6 Design Tips for Setting Up Your Baby's Nursery
Having a baby is a very exciting time in your life. Whether it is your first child, second, or fifth or more, each child is certainly a blessing. As a parent, you have grand visions of all of the important milestones that your child will experience in life, from their first words to their ability to crawl, stand, and walk for the first time, and all the way into the future when they graduate from college, or marry the love of their life. But while it seems our children grow up in the blink of an eye, we need to remember to enjoy all of those early moments without getting caught up in fantasies of the future. So first, let’s start with the nursery.
There are a variety of design tips that can help you provide both a warm and relaxing environment, as well as a safe one.
This will be a main focal point in the room and is where your young baby will spend the majority of their time. Your newborn will sleep as much as 17 hours per day, and even your toddler will nap for several hours a day. So, the key to selecting your crib is to look for versatility and longevity, so what whatever you buy can grow with your child’s changing needs.
Many cots now convert into future toddler beds, and this can be both a money and time saver in the long run. When selecting your cot, make sure that you look for more than just aesthetics. The mattress should be dense and firm, and while many adults like to sink into a mattress, this is not good for a baby. Also, the crib slats should be no wider than two and three-eighths inches apart.
If purchasing an older crib, look for any screws, nails, or glue that protrude anywhere on the crib. And if the crib is painted, make sure it is not peeling or splintery, and more-so, that it was not painted with lead-based paint. Finally, avoid crib bumpers, pillows, blankets, comforters, or toys after your child learns to roll over. Keep the crib located far from windows and curtains.
If your window coverings or blinds have cords, trim them so that the bottom of the cord is located at an adult-friendly height, and not accessible to your young child, even if they are standing in their crib.
As the parent of a new baby, you will spend many hours rocking and soothing your child. Whether it be getting your baby to sleep, rocking an irritable child cutting their first tooth, or just spending some loving time bonding with your child, a comfortable and functional chair is almost as important to a child’s nursery as the crib.
When looking for the right chair, consider one in which you will be comfortable, but also limits the number of areas where your future toddler can sustain an injury. Tight spaces and the rocking mechanisms can be intriguing to a little one but can pinch fingers (or worse) when a curious child decides to explore and discover how the chair works.
Also, consider an ottoman so you can elevate your legs and relax when reading your child, or when they might be ill, and you might need to hold them for an extended period of time.
Many parents are deciding to forego a traditional changing table, or are opting for low dressers with flat tops that can be used to create a changing space when the child is young, but can then be used as a traditional dresser when the child is older.
Whichever option you select, look for options that will not enable your toddler to climb, and where all changing materials can be stored out of reach. Perhaps most importantly, no matter how secure you believe your changing table is, never leave your child unattended on the table.
If your baby’s nursery has ceiling wires in place and can support a ceiling fan, the installation of a fan is highly recommended. Recent studies have suggested that the presence of a ceiling fan, when operating, can help prevent the risk of SIDS in young infants. Fans can both cool and circulate the air, and the cooling ability can help prevent your baby from overheating, which is a known risk factor in SIDS. Further, air quality can be improved by moving out pockets of carbon dioxide.
Adding paint to walls or the ceiling can miraculously transform a room. When selecting paint for your baby’s nursery, look for calming and soothing colours that help to naturally suggest rest and relaxation. Colours such as red should be avoided in a nursery, as is it considered a “hot’ colour, and can invoke volatility in your child’s budding personality. Instead, look for a colour such as Kelly Green, which is a calming colour. Green is a “cool” colour and it represents nature, tranquillity, good luck, and health. There has also been research to suggest that green can improve concentration, and it is a great gender-neutral colour.
Once the nursery has been painted, the next step is to look for wall colourings. Many parents opt for borders and other stick-on images that can adhere to the wall without creating any long-lasting damage. Prints of famous child-appropriate characters such as Disney, from nursery rhymes, etc., can make great conversation pieces with your child when he or she learns to talk.
Consider also adding artwork with lines and patterns that will draw your baby’s attention. In the early days and weeks, your baby can’t see very far clearly, but giving them something large to focus on at a distance can be both soothing, and can help their eyes to develop.
See also: our Wall decor cleaning guide
Whatever approach you take to designing your child’s room, make it something that you will love. With increasing safety awareness, more and more manufacturers are developing safe paints and child-friendly furniture that discourages climbing and is less likely to injure a child who likes to explore. Parents will rest easier when they know that they have provided their baby with a safe and relaxing space to rest and get away from the excessive stimulation that tends to pervade their day.
If you’re after helpful hints and tips on keeping your home neat and tidy, check out our 9 helpful tips.
Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.