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. Decorating the nursery can be one of the most important parts of preparing for your new arrival. Planning and decorating the nursery can be a daunting task, but try not to stress. Consider these top tips to make the planning process easier.
Essential items you will need
Change Table/Dresser. Some parents believe in a change table, while others swear by adapting a dresser. As long as baby is padded, they will be happy. Putting a basic waterproof changing mat on top will keep you happy, as it will make things much easier to clean. Keep all diaper supplies close to the table so you don’t have to move very far from baby to reach anything. If you do go with a dresser option, choose one that has drawers that pull in and out easily.
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. Check that none of the crib slats are more than two-and-a-half inches apart, and look out for any small parts or plastic coverings that baby could get a hold of. 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 longer, but has 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.
Storage, Storage and more Storage. Just when you think you have enough storage space, try to fit more in. Many new parents underestimate how much accumulates with baby, and the storage space will be appreciated down the line. When you can find what you’re looking for in a quick minute, you feel less frazzled.
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. Make sure everything you buy is easy to wash. You’ll thank yourself when you can easily throw everything into the washing machine.
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.
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 and taupe topping the list. Keep Zero-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint in mind, as it is better for the environment and your baby. If going ‘green’ is a priority for you, be prepared to spend a bit more. ‘Green’ products are 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.
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. And pick what you like; keep it consistent with the rest of your décor.
Designate a focal point in the room. While the crib might be the most obvious choice, you can try focusing on a display shelf, painted wall mural or self-stick wall borders 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. Baby will appreciate the visual stimulation by the change table, and will start to recognize family faces. These personal touches will make the room feel more like a bedroom as baby grows.
• Finish all paint and wallpaper projects at least eight weeks before baby is due. Keep the windows open so any fumes will be gone by the time baby arrives.
• Keep electrical cords away from the crib and out of the way.
• Make sure the crib is placed away from windows, so baby isn’t placed in direct sunlight. This way, baby will not be able to reach window treatments when they start standing up.
• Baby-proof electrical plugs.
• Use non-skid pads under area rugs.
• Make sure there is a functional smoke detector near or in the room.
• Anchor any heavy furniture to walls so they don’t tip and fall if bumped.
To see why Stepper Custom Homes is Calgary’s family home builder, contact Stepper Custom Homes at 403-250-1033 or visit www.stepperhomes.com and www.facebook.com/stepperhomes.
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