If there is one thing that I learned from researching this article it's that I basically did everything wrong when it came to my daughters' nursery designs. I spent painstaking hours devising the perfect baby registry, adding products and gadgets that caught my eye and convinced me that they would make life easier for me. I truly thought I was merking it by creating cutie pie nurseries that I personally designed straight from my Pinterest account. The artwork, curtains, bedding and storage was all purchased and assembled by the time I was in my third trimester.
A lot of blood, sweat and tears goes into a mom's nursery vision. Decorating your dream baby bedroom is one of those ultimately exciting and fun parts of pregnancy, right up there with the twenty week ultrasound, gender reveal parties and choosing the name. Although I scored major style points with the girls' rooms, I had also unknowingly created a hazardous room. Basically everything I had put in their baby rooms could have hurt them! There was literally danger in every corner and I didn't even know it. Keeping little ones safe is a twenty-four seven job and the last thing you need as a new mama is the added stress some products create. with their questionable safety. Check out these nursery no-nos.
15 Crib Bumpers Are A Nursery No-No
Remember about ten years ago when these were all the rage? I do. My oldest had the sweetest pink and white butterfly bumper in her crib. Then reports started popping up everywhere about babies rolling into their soft and fluffy bumper, which can stop their breathing. Oh heck no! Moms everywhere tossed their bumpers out with not a moment's thought. I know I did. Next came the "breathable bumpers" which were not nearly as cute, but were apparently a safer option. My second daughter had a green one. Many moms were still not convinced with the new and improved bumpers, we had all been traumatized by the baby-bumper scandal of the early 2000's. The twins arrived a few years later and we skipped bumpers all together. Some chances are simply not worth taking.
14 Mobiles Can Be A Hazard
Mobiles are sweet additions to a nursery and designed to stimulate your new baby's senses as they lie on their backs in their cribs, but they aren't always the best choice for baby. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, parents who opt for a crib mobile should make sure they have string no longer than seven inches long, mobiles have no small parts than might become a choking hazard, and hang so that the bottom of the mobile is no more than sixteen inches from the crib mattress. As cute as these whimsical decorations can be, that's a lot of rules just to keep your little guy safe. Just do yourselves a favor and skip the mobile. If you absolutely must have a mobile of twirling elephants to achieve your nursery dreams then make sure you check out the American Academy of Pediatrics website for crib mobile safety guidelines.
13 Bumbo... Bumb-NO!
So there is nothing cuter than seeing your two month old sweetie sitting up in his Bumbo like a little man. Cute as it may be, it might not be the safest option for your baby. Bumbos were designed to help babies sit at a younger age than sitting upright is developmentally expected. Some specialists in infant development argue that Bumbos interfere with the natural progression of gross motor development. Bumbos have also been the culprits of many infant injuries as they are lightweight and heavier babies can use their body weight to propel themselves over. If you must use a Bumbo, for the love of Pete put the darn thing on the floor. Your two month old doesn't need to sit on the kitchen counter and watch you bake muffins. Let that bonding dream go.
12 Toss The Slings Out
Remember these things? They were supposed to make life easier for us mamas and designed to allow us to tote infants around while remaining hands free. I bought one in preparation for my second daughter's birth as I already had a wild two year old to chase around. I could never get her to fit in the darn thing without wondering how in the heck she was able to breath! They never felt quite right to me. For once my maternal intuition was spot on, these things indeed are not safe! Not only can your baby suffocate against your own body, but a number of injuries have been caused by a baby slipping right out of the sling and falling onto the floor. I tossed the sling and just put the baby in her pack and play when I needed to tend to my toddler.
11 A Toy Chest Sounds Good In Theory
My best friend and I have about a million pictures of our cutie patooties sitting in her big wooden toy chest looking like little dolls. We had no clue that there was any danger here! Having an old toy box in your nursery can give it a sweet, vintage look, but it can also be a dangerous box. Should your kiddo crawl in there without your knowledge, he or she could become trapped. Old school toy chests are also notorious baby hand and finger smashers. The safer way to go in regards to toy storage is to use canvas covered bins and boxes. Nowadays these bins are cute, playful and colorful but most of all super safe. If you absolutely must use your great-great-grandmother's toy chest, have it retro-fitted using a simple kit that can be bought at any local hardware store.
10 Avoid Sleep Positioners At All Costs
When my first baby started wiggling around and rolling at a few weeks old I freaked out. I became totally convinced she would roll to her tummy and stop breathing in her sleep. Post pregnancy hormones had dug their claws into me deeply and at this point I was living under a cloud of anxiety. I ran right to Babies R' Us and bought a handy, dandy sleep positioner. In my terrified mind I was sure it would keep my child tightly wedged on her back and help her survive the night. It turns out I was putting her in more peril by jamming her into a sleep positioner however. These soft, baby straight jackets can hinder your infant's breathing should they become wedged with their face into the side of the positioner. Skip it and let your baby roll around.
Basically when creating the perfectly safe nursery just plop a firm mattress on the center of the floor and call it a day.
9 Curtains Can Be Concerning
I have a confession... I have always put curtains in the kids' rooms. I am addicted to the softness they bring into a space. Many baby experts will urge against the use of floor length curtains as kids can get tangled in them and hang themselves, or yank them down onto their heads, curtain rod and all. If this is a concern for you, then you may want to opt for a simple valance, shorter window treatments or no curtain at all. If you are like me and just had to have them, make sure they are properly installed using an anchor and drilling into the wall studs. Never use a tension rod to hang your window treatments. One swift yank and the whole shebang will come tumbling down atop your darling.
