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New Parent Checklist: How To Baby-Proof Before Baby Comes Home

When you bring your newborn home for the first time – between feedings, naps and sleep schedules – things are going to move quickly. So it’s very important to make sure the house is safely set up for their grand arrival. In fact, the best time for baby proofing your home is at least three months before your due date because some of these preparations may take time. 

To help you get started, here’s a list of general guidelines to keep in mind as you baby-proof your car, secure your home and prepare for emergencies. 

 

Baby-Proofing Your Car

  • Before your baby even gets to your house, they’ll have to ride in your car. Having the right car seat and installing it correctly is essential to keeping your baby safe. Install an approved rear-facing car seat in the back seat (in the middle, if possible) and get it inspected (for free!) by a local certified child passenger safety technician.
  • Clear the car of any small objects that could be choking hazards, such as coins and pens.
  • If the sun is strong where you live, consider applying stick-on sun shades to the back windows to block the rays.

 

Preparing The House

  • Put non-slip pads under all rugs and make sure rugs don’t have curling edges that you (or a growing child) can trip on.
  • Cover sharp furniture edges and corners with bumpers or safety padding.
  • Block all open outlets with furniture or use safety plugs.
  • Latch closed any drawers, doors or cupboards within baby’s reach.
  • If you plan to hook a highchair to your kitchen table, check that the table is sturdy and strong.
  • Get rid of any blinds or curtains with looped cords, or install safety tassels and cord stops to tuck away the cords.
  • Check your doorstops; many have removable caps that pose a choking hazard.
  • Unplug and store electric appliances whenever they aren’t in use (iron, curling iron, etc.)
  • Make sure all of your houseplants are non-toxic varieties. Some plants are extremely poisonous.
  • Get any flaking or peeling paint sealed or removed by a professional, especially if your home was built before 1978 when it was more likely to have lead-based paint. Dust from lead paint, which was banned from residential use in that year, can be harmful if ingested.
  • Install a UL certified carbon monoxide detector on every story of your house if you use gas or oil appliances or have an attached garage. 

  • Install smoke detectors on every level of your home and in the hallways outside of bedrooms.
  • Test the batteries of any detectors you already have.
  • Install a temperature guard on your water heater at a maximum of 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48 degrees Celsius).
  • Purchase a fire extinguisher and learn how to use it.
  • Purchase a baby first aid kit, which is important to have at home so that, in case of an emergency, no one has to run out to the store and waste valuable time to get supplies.
  • Add emergency contacts and medical information to your phone that can be accessed even in lock mode.
  • Place a list of emergency numbers within easy access near a landline phone or on the refrigerator.
  • Make sure your home or apartment number is easy to see so fire or rescue can locate you quickly in an emergency.

 

Creating A Safe Sleep Environment

  • Finish all painting and wallpapering at least eight weeks before baby is expected to avoid exposing baby to any potentially harmful fumes.
  • Secure any dressers and bookshelves to the wall with screws, and pull the crib away from any other furniture. 
  • If the crib is near a window, remove pull cords or use cord shorteners on window dressings. Those curious little arms like to reach out and cords can so easily get wrapped around your precious little one.
  • Use a firm, flat mattress in a safety-approved crib. Soft mattresses can create a pocket (or indentation) and increase the chance of rebreathing or suffocation if the infant is placed in or rolls over to the prone (face down) position. Also, a solid mattress base provides the resistance necessary for developing and strengthening muscles. 
  • Keep soft objects and loose bedding away from baby’s sleep area. Do not use bumpers, comforters, pillows, blankets and toys in the crib to reduce the risk of SIDS and suffocation. 

 

Your newborn baby will spend most of its time at home and in your car, and you’d be surprised at how easy it is for a baby to get into trouble. The first step in baby safety is making sure both of these places are completely safe for your newborn!

5 Calming Nursery Colors That Soothe Baby

What color should I put in the nursery? Will it be too bright or bold? When preparing your new baby’s nursery, one of the big decisions to make is the paint color. Instead of picking traditional pink or blue, more parents are looking for colors that add a splash of style and serenity to baby’s room.

With a little color insight and a can of paint, you can easily transform a bland nursery into a soothing sleep sanctuary. Try one of these five calming nursery colors and let a state of Zen wash over you and your baby.

Soft Greens

Green provides us with an instinctual sense of security that baby will grow and thrive in its presence. Associated with health, healing and well-being, green reduces anxiety. Bonus: Research shows that exposure to the color green may increase concentration and reading ability!

Surround your baby with the nurturing power of mother nature by choosing a light or medium green color such as sage or moss. Blue greens, like mint or seafoam, are also an excellent choice and promote peace and health.

