15 Ways You Can Build a Calming Nursery for Your Baby

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When you learn of a brand new bundle of joy’s impending arrival, one of your first thoughts may be of the nursery you’d like to create for him. After you’ve adjusted to the idea of bringing a new life into the family, you’ll be faced with a staggering array of decisions that make life in the months before your baby’s arrival quite hectic. Creating a calm, soothing oasis from the frenetic pace of the world can help you and your baby find some serenity. These tips can help you create the peaceful space you’ve envisioned and to perfect it before your baby arrives.

1. Color is Everything – The color of the walls and accents in any room set the mood. If you’re shooting for a more tranquil, serene space, it’s best to choose colors that promote those feelings. Bold and energetic colors like bright orange or red may not be conducive to rest, while pale blues and greens can have the desired calming effect.


2. Skip the Frilly Bedding – A crib that looks like a magazine layout may create a sense of pride for you, but it can be dangerous for your baby. Making sure that he gets a good night’s sleep without increasing SIDS risks is a parent’s job, so make sure your nursery planning takes American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines into consideration.

3. Don’t Forget the Window Treatments – Blackout shades can help you keep the sun out of Baby’s eyes while he naps during the day, creating a soothing space. You will want to make sure that you choose window treatments that don’t pose a strangulation risk, as babies can become entangled with cords that are within their reach.

4. Include a Comfy, Adult-Sized Chair – The nursery may be your baby’s room, but you’ll be spending many sleepless nights there as well. A comfortable chair that accommodates a sleepy adult will be a blessing for you, boosting the overall feeling of calm in the room.

5. Make the Most of Nursery Closet Space – Clutter doesn’t promote calmness, so devote some energy to effective closet use. Babies may be tiny people, but their stuff can take up an astounding amount of space!

6. Keep Storage Solutions Simple – The cute tub you’ve found for storing diaper wipes may be a thematic match with the room, but you won’t be soothed for long when you realize it’s too complex to open while holding down a dirty, squirming baby.

7. Choose Functional, Multi-Purpose Furniture – Rather than buying a changing table that serves no other purpose, consider a nice dresser with a safety rail installed and a soft changing mat placed over the top. When your child is out of diapers, it’ll still be a functional piece of furniture.

8. Be Budget-Conscious – The most beautiful, perfectly designed nursery will create nothing but stress if you dramatically exceed your budget in terms of planning. To make sure that Baby’s space isn’t a source of grief for you, keep an eye on your spending.

9. Look Up! – A newborn may not notice, but an older baby spends a significant amount of time on his back, looking at the ceiling. When you paint and decorate the nursery, keep in mind that a stained ceiling in need of painting can cheapen the rest of the room.

10. Choose Safe Paints – Finding the perfect shade of paint is a key aspect of creating a soothing and tranquil nursery, but it’s important to make sure that your wall colors are of the low-VOC variety. Volatile organic compounds can cause respiratory irritation and other health problems, which isn’t an environment you’ll want to bring a baby into.

11. Incorporate Heirloom Pieces – The crib you used as a baby, a rocking chair that came from your partner’s nursery or other heirloom pieces can be perfect ways of adding personal, comforting touches to a nursery. Just be sure that they meet current safety guidelines.

12. Think Outside the Big Box Retailer – There’s nothing wrong with opting for mass-produced accessories, but artsy parents may find that they’re more satisfied with the efforts of independent artists and creators.

13. Look for Pieces That Grow With Your Child – Having a few pieces of furniture that your child can use as he ages will create a sense of routine and comfort for your child, along with a feeling of consistency.

14. Consider Tradition Over Trends – What’s trendy today may be old news tomorrow. Furthermore, fad decorating is known more for being cutting-edge than aesthetically pleasing. A traditional, comforting nursery may be more soothing than a haute baby space.

15. Integrate a White Noise Device – Infants fall into a deep sleep when they hear the sound of the washing machine or the gentle lull of the road beneath the tires for a reason. Replicating these sounds with a white noise device can help your child feel more comfortable and calm in his nursery.

Wow! So A New Study says Swaddling Increases SIDS risk now?

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As you guys know, each week, practically, there is a new research study, report or survey that comes up with a health conclusion that most likely conflicts and contradicts a previous study.

Here we go again!  A new study says that swaddling a baby may lead to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).


For those who are unfamiliar, SIDS is an unexplained sudden death of an infant in its sleep before the age of one. The cause is really unknown, but recent conventional wisdom, based on researchers, is that being placed on the tummy combined with being overheated are causes. There is also a school of thought that pillows, crib bumpers and stuffed animals may lead to suffocation.

So in recent history, women have been told to rid their cribs of bumpers, blankets, stuffed animals and to instead swaddle their newborn babies and place them on their backs.

