Baby’s Here!

Interesting colours and patterns on soft furnishings provide contrast for your child.

The arrival of a child is mostly an anticipated affair with new parents going all out to shop for clothes and toys for their newborn.

If the newborn has older siblings, it is likely he/she will share a room with them. If they are the first-born, they usually get the privilege of having space dedicated and styled primarily to them until a little brother or sister comes along.

Colour

Although babies see in black and white for the first few weeks of life, colour eventually becomes important in helping your child rest in his/her room. Choose from relaxing colours like peach, pale green and pale blue.

Avoid overly stimulating colours like reds, bright pinks and oranges that can give your child difficulty in sleeping.

Furniture

The first basics for your baby include a crib, changing table and a comfortable chair for those late night feeds.

As your child grows older, you will need to add a high chair, mat for floor games, low working table and chairs and child-sized toys such as rocking horses. When shopping, it is more cost-effective to buy furniture and toys which can be adapted to suit your child as they grow older.

Flooring and ceilings

Invest in easy-to-clean mats, and where possible, avoid carpets in bedrooms as they are thought to promote allergy. Where possible, stencil the ceiling so your child has something stimulating to look at.

When you think that most children spend hours literally staring at the ceiling, it makes sense to extend your decorating above.

Themes

Use a theme such as Space for little boys or Alice in Wonderland for little girls as the basis for your soft furnishings. Interesting colours and patterns on soft furnishings provide contrast for your child.

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Tips to childproof your home

The first few years of your child’s life are likely to be spent at home so make his/her first environment as stimulating yet safe as possible. The first place to do is to get down on your hands and knees and check things out from your baby’s perspective.

Don’t underestimate this move as you’ll be amazed at what you notice when you are down there. You’ll suddenly understand why fallen food crumbs, shoes, crawling insects and electric sockets are magnets to your little one.

First things first

Start by ensuring that everything you buy for your child, from cribs to car seats to toys have a safety rating.

Most will come with age instructions, especially if they are likely to have small parts that can cause choking. Instal baby gates over any areas you wish your children to avoid such as at the top and bottom of every staircase.

The cost of this is relatively small compared to the anxiety of racing to the emergency room of a hospital after a child’s fall. In any case, many fundis can cheaply construct one.

Next, move anything valuable such as your glass figurines and anything harmful such as cleaning detergents out of a crawling baby’s reach. Ensure any free-standing furniture is unlikely to topple over.

Check that it does not have loose pieces that can come undone and cause baby harm. Avoid placing loose cloths such as table cloths over furniture as a favourite pastime for most toddlers is pulling down things on top of themselves.

A fire extinguisher and smoke alarms are not a luxury when you consider how many children die due to house fires. Many supermarkets stock safety locks for sockets and doors that protect little inquisitive fingers.

Also secure and hide wires of electric equipment such as irons and televisions. Check that your indoor plants are not poisonous, many species including those we love such as poinsettias and lilies of the valley are harmful when eaten.

Finally, keep bathrooms and toilets locked. Never leave water standing in a bucket or basin as drowning is a common cause of accidental injury in young children.

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