From the time that you introduce your little one to their own room, it will become ‘their’ space, a place they will occupy most of the time while they’re home, a room that will contain all their essentials and knick-knacks. Decorating the nursery is one of the most fun parts of becoming a new parent, and is something that should ideally be done before the baby arrives, while you’re still comfortable moving around, and especially if you’re planning on getting the room re-painted (which in all probability you will).
Ensure that you buy furniture which can be used now, as well as come handy when baby is older. See that the furniture is of medium height, neither too high nor too low, so that your baby can use them as the years pass by. In the initial few months, you too would be spending a considerable time in the nursery, so it needs to be comfortable for you both, and safe and hygienic for your baby.
Before you begin decorating the nursery, you may need to re–paint or use wallpaper. Choose colours that are bright, yet not too loud, like greens, blues, pinks, yellows, oranges, lavender. Doing up the room in neutral colours (other than the clichéd blues and pinks) will help in case of more than one child. You may decorate the walls by using stencil art, stickers, colorful picture frames, child-friendly clocks, patterns, alphabet patterns and much more. Keep space to change and re-do things as little one grows, like making hand-print patterns, framed kid art and the like. You can also use single-sheet story pages and get them framed; not only will these brighten up the room, your baby can later read from the same. Use baby’s pictures, make a family picture tree and mix-and-match the picture frames to create a dramatic wall.
One of the first things you would need when baby comes home is a crib or a baby bed. Go for one that converts into a cot later. For the first few days or weeks, you may want to keep baby near your bed, so get a crib that can attach to your bed, one with a three-way-rail system. Most infant cribs come with pillows and comforters, but if your new-born is sleeping in the crib, make sure to place ALL pillows, throws and comforters outside the crib, as these can cause infant suffocation. Your baby will be comfortable in proper warm sleeping pyjamas, so no added blankets required. Choose the right pillows and bed sets.
If your baby is a little older and can now sleep on a full-size bed, go for a pull-out kid cot or pull-out couch that can accommodate guests later. A bunk-bed is another great option as this will save space and provide adequate sleeping space for multiple kids, kiddie sleep-overs as well as for grown-ups.
As a new mum, you’ll be spending a lot of time in baby’s nursery, so make sure it’s comfortable for you too. If you’re going to feed baby in the nursery, get a comfortable rocking chair to sit in while you feed, and if you want to give those tired feet some rest, get a foot stool. These can later be shifted to your bedroom once baby overgrows feeding. Add cushions and rugs to make it cosy and easy to feed.
Many parents change a baby on the bed, but this is an extremely unhygienic practice. Get a bureau and attach removable rails on top, so that once your baby is out of diapers, you can remove the rails and use it as a storage option instead.
With a baby in the house, you can never have enough storage, so go for smart storage ideas like beds with storage, boxes designed to look like bunk-bed ladders/steps, window seats that can double up as storage. You can also keep a collection of baskets and bins to hold things like toys, board games, diapers, towels, baby bath accessories, art and craft supplies and other small items. If you don’t want to spend on much furniture right now, place low-height plastic storage trays under baby’s crib or bed to hold essentials. Cloth storage racks place alongside the crib or baby bed are a great way to hold essentials.
A nursery is a great place to introduce your baby to reading, so make sure you keep some space for books. Bookshelves, book racks, or a comfortable window-seat converted to a reading area, complete with rugs, cushions, pillows and a handy book basket will help your child’s interest in reading.
While baby will make the transition to a separate room, it’s extremely important to make sure that the lighting in the nursery is adequate – not too bright, yet not very dim. A good idea is to get lights that can be controlled with a regulator, to brighten up when you want to read out stories to little one, and dimmed when baby is sleeping. You can get multiple lamps and shades to make the room interesting and cosy. Sensor-lights are another option that comes handy when your toddler sleeps alone.
An easy-to-wash colourful rug is a good idea to brighten up the room and make a cosy place for baby to play on the floor.
Remember, the nursery should be a reflection of what your baby likes and how it connects to a little one, not just what you like. Though we love doing up a kids’ room, in the end, it’s just that, so it’s okay to go a little overboard, while making sure it’s comfortable, safe, hygienic, stimulating and interesting enough to make baby want to spend time.