Your baby may not be here yet, but it’s never too soon to prepare the nursery for your little one’s arrival.
Take time to decorate this special room to your taste and according to safety standards — you’ll thank yourself later. Ultimately, this space will be for you and your partner to enjoy while taking care of your newborn. You’ll inevitably be spending countless nights in the nursery, so make sure it’s a comfy space suited to you and your baby, and have fun fixing it up.
Durable, Comfy Furniture
The focal point — and, arguably, the most important part of a nursery — is a crib. Take your time to make the perfect choice. Invest in a crib that’s sturdy and will support baby weight when your child attempts to climb it (and, perhaps, even gnaw at it!) down the road. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends using a crib with slats no larger than 2 3/8 inches apart so your baby can’t try to squeeze through it. The golden rule is: If a soda can fits through, the distance is too wide.
If the crib is the nursery’s main event, a quality chair is your star player. Comfort is key when it comes to finding the perfect rocking chair or glider. It’s likely you will spend a lot of time nursing and coaxing your newborn back to sleep while you’re in this chair, so it’s important that you like the look and feel of it.
A sturdy changing table is also imperative. You will use it often, so it should be suited to your height. You can also turn the top of a dresser into a changing table by placing a changing pad on it. Whatever your preference, make sure you have ample storage space for all the items you’ll need to reach during changes.
Lastly, think long-term. Seek out furniture that will stand the test of time as your baby grows.
For how little they are, babies require lots of stuff: diapers, baby powder, clothes, pacifiers, blankets — the list goes on. It’s essential to have room for baby items in the nursery, whether you use a dresser, or plastic stackable bins. A hanging shoe rack is a great way to gain storage space without taking up much room; use it for storing slimmer items such as lotion, powder and even stuffed animals.
Choose a theme to get you started, like Baby Animals or Under the Sea. Picking something fun that you enjoy will help you create a unique space.
If you can’t decide on a theme, go with an item that you love and build from there. If there’s a family quilt that you would like in the room, use it as your color palette for the walls and get furniture to match its style.
Hanging items on the walls helps spark a newborn’s interest and gives your child something to gaze at. Consider hanging a mobile from the ceiling, too, to captivate and lull your baby to sleep.
For lighting, a dimmer switch works best to change the mood of the room, depending on your baby’s sleep schedule.
Ensure that all fabrics and wallpaper are washable and can withstand accidents. Again, it’s best to make sure everything you put in your nursery can last — after all, this will soon be a toddler’s room!
While creating the nursery should be a fun endeavor, first and foremost, you will want to make sure everything is safe for your child. Keep the crib away from windows with blinds — with all cords tucked up and out of reach. Anchor any heavy furniture to the walls and stick rugs to hardwood floors. Cover all outlets for when your baby begins to crawl and wants to explore, and you’re good to go!
Estelle Pyper is a New York City-based journalist.