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Planning your baby’s room can be fun, but you need to strike the right balance between having floor space for your infant to play, and convenient access to all the important pieces of furniture, including drawers, wardrobes, changing tables, gliders…and of course the crib.
The crib is usually the focal point of the nursery and there are some various options where you can place it. The most common choices are next to a wall, in a corner or in the middle of the room. Let’s look at all these options in more detail, as well as what crib placements you should avoid.
Where is the safest place to put a crib?
In general, the best place to put your baby’s crib is fairly close to the door to their nursery. This will make things a little easier for you if you have to get up in the middle of the night when they’re crying out for attention. You could try to place it close to a wall or in a corner (but not directly against it) as this will reduce the risk of your infant getting wedged in between. Another option is to put the crib in the middle of the room. This can look quite stylish in the right setting, but if your baby’s nursery is quite small then a crib can monopolise a lot of space!
Can a baby sleep near a window?
You may be tempted to put your baby’s crib next to a window as they will get some fresh air during the night and at naptime. However, this is not advisable. Babies and toddlers can grab drapes or window blinds which could fall on them, or pull the cords, which pose a strangulation risk. In fact, in the UK, over 30 children have died in the past 15 years as a result of being tangled up in a drape or window blind cord. Multiply this worldwide, and unfortunately the figure will be even higher. There is also the risk of babies falling through the window itself or a window screen if the crib is too close.
Of course, if you don’t have many options for placing your baby’s crib, maybe due to space, and it just has to go fairly near a window, then you should definitely buy drapes or blinds which come without cords.
How far should a crib be from a window?
For peace of mind, and for your baby’s safety, try to leave the biggest gap you can between the window and their crib (ideally at least 2 feet) That way if they pull themselves up in the crib, they can’t reach and pull on any window blinds, drapes, cords or fall out of the window.
Can you open a window in a baby’s room?
Most experts agree that a baby’s room should be between 60-68 degrees Fahrenheit. Fresh air is important so it is fine to open a window but you should bear in mind the temperature in your baby’s room. Here are some tips if you’re worried your baby’s room will be too hot, particularly in the summer.
Although babies will usually cry out for your attention if they are too cold, the risk of SIDS increases when a baby is too hot, as they often won’t wake up.
Should a crib be anchored to a wall?
One of the most popular decisions parents make when they’re planning a nursery is to put a crib next to a wall. Usually this is one of the safest options, as it’s likely there aren’t any windows, drapes or curtains nearby. That being said, you shouldn’t need to anchor the crib to the wall, unless it’s recommended in the manufacturer instructions. However, you should consider anchoring other items of furniture in the home, which can become unstable and topple over if any drawers or doors are unopened.
If you decide to put your baby’s crib against a wall, just be aware of the following hazards:
- Other furniture in the nursery. As well as anchoring other furniture to the wall to ensure there are no nasty accidents if your baby opens a drawer or a shelf and the whole thing falls over, keep cribs at least 1 foot away from them.
- Shelves. Be very careful having shelves above a crib. If there is no other option, make sure you check the shelf regularly and ensure it’s completely out of range of your baby’s arms. A curious toddler can easily pull some items off a shelf, or the whole thing can become loose and detach if they pull down on it. Ideally you don’t want any heavy wall decor above your baby’s crib.
- Power sockets. You should baby proof all sockets in your baby’s room, even if you think the crib is blocking access to one or two of them.
- Pictures and frames. Pictures can really give your baby’s nursery some character, but they are a potential hazard. If you can, avoid hanging them above the crib if it’s next to a wall. Or if there is nowhere else to place them, hang them out of reach of your baby, ensure they are properly fixed to the wall and avoid using glass frames. Better still, don’t use a frame at all.
How far should a crib be from a wall?
Although placing your baby’s crib next to a wall is ok, you should try and leave a gap of around 1ft as this will reduce the risk of your baby getting wedged or stuck in between the slats, crib mattress and the wall. Also, by having this gap if any pictures or frames were to fall they would most likely drop behind the crib, not inside it where your baby will be.
Can you put a crib in a corner?
Putting your baby’s crib in a corner is a great option if you have a small room as it allows you to maximise space. All the crib safety considerations are the same as placing it next to a wall (see above). However, by creating more free space in the room, you’ll have more space for a changing table, glider or chest of drawers and more floor space for your baby to play.
Can you put a crib in the middle of a room?
The biggest advantage of putting your baby in the middle of the room is that they are far away from potential hazards. They aren’t any drapes, window blinds or drape cords nearby which they can pull on causing a potential strangulation hazard. Also you don’t need to worry about shelves or pictures on the wall which could fall and land on them.
If you like the idea of putting a crib in the middle of a room, but you’re concerned about space, you might want to consider a round crib, as they take up less space and provide more design options.
Can you put your baby’s crib near a radiator?
You shouldn’t put your baby’s crib very close to a radiator for 2 main reasons:
- If your baby/toddler can reach the radiator through the crib slats, they can burn themselves.
- There is a greater chance of your baby overheating, which increases the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
There are lots of different ways you can arrange the furniture in your baby’s nursery. If you’re having a hard time visualising it then try an online nursery planner. In general though, try to keep furniture away from the door so it’s easy to open and close it. Desks work well next to windows as there is more natural light there, and it frees up some space in the middle of the room.
Graham is a father of two who founded Dadometer to share his parenting journey with other moms and dads.