Learn how to keep your baby safe and sound in the nursery.

October 03, 2005

Safety Basics

You and your baby will be spending a lot of time in the nursery, so take steps now to make sure it's a secure environment for your little one. Here are some safety tips:

  • Keep drapery and blind cords out of baby's reach from the crib and changing table.
  • Place a working smoke detector in or near your child's bedroom.
  • Make sure that window guards are securely in place to prevent a child from falling out the window.
  • Never place a crib, playpen, or other children's furniture near a window.
  • Put plug protectors in unused electrical outlets.
  • Make sure your child's toy box doesn't have a heavy, hinged lid that could trap your child.
  • Use a cool-air humidifier instead of a vaporizer--to avoid burns. Clean it frequently, and empty it when not in use to prevent bacteria and mold growth.

The Changing Table

  • Use a safety belt on the changing table.
  • Keep baby powder and other supplies out of baby's reach when changing.
  • Never leave a child unattended on a changing table.
  • Put carpet or a nonskid rug beneath the crib and changing table.

The Crib

  • Remove bumper pads, toys, pillows, and stuffed animals from the crib by the time baby can pull up to stand.
  • Remove all crib gyms, hanging toys, and decorations from the crib by the time baby can get up on his hands and knees.
  • Make sure the crib has no elevated corner posts or decorative cutouts in the end panels.
  • Fit the crib mattress snugly, without any gaps, so baby can't slip in between the crack and the crib side.
  • Make sure slots on crib are no more than 2 3/8 inches apart.
  • Make sure that all screws, bolts, and hardware -- including mattress supports -- are in tight to prevent the crib from collapsing.
  • Make sure there are no plastic bags or other plastic material in or around the crib.
  • Check the crib for small parts and pieces that baby could choke on.
  • Make sure the night-light is not near or touching drapes or a bedspread where it could start a fire.
  • To reduce the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), put baby to sleep on her back in a crib with a firm, flat mattress -- no soft bedding underneath her.

All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

American Baby