While it does take planning and work to create the “perfect” space for your newborn, it’s an exciting prospect for many parents-to-be.
It’s easy to get carried away with design elements and lose sight of the main goal of providing a safe environment first and foremost. Even though safety comes before style, the two can be blended as the nursery project unfolds. Here are a few tips to help you stay on course along the way.
- Figure out what you absolutely must have and what you can do without. Otherwise you’ll have a bunch of stuff that needs to be donated, crammed into a spare closet or re-gifted to someone else. For example, many new parents find they don’t use a changing table because they end up changing their baby everywhere else but the table. It’s a personal choice, however.
- Babies themselves don’t take up much room, but their nursery space needs to be adequate. Make sure you have enough room for the necessities and the safe storage that’s required to take care of their needs.
- Get a lockable or kid-proof dresser to hold all their cute, stylish diapers from Grovia, creams, pacifiers, wipes, etc. Babies are naturally curious and will put foreign objects in their mouths, so wherever you decide to keep all of the items make sure they can’t reach them from the crib or play area.
- Cubbies and kids’ lockers that hold toys, clothes and mementos are another great and unique storage idea.
- Choose practical furniture that’s durable and not too ornate. Detailing that can be removed or picked at could easily become a choking hazard.
- A safe crib and mattress are essential items as a newborn can spend up to 16-17 hours a day sleeping. Read consumer reports and educate yourself on how to choose the right crib to make sure safety standards are met. Crib bumpers may be adorable but some say they are hazardous to your child. Experts say blankets and other bedding should be avoided for the first year. A cute fitted sheet will do the trick.
- Keep the crib, playpen and other furniture away from the room’s windows. Window dressing is also an important safety concern. Babies will sleep longer and better with dark curtains or heavy blinds. The right window treatment will prevent the room from getting too hot during the day, too.
- Consider installing a ceiling fan. There’s an interesting study that says SIDS risk could be reduced by 72 percent for babies who sleep with a ceiling fan in the room.
- Choose a color scheme and design style that is going to work down the road. Your baby doesn’t care about the trendy motif you have in mind. Do use a water-based, low VOC paint. Certain paints are toxic.
- Because babies spend a lot of time of their backs, create a mural or apply decals to the ceiling as a focal point instead of hanging a mobile above the crib. The mobile could present a danger if the pieces are easily accessible.
- While it may be fun to plan and decorate with a meaningful theme in mind, don’t worry if you don’t find those perfect pictures and wall hangings, or matching furniture and bedding. In just a few short years your baby will outgrow the nursery you’ve lovingly planned and it will be time to redecorate and reorganize.
- On the other hand, it’s perfectly okay to incorporate personal touches into the decor because it adds family warmth and love into the nursery. Some of those elements will be cherished by you and your children for years to come. Again, it’s all a personal choice.
When it comes to creating a comfortable, cute and safe environment in the room where your baby will be sleeping there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Try to think about the overall functionality and plan ahead to avoid potential pitfalls.