Your baby deserves nothing but the best! But aside from their baby essentials and baby gear, in order to truly give your baby the best, you need to make their immediate surroundings as safe as possible. This means baby proofing and following nursery safety guidelines.
Preparing for your baby’s nursery should begin way before your baby’s arrival. It takes time and special consideration to make sure that everything — from the big gear to small details — are safe for baby. You wouldn’t want to forget anything (especially considering that you might have pregnancy brain!) so it’s best to have a list of everything you need to do.
From baby proofing your nursery room down to ensuring that everything inside it is safe for baby, this nursery checklist has you covered!
First Things First: Baby Proofing the Crib
1. Your crib should follow current safety guidelines.
The first thing you need to make sure of is to buy a brand new crib. While borrowing an old crib or buying secondhand may seem to be the more practical option, they are more likely to not fulfill the current safety guidelines. Check out this guide by the CPSC to know more about these safety guidelines.
2. The crib’s slats should not be more than 2 ⅜ inches apart.
You should also check the distance between the crib slats. Make should they are no further than 2 ⅜ inches apart to prevent your baby from getting trapped in between.
3. Get a crib with fixed sides.
When shopping for cribs, avoid those that come with drop-sides as they can put your baby at risk for serious injuries.
4. Choose your crib mattress with careful consideration.
Aside from the crib, you should also be careful in choosing your crib mattress. Make sure that it fits your crib exactly. If not, see to it that the space between the mattress and the crib frame is no wider than two fingers.
5. The crib should be clear of any clutter.
Pillows, plush toys, and blankets might make your crib even cuter, but save them for playtime while your baby is still little and too small to push things off their face. You can place these toys and accessories on their playmat in the meantime.
6. There should be no shelves or frames over your baby’s crib.
Definitely avoid putting shelves or hanging frames or mirrors over your baby’s crib. These items can fall, especially if they are not mounted properly, and can cause serious injuries.
7. There should also be no hanging strings near your baby’s crib.
Likewise, there should also be no hanging strings that your baby can reach. These include the cors of your curtains and blinds as well as your musical mobile. For your musical mobile, make sure that the strings are no longer than seven inches. (Check out our musical mobiles that come with short strings!)
8. Never place your crib near the window.
Finally, do not place your crib near a window even if you have installed window guards.
What’s Next: Baby Proofing the Room
1. Use safe and non-toxic paint for the nursery room.
You should start painting your baby’s nursery room way prior to their arrival. Don’t wait until your baby is here already because paint can leave fumes that stay in the room after its application. And when choosing paint, choose water-based paint that does not contain mercury.
2. Shop around for the safest changing table.
You are going to use your changing table a lot, so it’s imperative to choose one that is stable and sturdy. See to it that your changing table has rails and a safety belt to contain your baby. It should be at a comfortable height, too, for your back’s sake.
3. Keep the tall furniture in the room anchored.
The best thing to do is to avoid putting tall and heavy furniture like bookshelves inside the nursery, but if this cannot be avoided, then make sure you anchor them to the walls with braces.
4. Don’t forget to install child-locks on your drawers and chests.
Another thing that you should not forget is to install child-locks on anything that can be opened, including drawers and shelves.
5. Don’t use furniture with glass doors.
Also avoid using furniture with glass doors that can cause serious injuries to your baby.
6. Avoid using old furniture.
Old furniture, especially those that are considered antique, definitely looks charming and rustic. The bad news is that they can be very dangerous to your little one as they might not adhere to current safety requirements such as having spring-loaded hinges. They might also have been painted with paint that contains lead.
7. Install door guards and baby gates for your doors.
Don’t forget about your doors! To prevent little fingers from getting pinched, install door guards. Also prevent your baby from crawling out by installing a baby gate.
8. Choose window fixtures with careful consideration.
Aside from furniture, it is also very important to be careful in choosing window fixtures. Avoid buying curtains with beaded embellishments as they can pose a choking hazard. If what you have are blinds, make sure you cut off the pull cords or tie them way beyond the reach of your little one.
9. Keep your outlets and your mats and rugs safe.
In addition, remember to put outlet protectors over every unused electrical outlet — even those that seem out of reach. For mats and rugs, place non-slip pads underneath.
10. Don’t use tablecloths on top of your furniture.
Tablecloths may seem innocent, but they can actually be dangerous with a little child around. Don’t use tablecloths on top of furniture especially if you are planning on placing heavy items on top of them like a lampshade. Your baby can easily pull on the tablecloth and pull everything on top of it with it.
11. Install a baby monitor and a smoke detector.
Finally, create a safe baby nursery by installing a baby monitor and a smoke monitor. For the latter, check it regularly and replace the batteries at least once a year.
If you want to give your baby the best start in life, then it’s crucial to keep them safe at all times. This includes baby proofing your nursery and minimizing the risks and hazards. With our baby nursery checklist, you can stay on top of creating a safe space for your little one!