Federal law requires that bassinets and cradles comply with the bassinets and cradles standard and with additional requirements, including those of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA).

Manufacturers and importers of bassinets and cradles must certify in a Children's Product Certificate that the bassinet or cradle complies with the standard and the additional requirements after the bassinets and cradles have been tested for compliance at a CPSC-accepted, third party laboratory. These requirements are discussed below and at www.cpsc.gov/BusinessEducation.

What are bassinets and cradles?

A bassinet/cradle is a small bed designed primarily to provide sleeping accommodations for infants that is supported by freestanding legs, a stationary frame/stand, a wheeled base or a rocking base, or that can swing relative to a stationary base. While in a rest (non-rocking) position, a bassinet/cradle is intended to have a sleep surface less than or equal to 10 degrees from horizontal.

This standard also includes requirements pertaining to bassinets that are accessories to play yards or non-full-size cribs.  These accessories must meet both the bassinet and cradle standard in addition to the standard for the primary product, like a play yard or non-full-size crib.

What is the purpose of the bassinets and cradles standard?

The standard seeks to minimize the risk of deaths and injuries associated with the use of bassinets and cradles, including those related to infant falls, entrapment, or structural and design problems. 

Where can I find the standard for bassinets and cradles?

The standard is published in the Code of Federal Regulations at 16 CFR Part 1218. The standard incorporates by reference ASTM F2194-13, with some modifications.  ASTM F2194-13, the Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Bassinets and Cradles, contains the specific requirements and descriptions of the required tests and can be purchased from ASTM International.

What are the requirements for bassinets and cradles?

The ASTM standard includes performance requirements specific to bassinets and cradles, general performance requirements, and labeling requirements. The key provisions of the ASTM bassinets and cradles standard include the following:

  • Spacing of rigid components/fabric-sided enclosed openings – intended to prevent entrapment between slats or other rigid components that are under the fabric sides.
  • Static load – intended to ensure the product is structurally sufficient to hold the intended occupant.
  • Stability – intended to address incidents where a sibling, looking into the bassinet, might tip it over.
  • Sleeping pad thickness and dimensions – intended to prevent suffocation or asphyxiation as a result of gaps between the sleeping pad and non-rigid sides of a fabric or mesh bassinet.
  • Side height – intended to prevent falls from the product.
  • Flatness of segmented mattresses – intended to prevent asphyxiation of an occupant lying face down in a segmented mattress joint.
  • Rock/swing angle – for products that swing or rock, this requirement is intended to prevent entrapment due to the swing angle. 
  • Warnings – intended to alert the caregiver to infant fall and suffocation hazards when using bassinets and cradles.
  • Flammability – intended to ensure the product meets the flammability requirements of 16 CFR Part 1610

The ASTM standard also includes: (1) requirements prohibiting small parts; (2) requirements prohibiting hazardous sharp points and edges; (3) unintentional folding requirements; (4) requirements for the permanency and adhesion of labels; (5) requirements for toy accessories to meet ASTM F963 Toy Safety standard (6) scissoring, shearing, or pinching requirements, (7) corner post requirements, (8) requirements for fasteners, (9) requirements pertaining to bassinets that are accessories to play yards or non-full-size cribs, (10) restriction requirement for restraints, (11) openings requirements, (12) protective components requirements and (13) requirements for warnings and instructional literature.

The regulation at 16 CFR Part 1218 also contains modifications to the ASTM standard. The modifications include the following:

  • A change in the angle limitation for the segmented mattress flatness test. The federal standard limits the allowable angle to 10 degrees.
  • A clarification that dual mode/combination products shall meet the requirements of both (or all) standards associated with the use modes.
  • A modification to the stability test procedure to make it more stringent and representative of the use of the product.
  • A new requirement and test procedure to address the hazards associated with the stability of products that have removable bassinet beds that are designed to be used with or without the base.

What are the additional requirements for bassinets and cradles required by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008?

Bassinets and cradles are also subject to requirements for surface coatings, lead and phthalate content, testing and certification, registration cards, and tracking labels. These requirements are discussed below and at:www.cpsc.gov/BusinessEducation:

  • Surface Coating Limit: Bassinets and cradles must not be painted with paint that contains more than 90 ppm (0.009 percent) lead.
  • Lead Content Limit: Bassinets and cradles must not contain greater than 100 ppm (0.01 percent) of total lead content in any accessible component part.
  • Phthalate Content Limits: Plasticized components of bassinets and cradles must not contain more than 0.1 percent of the following phthalates: di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP), or benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP). Plasticized components of bassinets and cradles also must not contain more than 0.1 percent of diisononyl phthalate (DINP), diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP), or di-n-octyl phthalate while an interim statutory ban of these phthalates remains in effect.
  • Testing and Certification: Bassinets and cradles, like all products that are designed or intended primarily for children 12 years of age or younger, must be tested by a CPSC-accepted, third party laboratory for compliance with the bassinets and cradles standard and all other applicable children's product safety rules. Based on that testing, a domestic manufacturer (or importer) of bassinets and cradles must issue a Children's Product Certificate specifying each applicable rule and indicating that the product complies with those rules.
  • Product and Outer Package Labeling Requirements:  Durable infant or toddler products, such as bassinets and cradles, must be permanently marked with specific labeling information, including tracking labels, on the product and on the packaging.  In addition, durable infant or toddler products are required to have additional product markings and a product registration card attached to the product.  This chart summarizes the specific labeling and registration requirements that durable infant and toddler products must meet.

Where can I find additional information?

For more information on the requirements for bassinets and cradles, contact the U.S. CPSC:

  • Office of Compliance (for specific enforcement inquires): e-mail: sect15@cpsc.gov; telephone: (301) 504-7520.
  • Small Business Ombudsman (for general assistance understanding and complying with CPSC regulations): e-mail: Please use our Contact Form, which is the best way to get a fast response; telephone: (888) 531-9070.

To purchase copies of ASTM F2194-13, contact ASTM International at: www.astm.org or via telephone: (610) 832-9585.

This communication has been prepared for general informational purposes only.  This summary document does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice nor does it replace or supersede a manufacturer’s obligations to comply with all applicable laws, regulations, standards, or bans enforced by CPSC. This communication has not been reviewed or approved by the Commission, and does not necessarily represent their views. Any views expressed in this communication may be changed or superseded by the Commission.

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