8 Stuffed Animals Should Stay Out Of The Nursery
Apparently when I was about three I tried to "entertain" my younger brother by giving him all of the stuffed toys that I could get my hands on. Awwwww, how sweet was I? The problem was he was a few months old and I could have put his life in danger. I think one of my earliest memories was my mom coming into the room and screaming at the scene before her. I had completely covered the poor little guy and had no clue that I was doing anything but being a great big sister. Even though you might not have the toys in the crib per say, fluffy animals still pose a threat to infants. If you have toddlers or other young kids in the house you might want to keep stuffed animals out of the nursery completely, lest the try and become super sisters like I did.
7 Leaving Lotions And Powders In Arm's Reach
Who doesn't spend nine months stocking up their diapering arsenal? It's basically a rite of passage for new mothers. When pregnant you must assemble bottles upon bottles of powders, lotions, creams and more. Your diaper changing station will look like a local pharmacy by the time your baby comes. Although you are totally prepared for the countless poop explosions that are surely coming your way, you could also be putting your precious one in harm's way. Make sure that these diapering items are stored in a manner than makes them completely inaccessible to mobile babies and toddlers. Infants grow quickly and in the blink of an eye your newborn lump will be moving and grooving and reaching for those lotions stored in your diapering area. Keep them enclosed in child proof containers or better yet, in your bathroom area or high up in the baby's closet.
6 Furniture That Isn't Anchored Down
If you are anything like me all it took was one Facebook video about a small child being accidentally crushed by his dresser to send your anxiety skyrocketing over nursery furniture. It's simple. Anchor everything down. Get ready to drill into your freshly painted walls and nail down anything that can wiggle in the slightest. You don't think you will ever get to the point where this is necessary as newborns are little blobs weighing as much as a spaghetti squash, but trust me, within a few months they will be all over the place. I have found my girls balancing on crib rails, sitting on top of security gates, and playing on bookcases, dressers and changing tables. Assume everything is dangerous and attach anything but the baby to the walls.
5 There's A Reason Side-Drop Cribs Were Banned
I loved, loved, LOVED my side-drop crib back when my older girls were infants. Back in the early 2000's these baby beds were all the rage. I found them to be so convenient for the three thousand times I had to go into their nurseries each night and lay them back down or pat their tiny backs until my arms damn near fell off. When we began the great crib search of 2014, in preparation for the twins, I discovered that side-drop cribs were a thing of the past and no longer available! Side-drop cribs have been associated with some 32 infant deaths since 2000 and were banned altogether in 2011 by the CPSC. For those of you who never got to experience the side-drop, they really were kind of awesome.
4 Artwork On The Walls
Did I have a giant Disney character framed picture hanging over my first daughter's crib? Yes. Yes I did. It never even crossed my mind that it could slip off of the one nail that it precariously hung from and crash onto my newborn baby girl. By the time the twins came around I realized that traditional glass and frame art could really be a safety hazard, so I opted for lightweight canvas art and cute decals in the girls' room. You'll sleep a lot better knowing that should the art come flying off of the wall, it will cause a bump at best and not a trip to the emergency room. Some other artwork no-nos are pictures with strings, ribbons or anything else your curious tot could grab a hold of and rip down.
3 Candles Are An Obvious Hazard
I feel like this is kind of a no brainer. Kids and fire are never going to be a smart and safe combination. Nevertheless there are parents out there, with the very best of intentions, that include candles in their nursery decor. They are often aiming for the calm and serene mood that candles can bring to a space. The problem is although there provide peace and serenity, they can also burn your house to the ground. If you desperately feel as if your nursery dreams will not be complete without some sort of low, mid evil lighting then spring for the flameless candles that run on batteries and timers. They will emit the same effect as a traditional candle while keeping your little lamb safe. Remember, it's a baby room, not a yoga studio.
2 Canopies Makes It Easy To Get Stuck
Well darn it all I wanted a few of these so badly when the twins turned one and started hurling their tiny bodies onto the nursery floor. Nap time became the crib Olympics at our house where the twins would perform all sorts of dangerous acrobatics as they catapulted out of their beds. I scoured the internet looking for one of these crib tents that would be considered safe...no such luck. These little infant cages can cause your little climber to get tangled, stuck and basically hung. If you have teeny dare devils like we did, just ditch the crib (that you probably overpaid for and thought you would get three years use out of,) and put the mattress onto the floor. It might not be as aesthetically pleasing as the crib you spent nine months choosing, but the good news is your baby will wake up every morning.
1 Crib Toys Are No Fun
My youngest daughter had every crib accessory that you could buy. It is basically a miracle that she is still with us ten years later. She had not only a dangerous crib mobile, but one of those fish aquarium light-up thing-a-ma-jiggers attached to the crib bars. One day I came into the nursery to check on her typical nap time commotion and low and behold her nine month old self was happily playing her her mobile... that was in the crib! She had hoisted herself up onto her light-up aquarium, ripped the mobile down and was now all tangled up in it. Needless to say, my next three kids never had any fun gadgets in their cribs or sleeping areas. This scene was enough to traumatize me for life.