Tiny recliners, mini-chaise lounges, all of these “kids’ sized” furnishings are adorable. But, how do you choose which ones to buy? Here are some pointers on how to choose furniture for your child.
The first place many people look for furniture is rummage sales. For adults, this may be fine, but beware when it comes to children’s furniture. Items such as cribs, high chairs, cots, and anything with moving parts, such as drop-side baby beds, should be researched and tested. Some of the older furniture is not up to today’s codes. These codes are based on years of experience and testing, and include such data as the maximum amount of space allowed between slats to keep a baby’s head from getting stuck. Worn out drop-side baby beds can drop without warning when the baby pulls up. This can send the baby head-first over the edge, to the floor. So, be careful to rattle and test any used furniture you select.
There are some must-haves when it comes to children’s furniture. You simply must have a crib or bed. Make sure this is safe, with sturdy railing to keep the baby from rolling out or getting stuck in a corner and suffocating. Some mothers have good luck with an infant carrier as the baby’s first bed. The baby sleeps on its back, it is swaddled, and if it stirs in the night, the mother can simply reach over the edge of the bed and rock the carrier to soothe the baby, without getting up.
You will also need a good car seat. Be careful if you buy a used one. If it has been in an accident, it may not be any good. An infant car seat is much like an air bag – once it is involved in an accident, it cannot be reused.
Another good purchase is a quality high chair. Some people prefer the clip-on kind that can slide onto the edge of the dining table. Make sure there are security measures to keep the baby from pushing off as he or she gets older. A free-standing high chair is another good choice, and is often a favorite item for the family handyman to make. Check all measurements to make sure there are no places where the baby can get trapped or snagged if he slides out.
Finally, consider a booster seat for the toddler. This helps get the youngster up higher at the dining table, where he can feed himself more easily.
Keep in mind that children grow rapidly. Therefore, when you buy fun furniture just for them, remember that they will outgrow it in a few years. That being said, a miniature table and chairs are a wonderful addition to your home, giving the little ones a place to have tea parties and “entertain”.
Children’s furniture may also include a mini-recliner or lawn chair. Really, the sky is the limit here. Just have fun, and remember safety.