700 Children's® – A Blog by Pediatric Experts

Home Safety Series: Bedroom and Nursery

Sep 06, 2022
baby bed

My husband and I started dreaming up plans for our baby’s nursery while I was pregnant. What colors to paint the walls? Will it have a theme like mountains, outer space, animals, or princesses? Babies and young children spend much of their time in their nursery or bedroom - sleeping, playing, and exploring - so let’s make sure the nursery/bedroom is a safe place.

  • Prevent tip-overs:
    • Secure dressers, shelves, and changing tables to the wall using straps and brackets.
    • Keep heavier items on the bottom of dressers and bookshelves and add drawer stops so kids can’t pull drawers all the way out.
    • Changing tables: anchor the changing table to the wall. Keep a hand on your baby when they’re on the table and organize diaper changing products so they’re within your reach, but not your baby’s. Be sure to keep dangerous items like hand sanitizer, medicine, and containers with small caps out of baby’s reach.
    • Learn more about preventing tip-overs.
  • Make the sleep space safe:
    • Learn the ABCs of safe sleep.
    • Bassinet: A bassinet needs a firm mattress that fits snugly, without space around the edges, and a base that is strong and sturdy so the bassinet can’t tip over. To be extra safe, get a bassinet that doesn’t rock or incline. Always follow manufacturer recommendations for age and weight to move a baby up to a crib. Always check for recalls (recalls.gov) and review the latest safety standards.
    • Crib: Use a crib manufactured after 2011 with a well-fitted mattress (no more than 2 fingers should fit between the mattress and crib). Only the baby and a snug fitting firm mattress with fitted sheet and mattress pad should be in the crib for naptime and bedtime - no blankets, bumpers, pillows, or toys.
    • Play yard: To make it safe for sleeping, follow the directions exactly when you set it up. Use only the mattress that comes with the play yard. Don’t add an additional mattress or play-yard toppers. Before naptime or bedtime, remember your ABCs and remove any toys or other items that could block your baby’s nose or mouth.
    • Learn more about nursery safety, including cribs, playpens, and changing tables.
  • Watch out for windows. Keep cribs, chairs, and other furniture away from windows so kids can’t climb up and fall out the window. Keep windows closed when you’re not in the room, and install window stops to keep them from opening more than 4 inches. Cords can pose a strangulation risk, so get cordless blinds, shades, or curtains. Learn more about the dangers of window treatments.
  • Outlets and cord safety: Use safety covers on outlets. Avoid using long cords when you can, and when you can’t, use cord shorteners. Keep cords at least three feet away from where baby sleeps and plays.

Adapted from Make Safe Happen, where you can find more information and safety tips.

See tips for bunk beds here. Learn more about bunk bed safety.

Center for Injury Research and Policy
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Laura Dattner, MA
Center for Injury Research and Policy

Laura Dattner is a research writer in the Center for Injury Research and Policy. With both a health communications and public health background, she works to translate pediatric injury research into meaningful, accurate messages which motivate the public to make positive behavior changes.

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700 Children’s® features the most current pediatric health care information and research from our pediatric experts – physicians and specialists who have seen it all. Many of them are parents and bring a special understanding to what our patients and families experience. If you have a child – or care for a child – 700 Children’s was created especially for you.