Nursery bedding, cribs, paint, toys. What do all of these things have in common? They’re things that go in baby’s room, but they’re also things that can potentially be dangerous. Here’s how to design baby’s room with safety in mind.
Keep Risky Objects Out Of Baby’s Reach
Window treatments, mobiles, and dangling do-dads look pretty, but baby can pull them down and hurt herself. Make sure that all of these kinds of things are out of the way or out of baby’s reach. This includes folded nursery bedding and blankets. You can do this by keeping window treatments up high, mobiles out of reach when baby stands up, and any other risky object either out of the room orout of reach.
In fact, it’s probably a good idea to remove as much temptation as possible so that baby doesn’t cry for something he or she isn’t supposed to have.
Never Put the Crib or Playpen Next To The Window
Putting the crib near a window is just asking for trouble. Keep it away from obviously dangerous openings too.
Ditto for play pens. You might think that the gate will keep baby safe, but babies and toddlers have a funny way of defeating what adults have constructed.
Use Fitted Sheets
This one isn’t so obvious. Many parents want to save money on things like sheets, so they buy flat sheets for the crib. They’re interchangeable, an oversized sheet will transfer nicely to a bed, and they can be easily removed and washed.
Stop right there – flat sheets are a suffocation hazard.
The best nursery bedding will always be fitted sheets and light blankets for baby. If you’re worried about baby getting cold, dress her in a bodysuit.
Babies sometimes love to roll and, even if you’ve never seen your baby do it, he might start when you’re not looking – all it takes is one time. He could also pull a flat sheet over his face.
Use Lightweight Toy Boxes
Big trunks and chests are cool, but they’re also a trap for toddlers and babies. Big hinges pinch tiny fingers, and heavy lids can trap kids when they climb inside of whatever their toy chest is made of – they’ll do it too, against all human logic. They’re kids. What do you expect! They want to explore, but they don’t understand the dangers of their curiosity.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t have cool toy chests, but they should be lightweight. You can also opt for open-faced cubbies and topless storage bins. These will hold baby’s toys just fine and they won’t get trapped if they make the mistake of climbing where they shouldn’t be.
Make Sure the Crib’s Paint Isn’t Peeling
Some baby cribs aren’t stained – they’re painted. This might initially look nice, but it could also be dangerous. If the paint starts to chip off, and baby eats it (they love doing that kind of thing), it could poison baby.
Opt for a crib that’s smooth-finished (sanded smooth with no splinters, and no staining that baby can get into his mouth.
Sometimes, keeping baby safe seems like a full time job. And, that’s because, in many ways, it is.
Dale Hollingshead is a department manager at a home improvement center. He loves to write about better living. His articles are available on many home improvement and lifestyle websites.