Many people dream up a nursery plan long before (or in my case, still years after) a baby is born. I think it’s an act of love to prepare a space for a baby, and it’s also a luxury for parents to have a beautiful respite in those early baby days. There’s plenty of nursery inspiration online, but I’ve noticed that nearly all styled nurseries have an element or two that is either impractical or a safety risk. I picked some gorgeous nurseries that demonstrate tips for a safe, practical and stylish nursery.
DO ATTACH CHANGING PADS
A dresser turned changing station can add a great warmth and storied feeling to the space. With both of my babies, I changed them on the floor 90% of the time. A baby can’t fall from the floor when you realize that you’re out of wipes halfway through a poopy diaper change. They can roll off the pad and across your new rug, though. If you prefer a proper station, just use the kit to attach it to the top, like the one above, or find a changing table that converts to a dresser, like the one below.
DO MOUNT WINDOW TREATMENTS WISELY
We all know blind cords should be kept out of reach, and that drapes should be far enough away that they can’t be pulled into the crib. But there is the other minor, almost comical consideration: babies love to pull stuff down. They might be trying to pull themselves up to stand, and their weight against the drapes can pull the whole deal right out of the wall. I don’t know if that’s terribly dangerous, but it’s not practical. So, use shorter curtains, or mount them really, really, well.
Also, block the light! If you want wispy curtains instead of black-out curtains, have a light-blocking shade that you can roll down.
DO KEEP A CLEAR RADIUS AROUND THE CRIB
It looks like there’s nothing around the crib above to step or climb on, nor objects to pull into the crib (like a pile of blankets). I know you’re thinking it’s overly cautious to worry that a baby will stick a leg between a crib slat and use a chair or a basket as leverage to climb and fall. But once, I left a storage basket by Alexandra’s crib that was slightly higher than the crib mattress, and I caught her (9 months old at the time) trying to use it as a step. I swear it’s a thing!
DON’T HANG HEAVY OR BREAKABLE ART ABOVE THE CRIB
I love the handmade wood accent wall above. (They also made that sloth hanging on the bed!) The vintage school poster below is a great example of something to hang that doesn’t need glass or a heavy frame.
DON’T USE CRIB BUMPERS, PILLOWS OR BLANKETS
In years of searching, I have seen ZERO styled nursery images without pillows and stuffed animals arranged in the crib, or a blanket draped over the crib rail. But there are plenty of styled crib images that don’t use bumpers, so it’s easy to find inspiration for a cozy, stylish, bumper-free bed. Just imagine taking the adorable dolls and pillows out when the crib is in use.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and other safety organizations preach that a baby’s bed should not have bumpers, loose blankets, or other stuffed items that can end up over a baby’s face, or be used for climbing out.
DO ANCHOR FURNITURE
I snapped the picture above after my 3-year-old tipped over his dresser while climbing in the drawers instead of napping. Luckily, it was anchored. Of course, a baby can’t do this, but it’s easy to procrastinate for years if you don’t take 5 minutes to anchor it right away. I would know, since I had anchored this dresser just two months before this happened, which was 5 months after we moved in to this house. So, I can say, just do it. A few bucks and a few minutes can save lives.
Two Twenty One has an in-depth post on why and how to anchor furniture, with a picture tutorial demonstrating anchoring the IKEA Hemnes dresser (same as mine).
This isn’t meant to be a comprehensive safety checklist; it’s an exercise in gleaning safe, practical choices from inspiring nurseries. Originally, I wanted to critique images (like: never put bunting on a crib!) but I decided to reframe it as looking for positive examples. Do you have advice to add?
Header image: Land of Nod Bunny Hill Flannel Bedding