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  • As Much As Possible, Avoid Using Air Fresheners in the Nursery!

    Decorating your little one's special room? Make sure all furniture pieces are anchored as well.
    by Kate Borbon .
As Much As Possible, Avoid Using Air Fresheners in the Nursery!
PHOTO BY Pixabay
  • Anticipating the arrival of a new member of the family is the perfect time to put together a beautiful new room for baby. But decorating your baby's nursery shouldn't just be about making it look pretty; the space needs to be functional and safe for him to stay in as well. 

    8 nursery-decorating mistakes you need to avoid

    From placing too many pieces of furniture in the room to not getting rid of dust build-up, these decorating mistakes can be avoided. Achieve a comfortable and cozy room for your little one with these helpful reminders:

    Decorating too late

    According to House Beautiful, waiting until the last minute to start setting up your baby’s new room is not a good idea, since this would mean that your little one might get exposed to chemicals released by fresh paint and new furniture. For instance, paint is known to be a source of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which have chemicals that may cause adverse health effects, both short-term and long-term.

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    If you're planning to get new furniture pieces for the room or update its look with a new color scheme, start early, so that you have enough time to air the space out. You may also try looking for paint brands that have little to no VOCs, and allowing new furniture pieces to air out in the garage for a while, before placing them inside the nursery.

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    Placing too many pieces of furniture

    Bringing in lots of different pieces can make the room look smaller and more cramped. Focus on the key pieces, such as the crib, the nursing chair, and the storage units. Making space for the essentials leaves plenty of room for him to explore safely, especially when he begins crawling and walking. 

    One item that all nurseries need is a crib. Baby Center says purchasing a new crib may be a better solution than using one that is old, since older models may not meet current safety standards. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), these guidelines include the following:

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    • The 4 sides of the crib should be immovable (meaning, it should not be a drop-side crib).
    • Crib slats should not be more than 2 to 3/8 inches apart.
    • The height of the crib mattress should be adjustable, so the mattress can be lowered as baby grows taller.
    • The mattress should be firm so that it does not sag under baby’s weight, and should fit the crib snugly, leaving no space between it and the crib walls.
    • The crib should be placed away from windows, and only about an arm’s length away from dressers or table tops.
    • The crib should be left bare, without any toys, pillows, blankets, or other crib bumpers, as the presence of these can increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
    • Any mobiles should not be placed low enough for baby to be able to reach it. Once baby is able to push himself up on his hands and knees, the mobile needs to be removed.
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    Not anchoring your furniture

    Soon enough, your little one is going to start exploring his surroundings, and might even begin trying to climb up on furniture. This is all well and good, but if your furniture pieces are not securely anchored, they might tip over and cause serious injury to your child. The AAP recommends using dry-wall screws to secure furniture such as dressers, mirrors, bookcases, and screws to attach TVs to the tables on which they are placed.

    Other home pieces that need to be secured, according to Baby Center, are windows and window treatments. You can install window guards to keep the windows shut, and if you use corded window treatments, make sure to secure them at a height that your child wouldn’t be able to reach easily.

    Not letting in enough light

    Yes, dark lighting will help baby fall asleep easily, but when he is awake, it’s good for him to get some natural light! Sunlight is a good source of vitamin D, which is needed to support healthy bone development.

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    That being said, because newborn skin is so sensitive, remember to also give your baby the protection he needs from too much sun exposure. According to the AAP, babies less than 6 months old should be kept out from direct sunlight, and should be dressed in protective clothing and hats.

    Forgetting to dust the room

    It’s difficult to keep our homes dust-free, but this is especially important for nurseries. Make sure you clear out as much dust as possible, since dust can contribute to babies having stuffy noses, says the AAP.

    According to House Beautiful, a simple way to get rid of dust in your baby’s room is by vacuuming everything, then finishing up by giving every space a wipe-down using a damp microfiber cloth. Don’t forget to also regularly update the filters on your air conditioners and other cooling units. Doing so not only helps keep the air in your home clean, it also allows you to be able to use your units for a longer period of time.

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    Using unsafe storage

    To make sure all the essentials, as well as baby’s favorite toys, are easily accessible, smart storage solutions are must-haves. Baby Center suggests using open storage such as baskets and bins for this purpose, instead of lidded chests which can cause injuries if it accidentally falls on a curious toddler’s hand, or which can even trap a child who might crawl into it while playing. 

    Spritzing air freshener

    Air fresheners may not be the best option for making your baby’s room smell nice, since many air fresheners contain various kinds of harsh chemicals. According to Scientific American, these chemicals, which include VOCs, benzene, and formaldehyde, have been found to cause nausea, headaches, and asthma, and have even been associated with neurological damage and cancer.

    If you want to make your child’s nursery smell good, House Beautiful suggests making use of a plant like lavender, which can both absorb formaldehyde in the air and give off a naturally lovely scent.

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    Making the space too “adult” or neutral

    Some parents may want to make their baby’s room look like a space that the child can still use even when he grows older. This is certainly an economical thing to do since you would be able to save on décor, but it’s important to remember that the person who will be using that room is not you, but your child. There’s nothing wrong with incorporating cute, age-appropriate décor that your child, as young as he may be, will be able to appreciate.

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