I was planning to build a bedside cot for a newborn and I was looking for some safety standard to follow. All I could find were places where these are sold (like https://www.bsigroup.com/en-GB/search-results/?q=716&standards=Standards and https://standardsdevelopment.bsigroup.com/projects/2017-02678).

The prices are a bit too much for an hobby project and probably there is a lot more information inside than I actually need.

One piece of information I could find is this: https://www.childsafetyeurope.org/publications/info/product-safety-guide.pdf, which mentions some measurement for safety.

I was wondering if there is something simpler than the whole standard but more informative than the linked PDF for the hobbyist that won't sell but just build for himself. Also these are for the BS-EN-716 but I believe this has been updated in the 1031:2019.

UPDATE: I am from the UK, but to be honest even a US regulation would be fine as I just want to make it safe.

  • Unfortunately, those links will be dead in an internet moment, making this question less useful to others in the future. It sounds like you are looking for some general guidelines for baby furniture. Standards bodies will have a different idea of risk than the individual, so you might be better helped by just looking at some plans and assessing them yourself.
    – user5572
    Commented Dec 10, 2019 at 15:48
  • You're probably going to be next on the hunt for info on safe finishes for this? You can use anything, and I mean anything, and it'll be perfectly safe once fully cured. So if the plan is to use the crib soon after construction try to give yourself a lead time of a fortnight to a month. If you'd prefer not to take some random Internet bloke's word for this important aspect of it — and you shouldn't — do research it for yourself, but you'll discover it's difficult to find reliable info from trustworthy sources on this question [contd]
    – Graphus
    Commented Dec 11, 2019 at 8:35
  • And unfortunately much of what you read will confound toxicity of the liquid finish with that of the dry finish. Toxicity of the finish when wet is irrelevant data (except to the person doing the finishing) because in service the wet components are completely gone and/or completely different to the dry components, due to evaporation and drying/curing processes.
    – Graphus
    Commented Dec 11, 2019 at 8:41
  • 1
    I do believe that "anything" will work for a finish. I will probably go with any food safe finish, maybe Shellac, but yeah I will try and give any finish time to cure.
    – Tallmaris
    Commented Dec 11, 2019 at 9:47
  • Shellac is one of the ideal finishes because it's so easy to show that it's safe, since it's actually used to coat some foodstuffs (as is wax, the other easy sell). If you were unsure either of those, or both, were what I was going to suggest. So anyway if you are using shellac it'll be dissolved in meths or an equivalent and it's back to being completely safe once the alcohols have evaporated, but it takes longer, at least a few days, for a thin coating (2-3 brushed coats) to get fully hard. Paul Sellers has a vid on YT on finishing with shellac that might be perfect for your needs.
    – Graphus
    Commented Dec 11, 2019 at 16:58

1 Answer 1


Here is some details I found that are relevant:

  • The slats and corner posts of a crib should be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart. Wider spacing poses an entrapment danger.
  • Corner posts should be flush with the end panels (or no more than 1/16 inches higher).
  • In a safe crib, the hardware — bolts, screws, and the like — should be firmly secured, with no sharp edges or rough areas and no spots that can pinch or otherwise injure your baby. The crib's wood should be free of cracks or splits. (And the entire crib — sides, slats, and all — should be very sturdy with tight joints.)
  • For a natural nursery, stick to non-toxic paint with low or no volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Any crib that has peeling or cracked paint (even lead-free) should also be refinished.
  • Make sure the mattress fits snugly against the inside of the crib. To ensure crib safety, try the two-finger test: If you can fit more than two fingers — Mom's, not Dad's if he has big hands — between the mattress and the crib, the mattress isn't a good fit. (The harder it is for you to make the bed, the better for your baby.) Also, if the mattress is new, pull off that plastic. Make sure, too, that the mattress itself is firm.

Taken from https://www.chop.edu/primary-care/getting-ready-your-newborn-home

  • 1
    Another point I remember seeing -- if you use round dowels for crib sides, they must not rotate.
    – Eugene
    Commented Dec 10, 2019 at 21:14
  • Cradles often can rock but should have high (12" +/-) padded sides that secure to side railing slats/dowels will also prevent anything from slipping through gaps. Of course once the baby can begin rolling over a standard crib is in order. Crib design features in US and I assume Europe are regulated by government (and business insurance companies).
    – Ashlar
    Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 22:26

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