How to Build a Safe Nursery for Your Baby
New parents are faced with a pretty steep learning curve concerning just about everything child-related. Not only does a mother go through a vast array of changes during the course of her pregnancy, but once your newborn is home, you must learn to feed, bathe, and diaper him, not to mention trying to figure out just what the heck makes him cry at all hours of the night and day. In short, it can be a hectic time for a couple just starting their family. So the last thing you want to worry about is potential hazards lurking in the nursery. But if your idea of decorating the nursery is to paint, throw in some furniture, and call it a day, then your baby may be facing some dangers that you don’t even know about. Here are just a few ways you can make the nursery environment a safe one for your little bundle of joy.
1. Soft furniture and bumpers. Rockers, cribs, and changing tables all come with sharp corners that could easily bring harm to your baby as he learns to crawl and walk. However, it is a problem that is easily solved. You can get some plush furnishings, such as a couch or chair, and for the rest, simply add padding or bumpers (rubbery corner-hugging devices) so that if you kid does bounce off the furniture, he bounces right back with nary a bruise.
2. Remove climbable surfaces. As your baby gets to the point where he’s just about ready to start walking, you’ll notice that he uses objects in his environment to pull himself up. And your soon-to-be toddler will grab indiscriminately. He won’t differentiate between a solid built-in unit and a wobbly, free-standing book shelf. So unless you want him pulling things down (probably on himself), you should definitely remove any furnishings that he might try to use as a ladder.
3. Secure objects. This really becomes an issue when your baby gets to the climbing and walking stages. Objects that are unsecured on surfaces like tables and shelves can be pulled down by a curious tot. If they manage not to hit him on the way down, he will almost certainly try to put them in his mouth (if they’re smallish) or possibly even destroy them in some way (water damage from drool will ruin your first printing of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and it can’t be good for your child to eat paper). What would be worse is if he tried to climb the TV stand and pulled down the flatscreen, or got bonked on the noggin by a lamp or photo frame. Wall mounts and Velcro tape are your friends in this regard.
4. Go green. Between chemical cleaners, allergen-infested carpeting and linens, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the paint on the walls and the varnish and glue in the furniture, it’s a wonder children survive the nursery. To remove all of these potentially harmful toxins and make your baby’s nursery safe (and green), opt for low- or no-VOC options for paint and furniture, natural-fiber carpeting (instead of synthetic) or reclaimed wood with a few easy-to-clean throw rugs, green cleaning solvents, and organic textiles all around.
5. Hire a professional. There are people to help you with every baby dilemma, from an inability to latch on to cleaning cloth diapers, so there’s no reason you shouldn’t take advantage of a professional childproofing service. Not only will they offer solutions for the nursery, but they can also help to make your whole house safe for your baby.
Sarah Danielson is a writer for Everlasting Hardwoods where you can find a great selection of Ipe wood and find information on Ipe decking prices to remodel your home.