When putting together a nursery for the first time, the lists of must-haves and can’t-live-withouts can seem endless — but there are some things that shouldn’t ever be in a baby’s room. Keep your little one happy and safe and leave these items off the registry.
We’ll be the first ones to admit that gauzy, romantic canopies look just darling in a nursery – a zillion Pinterest users would agree — but aesthetics should never trump safety. The risk of your baby getting trapped in all that excess fabric (and being unable to breathe) is simply not worth the photo ops, so leave canopies out of your decor scheme until the child is much older.
Sure, that giant bookshelf or vintage wooden wardrobe might seem nice and sturdy, but even the most stable-looking furniture is no match for a curious, crawling baby or a mischievous toddler. Don’t take a chance; any and all large pieces in your baby’s room should be anchored to the walls with furniture restraints to prevent them from toppling over.
Soft, plush, cozy-looking crib bumpers were a nursery essential once upon a time — until they were discovered to be serious suffocation hazards. Don’t worry about your baby bonking their head against the wooden bars of the crib; their little noggin is sturdier than it looks.
Artwork Above the Crib
You’ve created countless gallery walls and wield a level like a pro. Of course you’re going to fill your baby’s room with cute artwork, right? Just be careful where you hang it, because even the most meticulously nailed-in pictures are liable to fall down for one reason or another. You don’t want them to land on your baby, so keep the walls next to the crib art-free.
A drop-side crib is exactly what it sounds like: a crib with one side that drops down, allowing the parent to pick up or put down their baby with ease. Handy, right? That’s what everyone thought, until these cribs were proven to be safety hazards, with the potential to trap and suffocate babies. Despite being banned in Canada, they still pop up from time to time in secondhand stores — but they have no place in a nursery.
Like so many other baby items, mobiles seem charming and innocuous, but when used improperly, they pose a major safety threat. Never hang a mobile within baby’s reach – and don’t underestimate your baby’s ability (and sheer willpower) when it comes to grabbing things, particularly once they learn to sit up. Small parts can choke a baby, while mobile strings could cause strangulation, so it’s best to skip these altogether.
As any experienced parent will attest, you’ll spend the first year of your baby’s life desperately trying to get them to sleep. Don’t make things harder on yourself by decorating the nursery with sheer curtains that let the light shine through. Invest in a quality set of blackout curtains and get used to holding your breath as you stand next to the crib, watching and waiting for your little one to just nap already, gosh darn it.
Pillows and Blankets in the Crib
You might love having a dozen decorative pillows and three extra blankets covering your bed, but your baby doesn’t need them. Pillows and blankets can cause suffocation, so keep the crib free and clear of them until your child is older.
Shelves Above the Crib
Like artwork, even the most carefully hung shelves can sometimes detach themselves from the wall — and the last thing you want is a shelf (and its contents) landing on your baby. Be safe and keep shelves or anything else prone to toppling over, away from the crib.
Harsh Overhead Lighting
Get ready, because you’re going to be spending a lot of time going in and out of your baby’s nursery — and at all hours of the night, too. Bright, harsh overhead lighting will make those 3AM wake-ups even more painful, so be sure to give yourself plenty of soft, dim lighting options, like table lamps with low-watt bulbs or decorative night lights.
Remember those 3AM wake-ups we just mentioned? You’re going to be tired and bleary-eyed basically all the time; any clutter left on the nursery floor can and will become a tripping hazard. Throw toys, baby gear and anything that’s not nailed down into storage bins and baskets; your unsprained ankle will thank us later.
Toys in the Crib
Just like pillows and blankets, toys do not belong in a bassinet or crib — and this includes stuffed animals. They may be cute, but they’re also suffocation hazards. Keep toys and stuffies on a shelf or in baskets until your baby is at least a year old.
Having a white carpet or rug in a nursery isn’t a safety hazard, it’s a sanity issue. Here’s the deal: at some point, maybe even all in the same day, your baby is going to spit up, vomit, poop and pee just about everywhere in the nursery. Do yourself a favour and buy a nice, inexpensive patterned rug. Your time is too precious to waste it scrubbing stains out of a white carpet 24/7. Trust us.
Vintage Toy Chest
There’s something delightfully nostalgic about a big wooden chest filled with toys, but don’t let nostalgia lead to injury. Heavy lids can easily slam down on little hands or heads, so opt for a newer version with a spring-loaded lid or have your vintage chest retrofitted.
Candles can be wonderful for creating a warm, soothing ambiance, but that doesn’t mean they belong in a baby’s room. It’s all too easy to light a candle and then forget about it, particularly when you’re a sleep-deprived new parent. Create a peaceful atmosphere with calming colours, cozy textures and perhaps some essential oils instead.