falls under standards that would be similar to swing or a car seat. It is not intended for overnight sleep.

As for “soft cushy fabrics,” Graco told us they think it is safe. “The Napper is designed with a breathable material that has been tested for gross misuse and has passed a number of third party tests for risk of suffocation, CO2 rebreathing, and strangulation. The napper is also designed to keep the baby in a safe position and prevents them from rolling by centering the child’s weight and sitting at an incline to keep the child in a safe position,” the company said in an email.

Finally, Graco notes that in the hundreds of thousands of Newborn Nappers that have been sold, there hasn’t been a single consumer complaint about the product causing suffocation or asphyxiation.

All this is well and good—but we still aren’t going to recommend the Newborn Napper. Here are our reasons:

1. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) just released an updated policy statement on SIDS that clearly states infants should ONLY be put to sleep on a flat, firm surface with NO soft bedding of any kind. The Newborn Napper clearly does not meet this test. While we understand that Graco has tested the product and believes the “soft, cushy fabrics” it uses are safe, we believe this at best sends a mixed message to parents. Just to be clear: we think the BASSINET feature on Graco and many other play yards is safe—this provides a flat, firm surface for babies to sleep.

2. It is unrealistic to think that a parent will be able to supervise their baby sleeping in the Newborn Napper at all moments. And babies can roll over with little or no notice, as soon as two months old.

3. The head support pillow is completely unnecessary and a potential safety risk, in our opinion. Yes, car seats have head support pillows, but they are not designed as a place for infants to sleep. The pillows are for crash protection. The head support on the Newborn Napper serves no obvious function.

4. The AAP also recommends against using “sitting devices” for routine sleep:

Sitting devices, such as car safety seats, strollers, swings, infant carriers, and infant slings, are not recommended for routine sleep in the hospital or at home. Infants who are younger than 4 months are particularly at risk, because they might assume positions that can create risk of suffocation or airway obstruction.

So you might ask what is “routine sleep”? Is a newborn nap in a Napper “routine sleep”? We’d argue there isn’t much difference between naps and “routine sleep”. Newborns sleep for 2-4 hours at a stretch, eat and then go back to sleep again. There is little time they are actually awake. Hence, the safest place for a newborn to sleep (whether you call it a nap, nighttime sleep or whatever) is in a full-size crib or bassinet withe a flat, firm surface.

Bottom line: our recommendation stands. We recommend the Graco Pack N Play with the bassinet feature. WE DO NOT RECOMMEND THE NEWBORN NAPPER FEATURE.


  • While old cribs have an antiquated charm to them it is highly unlikely that they will meet modern safety standards. Rule of thumb; the older a baby crib, the more unsafe it will be for your baby.Cribs made prior to 1978 may be coated in lead paint. While lead paint was considered perfectly safe to use back then, today it is recognized as a dangerous neurotoxin.
  • Drop down sides,  were originally designed to allow for easier access to cribs for parents. Rather than bend over the crib from above, you could simple  adjust the crib side so that one wall would slide down. Unfortunately, this ease of access came at a cost. Between 2001 and 2010 cribs with drop down sides were linked to over 32 infant deaths. In 2011 the CPSC banned sales of all cribs with drop down sides. Cribs with drop down sides often turn up at yard sales. While it may seem like a great feature, it is in your baby’s best interests that you walk away.
  • The distance between slats should measure no more than 2 3/8 inches. While this is not so much of a problem in modern cribs, the distance can vary greatly in older models. The wider the distance between slats, the greater the chance of your baby getting a limb stuck.If you don’t have a measuring tape simply try to squeeze a regular can of soda between the slats. If you cannot get the soda can through, then it is unlikely that baby will become trapped.
  • Corner posts that project higher than 1/16th of an inch pose a safety risk to your baby. Corner posts can easily catch onto your baby’s clothing and can result in choking or injury.Prior to 1990 it was common for baby cribs to have decorative corner posts. When buying a used baby crib it is in your best interests to steer clear of these cribs.

Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.

To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC's Hotline at 800-638-2772 or teletypewriter at 301-595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov

We appreciate your assistance on behalf of consumer safety.