Designing and decorating your baby’s nursery can be a very fun way to rid yourself of some pre-delivery jitters.  Ornate rocking chairs, every stuffed animal under the sun, mobiles bearing tiny stars or miniature elephants – the possibilities are endless.  The “nesting” instinct to clean and prepare your home for the arrival of your baby is both healthy and rewarding!  In an effort to keep your baby safe, here are 5 things you should never have in your nursery:

  1. Exposed outlets  – One of the simplest yet most overlooked ways to baby-proof your home is to cover all electrical outlets when they are not in use.  Packs of 12 standard-sized outlet protectors can be found for as cheap as $3.00!  These covers protect your child against shock – something easy to accidentally run into with small, wandering hands.  You can also purchase ones that cover the entire outlet plate.  These are a little more sturdy and prevent your determined toddlers from wiggling individual socket protectors loose.  Some even require that an adult use two hands to remove them.

  2. Open or closed door – The room to your baby’s nursery should be neither completely unobstructed nor completely shut.  You do not want to shut your child in and leave them unattended, but you do not want them wandering out of their safe zone.  The solution is simple: buy a gate!  Pressure-mounted gates because might not stand up to the strength of your little explorer, so look for ones that screw into the wall or doorjamb.  Be cautious of accordion-style gates with diamond-shaped or V-shaped openings as children can easily get their hands stuck or be strangled by them.

  3. Harmful materials – Be picky about choosing only healthy materials for decorating or constructing your baby’s new home.  Choose a water-based paint, and take several days to ventilate and air out the room when you are done.  This allows harmful vapors to diminish.  When constructing or purchasing furniture, avoid plywood, particleboard, and pressed wood.  These different materials may contain formaldehyde, a common chemical compound that can cause throat and nose irritation, breathing trouble, and potentially lead to more serious health conditions.

  4. Toxic cleaning/sanitation supplies – We are not saying you shouldn’t have any cleaning supplies in your nursery, just that you should be cautious in the products you buy and where you choose to store them.  If you want to stock your changing station with supplies to keep you and your baby clean and healthy, make sure that these items are tucked away in a drawer or cupboard and out of your child’s reach.  Alcohol-based hand sanitizing gel, wet wipes, baby powder, and even baby lotion can be more dangerous to your child than you may think.

  5. Harsh lighting – You wouldn’t want to wake up to a bright, fluorescent light, would you?  Well neither does your baby!  Softer lighting can help a baby feel more at-ease or even help induce sleep.  Consider installing a dimmer to overhead lights and/or purchasing cozy accent lamps.  And don’t forget the nightlight!

What are some things you choose to keep out of your nursery?  Tell us about it in the comment section beneath this article!

Jane Jozefowicz
Jane Jozefowicz
Jane Jozefowicz is a rising sophomore at the University of Chicago, where she studies Linguistics and Computer Science. Jane plays trombone and lacrosse and is the biggest animal lover you'll meet!