Dangers of an Unsafe Twin Nursery

Alison Johnson 1

As a mother of 20-month old boy, girl twins and a beautiful 4-month old baby girl, life is busy – wonderfully busy. I am a member of a twin moms group, and I have made friends with a lot of mothers who have children around the same age as mine. That’s why when my family went through a very scary and potentially deadly situation, I felt compelled to share our experience with my twin mom friends and others that have babies close in age. I hoped to bring awareness to a danger that is not always very obvious or talked about.

Due to the lack of information out there about twin nurseries, I wasn’t surprised when many of my mom friends said that they shared a similar nursery arrangement to ours and had never perceived it as dangerous. What I was shocked by was how my story went viral so quickly after posting. Soon after I made the post, it was shared over 50,000 times and local and national news outlets were contacting me. All of the attention made me realize that while the danger lurking in our nursery was not readily apparent, it was more common than people realize and could truly happen to any family. That is why I would like to continue raising awareness by sharing my story again.

Alison Johnson 2

Our twins are just plain fun. They are both happy and active, but unlike anybody I have ever met before, my son, Caleb, exudes joy and a passion for life out of every pore. As such, he usually begins his, and everybody else in the family’s day between 4:30 and 5:30 A.M. While my husband and I haven’t completely gotten used to becoming such early risers, the bright side is that Caleb and his sister are usually ready for their naps around mid-morning. On most mornings this gives me the (rare and precious, as many moms will attest) opportunity to take a quick shower and run a brush through my hair.

One day shortly after the twins had turned sixteen months I put them down for their nap. They share a nursery and their cribs were placed side-by-side against the only wall that doesn’t have a door or a window. They had both just entered a stage in which they were fighting their naps and bedtime. On this particular morning I decided to postpone my routine until I was sure that they were going to fall asleep. At first everything was quiet, but not long after putting them down I heard Caleb begin to cry. It wasn’t long, however, before his normal cries of not wanting to go down for his nap transformed into real cries of distress.

I rushed into the nursery to find Caleb hanging in the space between his and his sister’s cribs. The space was only about six to eight inches wide, but he had some how managed to climb over the rail of his crib and slip his body through it. He was using every last ounce of strength he had in his arms to hold himself up. Had they given out, his head would not have fit through the opening. Had he been in that position for much longer, there’s no doubt in my mind that he would have suffocated himself. I rushed over and lifted him out from between the cribs. By the grace of God, everything is okay, but I still can’t escape the thought of what could have happened.

Not long before this incident Caleb had discovered his love of climbing, but he had never exhibited the desire or ability to climb out of his crib. To be safe, however, we had lowered his mattress to its lowest position. We had perceived the potential danger of him climbing out the crib, but the potential to get caught in the few inches between the cribs wasn’t on our radar. It also wasn’t noticed by the many friends and family members who had seen our nursery in person or in pictures online.

Immediately following the incident, we separated the cribs by what we now know to be a safe amount of space on all sides (3 feet). We didn’t quite know where to go from there, but we were certain that with how active our son is, this wouldn’t be the last time he tried to climb out of his crib.

Alison Johnson 4

We were fortunate to have a play yard, like the Delta Children Novel Idea 36" x 36" Playard in our home following the incident. The soft material and tall sides made it very difficult for Caleb to pull himself up. He slept in the play yard for a few days, and we were able to sleep easier knowing that he wasn’t able to climb out of it.

Since the incident we have gone through several more rounds of baby proofing. We also now have a Delta Children Safe-n-Clear Digital Audio Monitor with Temperature Sensor. Its 1,000-foot range is greater than the range of our previous monitor and ensures that we have coverage in every part of the house.

I am still sickened by the thought of what could have happened that day if I had not heard Caleb crying. Fortunately for us, everything turned out okay. My hope is that by sharing our story, other parents will take a second look at their nurseries and realize that even a gap of a few inches between any furniture item (NOT JUST ANOTHER CRIB!) is a potentially deadly hazard the can easily go unnoticed. Be sure to turn to baby companies like Delta Children for important safety tips and only purchase JPMA certified items for your precious little one to sleep in.

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