The arrival of a new baby brings endless joy and excitement, but it also comes with an increased sense of responsibility! One critical task on your to-do list is creating a baby proofing checklist for the nursery, ensuring it is a safe space for your little one to grow and explore.
A well-prepared nursery not only safeguards your baby but also provides you with peace of mind, knowing your little one can rest and play in a secure environment. So let’s dive in and explore the essential baby-proofing steps to create that perfect haven for your baby.
Table of Contents
Baby Proofing Checklist: The Nursery
The ‘nesting’ phase just before the baby comes involves preparing your home for your new arrival. Use this checklist to ensure your nursery is in tip-top condition.
Installing baby gates is essential to keep your baby safe and prevent unsupervised wandering.
Not only do you want to place them at the top and bottom of the stairs, but also consider installing them in the doorways to the nursery.
While shopping for baby gates, look for ones that are durable and easy to operate, so that adults can move around without much hassle.
- To minimize the risk of falls, it’s important to install window guards on all windows in the nursery.
- Choose guards that are both sturdy and easily removable in case of an emergency.
- Consider investing in cordless window blinds or using cord clips to prevent accidental strangulation from pull cords.
- Install window guards and lock any windows that can be opened.
- Replace any corded blind with cordless options or use safety tassels and cord stops to keep the cords out of reach.
Furniture and Decor
- Make sure the furniture in your nursery is secure and doesn’t pose a risk of tipping or falling.
- Attach corner and edge guards to sharp corners to prevent injuries.
- Anchor furniture to the walls, such as bookcases and dressers, so they can’t topple over.
- When selecting decor, prioritize safety over style, and avoid any item with small parts that could pose a choking hazard to your baby.
Electrical Outlets and Cords
- Unprotected outlets and loose cords can be dangerous for curious little ones.
- Cover all unused electrical outlets with secure outlet covers, and route cords out of reach or behind furniture.
- You may also want to use cord covers to prevent chewing or entanglement.
- Make sure the crib meets safety regulations with slats no wider than 2 3/8 inches apart and no corner posts over 1/16 of an inch high.
- Keep your crib setup simple and safe by avoiding bumpers, comforters, pillows, and stuffed animals to reduce the risk of suffocation or SIDS.
- Crib mattresses should fit snugly and be firm to prevent suffocation.
- Consider using a fitted crib sheet for added safety.
- Ensure all necessary supplies like diapers and wipes are easily accessible to avoid leaving your child unattended.
- Place a plush rug adjacent to the changing table as a precautionary measure.
- Maintain a well-stocked diaper station to eliminate the need to leave the room in search of supplies.
- Attach safety straps to the changing table to prevent your baby from rolling off.
- Regularly monitor your baby’s room temperature. Position a room thermometer in a spot that’s out of your baby’s reach but easily readable by adults.
- Opt for a readily accessible night light to facilitate nighttime feedings and diaper changes, reducing the chances of stumbling in the dark.
- Choose low voltage bulbs for light fixtures to minimize the risk of burns from high-temperature bulbs.
- Opt for flame-resistant sleepwear to ensure your baby’s safety during sleep.
- Choose sleepwear that fits snugly to prevent any loose fabric from covering your baby’s face and causing suffocation.
- Avoid sleepwear with strings, ties, or large buttons that could pose a choking hazard.
- Consider sleep sacks or wearable blankets as safer alternatives to loose blankets.
- Ensure all toys are age-appropriate to prevent choking hazards or other injuries.
- Regularly inspect toys for any loose parts, sharp edges, or peeling paint that could be harmful.
- Keep toys with small parts or magnets out of reach of young children to prevent choking or ingestion.
- Avoid toys with long cords or strings that could pose a strangulation risk.
- Store toys in a secure, easily accessible place and tea
Be prepared to update your baby proofing checklist as your little one grows and becomes more mobile. For now, focus on these basics to create a safe and comfortable space for your newest family member. By following this checklist, you’ll be well on your way to a safe and baby-proofed nursery for your little one.
For more information about baby-proofing your whole house check out this article: The Ultimate Babyproofing Guide: A Checklist For Every Room
Storing Your Baby First Aid Kit
Having a well-stocked baby first aid kit is essential for any parent. You’ll want to make sure it’s easily accessible and stored properly to avoid accidents and ensure you have what you need when it’s required.
First, find a suitable location to store your baby’s first aid kit. It should be high enough to be out of reach of little hands but still easily accessible for you. A top shelf in a closet or a high cabinet in the nursery are both great options.
Consider keeping a second, smaller first aid kit in the car or your diaper bag just in case you need supplies while on the go. This will give you peace of mind knowing you are prepared for emergencies even outside the home.
Ensure all products in the first aid kit are properly stored, with caps securely fastened and any small, hazardous items (like tweezers, safety pins, or scissors) contained in their own compartments. Always keep medications in their original containers to avoid confusion, and make sure to replace expired ones.
When you’re assembling your baby’s first aid kit, there are some key items to include:
- adhesive bandages
- saline nasal spray
- infant pain reliever
- a digital thermometer
- diaper rash cream.
