Whether you’re opting for an inspiring space theme or a more neutral, minimalist on-trend look, designing the nursery for your baby-to-be means prioritising safety over style. Beyond beautiful furniture and decor, your nursery must be a safe, soothing haven for your baby to wake, play and sleep.
Cot placement and safety
Your baby’s cot should not be placed under or against windows or near any blinds with hanging cords or curtains that could be pulled. There must also be proper airflow around the cot, so ideally it shouldn’t be placed in a corner – ensure at least three sides of the cot are exposed.
Be sure to avoid hanging anything immediately over, on or near the cot. Mobiles and wall art all look charming in a baby’s room but must be kept beyond reaching distance to ensure those tiny fingers don’t go grabbing and tugging as they grow.
Beyond keeping the cot away from windows, it’s also essential to install blinds or curtains to block out any direct sunlight or streetlight that might disturb your little one’s slumber. Block out curtains will also prevent the nursery from becoming too hot on sunny days, which helps to protect your baby from overheating.
Safe bed fitting
While it might be tempting to spruce up the cot with some throw pillows and cosy blankets, these items should not be in or over the cot while the baby is in it, especially when your baby is little. When it comes to bed fitting, less is best. All you need is a new, firm mattress and a tight-fitted sheet. Pillows, doonas, soft toys and the like should not be anywhere in the cot or within reaching distance, at least not until your child is older.
Change table dangers
Store any cosmetic or personal care products on a tall shelf or in a drawer beyond your baby’s reach. Lotions, sanitisers and other supplies are more dangerous than you might think and can be poisonous if ingested. The change table should also be placed away from the windows. Remember to always keep an eye and hand on your little one while on the change table.
Other important dos and don’ts:
- DO ensure the cot has no decorative knobs that could snag your baby’s clothing.
- DO cover exposed powerpoints with safety plugs.
- DO use a night light to provide both safety and comfort for your little one and make late-night feedings easier.
- DO ensure the room is at a safe temperature, approximately 18 to 22 degrees, and ensure their sleepwear caters to this.
- DO start building the nursery early so that there’s plenty of time to air out new furniture and freshly painted spaces.
- DO ensure your cot is compliant with Australian Safety Standards.
- DON’T place your baby monitor in or on the cot – advanced baby monitors will pick up sound from anywhere in the room.
- DON’T hang anything over the cot, including throws and blankets.
- DON’T use harsh lighting. Consider installing a dimmer on any intense light fixtures.