When the nesting instinct kicks in, nothing will stop an expectant mom from finishing the nursery. Be prepared well in advance with a plan and a design. Consider these tips for setting up a nursery.
The truth is, the nursery is really more for the parents than for the infant. All the baby wants to do is sleep, eat, be cleaned up, stay warm, and be cuddled and soothed. As long as their parents are around and ready to respond to those basic needs, an infant is going to be pretty happy.
Parents, on the other hand, spend a lot of time in the nursery performing tasks for the baby. Comfort for parents is important. When making a decision about what the nursery will look like and how to furnish it, keep parental happiness in mind.
It’s up to parents to decide if they will learn the baby’s gender or keep it a surprise. Either way, though, a gender-neutral décor will be more versatile and easier to convert back to a regular room in the future. Soothing pastels or calm neutrals work well in the nursery and are versatile when the time comes to redecorate or update the room.
The basics for any nursery are a crib, changing table or dresser, and chair—this is usually a glider or rocker. Pay attention to specifications and check measurements carefully. Think about how easy or difficult it would be to get a baby in and out of the crib, and whether the chair you’re considering would support the parent’s back and allow for comfortable feeding.
Some nursery furniture is convertible, so a crib can become a day or toddler bed in the future. Existing dressers can double as changing tables and as storage for changing supplies and infant clothes. Parents and caregivers should never turn their backs on a baby on a changing table, so ensure that supplies are within easy reach. If space or money is tight, it’s perfectly okay to get a nice mat and change the baby on the floor.
Any adult seated in the rocker with the baby won’t be able to stretch out very far to reach things like bibs, burp cloths, wipes, and pacifiers. Think about a small side table with built-in accessible storage to keep necessary things close to the chair. A gentle floor lamp provides light for reading stories.
Here’s another important tip for setting up a nursery: don’t economize by foregoing an ottoman—parents will need a minute to put their feet up when responding to the 2 a.m. feeding call. Cozy baby blankets are another necessity as they provide warmth and comfort for those late-night sessions.
First-time parents may be astonished at how quickly they begin to perceive everything around them as either “safe” or “not safe” for their baby. Crib safety has improved and drop-side cribs are out, along with many types of crib bedding. Where you put the furniture is also a factor—never put a crib next to or under a window. Also, try to locate the crib on an interior wall, which will be warmer.