Monday, December 14, 2009

What a Nursery Needs: Closets

Okay flooring, painting, window, check. Now let’s look at the closet. Do the doors need repair; are they safe for a baby? If you have bi-fold doors, they do make great safety bi-fold door locks. Next, let’s look in the closet. Is the rod firmly in the wall? You don’t want that to fall after you hang up your baby’s clothes. Is there enough light or too much light? You might want to add a light if you don’t’ have one, you can even put one of those push lights in, they cost under $10. Or if you have too much light you might want to put in a lower wattage or get a push light. Why? Well, believe it or not you might have to go into the baby’s room while they are asleep and get something out or put something away and you don’t want to wake them.

Do you want a shelving unit for the baby or maybe just a canvas organizer? Think about what works for you and how you organize your closet, well hopefully. I like the canvas organizers. You can fold bulky items and store them in there without taking up too much room. Here is a link to see what I am talking about.
This one is from toys r us, but you can get one almost anywhere and they do not have to be child theme, either. I like the beige canvas ones. Then if you ever want to move it to another closet you can and no one will know any different.

Don't go crazy, because what you think you might need, will probably change after the baby comes. Simple is the key, unless you are a professional organizer. Wait and then see what you need after the baby is born. It is always hard to tell just exactly what you are going put in the closet. Trust me people will give you things for your child that they will not use for several years.

Monday, December 7, 2009

What a Nursery Needs: Window Coverings

Okay you have a new floor, clean walls, what is next? Let’s look at the window.

Are they chipped, cracked, or drafty? You should get these fixed now. Trust me you don’t want strange people working in the nursery when you want to put your baby down for a nap, or worse, after they pooped straight up their back, for the second time that day. Oh yeah, that happens.

Okay now the windows are fixed and sealed. Now decided what kind of window treatment you would like to have. Curtains, blinds or shades? Don’t wait until after the baby is born to decide, or you will have to use a blanket and that is just a pain to take down and put up every day. I would recommend that you shut the door and turn off the light to see just how much light comes into the room during the morning, afternoon and night. You might not need to buy room-darkening shades. You can hang a sheet up and see exactly how much light comes through.

Wal-Mart has a very reasonable room darkening shades for $20. 00, that is a good price for every one's budget. I bought them to give them a try, they work.

If you are going to use blinds, shades or curtain, if they have cords please make sure they are out of reach. Babies and children love dangling anything.

Looped cords that are used with window drapes, blinds, and shades are a serious danger to young children. Here is a great website to look into safety for blinds. They even have recommendations for save blinds, etc.

According to a study published in a June 1997 Journal of the American Medical Association article, it is estimated that:
359 children were strangled by window covering cords from 1981 to 1995, which is equivalent to one strangulation every two weeks.
Nearly half (49 percent) of the strangulation's go unreported.
Almost all the deaths (93 percent) were children three years old and younger.
Most strangulation's occurred when the parents thought the child was safe, such as in their rooms or in their bed or crib.
Two common scenarios were found:
Infants playing or sleeping in their cribs near windows got caught and tangled in the looped cords of the window treatment.
Toddlers, while trying to look out a window or climbing on furniture, lost their footing and were wrapped in the cord.

Please don't place cribs, furniture or toys by windows help keep your baby safe while in there room.

Monday, October 26, 2009

What a Nursery Needs: The Walls

Next let’s take a look at the walls. Do you want to paint or do you need to paint? If your home was built before 1980 you might want to have the room tested for lead poisoning. Here is a great link that gives you information about lead poisoning, how to test your paint, and what to do if the paint has tested positive

You can now buy paint that is environmentally friendly that don’t have chemicals and odors. Cool, especially for a baby’s room. Look for these three types of paints, Natural Paints, Low VOC and Zero VOC. Here is a link will give you a lot more information.
Just to be on the safe side, don’t let the soon-to-be mommy paint. Make sure the room well vented but also the house.

Just a little advice. As cool as themes are for babies room, and there are lots of cool ideas out there, just make sure when you choose the theme for you babies room. Ask yourself these question?

1. Am I making this room for myself or for my child?

2. Is this a room theme that my child will like for at least a couple of years?

3. Am I going to get tired of this after a couple of months?

4. Will I be able to paint over the design or peel off the borders?

5. Can I clean crayons, markers or any other thing that might end up on the wall?

I love Classic Winnie the Pooh. I choose not to decorate my child's room in anything Pooh. I did have two things that were Pooh in the room, one was a gift and the other was a stuff Pooh Bear that I had before I got pregnant. When your child is around three they may want something different and you might have to change it. If you use a darker paint, wall paper or borders, keep in mind that one day you might have to paint over the darker paint and well, that takes a lot of primer and paint. Try and use a child friendly paint, that if you need to gentle clean the walls, the paint will not wear off or fade.

