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Baby Furniture Safety in the Nursery

Setting up a beautiful nursery is always exciting. Unless you follow the basics of baby furniture safety, it will be next to worthless.

After all, what good is a stunning layout if it puts your baby's life is in danger?

Keep your little prince as safe as possible inside his "kingdom" by considering and implementing these suggestions.

The nursery is very important but don't forget to baby proof the rest of the house as well!

Baby Proofing Your Nursery

As you are arranging the furniture in your baby's room, take extra care to look around for safety concerns. Your baby will spend more time in this room than in any other, so take the time to make sure it's safe.

The Nursery Layout

  • The crib should not be near hanging drapes, cords, or anything baby could grab or wrap around his neck. Any cord blinds should be secured with a cord winder.
  • The crib should not be located next to the window unless you have a window guard installed (be sure to measure to purchase the right size). If your baby were to crawl out of her crib, she could fall out the window without it. (Screens are not gates.)
  • The crib should not be positioned near outlets. If this is unavoidable, choose spring-loaded outlet covers that slide over and cannot be removed.
  • Tall bookcases or dressers should be attached to the wall with anti-tip straps. It may seem unlikely now, but it's highly probably he will learn to crawl out of his crib. The whole room should be as safe as possible when that happens.
  • It should go without saying, but you should always make sure the baby equipment you are using in your home has not been recalled. Find out if your furniture is recalled here. (I actually discovered I did have some recalled baby stuff picked up at a garage sale. I'm so glad I checked!)

Baby Furniture Safety: Inside the Crib

  • Hanging strings with toys on them across the crib is a common newborn activity. Just remember to remove them once your baby is able to touch them. They are deadly strangulation hazards for babies older than 3 months.
  • Never tie pacifiers or teethers around your baby's neck or leave attached to his clothing. He could strangle himself on the cords.
  • Crib gyms should be installed securely at both ends and be unable to pulled off.
  • All mobiles and gyms should be removed once your baby can sit up unassisted.
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Baby Furniture Safety: Toy Chests

Toy chests can seriously injure or kill your baby. Falling lids have cause severe brain damage or death. Suffocation can occur in some chests if your infant were to accidentally fall inside. Keep him safe by...
  • Purchasing or remodeling chests with a support to hold the lid open in any position. You can buy these "spring loaded" supports at any hardware store.
  • If you can't install spring-loaded supports, remove the lids or doors alltogether.
  • Choose a toy chest with ventilation holes that won't be blocked if the chest is against a wall, or has a gap between the lid and sides of the chest.
  • The chest should never have a latch that could accidentally fall in place, trapping your child inside.

The Perfect Crib

A good crib is the pinnacle of baby furniture safety. Everything takes a back seat next to baby crib safety. You absolutely, positively, must ensure your crib is 150% safe.

After all, where else in your home will she spend hours of time alone and unobserved?

The "Shoulds" of Baby Crib Safety

  • The slats should be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart. Drop sides should be at least 9 inches above the mattress support when lowered. When raised, they should be at least 26 inches above the mattress at its lowest position.
  • The mattress height should be adjustable so you can begin lowering the mattress when your baby begins to sit up. The device to do this should be inconveniently difficult, since you don't want your baby to be able to jiggle the mattress loose and fall.
  • Lowering the crib sides should be easy for you (even one handed) but not so easy your crafty toddler could learn to do it by himself.
  • The crib should be sturdy and strong. It shouldn't wobble or rattle when assembled.
  • If possible the crib should be easy to roll around the room, and be on metal (not plastic) casters.
  • The mattress should be at least 51 3/4 inches long by 27 3/4 inches wide. You should not be able to fit two fingers between the mattress and the crib. Doing so reveals a deadly entrapment hazard.
  • The four posts of the crib should not extend more than 1/16th of an inch above the end panels. If they are higher than this, they could catch on clothing or other items and cause strangulation.
  • The mattress support frame should be secured with hooks or bolts.
  • Maintain proper baby furniture safety by checking the hardware on the crib on a regular basis to ensure it is strong. A collapsing crib could entrap and kill your infant.

The "Should Nots" of Baby Crib Safety

  • The crib should not be made before 1973, because this was before Federal Safety Guidelines were effected. You have a higher probability of having an unsafe crib if it was manufactured before 1973.
  • The crib should not have been recalled. (Obviously!)
  • Bumpers should only be used at specific times. (See my Bumper-Using Schedule in the free ebook, The Safest Home on the Block.)
  • The crib should not have cut-outs on the headboards that could trap a little neck. There should also not be any decorations that could break off and become choking hazards.
  • The crib should not have any missing, loose, or broken slats or hardware.
  • The mattress support frame should not be simple metal rods resting in a catch attached to the crib frame. Those rods could slide out of the "catch" and cause the mattress to fall, entrapping your baby. This is especially possible when your baby discovers how to jump up and down inside the crib. Always make sure those support brackets are unmovable.

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These simple guidelines will provide you with a basic outline of baby furniture safety.

For information on how to make the rest of your home as safe as the nursery, consider accessing this free ebook, The Safest Home on the Block.

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