Pale Purples

Associated with wisdom and spirituality, purple combines the calming properties of blue with the nurturing femininity of pink. Lighter shades like lavender and lilac provide the soothing strength of purple without the visual overstimulation that can come from richer options.

Since purple often appears darker than expected, interior painting experts suggest going one shade lighter than the one you’ve got your eye on. Here are 10 purple nursery shades to consider.

Earthy Neutrals

Neutral shades can be great for creating a warm, grounding atmosphere. Gentle, earthy neutrals like light beige, light tan and taupe will ensure your little one feels safe and cozy. Neutrals are easy on baby’s developing eyes, so these shades also help your little dreamer to wind down and sleep.

Complete the earthy theme with nature-inspired nursery essentials. A neutral tone works especially well if you are planning to have more children.

Creamy Whites

To create a soothing, white haven that will instil feelings of serenity and peace, avoid blue whites. Instead, choose creamier shades like soft ivory, vanilla and antique white. Think shabby chic! Add warmth and variation by incorporating rustic, earthy textures like wicker and wood.

Light Grays

As a reflective, calming hue, gray is an excellent backdrop that promotes thought and emotion. It’s a calming color, but be sure to keep things looking cheery by avoiding dark and stormy grays and instead select a light, blue-gray. To add softness, pair with crisp white trim and pretty pastel accents.

A Few More Tips!

Many people choose a paint color based on the colors that are prevalent in the bedding or accessories they have chosen. Whether you select a paint color based on a themed room or decide to keep it simple, select colors that you like too. You will be spending a lot of time here!

Having a hard time deciding on a color? ProjectNursery.com suggests that you visit online paint and hardware stores that offer interactive programs allowing you to upload a photo of your nursery to select different paint colors on the virtual walls.

Choosing the perfect color scheme for a soothing room can be an exciting experience! Relax and enjoy this time in your life and most importantly, have some fun with it.

Baby’s Changing Table: The Complete Buying Guide For Parents

One of your first orders of business when becoming a parent is setting up your little one’s nursery and all new parents can count on changing a lot of diapers. It’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it! The good news is that clean up can be quick and easy if you have a safe changing table stocked with supplies within reach. 

Why You Need A Changing Table

A changing table provides a designated safe place for you to change your baby’s diaper. Whether you opt for a traditional changing table or a dresser with a changing pad on top, you’ll be happy to have a go-to spot for diaper changes. It’s easy and convenient to have all the necessary diaper changing gear – wipes, diapers and diaper rash cream – organized and handy in one area. 

Changing tables are especially helpful for moms who are recovering from C-sections, because bending over at the waist can be painful and uncomfortable, so if you know ahead of time you might get one, this is sure to be a smart investment.

Dresser And Changing Table Combo

If you’d like a changing area, buy a changing pad and secure it onto a low dresser, which you can use even when your child is no longer wearing diapers. Store diapers, wipes and creams in a top drawer for quick access. Conveniently store away all of your other baby’s items such as swaddles, burp cloths and onesies in the dresser.

Things To Consider When Creating A Changing Table Area

  • Safety. Furniture needs to be secured to the wall so that it doesn’t topple over on your baby. If your piece of furniture doesn’t have anchors and tethers to brace it in place, your local hardware store will have the pieces you need. 
  • Changing Pad. Buy a firm, ridged changing pad and secure it onto the dresser, which you can use even when your child is out of diapers. Colgate’s contour changing pad turns any flat surface into a baby changing station. Firm foam ridges on the sides provide a secure cocoon for baby while being changed. The changing pad’s cover cleans easily with a damp cloth and mild soap. Extra safety features include a rigid fiber support board, a safety strap and screws to attach the changing pad. 
  • Safety Strap. While they’re a helpful feature for first-time parents, you should never leave baby unattended, even if it’s to grab a toy or a pair of pajamas in the same room. According to HealthyChildren.org, always keep one hand on baby.
  • Non-Toxic Paint. When using a hand-me-down changing table, make sure the paint finish is safe. Even freshly painted vintage finds can be hiding lead paint, which can be extremely dangerous for developing babies. Here’s how to identify lead paint.
  • Diaper Bin. Be sure to include a diaper pail closeby for easy diaper disposal. As your little one grows and the diapers pile up, you’ll quickly realize that this may be one of your most used – and most appreciated – nursery items. 
  • Big Baby. It’s harder than you think to diaper a growing, active baby. When your baby reaches 30 pounds, usually around a year old, it’s safer to change him on a pad or towel on the floor. By then, you’ll be an expert!