From the moment you find out that you are pregnant, there are so many decisions to make it can be overwhelming. But one of the most exciting things to do is setting up the nursery. Almost everyone focuses on making the nursery beautiful for the baby but safety should be your foremost concern.
Your baby will spend much of their time in the nursery for the first few years of their life. You are also going to be leaving them alone at night in the same room. So every piece of furniture or item that goes into this room should be as safe as you can make it. Most parents remember this when it comes to the crib but overlook other parts of the nursery.
Every nursery is likely to have a crib, a dresser, a changing table, and a chair. Whether you have fewer items or more, they should all be safe. When it comes to the nursery, less really is more.
Let us start with the crib. This is not the place to look for antiques or used pieces. The crib you used as a child might look gorgeous but it may pose a legitimate safety hazard. Crib safety standards have evolved a lot, especially over the last decade. Make sure to purchase a crib manufactured after 2011 and one that conforms to the latest standards.
You should also look for the Greenguard certification on any piece of furniture that you buy for the nursery. Most furniture emits harmful volatile organic compounds (VOC) into the air. While not a major issue for adults, VOCs can harm developing bodies and minds. Natart furniture is Greenguard Gold certified, so you don’t have to worry about chemicals in the air.
The next piece of furniture is the dresser. Most dresses tend to be large and heavy, especially when you fill them up with clothes and toys. Make sure to fix the dresser to the wall with the included safety strap. If your dresser did not come with one, you can buy a kit at most hardware or home furniture stores.
Natart dressers not only have safety straps pre-installed but also come with extra small legs in front of them. This adds stability and minimizes the risk of tipping over. Your baby may not be strong enough to pull open a drawer now. But they will eventually grow up and try to climb the dresser when you’re not around.
Unfortunately for new parents, furniture pieces are not the only things in the room that can emit toxic fumes. The paint on the walls can be just as dangerous to your child, even if you purchased low VOC paint. Try to finish any paint jobs at least a few weeks before the arrival of the baby. Open all windows and let the room air out.
The same goes for other items such as the crib mattress, any new rugs or throw pillows you bring inside. Make sure to open all the drawers in the dresser to let them air out as well. it is also a good idea to prefer hard floors over carpet. It minimizes dust and germs circulating throughout the room.
Many modern cribs come with an upholstery panel. These headboard panels add a touch of elegance to any nursery. However, be sure to only purchase buttonless panels. No matter the design, they always pose a strangulation hazard.
Almost every doctor advises that nothing extra should go into the crib except for a tight-fitting mattress and a crib sheet. But stores continue to advertise quilts, crib bumpers, and other non-essential items. Almost all of them – including that cute stuffed toy you love – is a safety risk. The best place for a quilt is to hang it on the wall as colorful decor. Keep toys in a chest or drawer and hang mobile out of reach of little fingers.
Odds and ends
It is absolutely essential to childproof the nursery before you bring your baby inside. Cover all power outlets with safety protectors. Keep any plants or artwork out of reach. It’s best to keep heavy items or anything made of glass out of the room.
Be sure to install baby monitors and smoke alarms. Check the batteries frequently and change them out if needed. If you need some lights or a fan in the nursery, make sure to mount them to the ceiling or the wall. Anything left on the floor is a potential hazard as it can tip over easily. Also, ensure that any cords and wires are not trailing on the floor.
Remember that you don’t have to follow design rules or spend thousands of dollars on decorating the nursery. But it has to be a safe and healthy space for your baby.