When the Juvenile Products and Manufacturers Association, asked Bratt Decor, owner, Mary Bauer, to write about creating a safe nursery, she was all to happy to lend her experience and expertise to the task.
10 Simple Rules When Designing Your Nursery
Designing your dream nursery is indeed a labor of love. However, with all things baby, safety is always your first concern. Arm yourself with these 10 simple rules so that your room will not only be beautiful and reflective of your personal style, but also a safe and secure place for your baby.
Always Use A Crib That Meets Current Safety Standards: This is the place where your baby will spend the most time alone, and it is so important to know that the crib you are using is in the best and safest condition possible. But, if you must use a secondhand crib, make sure it meets current safety standards and has no missing or broken parts. Make sure the crib is manufactured after 2011 and does not have drop sides. If budget is a concern, consider using secondhand dressers, rockers, rugs and lights to cut costs instead.
Use A Tight Fitting Mattress: If you can fit more than two fingers between the edge of the mattress and the side of the crib, the mattress is too small. Your crib manufacturer should be able to recommend the right mattress for their crib. Also, remove any toys or decorative pillows and excess blankets when baby is in the crib.
Bedding: Pillows, loose blankets or comforters, stuffed animals and toys should be removed from the crib when baby is in residence. These loose items can be suffocation hazards for babies. If you do choose to use a bumper pad, make sure it fits around the entire crib without sagging or gaps, have straps or ties at least in each corner and in the middle of each long side, and tie at both the top and bottom edges. Avoid pillow like bumpers. If all of the ties cannot be securely attached to the crib, do not use the bumper segment. Once your baby can pull up to a standing position, remove them.
Paint: If you are going to paint, always use a high quality water-based, lead free paint, with low or no voc’s (volatile organic compounds). There are many great options on the market today, including organic paints. Make sure the room is well ventilated and air it out for 2-3 days before occupying it.
Window Treatments: Don’t position your crib near drapery or cording from drapery, as baby could pull it into the crib, which could lead to strangulation. The ideal place is opposite of a window, or as far away as possible. Opt for cordless window treatments. In general, it’s a good idea to keep all strings, cords, ropes, etc. away from baby.
Big Furniture: If you have big case goods, like armoires and dressers, secure them to the wall with an anti-tipping device. Many manufacturers will include them with your purchase, but if not, pick one up at your local hardware store.
Floor lamps: When your baby begins to crawl, remove floor lamps. A determined toddler will use anything to pull themselves up, and a lamp will tip.
Changing trays: If using a changing tray on a dresser, be sure to secure that tray to the larger piece to avoid the tray slipping off. And, NEVER leave baby unattended, not even for a second. Keep changing supplies like powder, lotions and gels, on a shelf beyond baby’s reach.
Toys: Keep your toys stored in bins or toy boxes with soft closed hinges. Also, be sure and pick up toys at the end of the day, to avoid tripping when laying sleeping baby down.
Outlets: Don’t forget plug protectors for any unused electrical outlets. Also, tuck any cords out of reach of baby.
After these precautions have been met, have fun. Create a space that speaks to your heart and makes you happy. After all, this first room is really for you.