Babies may seem just like bundles, but they need to be protected as soon as they’re born. Having that little bit of information makes all the difference in the world when it comes to having a happy child versus an injured child. Let’s take a look at the nursery to see what things you need to do to keep the nursery safe for baby at all times.
To start with, keep pillows, blankets, and loose stuffed animals out of the crib until your baby is at least 6 months old as they can suffocate her (you can keep her warm with thick pajamas when she’s sleeping). Be sure the mattress fits snugly against the crib sides. And although they’re adorable, it’s best to forego crib bumpers. Young babies can suffocate in them, and older babies step on them to climb out of their cribs.
Your changing table should have four raised sides and a strap to hold baby in. Keep all your supplies within arm’s reach. That way, you won’t have to turn away from the changing table, even for a second.
Baby Proofing the Crib
1. Most babies are left alone in their crib as they play or sleep. It should be a safe place that has slats no further apart than 2 3/8 inches so baby doesn’t get his head caught in them.
2. Don’t put anything over the crib or changing table that a baby can reach. These things can fall on baby and can strangle a baby. Put a quilt instead over the changing table or crib.
3. If you put a mobile over the crib, take it down when the baby can sit up or kneel. Hang it high enough so baby cannot get into it and cause strangulation.
4. Put the mattress at the right height. The taller the baby is, the lower the mattress pad should be. This is so the baby doesn’t tumble out of the crib.
5. A common baby proofing mistake is to place your baby into a quilt or fluffy comforter – which poses a great suffocation risk. Stuffed animals and pillows should be out of the crib as well. It is believed that overheating a baby or usi
ng thick comforters can contribute to sudden infant death syndrome.
6. Put the baby on its back when it is time to sleep in order to prevent SIDS. Do not use baby positioners in a crib.
7. Make sure the crib sheets attach tightly so that it cannot come lose and get entangled in the baby, causing suffocation.
Safety Around the Nursery
1. When using a changing table, use the safety belt and keep a hand on the baby at all times. Falling from a changing table could be very dangerous so never leave them alone when they are on one.
2. Use window guards in the nursery. These keep the window from opening more than four inches at a time so baby cannot slip out. Screens are not enough of a protection for baby.
3. Don’t have any baby furniture near a window as baby can get to the window and will potentially open the window on its own.
4. If a security restraint comes with a piece of baby furniture, make sure you use it. This includes walkers, high chairs and swings. Bolt tall or bulky furniture to the walls so baby cannot pull the furniture down on himself.
5. Think about getting the bulk of your baby proofing done before the baby comes home from being born. If you do what you can now, there will be that much less to do when the baby begins to scoot or to crawl.
Baby proofing can be complicated and can seem like an overwhelming task but you need to do it for your baby’s safety. Keep a checklist handy and work through it until the house is as safe as possible through the first couple of years of a child’s life.