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Get down to business with these nursery-planning tips and you won’t have to worry about missing out any crucial elements once your tiny tot arrives.
Getting a nursery ready for your newborn isn’t just about locking down a cute theme and choosing furniture to match. While it’s common to get all caught up in the aesthetics, you need to dedicate just as much time to ensuring that the nursery is a safe space for your baby.With these tips, you can rest assured that your baby will be both comfortable and secure in her new environment.
Even if you aren’t ready to start painting, the nursery should have all of its major furniture by the sixth month of your pregnancy or so. You should aim to finish all painting and wallpapering at least eight weeks before the expected birth of your baby, and leave the windows open for aeration until the actual arrival. Always allow sufficient time for new products, furniture, and fixings to air out before introducing them to your little one. Plan ahead so you don’t miss out on any essential items.
Ultimately, there should only be two things in your baby’s crib: a firm, tight-fitting mattress and a crib sheet or a waterproof mattress protector. Everything else is a suffocation hazard for kids under one-year-old.Nicole Ng, 37, mother-of-two, says, “Only the bare minimum is needed. I remember only having a crib and a mobile. We didn’t need a baby monitor because the crib was in the same room as the one we were sleeping in.”
You should also opt for lightweight artwork and décor, especially if they are placed near the crib, as bulky objects could seriously injure your baby if they fell accidentally. Avoid decorations with long strings, ribbons, or anything else that could pose a strangulation hazard. The crib mobile can also become a threat; take it down after the first six months, or before your baby is able to pull herself up and stand on her own.
The distance between the slats of the crib must be no more than six centimetres to protect infants from falling out and toddlers from trapping their heads between them.Look out for any loose or broken parts of the crib (especially if it is a hand-me-down) and regularly check screws and bolts to ensure that the crib is safe.
You’ll want to be mindful of the type of crib you choose as it can be dangerous for a child learning how to stand on his own.“We had a crib whose height could be adjusted. So, we always kept a watchful eye on our children,” Nicole says.“When we noticed them grabbing onto the crib’s rails to pull themselves up, we immediately lowered the crib’s height so that they wouldn’t climb out of the crib.”
Arrange the nursery so that the crib is away from the windows. If you have cords on your windows, tie them high up and out of your child’s reach. Furthermore, if you have tall or heavy pieces of furniture, prevent them from tipping over by using braces or anchors to secure them to the wall.You may also want to install a ceiling fan to prevent your baby from overheating, which is a known risk factor of sudden infant death syndrome.
Keep nursery germs in check and prevent contamination of surfaces by storing sanitation supplies at an arm’s reach. Use the cupboard closest to the changing table to store antibacterial wipes and paper towels. A good diaper disposal system in a nursery is a must-have. Diaper pails are specifically designed to eliminate unpleasant odours and are a convenient way to dispose of diapers.
In addition, make sure you sanitise floor surfaces regularly, especially if your child spends much of their time on them.You’ll also want to change your baby’s bedding at least once a week. Chances are, you’re already changing the sheets more often than you’d like. But still, minor diaper leaks can cause bacteria to grow in your baby’s crib. Since babies explore the world with their mouths, it is important to sanitise their toys regularly.
When choosing furniture for storage, think long term. Keep up with your baby’s changing wardrobe, by organising clothes by size and putting away anything that no longer fits. You can choose to donate them or keep them for a family member’s baby. You may also want to plan for the nursery to be converted into a toddler’s room and make proper arrangements for the space to grow with your child.
The basics you need to complete your nursery before the arrival of your little one:
Choose cribs with fixed side rails, instead of adjustable ones. Also, be sure that the crib mattress fits snugly in the crib to keep your baby from slipping in between the mattress and the crib’s sides. Don’t rely on manufacturers’ labels – test it out yourself. Ensure the mattress holds firm and springs back into place quickly.
The crib mobile helps with the relaxation and development of your baby. She will find mobiles that sway and jiggle much more stimulating than one that remains stationary. Black and white tend to be the most stimulating colours for newborns, but older babies benefit from blue, yellow, red, and green. Try to find one which contains most of these colours.
Waterproof diaper changing pad or changing table
Look for one that’s sturdy and equipped with a safety belt to keep your little one safe. And since you’ll be changing over 3,000 diapers in the first year alone, it’s best to make sure your baby’s changing area in the nursery is well stocked with all the diaper-changing necessities beforehand. Remember to store them out of your baby’s reach.
For many parents, baby monitors offer reassurance and peace of mind. If your baby sleeps in the same room as you for the first few months, you probably won’t need a monitor for a while, if ever. But if you’re a deep sleeper and they’re sleeping in a separate nursery, baby monitors can alert you when your baby wakes up, if he is crying, or if there is a prolonged gap in breathing patterns.
A comfortable chair
One of the most important pieces of furniture in your nursery is a comfortable chair. Whether it rocks, glides or remains stationary, you’ll need one for the countless hours you’ll be spending with your child in your arms. The back and forth motion of a rocking chair is soothing for your baby when you’re feeding her or putting her to sleep.
Liked our nursery planning tips for your baby? Read more simple and practical tips on pregnancy, mother and baby care, where we cover a host of tips including pregnancy diet, exercise and physical wellness tips, emotional wellness, etc.
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