While it’s tempting to dress the room up like the baby paradise you’ve always visualised, remember that you still need to follow a few safety tips to keep your little one out of danger’s clutches.
Here are 5 important hazards to watch out for.
Hazard 1: The Window
While windows allow natural light to enter the room and let you enjoy beautiful scenery from the comfort of your home, they can also pose a danger to your baby especially if their cot is right next to the window. To avoid the tragedy of your child falling out of the window, install window guards and place all furniture away from the window.
Cords from curtains and blinds present a strangulation hazard as well, so put these out of your child’s reach. You can still get your favourite window dressing, of course, but do be wary about how the cords are hanging. Or get cordless roller blinds to begin with.
Hazard 2: The Walls
Be sure to complete all painting or wallpapering at least 6 weeks before the baby’s arrival or moving them into the room, otherwise they could be exposed to poisonous fumes.
What about the colours? Will your choices affect your baby? Just as how adults are influenced by the palettes in their own rooms, babies too can be similarly stimulated. For example, colours such as red and yellow may agitate the baby so it’s best to use such hues sparingly and as accents. Suitable colours you can consider are green, orange and purple, just don’t overdo it!
Hazard 3: The Furniture
This is something that might not have occurred to you, but it’s really essential that you anchor furniture to the walls to prevent any accidental tip-over. This applies to any piece of furniture and accessory that is prone to toppling over such as bookcase, floor lamps and drawers.
When shopping for furniture, make sure you get those with rounded edges. If it is not possible, then protect your child from knocking their head against sharp corners by putting corner and edge guards. Think as soft as possible and invest in pieces such as poofs and rugs. Avoid bean bags for the time being because they are not considered safe enough to deposit your baby while you take a breather.
Your new cot should be purchased with the following considerations:
- Go for fixed rails instead of drop sides; there are cases where the drop side crib has a loose side and increases the chances of your baby falling out.
- Ensure that a can of soda can’t slide through between the slats of the crib. If it does, then the slats are too far apart and your baby might attempt to fit his head through the slats.
- Avoid second-hand baby cots; as these may have worn out parts that you don’t know about.
- Buy a good quality mattress that is firm and fits the cot snugly with no gap all around to prevent your child’s head from getting caught.
- Do not leave any toys or bumpers in the cot for these will allow an adventurous child to climb over the rail of his or her cot.
Hazard 4: The Floor
Remember what we said about going as soft as possible? Protect your little ones from the hard floor with a rug or carpet, but don’t forget to include the anti-slip underlay. Your child may be too young to wander just yet, but you definitely don’t want to trip over the rug while you’re carrying your precious bundle! Putting down a rug or carpet also means that you have to dust and clean frequently, or your baby might get allergies
Hazard 5: The Trailing Wires and Power Outlets
As with the window cords, wires trailing on the floor within your child’s sight is a sitting accident. Your little one might get strangled or worse, end up pulling the appliances onto themselves. The safest thing to do will be to organise your cables using things like cable clips or cable protectors that can hide the wires away from your baby’s sight and still keep things neat. Ditto for power outlets; get these covered to prevent any accidents.
Welcoming a new addition to the family can be a really joyous occasion, but do make sure to take the necessary precautions against the above hazards when designing the nursery!
By Lilian Wu
This article is contributed by renonation.
This article was first published in The New Age Parents e-magazine