While it is common among Filipino parents to have their baby sleep on the bed with them, or have the crib in the same bedroom, your baby will need a place to sleep in on her own as she gets older. But deciding whether to paint your child’s room pink or blue should be secondary only to making sure that the way the room is built and everything in it make a safe haven for your little one from infancy to when she starts clambering and running around as a toddler. Keeping your baby safe and sound in her own room need not be rocket science. Careful planning, common sense, and the following room safety tips ensure that you and your baby or toddler will sleep tight and have sweet dreams every night.
FURNISHING Crib or Bed. You may wax sentimental and want to use your vintage crib for your baby—but you should strongly reconsider. Old cribs may be damaged and may not pass safety guidelines today. New cribs have been created to follow current guidelines essential to your child’s safety. One, for instance, cites that a crib should not have slats more than 2 3/8 inches wide to prevent limbs from being stuck. Old cribs may have peeling paint, chipped wood, and loose screws.
Make sure that the crib does not have elevated corners or decorative cutouts that can trap your baby’s fingers and limbs.
As soon as your child can stand or pull herself up from the crib, lower the crib mattress to its lowest settings. Once your toddler starts climbing out of the crib, move her to a bed.
Never put furniture by the window and near blinds cords or drapes—your baby might climb on them and use the cords to pull herself up, which may accidentally cause strangulation.
Mattress and Beddings. Mattresses should fit snugly into the crib; injuries caused by instances where a child got stuck in between the crack of the crib and the mattress are common.
To avoid Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), use a firm mattress and beddings that fit snugly on the mattress. Blankets are not advisable, for these may smother the child and cause suffocation. Keep your beddings and pillows to a bare minimum to avoid possible suffocation and to keep baby from using them as stepladders to pull herself up and out the crib.
Mattresses and beddings must be hypoallergenic. Wash, dry, and air them out as often as necessary to avoid bacteria and bed bugs from breeding.
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Changing Table. A changing table may double as a dresser with drawers. However, make sure that your changing table has straps to secure your baby with, especially when she starts becoming more active. Choose a changing table that has sturdy legs and a sturdy base. Never pick a changing tray that has to be attached to a dresser, as this will not hold your baby securely.
Choose a changing table with drawers to keep all baby supplies within your reach. This way, you don’t have to step away from your child as you are changing her nappies or clothes.
Toy chest or container. To avoid toy-related accidents such as tripping on toys scattered all over the floor, get a toy chest to keep your child’s toys in when not in use. Older sibs’ toys can pose as hazards, too, when left lying around for their younger siblings to play with.
Opt for toy chests with removable lids instead of those with hinges, as the latter may slam shut on your child’s fingers. If you have no other choice, have a professional carpenter install a spring hinge that locks in position when the lid is lifted and drill holes at the sides and on top to prevent accidental suffocation if a child gets trapped in it.
Cabinets. Secure all cabinets and shelves to the wall, and position all other furniture away from walls and windows; your toddler might use them to hoist herself up and suffer from falls and other injuries.