The most important time is spent between a mother and her newborn child in the nursery. It’s also where you and baby spend the MOST time. You can’t be there all the time: you do need that evasive thing called sleep. You want your child to grow up as a healthy, happy and (somewhat) well-adjusted adult. Your little one is about to come home and you think your nursery is ready…but is it really? Take a critical look around using some of these tips, as it could mean the difference between life and death.
There’s so much information out there about nursery safety that we’re going to break this blog post into sections. First we’re going to focus on crib safety.
Think twice before accepting used or hand-me-down cribs, as many of them do not meet the safety standards that companies are required to adhere to today. The placement of the crib in the room is the most important: never put it in front of a window (especially an open one) or a heating/air vent. The draft from an open window could make the baby sick, or the baby might have a small chance of falling out the window. The window glass could also break in a storm and send shards flying to the baby. Any drapery or cords from window treatments could tangle around a baby’s neck, causing unfortunate choking. If you absolutely cannot avoid putting the crib by the window because of tight spaces, you might even want to go the extra mile and install window guards to avoid the child falling out of the window.
Furniture for kids can be tricky. Inspect the crib for sound quality: examine it for any loose screws that could cause the crib to collapse. There should also be no paint chips or splinters in the crib. Make sure that the mattresses is soundly supported: it should fit firmly with no more than one finger width between the mattress and the side of the crib. This will also help the nursery bedding to fit perfectly. The headboard should be solid without any open areas where hands and feet can get stuck; ensure that the crib slats are less than 2 3/8 inches apart for that same reason. There should be no corner posts over 1/16 inch high so clothing cannot catch. Make sure that the mattress fits snugly and there’s not any room for the baby to insert any fingers or toes.
Always read any instructions and safety hazards that come with the crib EXTREMELY CAREFULLY! When it’s broken, don’t use duct tape – use only hardware approved by the manufacturer.
With due diligence and proper care, you’ll have a safe crib that will be worth the investment. And then, when you are putting the cute pink baby girl bedding, or the ocean blue baby boy bedding on the crib, you’ll be sure your little one will sleep on it safely. The best baby cribs are the safe ones!
Next week’s topic in this safety series will be on baby bedding safety.