Tips for a Safe Nursery

Let’s start at the beginning. Most parents have cribs for their infants to sleep in, which is highly recommended. Allowing a young infant to sleep in the same bed as the parents is strongly discouraged. It’s too easy for them to roll off and injure themselves, or for one of the sleeping parents to roll on top of the baby causing suffocation. Crib design itself is very important for the child’s safety – the bars in a crib should be no more than 2 and 3/8 inches apart. Any wider than that, and the baby could easily get their head stuck between the bars. If you bought a new crib, this shouldn’t be a problem, as all cribs sold since 1974 have to conform to this safety standard. If you’re using an older crib, you should definitely measure the spaces between the bars, and if they’re too wide, don’t use it. Also, do not place a crib near a window. A storm or a thrown rock could easily break it, and the baby will want to press against it as he or she gets older. Babies will also want to play with latches and cords or anything else on a window that they can touch. So keep the crib near a wall, away from windows.

Although Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is rare, it does happen, and doctors believe the risk is much higher for babies who sleep on their stomachs. So have your baby sleep on its back. The mattress of the crib should be a good fit, with no spaces between itself and the crib. Another important safety consideration for the baby’s sleeping arrangement is to make sure that all materials, including pajamas, are non-flammable. And make sure there’s nothing in the crib which could suffocate the baby if they got under it, such as a stuffed animal. Of course, a baby should never have solid food of any kind in a crib, no matter how small the pieces. If they turn over on their back while eating, the chances of choking are too great, even with something as small as a raisin. So never let your baby eat in their crib. If your baby sleeps in their own room, investing in a baby monitor is an excellent idea. Most parents like to put a night light in their children’s room also. If you use one, make sure that the child can’t reach it from the crib, and that it’s one of the models that isn’t easily removed from the plug. There is a wide variety of excellent models available today, and many of them are quite inexpensive. One more important safety precaution is never turning your back to the changing table or moving away from it while the baby is on it. Some models come with safety straps to ensure against accidents. These are some of the main ways of making the nursery a safe place for babies, and reducing the risks of accidents.

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