Expecting parents eagerly anticipate the arrival of their new bundle of joy. After nine months of waiting to see what he or she looks like and wanting to cuddle their newborn, the baby’s arrival is a momentous event.
As most people know, for such a little person, babies seemingly need a ton of gear and other items. One thing the baby will eventually need is a nursery to call home. Although newborns do spend the first few months of their lives often tucked in at night in a bassinet or co-sleeper cradle in mom’s bedroom, chances are the infant will nap or gradually spend increasing amounts of time in his or her own room. Outfitting the nursery with the essentials can mean comfort and convenience.
To some parents, every baby product out there is a necessity. But in reality, there are maybe a handful of things to put into the nursery – at least for the time being – to adequately provide for the baby.
At some point in the near future, baby will be doing most of his or her sleeping exclusively in the crib. Although that can seem like a far-off goal now that your little one prefers to sleep in your arms while watching late-night television, after a few months junior will become comfortable with his or her room and may even enjoy the security the crib provides.
Before selecting a crib, be sure to check for certain recalls and ensure the brand and model are not on the list. The crib should be sturdy and meet guidelines for minimum spacing between spindles. Older, hand-me-down cribs are not recommended. Although drop-side cribs may offer ease of placing baby inside, some of these types of cribs have been recalled in the past for faulty railings that trap the infant. A stationary-sided crib is another choice.
Position the crib away from items that can be pulled into the crib by curious hands. Try to keep it away from windows for draft reasons and also to avoid window-fall accidents. Cribs should be free of breathing obstructions, like stuffed animals or puffy side bumpers to reduce the risk of SIDS.
Most parents prefer a convenient changing table that also stores diapers and toiletries. Although it may not always be possible to travel to the nursery for every diaper change, you can still equip the nursery with a table or another sturdy place to change your infant. Some dressers double as changing tables in their design. A small loveseat or a guest bed in the nursery can also be a place to change the baby and provide a comfortable place to rest when he or she is waking up in the middle of the night.
It is important never to leave a baby unattended on any surface because you never know the moment when he or she will learn to roll over or move enough to fall off of the changing surface.
Although infants are too young to get into much trouble, babies eventually become very active and curious. Take the time now to babyproof the nursery. Select window coverings that cannot be pulled down or do not feature cords that can present a strangulation hazard.
All outlets should be blocked with a safety plug or some sort of cover to deter little fingers from seeking them out. Secure cords to lamps and other electronic devices in cord keepers.
Latches for drawers, closets and other doors can deter baby from getting into places that can be dangerous. Door knob covers enable adults to open doors but are too tricky for toddlers to figure out.
When selecting furniture, look for items with rounded corners, which are safer should a child fall into the furniture. And use a latch to secure top-heavy dressers or armoires to the wall so they cannot fall on a child.
Young children are constantly exploring the world around them. At a very young age their vision is still developing, so large, bold visuals can help stimulate visual comprehension. Some parents opt to have vivid wall murals painted in the nursery. But bold, framed artwork or photos can also draw the eye of your little one and keep him or her engaged.
Research indicates that listening to music can help stimulate the brain and may even benefit a child’s intellect. Music can also be soothing to a baby, especially one alone in his or her nursery. You can consider a small radio or CD/mp3 player in the room to create a more soothing atmosphere.
New studies have determined that a ceiling fan can help reduce the risk of SIDS. One study out of Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, Calif., found that the risk of SIDS was reduced by 72 percent among babies who slept in a room with a ceiling fan. The theory is that the fan circulates air and prevents the rebreathing of expelled carbon dioxide by the infant.
In addition to possibly making a room safer, a ceiling fan can help maintain a comfortable room temperature. You may also want to purchase a baby monitor to be able to keep tabs on your baby when you’re out of his or her room.