The countdown to when the new baby arrives has begun! Whether you’ve had a baby before, or this is your first bundle of joy, it’s an exciting time for you and your family. While doctor’s appointments and planning for the long-term are being dealt with, there are other aspects to consider. Decorating the nursery can be one of the most important parts of preparing for the new arrival. This is a space that you and your baby are going to be spending a lot of time in, so it’s essential to make it as comfortable as possible for both you and baby.
Establish a decorating theme
Choose a soothing wall color and decorating scheme. Nurseries should soothe, not energize. Think of calming wall colors, like pale blue, off-white, antique white and dusty rose. Gender-neutral color options are also very trendy, with light yellow, celery green, taupe and Grellow (a grey and yellow mix) topping the list. Keep Zero-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint in mind, as it is better for the environment and your baby.
Select a timeless theme. While it’s almost impossible to imagine your tiny newborn as an opinionated child, it’s something to keep in mind while you’re decorating baby’s first room. What starts out as a newborn’s nursery should adapt into a young child’s bedroom. An overload of baby blue or pink may not be appreciated as they grow older. Neutral colors and classic furniture will always be in style.
Designate a focal point in the room. While the crib might be the most obvious choice, you can try focusing on a display shelf or painted wall mural instead. Once you’ve picked this focus, you will be surprised how easily everything else will fall into place.
Not everything has to match. There’s no rule that dresser and crib have to be from the same collection. Be sure to pick what fits you and your baby’s needs best. White and pine is a trendy combo.
Add personal touches. Simple things like picking a theme or framing pictures of mommy and daddy, siblings and pets will create a lovely focal point for the baby. These personal touches will make the room feel more like a bedroom as baby grows.
If going ‘green’ is a priority for you, be prepared to spend a bit more. This is better for your baby, but authentic organic baby furniture, carpeting and paint can be more expensive. It is critical to decide this early in the design process.
Essential items you will need
A crib. Make sure to find a crib that fits your needs best. Consider your space, as many brands offer smaller cribs that can convert to larger ones when needed. Dual mattresses, which have one side that is firmer for newborns, and the other side that is slightly softer for toddler use, are also very handy. The mattress is not only used for longer, but also has a better value.
Rocking chair/armchair. This chair needs to be comfy, because you are going to be spending a lot of time in it! Through the days, and the occasionally long and sleepless nights, you and your baby are going to be sitting here. Think about getting a chair that has armrests, as it will take the pressure off of you, and makes feeding baby easier. Consider buying a couple of extra pillows so you can have the choice of either leaning on them, or using them to prop up baby while they feed. Also think about an ottoman so you can put your feet up.
Change table/dresser. Some parents believe in a change table, while others swear by adapting a dresser. As long as baby is padded, they’ll be happy. Putting a basic waterproof changing mat on top will keep you happy, as it will make things much easier to clean. Pick something that allows you to access everything you need within arm’s reach, while keeping baby safe. If you do go with a dresser option, choose one that has drawers that pull in and out easily.
Light options and effective window dressings. To help better distinguish between night and day, install a light dimmer or night light. This will cast enough light for you to see, but won’t be enough to wake up baby. Window dressings have the same purpose, as they will keep the room dark when it needs to be. Good curtains or dressings can also be handy for keeping the heat out when it’s hot, and the warmth in when it’s cool.
Laundry basket. Everyone will tell you how much laundry you will be doing, but you’ll still be surprised. Keep a basket close to where you change the baby.
And keep safety in mind!
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