Creating Your Baby's Nursery

Part of preparing for your baby's arrival is setting up the room or space you plan to use as a nursery. And while it’s fun to pick out paint colors and furniture, you should keep in mind the safety aspects of the room as well.

To help you get started, we've put together a few tips on how to make your nursery a safe and welcoming place for your child.

Bassinets and Cradles

  • Cradles should have a stable base, and you should be able to lock any swinging mechanisms once the baby is asleep.
  • When picking a mattress, find one that fits tightly into the frame without any gaps on the sides.
  • The corner posts of a crib should be less than 1/16 of an inch above the end panel, and slats should be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart.
  • Double-check screws and bolts to make sure they are securely fastened.
  • Ensure that bumper pads fit around the entire crib and can tie or snap into each corner, in the middle of the long side of the crib, and on the top and bottom edges. Remove bumpers once the baby can pull to a standing position.
  • Place the crib away from any windows, and keep window cords short or out of reach.
  • Remove the plastic wrapping from the crib mattress before use.
  • Do not keep pillows, stuffed animals or other toys in a crib. Mobiles, crib gyms or toys strung across a crib should be removed once the baby can push up on hands and knees.

Changing Tables

  • Confirm that your changing table has a safety strap to help prevent the baby from rolling off the table, and never leave a baby unattended.
  • Keep all ointments, lotions, powders and diapers away from the baby’s reach.
  • Use a baby gate with a straight-top edge and strong bars or mesh screen. Fasten it securely to the doorway so the child cannot push through or climb over.

Around the House

  • Do not leave a baby in a playpen with sides left in the down position.
  • Install latches on lower dresser drawers to prevent children from climbing on them.
  • Attach angle braces to shelving units to secure them to the wall.
  • Toy chests should have ventilation holes as well as spring-loaded lid supports to keep the lid from falling.
  • Use plug protectors that cover the entire plate of unused electrical outlets.
  • Keep electrical cords out of the reach of children by tucking them behind furniture or using cord shorteners.

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