Preparing for a little one is an exciting time! There are pregnancy books to read, registry gifts to organize, and, of course, a nursery to decorate. Decorating a nursery is fun and exciting but can also be tough; new parents can struggle to find a good balance between function and style, and then have to make sure that they are following standards to keep their child safe at the same time.
Below are four categories to keep in mind when finding the best way to set up your nursery.
The main thing to keep in mind is that for the most part, the nursery is the room you’ll be in and staring at the walls of for hours while caring for your baby. Keep yourself in mind when decorating. Include a small sofa with washable slip covers and a table to create a living space for you to comfortably spend time there. Use a washable wallpaper. Don’t waste money on a fancy nightlight; use a regular lamp and buy night light bulbs. Create a display for favorite toys or books to read. Don’t limit yourself to pastel blue or pink—vivid colors and patterns can add visual interest for your baby. Along those lines, create a theme by utilizing motifs of a specific animal or shape, giving your child something to practice focusing on. If you want to get a leg up on teaching, use decorations akin to a classroom’s: letters, numbers, colors, shapes, and animals. Use a crib skirt to dress up the room and hide anything out of sight. If you plan to let your child grow up in the room, use transitional furniture for them as they grow, or movable furniture to make cycling out old and new easier on yourself.
Organization will be your best friend, especially if you have more than one baby or they need specific care instructions. Make the most of shelf space by keeping keepsakes out of reach up high and more useful items like toys, books, or blankets close at hand. When it comes to the changing table, keep it clean and free of clutter by ensuring everything from diapers to wipes is within arm’s reach and ready to be used. Make this area close to cabinets or cupboards. Label everything so you know where things belong and do your best to cycle them in and out of the nursery as needed so as not to take up space. Another good way to organize is to use a pegboard to hang small objects you might need close.
One of the best ways to make use of your nursery space is to use an all-in-one crib or “mini” crib. The all-in-one can quickly shift from crib to changing station and will usually have its own storage compartments for necessities built in. A mini crib, despite the name, saves space in a small room for other items you might need to keep close, and also creates a safer sleeping space for your baby, since they’ll have less room to potentially wiggle around when laying down. Make use of under-bed storage for seasonal clothing or items that don’t get much use and put more frequently used items in bins or baskets. Multipurpose furniture is your friend when it comes to storage and space-saving—think outside the box and re-imagine how something might be used for how it could be used. Turn a shelf on its side and refashion it into a sitting space. Some even suggest getting a wheeled table or counter (with wheel-stoppers) that can easily move around the nursery.
The most important step in preparing your nursery is ensuring the safety of your baby. Make sure everything is up to the most recent safety standards, especially if you use any refurbished furniture. Be careful that no pinching can occur from hinges on doors, cabinets, or trunk cases. Use furniture wall straps to reduce likelihood of heavy furniture toppling over. If you have photos or other keepsakes in your nursery, make sure they are well out of reach and unlikely to fall down. Baby-proofing the nursery to make sure your child can’t get into anything if left unattended is another way to keep them safe. Use cushions, pillows, and large stuffed animals to decorate, but also double as a buffer for sharp edges or corners.
Do you have any tips to prep your nursery for a new baby? Let us know in the comments.