Ensuring Your Baby’s Safe In Bed

Nurseries are designed to provide a safe and secure place for a baby to rest and to grow. Nursery decorations, however, usually have little to do with the baby’s safety and security. They’re usually selected to please the parents and impress visitors. Cynical? No not really. I’ve been there and decorated my nursery for much the same reason. When preparing the nursery for our first child, I did not realize the dangers that were inherent in some of the choices that I made.

Selecting the Crib

I thought, at the time, that I was fortunate to have been given the crib that I was placed in when my parents brought me home from the hospital. It has been passed down from my grandmother to my mother to me. The crib was free, it had been well cared for and the white painted finish was beautiful. It looked lovely in the nursery when framed by all the new accessories. Our baby had spent only one week in the crib when my grandfather happened to tell me about the time my mother had her head caught between the slats on the side of the crib. Fortunately, my grandmother was close by and heard her crying and released her. The thought of what might have happened, and what could happen to my baby made my blood run cold. That afternoon, my husband and I bought a new crib; one that met all government standards for safety. The old crib is now a changing table and a display platform for the baby’s stuffed animals.

Selecting the Bedding

When one thinks of bedding for the baby, sheets and comforters come to mind. There are many matched sets available in the marketplace, but sets are not really the best way to go. I’ve always had success with buying individual pieces. That way I can select a variety of patterns to suit my often changed design tastes. Sets also come with comforters and sometimes crib bumpers.

When I buy sheets, I always get fitted ones; tightly fitted. If you use a flat sheet or a fitted sheet that is not tight on the mattress, it can become loose and entangle the baby, strangling him. I also add elastic sheet holders with clips that attach to the bottom corners of the sheets to ensure that they stay in place.

Comforters look nice, but babies don’t need them. If you dress you baby in nice warm pajamas, he will not need additional blankets or comforters for warmth. Babies can be smothered in them. They are attractive, but not worth the risk to the child. If you have had a matched set given to you, as I did, use the comforter for a wall hanging in the nursery, if the design is appropriate.

Babies don’t need bumpers. If you buy a set with a bumper, you’re wasting money. I do have a bumper on the old crib that I use for the changing table, but that is just for decoration. The baby is never left in that crib. As safe as bumpers look, babies can press up against them and smother, or get strangled by loose ties or holes ripped into the covering plastic or cloth material.

Some Things Not to Do in the Nursery

  • Don’t allow smoking near the baby. I hate smoking in my home, but do permit it by visitors in some areas. Never, however, would I let anyone smoke in the nursery. Smoke is considered by many experts to be a contributing cause to SIDs, and it really isn’t necessary to expose the baby to second hand smoke. That will happen soon enough in society.
  • Don’t put the crib near a window or other furniture. As the baby gets older, he’ll become more adventurous. Climbing will become second nature. With practice, he could climb into a window or use adjacent furniture as a stepping stone to a big fall and serious injury.
  • Don’t leave baby blankets, stuffed animals, or soft toys in the crib when the baby is alone. It’s easy for a baby to suffocate when covered with a blanket, a soft toy or a fuzzy bear. Let the baby enjoy the stuffed animals while you are supervising. Otherwise, watching a mobile at a safe distance will be enough to entertain him without risk.
  • Don’t bring the baby into your bed for sleeping with you. This practice is controversial. Some approve of it, while others find it to be too risky. I’m with the latter group, and so is the American Academy of Pediatrics. Suffocating tragedies have happened.

The Happy Sleeping Baby

With a safe and secure nursery and a safe and secure crib, all that’s necessary for your baby to have a good night’s sleep is to be dressed warmly, to have eaten enough for bedtime, to be comfortably cuddled. Never place the baby on its stomach. It is considered to be a factor in SIDS. Place the baby on his back; perhaps sing a lullaby to put him to sleep so you can begin the relaxing part of the evening.

 

Christine Allen is an editor for www.livesnet.com, a site devoted to helping people find the perfect baby gears for their needs, and offer tips on daily problems. She loves to write about parenting, baby and give advice to moms. Why not visit Livesnet to see her hot offers on Davinci Kalani crib and Kidsline baby bedding set.

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