The most important thing to any parent is the safety of their little baby. We spend 9 months protecting them inside, and then bring them into this world as safely as we can. Then they are here, and we spend most of our waking time worrying about their safety and wellbeing. We make sure they are warm enough, that they have enough to eat and that they aren’t gassy, but how much attention do we pay to their nursery?
The truth is, we pay a lot of attention to their nursery. Most of our pregnancies are spent on Pinterest and other sources, looking at adorable nurseries for inspiration. When we find out the gender of our baby, we immediately start planning a theme for their little baby room. Will it be princess and pink themed, or a blue nautical theme? Either way, we just want the cutest and most fashionable baby nursery.
However, just because something looks good does not mean that it is necessarily safe. Parents spend so much time thinking about how the nursery will look that they often neglect to think of it practically. There are a lot of safety areas that parents miss, and we don’t want anyone to make these common mix-ups.
Not a lot of infants go into their nursery right away. They normally spend the first few months of their life sleeping in the same room or bed with their parents. When they make that change into the nursery, there may need to be some important changes to make. In order to make sure the baby has the safest possible room, we have created a check-list of things that need to be checked and then checked again!
15 Government Regulated
The biggest item in your baby’s nursery is bound to be their crib. While they may not sleep in it much at the beginning, they will soon graduate to their own sleeping space. They may even spend up to 12 hours a night (if you’re lucky) in there every night, it is important to make sure that it is safe. Crib safety is often overlooked, because a lot of parents receive hand-me-down cribs to save some money and the environment, but this could be a fatal mistake.
There are government-regulated safety standards when it comes to cribs and it is important to make sure that the crib you are using meets all of those safety standards. For example, the slats on the crib should not be more than 2-3/8 inches apart to make sure that your baby can not get their head stuck in between them. Parents should also regularly check the screws, bolts and supports to make sure they do not loosen over time.
14 Door Gets Overlooked!
We often don’t think about doors. They are not normally something that we think to be dangerous, but in a nursery, they can be. When our babies are old enough to play around in their nursery, it is a great time for mom to clean an area of the house she may have been neglecting lately. However, this can be difficult because we know that we can not leave a child alone without being watched.
We also know that we should not close the door with them in it. Not only is this dangerous, because they can get into anything, but we don’t want them to feel they are being shut in somewhere and trapped. The best solution is to place a baby gate at the entrance of their room, in the door frame. The best baby gate to get is one that screws into the wall, as the pressure mounted gates are not always able to stand the test of a toddler that wants out.
13 Window Safety
We have talked about windows previously when it comes to window coverings that have cords and how dangerous that is. Did you know that the window itself can be extremely dangerous to your little one? Windows are great, they allow some natural light to come in the room, and when opened can add some fresh, crisp air into an otherwise stuffy room.
Furniture, especially the crib, should never be placed under a window. This is something that is overlooked a lot, simply because parent’s do not know the ability that their own children have. There is a chance that a young child could fall out of a room window if they get up to it and start pushing on the screen. They are very strong, and those screens can break way, leading to a tragedy. You can purchase and install window guards which will give you another line of defense.
12 Cords Under Wraps
Cords are probably public enemy number one when it comes to baby safety. We don’t realize how many loose cords we have until we have a baby in the house who has started moving around and crawling. When a baby makes the move to the nursery, they are probably just entering their learning and exploring stage. This means they are curious about everything, including cords.
Make sure to check if the window coverings have cords attached to them. If you are unable to replace them make sure that the babies crib is away from the window. You can also secure them by tying them in a knot. The best alternative is to purchase curtains or other window coverings that do not have cords attached to them. It is also important to make sure cords that are attached to lamps, baby monitors or sound machines are out of sight as well. The baby could pull on them and have the item come crashing down on them.
11 There Is A Smart Way To Store Toys?
I would bet that not a lot of people place a lot of thought when it comes to how they are storing their little one’s toys in the nursery. I know I didn’t. The extent of thought is in which is the best (and cutest) toy box to get. The Home Safety Council recommends that all toys should be stored in bins and boxes that do not have lids attached to them. Only containers that do not have a closure should be used.
They also state that if it does have a lid that it should have a spring-loaded mechanical arm that prevents the lid from falling in your baby’s hands and head. They may seem small now, but there will come a day when they manage to climb into their toy box, and the last thing we want is for a lid to come down and trap them inside.
10 Plug It Up!
They say that the best way to baby-proof your house is to walk around on all fours. This puts you at the same eye level as your little one, so you can easily detect any potential dangers. This is also something you should do in the nursery. Get on all fours and crawl around. You will suddenly notice just how many electricity outlets there are. Ones you never noticed before. These are very enticing to little hands, who love to stick things in them. They are learning, after all.
It is important to make sure you plug all of these up. The best kind to use are plates that cover the entire outlet. The smaller plugs that just go in the individual sockets have been removed by little fingers before. You want to aim for ones that are even difficult for adults to remove. This means it will be almost impossible for little hands to figure out.
9 Simple Is OK
Thanks to social media and Pinterest, it seems like every parent is trying to outdo another parent when it comes to stylish décor. We all want the cutest and most stylish nursery for our babies. This is quite silly considering the occupant doesn’t really understand or appreciate all the hard work that went into making this beautiful room. The best (and safest) theme for your baby’s nursery is to keep it simple.
