7 Kids Nursery Design Ideas You Hadn’t Considered
Preparing the nursery for your child’s arrival is an exciting, stressful, and all-encompassing process that you’ll want to get right the first time. As you anticipate your baby’s due date — buying supplies, decorating, painting the walls, and adding the finishing touches — it’s important to consider all aspects of the nursery.
While some prep is done to protect your child, some safety concerns don’t present themselves until after your child is born. Here are some ideas to consider for the nursery to keep your child safe — maybe some you hadn’t thought of before:
#1 Tidy up the crib.
Firm bedding will keep your child safe and comfortable. Be selective in the number of comforters, blankets, bumpers, and quilts in the crib. Too many soft objects could increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
You want your child to be comfortable, but you should weigh comfort against safety and practices recommended by pediatricians. You should also keep toys and dolls to a minimum, as they present a choking hazard as well.
#2 Anchor furniture.
Furniture is a hazard with children, especially as they start to crawl and walk. Try to anchor furniture, except rocking chairs or other furniture you might need to move, to the floor to keep risks to a minimum.
For example, put dressers and bookcases against the wall and anchor them with braces so they can’t fall down on your child. You can also invest in childproof locks for drawers and cabinets so your child can’t open them. You should not put anything made of glass in the nursery — including furniture with glass doors. It's an increased risk with children.
#3 Childproof the windows.
Windows should bring the light in, but you have to be careful about how you decorate and cover them when decorating a nursery. Window treatments should be without cords, or the cords should be short enough that a child cannot reach them. Screens, if windows are open, are not enough to keep children from potentially falling out the window. Install window guards as an additional preventative measure, just in case.
You should also buy and install window stops, which keep windows from opening more than a few inches so children can't scuttle out of a window. Choose short curtains or other window drapings that a child will not be able to reach. This way, they can't pull the drapes down and injure themselves.
#4 Pick lighting carefully.
Lighting should definitely be a part of the nursery room decor, but it must be chosen carefully. Avoid floor lighting if possible; children can easily knock floor lamps over and risk injury. Table lamps pose another risk if children can knock the table over, so choose tables and lamps carefully as well. Ceiling lights are preferable because there’s no risk of knocking them over. Any lamps that are installed within reach will have cords, which should be kept far out of reach of children to avoid shock. Any unused electrical outlets should be covered to avoid accidental shocks by adventurous fingers.
Any lamps that are installed within reach will have cords, which should be kept far out of reach of children to avoid shock. Any unused electrical outlets should be covered to avoid accidental shocks by adventurous fingers.
#5 Keep it airy.
Make sure you have a ceiling fan installed to keep air flowing and to regulate the temperature in the nursery. If the nursery doesn't have one already, you can install a ceiling fan for around $200, and there are various styles to choose from.
Having a ceiling fan also protects your child from increased SIDS risks like poor air circulation and too much heat in the room. Studies show that having a ceiling fan reduces SIDS risk by almost 72%.
#6 Choose the decor carefully.
If you add wall hangings to the nursery, select wall decals or lightweight items that will pose less of a risk to your child if they fall. Heavy wall hangings can pose injury, even when properly installed.
You should also put light stuffed animals, toys, and other objects on top of shelves, just in case your baby happens to tip or bump against the shelf and knock some of them off. You should never put anything near or over the crib.
#7 Double-check for VOCs.
Paint, furniture, flooring, mattresses, rugs, and window treatments sometimes contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs hurt the eyes, nose, and throat, causing headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Avoid VOCs whenever possible, and leave time to air out the nursery ahead of the birth if you must use any items containing VOCs.