Before you start to think about decorating a baby’s room or baby room designs, you should initially be thinking about the safety aspect of setting up a nursery. This guide has been created so that all the vital information you need is here in one place.
Basic Nursery Safety
As is paramount throughout my site, baby safety is precedent, for obvious reasons. As mentioned before in my article Baby Sleeping Tips, it is best to keep your baby in the same room as you for the first six months. This, of course, gives you that little bit of extra time so that you may set up your nursery the way you and your baby will get the maximum benefit.
Below are some of the basic safety tips you should follow for when your baby sleeps on their own:
- Keep your baby away from draughts. This means checking that your windows and doors are draught free. Also check to make sure that the windows are lockable. Basic internal locks are cheap and easily fitted to secure windows.
- Keep your baby away from direct sunlight. If your nursery does not provide this, then ensure that you provide adequate shading for when your baby is in the room.
- Keep your baby away from direct heat sources, such as radiators. Your baby may be able to reach out and burn themselves, so it is also very good practice to ensure that radiators are turned down to a very low or the lowest setting.
- Keep your baby away from anything that they may grasp and could fall onto them. Placing a baby under shelving or close to cupboards could be a risk. This also includes chords from curtains, blinds, night lights etc., as they could pose strangulation hazard.
- Second hand furniture is always an economical option, especially when certain antique items are passed down from one generation to another.
If you receive any items that are over a certain age (typically from 1900s – 1960/70s), these may be painted with lead-based paint, and this is very toxic. Ensure that all furniture has had the paint removed by a specialist to make it safe for your precious one. Also ensure that the items are in a good state of repair and are safe – see Baby Safety.
- Make sure that your baby’s mattress conforms to the regulatory safety standards for your country. This should be easily identified on the safety tag attached to the mattress.
Choosing nursery furniture can be a difficult decision to make as there are so many to choose from. Below are some items of furniture to consider and some other essential pieces of equipment that will give you peace of mind when setting up a nursery.
Cots or Cot Beds?
My preference to this, which I strongly advise, is to choose a cot bed. It is a cot that turns into a bed. These are far more versatile than just an ordinary cot or crib, and will last throughout many stages of your baby’s development and is therefore much more cost effective. You can see a short video on these benefits here.
This is a crucial part of any purchase, and having the correct mattress is very important. It must be firm enough and conform to your country’s regulatory safety standards. More detailed information can be found here.
It is always recommended that you buy 100% cotton for your baby as natural fibres are lighter and more breathable than man-made fabrics, therefore keeping your baby safer. You can also choose a special baby sleeping bag which is designed to keep your baby safe whilst sleeping. As mentioned before on my site, always avoid using duvets.
Baby Changing Units
Many cot beds will come with integrated changing units, but for those that don’t, these are a really good way of keeping all your changing equipment and supplies together. This means that when it comes time for your baby’s nappy change or bath, everything is at hand so you can keep a safe eye on your precious one.
Nappy Bin or Disposal Unit
This is quite a good way to get rid of the nasty little packages yor little one will deliver to you throughout their pre-potty time. The advantage of these units is that you pop the nappy in, turn a lever or whatever mechanism it uses and the nappy is wrapped and sealed hygienically without mess. Brilliant.
Feeding Chairs and Rocking Chairs
A new mum or dad will be spending a great deal of time sat in a chair feeding, winding or getting the baby off to sleep. Why not do it in comfort with a rocking chair or feeding chair? These come with extra padding for support and optional foot stools too. It isn’t just the baby’s comfort you need to consider.
To keep your baby ultra-safe, specialist monitoring equipment is available and is a must have, relatively inexpensive way to keep your and your family that extra security and safety you need.
Keeping the room at a steady temperature can be done easily by installing a thermometer. These can be quite inexpensive and come in a variety of styles to suit everyone.
Faulty boilers and fire risk are dangerous to all, especially babies. Having smoke alarms fitted to your house and tested regularly will provide you with added safety. They can be fitted and tested for free. For more information go here for the UK and here for the US.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detectors
There ae many horror stories around regarding deaths from faulty boilers or blocked flues from open fires in a house. The best way to prevent this from happening is from having a CO Detector which will give an alert when there is a dangerous level detected. As Carbon Monoxide is odourless, this will give you plenty of warning before things get too serious. It is also very important that all gas appliances be regularly serviced and inspected by a qualified engineer.
When your little one is out of sight it is always a nervous time for a parent. Baby monitors are relatively inexpensive these days and have a fantastic range so that your little one can be monitored all over the house and even in the garden, giving you that much needed peace of mind.