With all of that in mind, there is nothing wrong with keeping the nursery simple, plain or just an explosion of a theme. If it is what you reallly want, then do it.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

What a Nursery Needs

Okay let’s start at the beginning. You finally decided what room at your place is going to be your baby’s room. Yeah! Not always an easy decision. First you need to clear everything out; you will need an empty room. That means everything in the closet too. Now you can really see the room. Take a look at everything. What needs to be and what you want to do are two different things.

First let’s look at the floor. Do you need new carpet? Are any of the tiles broke, chipped or dented? Is the linoleum so gross you wouldn’t want your baby to lick it? Do you have nails coming up from the hardwood floor? You should look into getting the floor fix or replacing what you have. There is nothing wrong with a tile, carpeted, hard-wood, or linoleum floor. Just make sure it meets your needs and your family’s budget. You might just need to have the floor cleaned, professionally or you might have to get down on your hands and knees for a good scrubbing. The only suggestion I have on flooring is, if you are getting carpet try and see if you can purchase vinyl-free, natural fiber carpet. Look at jute, sisal and wool carpets or other plant based carpets. They won’t be traces of PVC ingredients or harmful phthalates from adhesives. The other plus about vinyl-free, natural fiber carpet is they do not need adhesive, so you won’t need to air out the room after installation. If you can’t afford this type go with something other than shag and air out the room for a couple of days.

If you are choosing a hardwood, tile or linoleum floor, you might want to think about adding a rug, natural fiber is the best. This way your feet are not getting cold when you are in there in the middle of the night. Then when your child is older they can sit on the rug and play and not have a cold tushie.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Great books for parents to read.

Your One-Year-Old by Louis Bates Ames (this series runs up to Fourteen year old). These books are a quick and easy read around 200 pages. The books is broken up into sections and you can skip around to the chapter that you need. It also includes books for you to read and toys that your child should be playing with at that age.

The Disney Encyclopedia of Baby and Child Care. I think you would have to find this used. A basic book, not a lot of "junk" in it. There are two volumes. Volume 1 is about child care from birth to six year old. Volume 2 is A to Z Encyclopedia of Child Health & Illness, has tons of information about each illness, what to expect and what to do. A great first time parents book.

Your Growing Child by Penelope Leach A book I think every parent should have. Anything you need to know about your baby is in this book up to age through adolescents. The book is filled with information to help guide the parents to raise a wonderful child.

What to Expect the first year Most people are familiar with this series. I do like the book, but there are section that just don't apply to everyone. I do like the recipes in the book. I have made a few they can be good. However, I haven't met a child yet that likes the first birthday cake recipe. I thought it was pretty yucky myself.

I think it is a great idea to check some of these books out from your local library. Not every book holds the anwsers for each family. You might have to read several before you find the one that fits for you and your families need.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dangerous Foods for Children Younger than One

There are certain foods you should never give your baby, especially before they are one. Honey and corn syrup should never be given to a child under the age of one. The reason being is because of the spores they contain can cause Botulism, food poisoning. After your child turns one the botulism risk will decrease. Here are the signs for Infant botulism: Constipation (often the first sign)
Floppy movements due to muscle weakness, and trouble controlling the head
Weak cry
Drooping eyelids
Difficulty sucking or feeding
Call your pediatrician if you have any questions or concerns that your baby may have eaten raw honey or corn syrup. Botulism is treatable, even though it is considered serious.

Foods to avoid during the first year are due to choking hazards.
Raw carrots, peas and apples.
Hot dogs(no matter how you slice them)
Corn Kernels
Hard candy

Some foods to avoid during the first year due to food allergies are:
Egg whites
Cow's milk
Citrus fruits
Ice cream

If someone in your family has allergies to the food listed above, you should talk with your child’s dr. and ask when to introduce and what symptoms to look for.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Homemade baby food warning!

Here is something I learned that I had never heard of before. Beets, Carrots, Collard Greens, Green beans, Squash, Turnips and Spinach can contain high levels of nitrates and should not be made at home. However the jarred versions of Beets Carrots, Collard Greens, Green beans, Squash, Turnips and Spinach are fine to eat. Baby food companies monitor the nitrates from these vegetable to make sure that they do not get to high. Please check with your pediatrician to find out more information on making homemade vegetables that are high in nitrates. I found that only one infant death has been reported on this type of poisoning. So be careful and talk with your child's doctor.