Feel free to consult a comprehensive list like Baby First-Aid Kit: What to Include to ensure you have everything necessary.
Additional Safety Considerations
When setting up your nursery, it’s important to keep additional safety aspects in mind. Use this table to make sure you have thought of everything!
You should ensure that cleaning supplies, medicines, and other potentially harmful substances are out of reach or locked away. Consider using safety latches on lower cabinets and doors to keep these items secure.
Make sure to keep small objects that could pose a risk out of the nursery. Regularly check the area to ensure nothing potentially dangerous has been overlooked.
Temperature and Humidity
Keep the room at a comfortable level for your baby and use a baby monitor that tracks the environment to help you maintain a safe and comfy space.
Install a working smoke detector in or near the nursery and create a fire escape plan for your family. Regularly test your smoke detector and review the escape plan with everyone in your household.
Lighting is important not only for your baby’s comfort but also for safety during nighttime feedings or diaper changes. Include a night light or dimmable lamp to provide adequate visibility without disturbing your little one’s sleep.
Introduce your pets to the new space gradually and monitor their interactions with the baby. You may need to set boundaries to ensure that your furry family members don’t pose any risks to your little one
The Importance of Baby Proofing Your Nursery
In this section, we delve into the importance of baby-proofing your nursery, supported by compelling statistics, and offer some practical tips to guide you through the process.
Firstly, baby-proofing the nursery is a proactive measure to prevent accidents. While a newborn may not be mobile, it won’t be long before your baby starts rolling, scooting, and crawling. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, unintentional injuries are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among children in the United States with 80.2K deaths in the 1-44 age group in 2020. By ensuring that your nursery is free from risks, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of these accidents.
Secondly, a well-organized and baby-proofed nursery can provide invaluable peace of mind. Parenting comes with its fair share of worries, and knowing that your baby’s sleeping environment is safe can alleviate one major concern. Implementing safety measures not only reduces the risk of accidents but can also decrease parental anxiety.
Moreover, as your baby grows and their curiosity piques, they will inevitably explore their surroundings. A baby-proofed nursery ensures that your child can safely satisfy their curiosity without encountering potential hazards. This is particularly important when securing crib mattresses to prevent entrapment and suffocation risks. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that approximately 3,500 US babies die a year from sleep environment-related deaths, including accidental suffocation and strangulation.
Finally, baby-proofing your nursery is a testament to your responsibility and commitment as a parent. The time and effort invested in creating a safe space for your baby are indicative of your concern for their well-being. It lays a solid foundation for maintaining a secure home as your child grows.
Nursery Baby-Proofing Shopping List
- Durable, easy-to-operate baby gates
- Sturdy, removable window guards
- Cordless window blinds or cord clips
- Furniture anchors for securing furniture to walls
- Corner and edge guards for furniture
- Secure outlet covers for all unused electrical outlets
- Cord covers for electrical cords
- Safety-regulated crib
- Firm, snug-fitting crib mattress
- Fitted crib sheet
- Plush rug for next to the changing table
- Safety straps for changing table
- Room thermometer
- Accessible night light
- Low voltage light bulbs for fixtures
- Flame-resistant, snug-fitting sleepwear without strings, ties, or large buttons
- Sleep sacks or wearable blankets
- Age-appropriate toys without small parts, sharp edges, or peeling paint
- Toy storage solution
Additional items you might consider –
- Cabinet and drawer locks for securing storage areas
- Toilet locks if the nursery has an attached bathroom
- Non-slip mats for under rugs and in the bathtub
First aid kit specifically designed for babies
- Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors if not already installed in the home
- Soft, safe decor items without small parts or choking hazards
- A baby monitor to keep an eye on your baby when you’re not in the room.
As a paramedic I have seen my fair share of babies with accidental injuries: babies who have fallen off the changing table, fallen down ungated stairs, and, sadly, come to harm in their own crib. Some simple safety considerations may have prevented these harms and I am passionate about taking sensible precautions in the home to minimize risk to babies and young children.
By following this comprehensive baby proofing checklist, you can ensure that every aspect of your nursery is thoroughly evaluated and prepared for potential hazards. From baby gates and window guards to furniture safety and electrical cord management, each item on the checklist plays a crucial role in maintaining a secure space for your child to grow and explore.
Remember, baby-proofing is an ongoing process, and it’s essential to regularly reevaluate and update your nursery as your child reaches different developmental milestones. As your baby grows and becomes more curious, adaptability and vigilance are key. Stay informed about the latest safety guidelines and products to ensure that your nursery remains a haven of protection for your little one.
Guest Author – Katie
Katie, a Psychology BSc graduate, breastfeeding counselor, paramedic, and entrepreneur, balances her roles as a mother of two and a wife. Her passion lies in empowering women through breastfeeding education. She shares insights on pregnancy, postpartum, emergency care, parenting, health, and successful entrepreneurship as a stay-at-home mom. Her blog, From Bump To Bubble, offers valuable parenting advice, product recommendations, and resources to ensure family health and safety