Tips for Setting Up a Safe Nursery
The arms of a parent in the moments after birth could be considered the first place that a baby considers to be their home. The special wing of the maternity ward designed for post-birth baby care may be the second. Once they are out of the hospital, their next home, and arguably their first true one, may be the parents’ residence — specifically, the nursery within.
Infants may spend much of their growth within that special room, sleeping, playing, developing. If you are a new or expecting parent, you may already be thinking of how you will decorate it and make them feel comfortable. These concerns are important, of course, but you also need to consider how you will make that living space safe for the child. After all, infants are delicate, especially as newborns, and they need all the care they can get. Here is some advice on how to set up a safe nursery.
Use a Firm Mattress and Light Bedding
Given that your baby will spend most of their nursery time in the crib, you should make it both safe and comfortable for them. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, “lying face down on a fluffy comforter, a soft mattress or a waterbed can block an infant’s airway.” Even lying on their side can result in suffocation and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Despite what you might assume, making their bed too comfy is not what your infant needs. Instead of laying out layers of bedsheets, settle for a soft blanket that can keep them warm. Similarly, when looking at mattresses, choose something that is firm. Also, always lay the baby on their back.
Mind the Gap with the Mattress
As new parents will learn, babies are as danger-prone as action heroes — only in far more mundane environments and with much less resistance. Case in point: the mattress in their own crib can be a threat. If it does not fit snugly into the framework, the child can roll over and get something stuck in the gap — including their face.
Anyone who already bought a mattress before learning about this should try inserting two fingers in the space between the framework and the cushion. If they have no trouble fitting their fingers in there, then they should get a new one. You could also check if the crib’s manufacturer has their own recommendations for mattresses.
Remove Their Toys Before They Sleep
When many people picture a baby in a crib, they may imagine an assortment of fluffy pillows and fluffier stuffed animals surrounding the child. This image may seem adorable and cozy, but the reality is that these objects can all increase the risk of SIDS.
The Mayo Clinic warns that pillows and stuffed animals “can interfere with breathing if [the] baby’s face presses against them.” This could happen if they move in their sleep. When naptime and bedtime arrive, take out their little friends — even their favorites — and all the extra pillows.
Keep the Mobile Out of Reach
A colorful mobile can stimulate an infant’s imagination and give them something cute to stare at and dream about. Before long, though, they will be able to sit up, then stand up, on their own. Then, the spinning, glowing thing above their heads might be an arm’s length away.
You do not want a mobile coming down on your kid, especially if it has strings that could tangle around their throats. For starters, avoid getting a mobile with strings for that reason, no matter how traditional it may be. Secondly, when they are still just learning how to prop themselves up, it may be time to toss out the mobile — or save it as a keepsake.
Secure Furniture to Prevent Tipping
When your infant starts moving on their own, they will be eager to explore the world beyond their crib, starting with the nursery. This is normal, all part of growing up and being a kid, and you should let them. Of course, you should also make their room as safe an exploration zone as you can.
A great way to do this is to fix the furniture to the ground and the wall. Your infant’s thirst for adventure may seem them attempting to climb cabinets and crawl behind dressers. Securing them will take away the risk of these furnishings falling over.
Cover Electrical Outlets and Tape Cords to the Wall
Kids love poking their nose anywhere they can, as well as their fingers and toys. That includes plenty of places where their digits do not belong, including electrical outlets. Before they start crawling around their bedroom floor, you should use plug protectors to cover the sockets and keep them from prying where they should not.
The electrical cords that connect with those outlets may pose a problem as well, but not the one you might expect. If kids play around with them, they could get tangled up and risk choking themselves. You should stick them to the wall. This measure has the extra effect of giving them more room on the floor for playing safely.
Use Toy Baskets, Not Lidded Boxes
Speaking of playing safely, you should give your child a set place for holding their toys. The room can be cleaner, and they might even learn the value of putting things away. However, you may want to avoid a chest with a lid. It may seem cute and traditional, but the lid could also fall and close on the infant’s hands. Worse, they could fall into the chest with the lid sealing them inside.
If we could make a suggestion, a toy basket might be better for stowing toys. These items are usually softer, and their lid usually comes off rather than rising and falling on a hinge. A simple choice like this can remove one more potential danger in the room that should be your child’s safe place.
Build a Safe Nursery with Ideal Baby & Kids
Here at Ideal Baby & Kids, we are devoted to helping parents make their home nurseries cute, comfortable, and safe all at once. Visit our store today and check our varied selection of health and safety products from top manufacturers.