With the stork all set to visit your home, you need to get the nursery and baby furniture arranged to welcome the little bundle of joy. Little babies are known to cause havoc far out of proportion to their size and therefore expectant parents would do well to scout around for baby nursery furniture well in time. What are the usual items of baby furniture you would need? What are the factors to be kept in mind when buying used baby furniture? Find answers to all these queries and more!
Safety is paramount when it comes to baby furniture. Whether you are using the furniture used by other children or are purchasing a new there are many safety standards that need to be addressed before you purchase them. The baby furniture should be comfortable for the child either to hold or jump or play. Baby furniture comes in wide varieties. You have toddlers, high chairs, cribs and walkers of different shapes to attract the child. Whatever furniture you buy for your kid make sure it is wider at the bottom than at the top. They should be bigger at the bottom in order to avoid any tipping hazard either while your baby is playing or trying to pull on it to help him/her get up into a standing position.
Baby swing: This piece of baby furniture can be an ideal location to place your baby so that he gets a bird's eye view of things and allows you to catch up with your daily routine. Before you buy a baby swing, check out this list of handy must-have features that will make your baby swing more useful for you and baby. The baby swing must have a wide base so that it does not tip over if the baby leans to one direction. The baby swing must have a safety belt system. Battery swings are easier to operate since they save you the bother of re-winding the swing and also offer additional features such as varying seeds and music.
High Chair: A high chair is used for feeding babies above 6 months of age. It allows the baby to join the family at the dinner table. Choose a safe high chair is to pick a model that has a Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association certificate on it. The JPMA voluntary safety standards are followed by most reputable high chair manufacturing companies. Today's baby high chairs have a variety of features such as wheels, one-hand tray release, height adjustment and seat recline. Aside from being easy to clean, the most important feature of a high chair tray is ease of use.
Walkers are best suited for your babies. It allows your child to become very mobile before he/she can even walk. But do stay with your child if you have got him/her a walker, they may tip it over. Remove the throw rugs from your floor else they get caught in the walker's wheels. Look out for the walkers which has wide base with sturdy wheels to avoid tipping.
Next piece of furniture for your little child would be high chairs. Again look out for chairs with broad base and sturdy stands. Make sure your baby furniture doesn't have any sharp edges. Also ensure that the tray has a sturdy clasp and it closes securely, else there are chances for baby to fall down. Next is the stroller which is of more convenient to parents than to baby. Check whether a stroller has strong wheels and it should not have sharp edges.
Cribs: Cribs form a vital part of baby nursery furniture. Pick a baby crib that is made from quality materials. Baby cribs are often made of wood or iron. Many used cribs are not safe, either the posts will be too high or they have cutouts where baby's feet can get trapped. Before you buy crib keep certain things in mind. There are standards that the Juvenile Products Manufacturers' make the manufacturers of cribs comply with, make sure the furniture you choose meets those recommendations. If you have decided to buy a crib, ensure that it has all parts and all its screws are tightly fit and is secure for the baby to sit.
Follow the directions specified while you buy a crib. If the direction says use two screws, use two screws. Also be careful, the cribs should have any cracks or rough edges and even splinters or peeling paints. Ensure that the mattress fits tightly in the crib so that the baby doesn't get trapped between the mattress and the crib.
Stroller: Assemble the stroller as per the instructions given by the manufacturer. Do not ever overload it. Ensure that latches are fully engaged prior to use. Avoid pinched fingers by keeping inquisitive fingers away when folding or unfolding the stroller. Never leave a child unattended on a stroller.
Cradles: A cradle is used from birth until 4 months or the baby is able to roll from side to side. Cradles usually include a padded bumper, fitted sheet and a quilt or comforter. One of the advantages of a cradle is that you can rock it and it is lower than a crib.
Changing Tables: Look for changing tables that double up as storage locations along with accessories such as organizers and wipe warmers. Typically they cost in the range of $90 to %200.
Baby Monitor: A baby monitor can be of the audio or audio-visual kind. It cost anywhere upwards of $20 depending on its features. It reassures a parent that all is well with the infant or toddler when she is not physically in the same room.
Baby Nursery Furniture
If you are setting your new baby's nursery there are many choices that you will have to make before you buy anything. These items can be used for another child in the future.
- Ensure that the baby nursery furniture meets safety standards and criteria:
- Use a crib that meets the current national standards.
- Look for the JPMA (Juvenile Manufacturers Products Association) seal when you buy any baby equipment.
- Do not place your baby furniture or the crib near a window, electrical cords or heating cords. Also never hang anything on or above a crib with a string or ribbon longer than 7 inches.
- Always keep the drop side up when baby is in the crib.
- Place baby on his/her back in a crib with a firm, tight-fitting mattress.
- Consider using a sleeper instead of blanket.
- Place a working smoke detector in or near your child's bedroom.
- Make sure that window guards are securely in place to prevent a child from falling out the window.
- Never place a crib, playpen, or other children's furniture near a window.
- Put plug protectors in unused electrical outlets.
- The crib must not have any small parts or pieces that the baby could choke on.
- Make sure that all screws, bolts, and hardware -- including mattress supports -- are in tight to prevent the crib from collapsing.
- Make sure the crib has no elevated corner posts or decorative cutouts in the end panels.
- To reduce the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), put baby to sleep on her back in a crib with a firm, flat mattress -- no soft bedding underneath her.
Used baby furniture
If you are working on a smaller budget to furnish your baby's nursery, consider used baby furniture. Since babies outgrow cribs, high chairs and other baby furniture items, resale stores always offer used baby furniture at a discount. You can pick up carry cribs, changing tables, bassinets, playpens and other small pieces of baby furniture.
Follow certain precautions before buying used baby furniture such as cribs:
- Ensure that they meet current safety standards. Since safety rules are being constantly improvised, it is essential to meet the recent optimal safety standards.
- Used baby furniture may be available at a discount but find out if they have been repaired or modified, thereby adding to the risk factor.
- Discount baby furniture that has been stored away for a long time may not have been stored under good conditions and may have suffered some damage. Check the fitting and the operating.
- Sometimes old cribs and used baby furniture may wear out. Joints can come undone, wooden parts may become cracked or splintered and plastic parts may break.