Baby Nursery – Safe Haven or Death Trap?

Jennifer Lopez Nursery

Who is the first to know about a woman’s pregnancy after her? These days it is probably her computer browser as expectant moms are heading to sites such as The Bump, HGTV, and Pinterest for inspiration pertaining to the all-important nursery décor. Magazines also stoke the imagination, with regular features on celebrity nurseries that are more decadent and luxurious than most of our homes.

One such publication started a firestorm of controversy when it featured the nursery of Jennifer Lopez’s twins. To the untrained eye it was a gorgeous, over-the-top nursery with all the trimmings. To the American Academy of Pediatrics and other child safety organizations it was a death trap. Sited for life-threatening accoutrements, this nursery featured fabric canopies over both cribs, thick bumper pads tied on with satin ribbons, fluffy blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals. No expense was spared for these famous offspring, but at what cost?

correct-way-to-sleep-baby.jpgIt is now the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics to eliminate all of the soft and cushy decorative items that have been standard issue in baby nurseries for generations. The risks involved run the gamut from suffocation, choking, strangulation, and more. They implore parents to forgo the bumper pads, blankets, pillows, and toys in the crib. To the right is the “recommended sleeping arrangement” for your infant. It looks nothing like the adorable and inviting nurseries you see in the decorating magazines and websites.

In an attempt at full disclosure, the photo below is of my now-21 year old child, Bonnie. Back then I thought the nursery was adorable, and the smile certainly doesn’t portray any displeasure with the environment. The crib was full of blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, toys, and books. I kept them there in hopes of keeping her entertained after she woke up in the mornings to give me a few more precious minutes before I needed to get her out for the day. Now the experts call all these items “Breathing Blockers” and recommend that they be removed from the crib. The risks include something as dangerous as suffocation to mild irritations as dust collectors which might aggravate allergies or lead to stuffy noses.

unsafe sleeping conditions for infantSometimes I feel like it is a miracle that both of my children made it to adulthood, considering all the things I did wrong! My advice to young parents is to use your common sense, listen to the experts, and do the best you can with the knowledge that is available. It never hurts to pray for your best to be good enough.

So where do you stand? Will you be keeping the crib décor sparse or are you going for it and having faith that everything will turn out right in the end? I’d love to learn where you stand on the issue!

Barbara Green believes you can have it all: kids, pets and a beautiful home. She is the owner of Sensibly Chic Designs for Life and the host of Ask the Design Diva radio show, and insists you don’t have to spend a million dollars to look like you did.