I’m sure we can all agree that one of the most important parts of planning your nursery or child's bedroom is making sure it is safe.. I mean.. beyond safe.
There are many crucial safety tips to get you started and I wanted to highlight some of the most valuable for you here:
Place cribs and other nursery furniture away from windows.
Besides making it easy for your future climber to escape or fall through the screen - blocking these important exits can be the meaning between life and death in an emergency situation. It’s important to have all windows and doors accessible in your nursery.
Keep cords from blinds and draperies out of reach.
If possible, use cordless window treatments
Never place a baby to sleep on a soft surface, such as a waterbed, soft, soft mattress or pillow.
Ensure your crib meets your current government safety standards and the crib mattress is the correct size for the crib. Hand-me-downs may not be the best option if their safety standards are out of date. Older model cribs with drop-side rails have recently been proven to be dangerous so check for product recalls before you buy used. Slats shouldn’t be more than 2-3/8 inches apart (about the width of a pop can) so your baby cannot get their head stuck and can easily remove their limbs. Be cautious of decorative cribs with cutout designs - these can often pose a risk as well. Perform regular maintenance on your crib including checking the screws, bolts, and mattress supports on a monthly basis.
Ensure all furniture is secured to the wall with the proper safety latches.
You can purchase these safety latches at your local hardware store - or you may be lucky and have one included with your furniture piece. Can’t find a kit? Use wall studs with dry-wall screws. Don’t store anything heavy like a TV on top of your furniture pieces to prevent further tipping danger.
Store toys the smart way - in bins or boxes without lids and sharp corners.
Gone are the days of old wooden toy boxes - keep your toddler safe by purchasing a toy box with a spring loaded mechanical arm that will prevent the lid from pinching fingers or trapping any littles that may climb inside during a game of hide-and-seek. Have a vintage toy box like us? You can give it an overhaul with a kit from your local hardware store. Shop storage solutions here
Always use plug protectors to block unused outlets.
Try to find a cover that covers up the entire outlet plate. Invest in cord shorteners or disguisers to deter your curious toddler from playing with the electrical cords.
Minimalist is best!
There should only be two things in your baby crib - a crib sheet and a mattress. Save all the cozy cuddly items for fully supervised snuggle time and stick to a personalized crib sheet if you want to style your crib! Avoid crib bumpers and bumper pads as the risk of using these far outweigh the benefits. Crib bumpers have been listed as a danger since 2011 because they can suffocate or entrap a baby - even the ties can pose a strangulation hazard. Ensure any of these decorative pieces are removed before placing your infant down to sleep. Avoid leaving quilts, blankets, pillows or stuffed toys in the crib as well.
Changing tables are always a topic of discussion over here.
If you choose to use one ensure your child is always supervised- aim to keep one hand on your baby at all times to prevent falling or wiggling out of the safety strap. Keep chaos minimal and opt for simple storage that allows you to tuck away any lotions or supplies out of your babies reach. Believe it or not - chemical ingestion from personal care products is the most common form of poisoning for children under the age of six. Try using a contoured changing pad with raised sides to prevent baby from rolling. Shop change pad covers here
When choosing decor ensure that you’re choosing to hang only light weight items. Hanging heavy objects such as mirrors or framed artwork can be dangerous if they fall. Think about hanging wall decor over change tables instead of cribs. If you choose to hang artwork over the crib - ensure it is securely attached and pull the crib away from the wall so if it does fall it will tumble to the floor instead of the crib. Avoid decorations with long strings, cords, or ribbons including mobiles. Anything like this should be removed before baby begins to pull themselves up (around 4-5 months.)
My mom tells a good story about painting while pregnant when she tells the story of how my gender neutral nursery came to be. Luckily, paint has come a long way so opt for water based paint to cut down on fumes and VOCs (volatile organic compounds.) Make sure you keep the room well ventilated and ensure the paint dries for days to a few weeks to allow any fumes to disperse.
Ensure you have a smoke detector outside of the nursery and a working carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home.
Watch the temperature in your nursery by installing a wall thermometer or opt for a monitor that includes temperature monitoring.
All content, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.