Why the swaddle? Babies have several reflexes including a startling reflex where they jerk their arms outward or above their heads when they feel they are not secure. Swaddling them in a blanket gives them a feeling of being snug and secure similar to the way they were in the womb prior to being born.

The study in the journal Pediatrics states that swaddling increases the risk for SIDS in about 1/3 of the cases of pooled data from four observational studies of SIDS and swaddling that included 760 SIDS cases and 1,759 controls.

However, the lead author of the report, University of Bristol in England research associate Anna S. Pease said that the results should be interpreted with caution given the fact there are so few studies in this area and there is limited evidence.

“We already know that side and prone sleeping are unsafe for young babies, so the advice to place children on their backs for sleep is even more important when parents choose to swaddle them,” she told the New York Times.

The risk also increased with the age of the infant, according to the study.

“We suggest that parents think about what age they should stop swaddling,” Dr. Pease said. “Babies start to roll over between four and six months, and that point may be the best time to stop.”

There you go new parents! New information to keep you worried. Good luck. I know so many women who do not sleep normally because they constantly wake themselves up to make sure their babies are still breathing.

The SIDS anxiety is real and with this news, we can assume it is going to get worse. le sigh.

How to Co-Sleep with Your Baby without Bed Sharing

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Followers of the “attachment parenting” philosophy aren’t the only proponents of co-sleeping; even studies published by the British Medical Journal, Military Medicine and Lancet have shown that there are marked benefits to co-sleeping with your infant. The “Sleeping Position, Orientation, and Proximity in Bedsharing Infants and Mothers” study published in 1996 indicated that infants sleeping near a parent boast regular heart rhythms, more stable temperatures, and fewer long pauses between breaths than infants who sleep alone. The “SIDS Global Task Force Child Care Study” published findings in 2001 that showed that deaths attributed to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome were at their lowest rates in countries where co-sleeping is a culturally-accepted, normal practice. However, there are a variety of situations that make sharing your bed with an infant infeasible or downright impossible for your family.

So, can you and your baby reap the benefits of co-sleeping without sharing an actual bed? In a word, yes.


How Can You Co-Sleep Without Bed-Sharing?
The practice of co-sleeping without sharing a bed has become much more common now that there are two commonly accepted terms. The first is co-sleeping, which means that parents and infants sleep in close proximity, but on a separate sleep space, in the same room. The second is bed-sharing, which refers to a sleeping arrangement in which parents and children share a sleep surface. The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly discourages new parents from sharing a bed with their infant, but has encouraged a co-sleeping arrangement in which the baby does sleep in the parents’ bedroom, just in her own safe, separate space. Groups that promote breastfeeding, like La Leche League, suggest that co-sleeping leads to higher breastfeeding success rates than a separate room arrangement.

Co-Sleeper Products
There are entire lines of co-sleeping products that allow you to keep your baby on the same level as your mattress and within arm’s reach, but maintaining your own sleep surfaces. Researching various makes and models of co-sleepers can help you get a better idea of how well you feel each will suit the needs of your unique family. The Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper attaches to the parents’ bed, providing the benefits of co-sleeping without the risks of bed-sharing.

Portable Cribs
If you’re only planning to practice co-sleeping temporarily, a collapsible, portable crib might be the solution to your problems. Easy to assemble and lightweight, you can move the crib from one room to another as needed with relative ease. There are weight limits specific to each model, so you’ll want to be sure that your baby hasn’t’ outgrown his. Also, it’s important to be sure that each re-assembly is completed according to the manufacturer’s instruction and presents no pinching, choking or other hazards.
Bassinets and Cradles

While a cradle isn’t collapsible like a portable crib, it is lightweight and easy to move from one room to the next as the need arises. It’s not advised that children who are old enough to sit independently sleep in cradles or bassinets, but they can be ideal for parents of newborns who only plan to co-sleep through their child’s early infancy.

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7 ways to make sure your baby has a safe sleeping space

Babies spend the majority of their first months of life in their sleep space.  Considering that babies are typically sleeping while in their cribs or bassinets – and for the longest stretches of time it’s when mom and dad are also sleeping – it’s safe to say that the time that they do spend in their sleep space is largely unsupervised. For that reason alone, parents must take proactive steps to assure their baby’s safety while sleeping.

When creating your baby’s sleep space, keep these 7 tips in mind:

1.  Avoid bed-sharing. While there’s an upswing in the support of co-sleeping and bed sharing from many parents, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) still insists that room-sharing, rather than bed-sharing, is safest for babies. According to First Candle, bed-sharing increases a baby’s risk of death by 40 percent. Keeping your baby in a separate, but close, sleep space is the safest place for your baby to sleep. Placing a co-sleeper or bassinet beside your bed allows you to closely monitor your baby throughout the night.

