A nursery could be an amazing place for your infant to grow. The right nursery can provide a healthy and safe environment where your child can thrive and develop. However, it can be detrimental if you are not paying attention. Safety is always a concern when it comes to kids; for toddler furniture, it's even more so.
Research indicates that around 10 percent of the injuries toddlers suffer in the first 12 months are due to nursery furniture. While some injuries are unavoidable when dealing with kids, unsafe furniture can be a major hazard to keep around. Read more to understand what exactly comprises of safe furniture for your toddlers, the safety standards and the complete set of dos and Don’ts when it comes to baby furniture.
Essential Furniture For Toddler’s Room
Let’s first take a look at the various essential pieces of furniture that are found in a typical nursery.
- Cribs/Bassinets: The first bed of your infant Cribs are durable furniture, usually made of wood, that lasts for multiple years. Bassinets are smaller alternatives to cribs due to their lower cost.
- Toddler’s Bed: Once your kid is old enough to be slightly independent, a toddler’s bed is their next stop. They are similar to adult beds, but with certain features catering to kids. Toddler beds are also durable and built to last multiple years. Depending on your needs, toddler beds can also be converted into one or more other pieces of furniture.
- Regular/Rocking Chair: Like toddler chairs, parents need comfortable chairs in the nursery too. A rocking chair nursery has been a traditional option for both parents and children to relax, particularly during breastfeeding. Alternatively, gliding or even regular chairs provide the same function.
- Changing Table: A changing or dressing table is a great addition for the first few years of parenthood. They make the process of changing diapers a lot easier and more convenient. With a safe, flat surface and essential storage with easy access, it is certainly one of the essential nursery pieces of furniture
- Storage bins: Despite their small size, kids tend to accumulate a lot of belongings. From toys and clothes to dirty diapers and gifts given at the baby shower, you would need proper storage bins for everything right in your toddler’s room.
Safety Regulations Around Kid’s Furniture
Child safety is a very comprehensive issue that cannot be overseen by a single entity. Different regulations exist for various stages, dimensions, and purposes. For example, CPSC is responsible for the safety standards of fundamental infant furniture in the United States. These include the dimensions and design of cribs, bassinets, and toddler beds. Since these regulations are prone to change and update every few years, you should prefer buying new furniture and look out for recalls of non-compliant models.
Regulations around the arrangement and layout of kid’s furniture are less stringent. For the most part, parents have the discretion to decide what works best for their kids. However, certain safety regulations remain standard:
- Cover all electrical outlets or keep them well out of the reach of kids.
- Place the cribs and beds away from windows and balcony doors.
- Keep away from anything with a length – like cords in window drapes or wires in appliances.
- Avoid soft mattresses for sleeping. While they might look comfortable, they can cause chronic spinal issues in the long run.
- Keep any potentially hazardous material well out of the reach of your toddler.
Selecting A Safe Toddler Bed
Toddler beds are the next step when your kid has outgrown a crib. While considered quite safe, you would still have to put effort into babyproof the bed before your little one can enjoy it.
Choose toddler beds with guard rails. Unlike cribs, which have guard rails to prevent the tot from climbing, toddler beds have shorter guard rails that prevent the child from falling during sleep. They are particularly important in bunk beds and loft beds with desk. Preferably, go with beds with removable rails, so you can remove them once your kid is old enough.
- Ensure that the bed has a headboard bumper. Kids tend to jump into their beds, and a hard headboard can cause injury. A headboard bumper serves as an added protective measure against such mishaps.
- Choose a mattress that fits perfectly into the bed. If there are gaps between the mattress and the bed, chances are that your toddler’s hands or legs can get stuck in them.
- Make sure that there are no sharp protrusions in the bed which might cause injury. Some beds have designer cutouts which might prove to be unsafe. Older beds might also splinter and become a health hazard.
Safety Around Changing Tables
Unlike kids table and chair set, changing/dressing tables are an essential place that allows you to change the diapers of your toddler in a clean and convenient way. But safety is also something you must keep in mind while choosing them. Safety is particularly important because changing diapers is a task that’s both urgent and repetitive – a recipe for potential mistakes.
- The material of the changing table must be strong and durable. Given that you would be using it to rest your child, it is essential that the table must be sturdy. Always prefer durable materials like wood over cheaper options like plastic
- Safety contraptions have become a recent trend among changing tables. The built-in straps could be used to fix the kid safely in place. However, most experts dissuade from using them. Straps can create a false sense of security in you, and even become safety risks themselves.
The edge of the table should have raised borders to provide additional protection against the chances of your toddler rolling off the table. Additionally, you can also pick tables with contours in the middle, which further prevent such rolling.
- Despite all the above precautions, as a rule of thumb, always keep one hand on your child during changing their diapers. Choose tables with built-in storage options, so everything is accessible within arms reach for you.
Safe Furniture Arrangement And Layout
- Crib/Bed placement
Here’s something not a lot of parents give any thought to – where to place the cribs. In reality, where you keep the crib can potentially be a safety hazard. For starters, don’t place your kids couch near the windows. Direct sunlight from the window can be a health risk, and your kid might also get entangled in the blinds and drapes. Try to keep the crib in an open area, devoid of clutter – particularly dangerous ones like electrical sockets. Keep it away from anything that kids could use to climb out of the crib.
- Play Areas and Space Management
Parents tend to buy everything they can for their kids. While the idea is good, it often results in a cluttered nursery. Remember, kids need a safe space more than any gadget or equipment. Hence, always make sure that your nursery has ample open areas for your child to grow. As kids grow, they would want to crawl (and eventually run) around their room. A cluttered room is also a safety hazard as the kids could hit anything kids desk or toddler chair, and hurt themselves. Furthermore, you can create designated play areas where your child can play without worrying about space issues. Playards are a good option for this.
Accessibility forms an important part of furniture arrangement in the nursery. As a rule, you would want to have everything accessible to you within grasp. Taking care of a toddler can be a tough business, and you wouldn’t want to make it more difficult by having to run around the room for every little thing. Running around the room is also an invitation to get hurt as you hit the cabinet or your toddler table and chairs. So, it is prudent to arrange furniture in such a way that everything you need is accessible to you whenever required.
As a parent, there is nothing you could want more than watching your toddler safe and happy. But safety is a complex goal that depends on multiple factors. However, parents can’t make any excuse – they need to consider every factor possible. Kids bedrooms sets and furniture is obviously a very important part of it. By ensuring to buy the safest furniture options, you already kickstart the journey of providing a safe furniture for your toddler.