Furnishing the nursery
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(NAPS)—When there’s a little one on the way, certain small steps can make a big difference. Here are a few hints on helping to keep the nursery safe and secure from industry expert Sally Morse:

The crib: See to the slats. They should all be there, spaced no more than ¼ inch apart. The mattress should fit snugly with no more than two fingers’ width between its edge and the side of the crib. Be sure the mattress support is securely attached to the headboard and footboard and the drop-side latches hold securely.

Crib toys: Keep them fun. They should not have strings or cords that dangle into the crib or any parts small enough for a baby to swallow.

High chair: It’s a tasteful idea to be sure it has restraining straps with buckles that are easy to fasten and unfasten independently of the tray, which should lock securely. The chair needs a wide base for stability. A folding high chair has an effective locking device.

Playpen: Don’t mess with the mesh. Playpen mesh should be securely attached to the top rail and floor plate and have a small weave of less than 1⁄4 inch openings, with no tears or loose threads. The top rails should lock automatically when lifted into the normal-use position.

Changing table: Parents and babies tend to spend a lot of time here. It should have safety straps to prevent falls, and drawers or shelves that are easily accessible so you don’t have to leave the baby unattended.

Windows: Any above the first floor should have guards. Look for quick-release features for easy emergency exits. Locks that limit the size of the opening will let you open the windows for ventilation.

The windows should also provide a serene environment with soft incoming light. You can do this with Silhouette window shadings or Duette honeycomb shades from Hunter Douglas. These have two fabric layers so light is filtered and diffused to eliminate harsh glare and shadows. The shades can also dim the light for daytime naps. They come in dozens of colors, so you can coordinate with the wall color or the trim.

Whatever window treatment you have, make sure it doesn’t have accessible cords that young children can get entangled in. Hunter Douglas has many options that eliminate lift cords or substantially reduce access to them. The company’s LiteRise cordless system is available on a wide variety of product styles.

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