When it comes to the safety of your baby, new parents can easily become overwhelmed. When you first get the news that you’re expecting, one of the first places you start preparing is your child’s nursery. Your child’s nursery is not only their first bedroom, but it’s also the place you’ll remember changing countless diapers, singing them songs, and reading them bedtime stories. It’s also the place where your baby will happily spend half of their day sleeping. If you’re lucky, that is. A baby’s nursery should be a safe place that helps you and your baby rest easy. Aside from picking out the fun stuff like crib sheets and decorations, new parents should be just as concerned about the safety of their child’s bedroom. Here’s a complete baby nursery checklist to help you make sure their first room is safe and baby-proofed.
Babyproofing home checklist
When you baby-proof your home, you’re essentially making sure there are no dangerous places or items within your child’s reach. While you can’t protect your baby from everything, there are certain precautions you can take to make your home and specifically your baby’s nursery safer. Here are a few things to keep in mind when tackling your baby proofing home checklist.
The crib or a bassinet should be the safest place in your home for your newborn baby. In recent years, the guidelines for crib safety have drastically changed. First off, your baby’s crib should be completely empty aside from a tight-fitting crib sheet. You should never have any crib bumpers, toys, stuffed animals, or extra blankets in your child’s crib to prevent suffocation. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that your baby only sleeps in a bassinet or crib. You should never let your child sleep on a soft couch, chair, or in your bed unattended to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome also known as SIDS. Keep any loose items, strings, decorations, or cords as far away from the crib as possible to prevent your child from grabbing them. Make sure to lower your crib mattress as your child ages as well. The lowest setting is the safest to reduce the risk of falling out.
Stuffed animals are adorable toys, that almost every baby will have. Although they may be comforting and fun for your baby to grab onto, they should never be placed in your child’s crib when they are babies. Until your baby can stand up, walk, and move freely on their own as an older infant or toddler, your child’s crib should be kept empty. Stuffed animals pose a suffocation risk to young babies and infants who don’t have the proper head control to move their airways away from a toy if it’s suffocating them. Play it safe and don’t allow your baby to have stuffed animals in their crib until after their first birthday.
If you’re concerned about your baby being cold without any loose blankets in their crib, dress your baby in an extra layer of tight-fitting clothes or a safe sleep sack. Sleep sacks are designed so that your baby’s arms are free so that they can push themselves off of the mattress or wall and use their arms while still keeping them warm and cozy as a blanket would. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you don’t let your baby get too hot. In the past, it’s been commonplace to overdress a baby out of fear that they are too cold. It’s, in fact, safer to keep the room comfortable and your baby cooler. You should only dress your baby in one additional layer than you would wear. You can keep the thermostat at anywhere from 67-72 degrees Fahrenheit and use a fan on low to keep the air in your child’s room circulating. A humidifier is also nice to keep the air from getting too dry. Keep the fan and humidifier cord well out of reach from your baby, however.
The changing table should also be a safe and clear zone in your nursery. You want to make sure you have secured the changing pad to the table or dresser you’re using at all times. Keep small objects, cords and anything hazardous out of reach from your child while you’re changing them. This includes lotions and creams as older babies may be tempted to grab these and put them in their mouths. Never leave your baby on a changing table unattended. If you need to run and grab something while changing your baby, set them on the floor in a clean and safe place or put them in their crib until you return. This will help prevent your baby from falling off the changing table while you’re gone. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your little newborn will start to squirm and become mobile.
In your child’s room and throughout the house, wherever your child may be playing on the floor, you should cover your electrical outlets. While the older outlet plugs that pop in and out of your outlets work to prevent electrocution, those can pose another safety risk. If you go to charge your phone and pull the plug out of the outlet, too often that plug gets left on the floor where a baby can find it. If you aren’t paying attention, that plug can quickly end up in a curious baby’s mouth. There are outlet covers now that can actually replace your current outlet cover. These just slide over when you go to plug something in so there’s nothing to pop out. These are a lot safer of an option for outlets in high use areas.
Blinds and drapes
Blinds and drapes can be potentially harmful if not secured properly. You always want to make sure these are out of reach from your children and securely fasted to the wall. Don’t forget to pull up cords here as well. A crawling baby can easily grab a cord and wrap it around their neck if left alone even for a few minutes. Keep these wrapped up and out of reach whenever possible.
As your baby grows, they will start to pull up on furniture to help them walk or cruise around. While this is an exciting time in your child’s development, there are also some risks here. You want to make sure any dresser, bookshelves or other furniture in your child’s room is secured to the wall. This way if your child grabs a shelf to pull themselves up, they won’t pull the entire heavy bookshelf down on top of themselves. This is often overlooked on a new parent’s baby nursery checklist.