After your newborn arrives, you’ll soon realize that seemingly small details in your baby’s room, such as the height of the changing table, can make a massive difference in preventing an aching back.
“Many new mothers are so focused on their little one’s needs, they don’t realize just how frequently they’re lifting or bending in a way that’s not safest for their back,” says industrial designer Carla Jaspers.
Pain-proof your nursery with these ergonomic tips:
A waist-high changing table will prevent you from leaning over excessively. When standing at the table, “your elbows should be flexed roughly at 90 degrees, your wrists in a neutral position, shoulders relaxed, and your posture upright and comfortable,” Jaspers details.
Your best bet: Diaper and dress your baby in multiple locations—standing at the changing table or in a kneeling position, with your baby on the bed. “Being a creature of habit breeds back pain,” Herman warns, noting that doing anything over and over sets you up for repetitive stress injuries like back pain.
“Lessen the strain of lifting and putting down the baby with a mattress that reaches your waist height,” Jaspers recommends. Once the baby is able to push up on her hands and roll over, you’ll need to lower the mattress to avoid her tumbling out of the crib.
Make sure your feet are touching the floor when you’re seated all the way to the back of the chair to reduce excessive pressure on your back, or purchase a small angled footrest. Try nursing or feeding in multiple spots to avoid getting stuck in a posture rut.