This is especially true for their crib. Cribs look cute when they have frilly bumper pads, stuffed animals and mobiles on them, but they are not safe for a baby. The crib should have nothing but a fitted sheet in it. Babies can get caught and suffocate in bumper pads, and other items in the crib are a hazard as well. The crib should remain empty until the baby is at least a year, and then after that a small blanket is all that is needed.
8 Location, Location, Location!
When it comes to location, it is not only important for real estate and opening a business, it is also a huge component to the safety of a baby’s nursery. We mentioned earlier that if a window covering has a cord attached that it is important to keep the crib away from any cords that could be a hazard. The same goes for baby monitor cameras. Those have cords as well and the crib should be no where near these items.
You also want to make sure you don’t place the crib anywhere near any heating or cooling vents in the room. You don’t want to place the crib over or near a vent because it can mean that your baby is not at the optimal temperature. They could very easily get too hot or too cold, something that is not only dangerous, but will keep you up at night with a crying and uncomfortable baby.
7 Everyone Forgets To Anchor
Anchoring the furniture is not something that we think of often, until a disaster happens. When babies grow into toddlers they reach a pivotal moment, they transfer over to a toddler bed. While this may be a great milestone to reach, it also comes with its dangers. The danger is that they are much more able to get in and out of bed on their own.
We already know that toddlers love to explore and climb everything, and if you don’t know it now, you will soon. This means that there is a chance that at some point throughout the night, while you are fast asleep, they may be attempting to climb their furniture. Furniture that is not anchored to the wall could very easily tip over and crush your little one. Anchor kits can be found at any hardware store and are simple to install.
6 Just Throw The Change Table Away!
Every parent thinks they need a change table. They think that all nurseries have a change table, so they need to get one too. The truth is, you don’t always need a change table. Think about where most of the diaper changes are going to happen. Usually, they are not in the nursery, but they are in a room where you and your baby spend a lot of the day. This means that change tables in nurseries just turn into storage spaces.
The most obvious risk of a change table is the baby falling off the table. It can happen to the most observant parent. It only takes a second for mom to turn her back and for baby to take a flip off the table. What is more of a hidden danger is that products that are stored in a change table. Items like baby powder, wipes, lotion and hand sanitizer are all dangerous for babies if they consume them. It is best to just not have these items in a space that is meant to be safe for a little baby.
5 Light It Up!
Every room needs light, and while we would prefer to only use natural light, this is not always realistic or practical. So, are there any safety guidelines when it comes to lighting up a baby’s nursery? Yes, there is. The best type of light that you could have for your baby’s room is a ceiling light. If that is not an option, be wary of floor or table lamps.
When the baby starts moving, a table lamp could be dangerous if they are able to reach the cord. Not only is the cord a strangulation risk, but they could pull that lamp down on their head. A floor lamp is also a potential hazard because they will try and use the lamp to pull themselves up on. This will cause the lamp to tip and either strike them in the head, or make a dangerous light bulb exposed to curious hands.
4 Stylish But Safe
If you are still a bit sad because you can’t get past the point where I mentioned that you should have a simple nursery, don’t fret, this is the section for you. It is still possible to have a cute and adorable nursery while making sure that it is a safe space. When it comes to items on the walls, you want to make sure that the items are lightweight. Mirrors and picture frames should be avoided because they have the power to severely injure your child if they fall.
Be careful when you select the paint that you want to use. Make sure that there are low levels of volatile organic compounds, or even better would be none at all. Make sure that the room is well-vented and has time to air out. It would be best for the room to be painted well before the baby spends any time in there.
3 Safe Sleep
When your baby first graduates into their nursery, they are usually only in there to sleep. That is where they take their naps and their night sleep, so we must have a separate post talking about safe sleep in a nursery. The number one rule is that a baby needs to be placed on its back to sleep. This only applies until a baby can roll on their own. If your baby rolls over on their stomach, then you can leave them.
You also want to make sure that the crib has nothing but a tight fitted sheet and a baby in it. No bumper pads, no pillows, no blankets and no stuffed animals. If you are worried that your little one will be too cold, sleep sacks are amazing things that will keep your little one safe and nice and toasty warm.
2 It’s Just A Wall? (Hint: No, It’s Not!)
If you are like me and thought that a wall was just simply a wall then you have been fooled. Walls play a large part in the safety of your child. They take up the most space in the room. When decorating the nursery, it is important to make sure that any painting be done well before the baby is due to spend time in there. The suggested time should be about 6 weeks.
The same goes with wallpaper, as the glue has hazardous chemicals that can be breathed in. It is also important to put some thought into the colour of the room. Colours have a huge impact on our attitude, even if we don’t realize it. Cold colours like blue and green are known to be calming colours. Stimulating colours, such as red and yellow, can be too much for a little baby and can cause them to be a bit grumpy!
1 Carpet Vs. Hardwood
In a lot of modern homes, the floors are all hardwood or other hard surface. It is what people like, and while it may look nicer and cleaner it is not the safest option for your baby’s nursery. The best option for a baby’s room is carpeted flooring. Babies fall, and accidents happen, even to the most attentive parents. We want to make sure that they have a landing space that is soft and will minimize the impact.
We don’t want to think about these awful things happening to our babies, but it is always better to be prepared for a worst-case scenario. This can save a life. If you do not want to completely change the flooring, because you know that eventually the child will move out and you want hardwood floors, place a large soft rug in the room. A rug that covers almost the entire floor space.