Congratulations – the stork brought you a pretty little package! But now that you’ve welcomed your new bundle of joy, how do you ensure that your “grown-up” house is safe for your growing baby? You might be surprised to learn that your grandmother’s beautiful antique crib might be dangerous to your baby; or that you should keep your baby’s crib well away from tables and windows. All sorts of home modifications become necessary when you have a new child. Here are a few important tips on how to “baby-proof” your house and furniture.
You might adore the look of your grandmothers’ antique crib, but if it has slats or cutouts big enough for a baby’s head to become trapped between them, don’t use it. If the crib has any broken, loose or missing parts, don’t use it, or else have it fixed by a company skilled in. If the crib presents your baby opportunity to get stuck, wedged, or trapped, even in low areas near the mattress, the headboard or foot of the crib, don’t use it. Before you borrow a crib, be sure to double check online to see if the crib or bassinet you plan to use has been recalled.
It’s also important to keep the crib free of bulky covers, bumper pads, or fuzzy blankets. Use only a snug fitted sheet, or if you do choose to use covers, make sure the sheet or thin blanket only just reaches the baby’s chest. There should be no opportunity for the baby to get his face stuck in bunched-up covers. Keep the crib free of all toys, pillows, throws, infant recliners or carriers.
It’s also important to remember that any object with a cord attached is a potential danger to your baby. That includes corded toys or bath items, long, thin purse straps, blind cords, or cords attached to baby monitors, lamps or clocks. This is especially true when your baby becomes old and strong enough to stand in the crib. You should move the crib far enough from the window and any side tables, that the baby will not be able to reach window or clock cords.
It’s wise to start preparing other accessible areas for when your baby starts to crawl. If there are any low drawers or cabinets in the nursery, you’ll need to install childproof locks so that he won’t be able to open them. You’ll also need plug-in covers and rounded plastic caps that you can place over sharp table corners. If there is any furniture in the nursery that’s broken or torn, such as a loose ripped sofa cushion, take it to a professional skilled in couch upholstery repair. A broken rocker arm or a ripped cushion can be an opportunity for a toddler to fall or become entrapped.
It only takes a few simple modifications to make your home and furniture safe for baby. But if you still have concerns about the safety of your furniture, contact a furniture professional for advice or repairs.