In every issue of WebMD the Magazine, we ask our experts to answer readers' questions about a wide range of topics. In our September issue of WebMD Baby, we asked one of WebMD's baby care experts, Sara DuMond, MD, about the best ways to keep her baby out of harm's way in her room.
Q: How should I babyproof my nursery?
A: To start, be sure that your crib's bars are no more than 2 3/8 inches apart (so your baby doesn't get caught between them) and that your crib does not have a drop-side rail (so your baby doesn't get trapped between the crib rail and the mattress).
Keep pillows, blankets, and loose stuffed animals out of the crib until your baby is at least 6 months old as they can suffocate her (you can keep her warm with thick pajamas when she's sleeping). Be sure the mattress fits snugly against the crib sides. And although they're adorable, it's best to forego crib bumpers. Young babies can suffocate in them, and older babies step on them to climb out of their cribs.
Your changing table should have four raised sides and a strap to hold baby in. Keep all your supplies within arm's reach. That way, you won't have to turn away from the changing table, even for a second.
Once your baby gets mobile -- by scooting, rolling, or crawling -- be sure the entire room is babyproofed. Electrical outlets need childproof covers, sharp furniture corners should be padded, and curtain cords need to be shortened or tied around special brackets so your baby can't strangle in them. And to keep your little one from pulling furniture over on himself as he learns to climb, anchor all heavy pieces to the wall.