2. Use a firm sleep surface. While it can be tempting to put a fussy baby in a car seat or bouncy seat to sleep, for regular, routine sleep the safest place for your baby is on a firm surface. Cribs, bassinets, and play yards certified by the Juvenile Product Manufacturer’s Association (JPMA) are held to safety standards above and beyond the standard requirements set forth by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Be sure that the mattress has a firm fit and that the sheet fits snugly on the mattress.


3. Put baby to sleep on his back. While your mother may argue that she put you to sleep on your stomach and you turned out fine, it is now known that putting a baby to sleep on his back is safest. Since the 1994 Back to Sleep campaign started, overall SIDS rates have dropped by more than 50 percent.

4. Keep loose items, including bumpers, out of the crib. While great grandma may be offended that you don’t tuck your baby into his crib with the blanket she lovingly knitted him, you’ll have to put hurt feelings aside for the sake of your baby’s safety. Loose bedding and soft items like stuffed toys and positioning wedges can pose a suffocation risk to your baby.  Instead of using a blanket, opt for a sleep sack, which will keep your baby safely covered while asleep.

5. Avoid overheating. While you may think that dressing your baby in layers and keeping the heat on year round will keep him warm, doing so can put him at risk for overheating. A baby’s room temperature should be about 68-70 degrees Fahrenheit, or comfortable to a lightly clothed adult. If your baby is sweating, feels damp or has heat rash, he’s too hot.

6. Position cribs away from windows. While your baby’s crib may look lovely centered under his bedroom window, putting it there can pose a safety risk. Having a baby within reach of window cord blinds, open windows, draperies, air conditioner cords and other window accessories puts your baby unnecessarily at risk for injury or death.

7. Communicate sleep safety. While your caregiver may already be well versed in sleep safety, communicating your requirements for a safe sleep space is essential to ensuring that you and your caregiver are on the same safety page.

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10 SIDS prevention tips to keep in mind

When I was a new mom, one of my biggest fears was waking up and finding my baby not breathing. Sadly, that has happened to far too many babies in the US and abroad. SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, kills one out of every 2,000 babies.  Over the past decade the occurrences of SIDS has dropped dramatically in half, due largely to the push to educate parents to put their babies to sleep on their backs.  However, despite this spectacular decrease, more needs to be done to reduce the risk even further.  By following these 10 prevention tips you increase your child’s chances of avoiding SIDS:
  1. Lay your baby on his back.  Cases of SIDS radically decrease for babies who sleep on their backs.  This may be difficult if he sleeps better on his tummy, but the rule of thumb is to let him play on his tummy and sleep on his back.
  2. Swaddle your baby.  By properly swaddling your baby she will feel warm and comforted, but will be unable to get her arms loose in order to roll over and move around in the crib.  The chance of her pressing her face into the mattress is slim.  Make sure that you receive hands on instruction regarding proper swaddling so that she is tightly wrapped and the blanket does not come loose during the night.
  3. Keep the room at a comfortable temperature.  By keeping the room at a comfortable temperature there is less need to use a blanket that could end up over his face.  If he is too cold he will not sleep well and will try to roll up into the fetal position.  When the room is too warm he can begin to sweat and his breathing could become labored.
  4. Put a fan in the room to circulate the air.  According to a study released by Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, babies who sleep in a room with a fan were 72% less likely to die from SIDS.  The fan circulates the air in the room and prevents the baby from rebreathing carbon dioxide.
  5. Don’t put toys and pillows in the crib.  By keeping soft things out of the crib like pillows, blankets, plush toys, bumpers, and lambskins you will reduce the chance that the baby’s face gets pressed up next to one of them and is unable to breathe.
  6. Use a pacifier at bedtime.  The handle of the pacifier will prevent her face from becoming pressed into the mattress.
  7. Co-sleeping with your baby is not recommended. Adult beds are not safe for infants.  The baby’s head can be trapped between the headboard and the mattress.  Another concern is that a parent could inadvertently roll over and block the baby’s nose and mouth.
  8. Bring the crib into your room for the first 6 months.  According to the American SIDS Institute studies have shown that babies are safest when sleeping close to their mothers.
  9. Breast feed your baby for the first 6 months if possible.  According to the Mayo Clinic, their research shows that any amount of breast feeding helps prevent SIDS, but the preventive effect is strongest if you breast feed exclusively for the first 6 months.  Breast milk is digested easier and lowers the chance for certain infections, such as respiratory and gastrointestinal.
  10. Make sure that you buy a firm mattress that fits snugly into the crib frame.  A firm mattress will prevent him from sinking into the mattress and blocking his airway or compressing the mattress and getting caught between the mattress and the crib frame.

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