Design Tips for Baby-Proofing Your Nursery
Nothing is more thrilling and frightening than holding a newborn in your arms for the first time. All at once, you feel both how precious and how fragile that little bundle is. As a parent, you know in that moment you would do anything to protect them. The first step toward keeping your little bundle of joy safe is following our design tips for baby-proofing your nursery.
It may be tempting to fill your baby’s crib with pillows and toys to help welcome them home. However, these things can create a suffocation hazard for the baby. The safest crib is one that is empty of everything except your baby. This also includes baby bumpers, which have not been proven to prevent any kind of infant injury. Display their pillows and toys on shelves instead.
Along with avoiding putting things inside the crib, be careful of what you hang in and around it. For instance, mobiles should be secure and hung no closer than seven inches above the crib. There are a few selections of the best modern baby cribs that come with different mobile safety features already. Once a baby can push themselves up, you should take the mobiles down altogether. By that time, your baby should be able to see further away. If you paint your ceiling with clouds or stars, your baby will still have something to look at.
There are a few main safety hazards for your baby when it comes to drawers. These include:
- Pulling unsafe materials out of drawers
- Closing fingers in drawers
- Climbing drawers
- Knocking furniture pieces over
- Bumping into sharp corners
There are several varieties of child-safe locks you can put on drawers and cabinets. These make it easy for grown-ups to open them but difficult for little ones. Also, install furniture anchors to prevent tip-overs and avoid placing furniture near a baby’s crib. If the dresser itself has sharp edges, consider placing rubber bumpers on the corners to protect your baby’s head when they start crawling.
One of the reasons babies like to climb things is so they can reach something they want on a higher shelf. To avoid this, try placing toys on baskets on the floor that they can easily reach—this eliminates the temptation to climb. Putting them in open baskets will also allow babies to easily access their toys without the safety hazards that come with heavy toy chests with lids.
Locks and Stoppers
In the old days, parents would often fit nursery windows with bars to keep babies from pushing their way out and falling. This is a real concern and worthy of discussion. But there are other ways to avoid this hazard than putting bars on the windows.
As with drawers, there are products available to keep windows and screens shut, such as window guards. You can also greatly reduce the risk of window falls by keeping furniture like cribs and tables away from the window.
Blinds and Drapes
Experts often recommend using blinds and drapes on nursery windows to help babies sleep. However, the chords of blinds could pose a strangulation hazard for babies. This is another reason to keep cribs and other furniture away from windows. Even with the furniture kept away, it’s a good idea to put a hook on the wall beside the window. That way, you can wrap the cord around the hook, keeping it from dangling where a baby could reach it.
Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors
Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are a given throughout the house, but they’re especially important in a nursery. It’s easier for older children and adults to understand and recognize when there is smoke, or they don’t feel well. Babies not only can’t understand what’s going on but may not be able to get themselves out of the room. Detectors for the nursery adds another layer of security.
Outlets have long been the bane of baby-proofing design for nurseries. Fortunately, time has given people a wider perspective on how to deal with this common household hazard. Consider adding covers that plug into outlets - these are simple to remove as an adult but not easily removable for an infant. If you want to plug something into the outlet, remove the outlet cover and plug in the device.
But even though outlet covers are harder for babies to pull out, nightlights, baby monitors, and other plugs are relatively simple for babies to pull out. Because of this, you should place cribs away from outlets. And if you are going to plug in a nightlight or monitor, plug them in across the room.
Wall hangings are great for adding color and personality to a space. Typically, wall hangings are too high up for babies to reach, but the issue comes in if you live in an earthquake-prone area. If there is a chance that wall hangings are going to fall off the wall, avoid putting art directly over the baby’s crib. Also, if pictures are framed, take the glass out of the frame before hanging it on the wall. That way, if they do fall, they won’t create more issues.
What nursery is complete without a fresh coat of paint? However, paints are often filled with volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. These noxious fumes are the odors that compel us to open all the windows and linger in the air for weeks after painting is done. Studies have shown that kids in homes with higher concentrations of VOCs may be more likely to develop asthma and allergies.
If you are using VOC paints in the nursery, be sure to paint the walls at least a month before the baby is due. Otherwise, consider using water-based, VOC-free paint. Our non-toxic* paint for cribs is free of harmful VOCs**.
Ready to bring home your baby? ECOS Paints is here to help you build the foundation to a perfectly designed nursery you and your baby will love.
*Non-Toxic - Conforms to ASTM-D4236, specifically concerning oral toxicity, skin irritation and respiratory effects.
**Zero VOC - Conforms to CDPH 01350 (VOC emissions test taken at 11, 12, & 14 days for classroom and office use).