Babyhood is a very special time that’s all too fleeting. It’s vital to make the most of it and treasure those precious months before that tiny baby grows into an active toddler.
So even though a nursery won’t exactly be a long-term fixture in the house, having one will help you bond and build special baby memories. It will also provide a place where all your baby’s things are together, from changing and bathing necessities through to nursing comfort.
Figuring out exactly what you need for a nursery before you start can really help make the decorating faster and easier.
Using Space Wisely
How much furniture you can have in the nursery depends on how large your room is, obviously. Nevertheless, if you have a very small box room that you want to make into a nursery, that’s perfectly doable too.
Decide which items you absolutely must have for your comfort and your baby’s. Books and magazines might recommend every baby item that’s ever been produced, invented or manufactured, but you probably don’t need everything.
Vital items include a good, sturdy cot or crib and some storage. It’s nice to have a changing table, but there’s no law that says you can’t put a changing mat on the floor - and at least your baby can’t roll off the floor!
If you have a large chest of drawers, the top of this can double as a changing surface as well as providing plenty of storage for supplies and clothes. Very often, furnishings like these that you already have can be pressed into nursery service. It’s a good idea and fashionable now that we’re all trying to be more conscious of upcycling and reducing waste. Unless it’s a precious item or an antique, painting it to match the décor adds a personal touch.
Along similar lines, if you’re converting an existing spare bedroom into a nursery, putting grown up furnishings you won’t be using for a while into a self storage room will keep them pristine until they’re needed again.
If there’s room, include a nursing chair. It’s very handy for feeds in the middle of the night. If you keep the light levels low, you may find it’s easy to get baby settled again so you have more chance of catching some sleep before morning.
Organise for Comfort during the Day and at Night
Comfort and safety go hand in hand around babies. Make sure everything you need is close by, especially at changing times. There’s nothing worse than being mid-nappy-change and realising the wipes are across the room. If you can’t store things right next to where you’ll be changing, at least have everything together and gather what you’ll need before you start. A small tub or basket placed nearby can help make transporting small items easier.
Another thing to consider is how you’ll control the light and brightness in the nursery. Fitting blackout curtains or blinds to nursery windows means you can create darkness whenever you like, and this can help babies get the sleep they need at any time.
Being able to darken the room properly can also help with afternoon naps as babies grow into toddlers. When the sun’s shining brightly, it can be hard to encourage active but tired toddlers to settle down and this can lead to them being overtired.
Decide on a Nursery Theme
Decorating is a lot easier when you’re sticking to a nursery theme because it limits the otherwise endless décor choices.
You could pick a colour theme, or use a favourite piece of art or furniture item for inspiration. Once you have a foundation of limited ideas to build around, it becomes easier to expand them to all aspects of the room.
And remember, just because you’re creating a nursery you don’t have to stick with purely baby subjects. You could also choose decorations that encourage the values that are important to you and that you hope your child will also hold dear. Think about things such as exploration and adventure, fantasy and imagination, travel, or books and learning.
Having a décor theme that includes a few more grown up elements is part of future proofing. As long as the things you include are colourful and appealing,
they’ll create curiosity as your baby matures, and open up conversation topics and learning opportunities.
The time soon comes when a crib and cot are outgrown and thoughts turn to proper beds and more grownup furnishings. Some parents find it easier to cope with this transition by collecting items early on and saving them in a self storage unit until they’re needed. Of course, if you put spare bedroom furnishing items into self storage when you first created the nursery, you may already have items you can use as your baby grows up.
Creating a nursery is a fun and enjoyable thing to do. You get to indulge yourself with a perfect excuse to splurge on things that are purely pretty or sentimental. Sure, you have to be practical too, but don’t let that cramp your inner child.