The most important thing we must first consider when planning how to set up the baby’s room is if it will be safe or not. We all have a picture in mind of how we want it and how it should be. We get so excited and sometimes a bit carried away. But, have we thought of safety first? For instance, if we are going to paint, is the paint lead-free? Do we have working smoke detectors? The smoke detectors should be throughout the house, not just in the baby’s room.
When planning the furniture placement, have we considered what will need plugged in and if it means trailing the cords? Or, is an outlet too exposed? If outlets are exposed, do we have plug covers on our list of things we still need? Are the windows secure? We all want our children to be safe. Let’s take a look at the main items needed when setting up the room.
The crib is probably the most important thing. In 2011, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) set higher standards for the newer beds making crib safety top priority. And so they should. Our precious little ones are worth nothing less and they spend a lot of time sleeping in the crib at first.
If it’s an older bed or you are repainting it, again, make sure the paint is lead-free. The slats on the bed, old or new, should be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart. Make sure the bolts and screws are all tight and secure. Also, the CPSC banned the drop down sides. Never use bumpers in the crib.
Select an organic, non-toxic mattress. If you pick a mattress that doesn’t come with a waterproof cover, you should get one to avoid mold developing over time as mold can cause health issues. Also, the mattress should fit against the sides. You can use the two finger test to make sure it is a good fit. If more than two of your fingers can fit, it is a safety hazard for baby’s arms and legs.
Every nursery should include a chair for nursing your little one, that is, if you plan to nurse. It most definently needs to be comfortable. But, before checking for comfort, you must put the baby’s safety first. It won’t be long before the baby will be mobile and all over the room. He/she will be touching everything in site, and then, before you know it, pulling up on stuff.
A rocking chair or glider can pinch the baby’s little fingers or toes. So, if you do choose a chair that moves, you should choose a glider with a lock to keep the chair stable when not in use. With comfort in mind, I would choose a cushy recliner with padded armrests. If a recliner is your choice, you need to be sure baby is clear of all moving parts when getting up.
No matter the choice of chair you decide on, it’s best for the baby to have a pillow to prop his/her head up to get a better latch and to avoid strains on your back and arms. However, a nursing pillow should NEVER be placed in the crib or used as a sleep aid. Just like stuffed animals or cushy toys, they raise the chances of SIDS or crib death.
When putting the furniture in the baby’s room, always consider the possibility of a piece toppling over. Be sure to secure furniture to the walls if there is any chance of the baby pulling it over on top of him/her. For dressers, never put anything heavy or big on top that might slide or fall off onto the baby.
If the baby pulls drawers out and climbs or pulls up on them, chances are, if something big is on top it can come off. Most likely, the baby will be hurt. Possibly even seriously injured. We can’t take chances with our precious little ones. ANCHOR THE DRESSOR! The drawers should have child safety latches on them to keep them from opening.
Changing Tables can be dangerous. Unless you can always have a hand on the baby, there is a chance of the baby falling off. Sooner or later, you’ll find yourself in a situation where you have to let go to grab something. It only takes a second for an accident to happen. In 2009 alone, over 4500 accidents involving changing tables were reported. It would be a lot safer to just keep a basket of diapering items on the floor for changing your baby. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
There are devices available to help reduce some of the everyday dangers to your baby. Safety latches are great for the drawers and doors that can hold threats. Even child proof packaging is sometimes easy enough for baby to get into so everything should be kept safely away.
Window guards will help keep your baby from falling from the window because screens alone are not sturdy enough. Cordless window coverings are a must have safety feature for the baby’s room because your little one can become entangled in the cords from blinds and get choked or even hang themselves. We can just never be too safe where our children are concerned.
Also, every plug that is not in use should have an outlet cover on it to prevent your child from putting a toy or a finger in it and getting electrocuted. Babies are very curious and, if there is an outlet in sight, are naturally going to investigate what it is.
We can do EVERYTHING by the book, not skipping any small detail, when childproofing our house in preparation for bringing the new baby home. But, it doesn’t matter what we do. ANYTHING can happen at ANYTIME and we MUST be prepared. Every mother (and father) should learn to give first aid and CPR to our children and small babies. It is our responsibility to learn to take the very best care possible when it really counts the most. Don’t be caught off guard.