Designing and preparing a nursery for a new baby can be a great way to relieve your mind of prepartum stress. Every parent will have their own preferences and tastes when it comes to design and décor, but whatever styles you choose for your baby’s special room, there are some principles of safety you shouldn’t neglect. It’s also important to stay within your budget. Use this checklist when setting up your nursery to make sure you are prioritizing safety and not overspending.
Is the crib set up safely?
Sleep safety needs to be your number one concern. Make sure your crib or bassinet is safe, solid, and well-rated. It should not be easy to topple over, and there should be no gaps where a baby could get an arm or leg stuck. The crib should be situated at a distance from windows that a baby could lean against or fall out of, and from any curtains or cords they could pull down on themselves or get tangled in. As much as you might love to fill the crib with cute stuffed toys and homemade quilts, a safe sleep environment means a sturdy mattress with a tightly fitted sheet, and no soft items that could smother a baby, or small objects they could choke on.
Is the room baby-proofed?
Babyproof the nursery keeping in mind that babies sometimes acquire mobility much faster than you expect and have the uncanny ability to get their tiny hands on things they shouldn’t touch. Make sure all the outlets have safe and secure covers. Furniture should all be secure, and not easily tipped over. Keep all electrical wires and other cords safely out of reach. Check the walls for any loose nails or splinters. And if you aren’t opting to redo the room’s colors, make sure the paint on the walls is not lead-based. If you have a changing table for your baby, be sure that it is also safe.
Can you store everything safely?
Having a good storage method is important both for the safety of your baby and for your own sanity. You’re going to be changing diapers or bedding while still groggy, and it’s important to keep your focus on your baby, instead of having to scout around the house in search of wet wipes or a fresh onesie. It’s also crucial that no hazardous products are accessible, and all powders, lotions, or ointments are safely out of reach once your little one starts to cruise and get curious. Needless to say, any medications should be stored safely out of reach in a secure cabinet, not in the nursery.
Is the nursery properly ventilated, heated, and cooled?
If you’ve recently moved into or renovated an older home, it’s important to make sure your nursery has adequate ventilation, and reliable heating and cooling. For a baby’s health and safety, moderate temperatures are ideal. If your windows are drafty or otherwise unsafe, consider having them repaired or replaced before your baby is born. Read reviews and compare costs when seeking a window repair company, and make sure they have the licenses and insurance required. Bear in mind that while the average cost of repairing a single window is nearly $300, this varies depending on the size and style of windows you have.
What do you need beyond the basics?
Beyond a crib, storage, a changing table, and a place to feed your baby, the rest is up to you. When selecting furnishings and toys for the nursery, remember that less is often more when it comes to design, especially if you want to leave plenty of room for your baby to play and explore. When you do purchase items beyond the basics, consider whether they will be genuinely useful and whether your child will continue to enjoy them for longer than just a few months.
Whether this is your first baby or not, you may have quite a few questions about safety and good parenting. You may also be interested in finding a network where you can meet with other moms and share your stories. Get pragmatic real-life advice and connect with other parents at MomsBeyond.
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