Here are 5 Common Nursery Decorating mistakes you can easily avoid.
Designing a nursery or just preparing for a happy event? Avoid these five potentially dangerous Nursery Decorating Mistakes.
We all want our home to be “as safe as possible”, especially the rooms where your baby will be spending a large amount of time. Minimising the toxins a baby is exposed to can dramatically increase the health in later years.
Here’s our advice on how to avoid these five common Nursery Decorating, easy-to-make errors.
1. Exposing Your Baby to Dangerous Chemicals
It’s obvious that traditional paint fumes are dangerous – we can tell that just from the smell. But are you aware that your beautiful new cot or stylish rug could also expose your baby to potentially dangerous chemicals? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, new furniture, carpet, mattresses, and even rugs and window dressings often contain many of the volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, found in paint. These chemicals can evaporate over time but in the process can create fumes which irritate the eyes, nose and throat, trigger headaches, dizziness and nausea and can even damage the liver, kidney and central nervous system. Of course, babies are especially vulnerable.
While the potential effects of VOCs are frightening, exposure is relatively easy to prevent. If you can, be sure to get your nursery underway early, so there’s plenty of time for any new and chemical-laden furniture or accessories to air out before you baby arrives. Choose low-odour interior paint for the nursery. Where possible, go for natural products and flooring with either wool carpet or wood flooring. Initially, leave cabinets and drawers open and empty of any clothing. Don’t move the baby clothes and bedding in until the whole room and any new furniture – including the cot and mattress – have all had sufficient time to air.
Still concerned about the dangers associated with chemical gasses? Consider going organic wherever possible to create a nursery that’s as natural as possible.
2. Look Out For Window Dangers
Be careful to childproof your windows, ensuring that they close properly and are free of any cords or strings that pose a strangling hazard.
Curtains that are improperly installed or insufficiently fixed can fall on your child. To prevent head injuries, ensure that all curtain hardware is either fixed directly to a wall stud or secured with the appropriate dry wall anchors. Avoid tension rods which are often flimsy at best and one good tug on the curtain fabric can send them hurtling down on a toddler's head.
3. Avoiding Dangerous Accessories
Be careful what you place on shelves: stuffed animals and other soft decorations are a safe choice. Never hang anything directly over your baby's crib that could fall and injure baby.
When choosing your room’s accessories, try to think like a toddler. The nursery lamp needs to be out of reach. Electrical sockets are best fitted with socket covers to avoid little fingers from being stuck inside. Make sure that rugs and mats are non-slip and not liable to trip you up during your midnight visits to the nursery (yes, you will have some!)
4. Carefully Choosing Furniture
When choosing furniture for your baby's room, it is important to ensure that every piece is safe.
While using a family heirloom or incorporating a vintage find is possible, many of these antique items, especially cots and Moses Baskets, do not meet modern safety standards and are best avoided. If you have your heart set on an antique, or if a brand new cot is simply not in the budget, be sure to pay attention to the paint finish and if necessary rub down and repaint with non-toxic paint.
Rocking chairs can also cause injury to little toes and fingers. You can use stops under the rockers when not sitting in your rocking chair. Don’t be deterred from having one though – they can be wonderful for nursing baby. Other items to avoid include cabinets with fragile glass doors or anything that would be easy to climb.
5. Choose Practicality Over Looks
In a battle between what looks good and what works best, common sense sometimes abandons us. The cot might look beautiful in front of the window but is that really the safest place for it? You may have searched high and low to find curtains that match your bedding set but will those curtains block out enough light and protect your baby during afternoon naps? Have you stored the items you will need to change and dress your baby within arm's reach of the changing table?
Before completing your nursery, take time to think about the functionality of your baby's new home. It may be disappointing to make changes but by planning ahead you can prevent accidents and save yourself a lot of money and effort by getting it right the first time.