We will discuss more on this. But as parents, one of the most important parts we have to think of while waiting for the baby to arrive is the preparation and planning a nursery for your baby. It is not just us who prepare for the coming of a new member of the family. Whilst members of the Animal Kingdom are busy making their nests before the eggs are laid. Humans we have the same inclination to follow the behavioral pattern of “nesting”.
We have witnessed several childbirths and attended many baby showers (including our own journey into motherhood) and we have gathered helpful tips and guidelines in planning a nursery for you and your baby.
First, find a good space in the house for the nursery. Is it adjoining your room? How soon you will put the baby in the nursery after giving birth? After choosing the best suitable place for your new bundle of joy, then make a floor plan. Also have a foresight on the growth development of your baby. For instance, when your baby will start crawling and standing up, you have to consider the furniture to put in the nursery.
Second, make the room child-proof. Always keep in mind that the first thing is about safety. Cover the electrical outlets and that none of the furniture has sharp edges or anything that might fall easily. Check out paints that are non-toxic or non-VOC (volatile organic compounds). When the nursery is being painted, you have to stay away still just for precaution.
Third, consider the budget. Or maybe it should come first? But we, as first time parents tendto overlook this one. But for a starting family, budgeting is very crucial. Though we feel the urge to splurge because “It is for the baby”, we have to keep in mind the quality of the nursery and the expenses it would entail. We also have that “dream nursery” in mind, a Disney-like place for them to grow up to but you have to think of all the other expenses that will come.
Fourth, it is related to the first one on planning. Make the floor plan and the layout. Make measures. Knowing the measurement will also help to know the furniture that will be just right for the room or if there is a need to customize (which will also have an implication on your budget). Think of the space for dirty laundry, trash can and hamper. Make sure these are spaces that are discreet and would not smell.
The plan should also include the natural light coming into the nursery. Maximize the light but do not put the crib directly on it. While we want for our baby to get all the Vitamin D and fresh air, several mothers based on experienced advised against it. Windows and blinds have cords that might tangle up the baby while they are trying to reach out. Also as they grow older, the baby might find a way to open out the window.
Fifth, plan on the flooring. Do you need carpets? Putting wall-to-wall carpets is a good idea for babies who are starting to walk but you have to think twice if you have allergies and or if you have pets that may enter the room. Furs and dust can cause allergic reactions. In that case, consider other materials like wood or options like foams.
And always keep in mind, the plan for the nursery should have a plan for the baby’s growth (until toddler or even pre-school days!)
Sixth, choose the centerpiece- the crib! Carefully choose the crib, either you have to get a new one or you can ask relatives who are willing to let go of their cribs as their babies have now outgrown it. For the second hand cribs, be sure that it is still durable. Make sure the distance between the slats of the crib is enough (2 inches maximum) that your baby’s head or arms cannot be inserted and easily and get stuck. In the case of movable and foldable cribs, make sure how secure the locks are by trying it for several times. Once you are done checking, with consideration to your budget, you can include in the plan whether to refurbish it to complete the “theme” of your nursery.
Seventh, for furnitures, always put function first. No matter how pretty the closet looks but it is not functional for the nursery, then it is just a waste of time and money. Before thinking of buying, look around the house. There might be furniture that is just right for storing all the baby essentials like diapers, toys and clothes. But do not just recycle for the sake of recycling, make sure the furniture will store the essential items, not a storage for useless things in the house.
Consider also your space inside the nursery. While it is very close to your room, you might need a space to sleep or read a book near the crib. Believe us, those first few months will be too magical for you that you would even sit and stare at your baby sleeping. If the place is spacious enough, you can also add up a space for visiting friends and relatives (remember the doting grandparents!). You can have pull-out furniture, but again make sure it very durable and safe.
Eight. Think of the colors or theme for the room. Or again, maybe we should have put it at the top of the list. Start with basic and neutral shade like beige so that it is also easy to coordinate with furniture and wallpapers or wall carpets. Also, the room, the colors or the characters you put in the room should be a good start for educating the child. While themes like color pink for baby girls (or with themes like ballerina and Barbie) and blue for baby boys (or jungle or nautical themes), more and more parents are mixing and matching colors. More gender-friendly themes are also advised such as wildlife for both boy and girl baby. After all, we want to teach them about science, nature and adventure right?
Ninth. The nursery is a haven for your family. Put personal memorabilia like family pictures, baby shower, newborn pictures or probably the ultrasound result. You can even put an altar. Remember this is not just a haven for your baby, but also for you, the new parents. Make it a place to relax and smile everything you are is inside it. After all, baby smell is just too nice and we bet you will stay in the nursery often.
Tenth. Of course, new parents should discuss the plan. On what they want for the overall look of the nursery and more so, budget. Make the daddy involved in the whole process.
So what do you think? Is this helpful? Or you have other ideas in planning that nursery for your new source of joy in the family? We are happy to hear from you. Please share your tips and a photo of your nursery.
On the hindsight, as a new mother, birth is so magical. It heightens our consciousness of life and our very existence. The journey for 9 months before giving birth is a roller coaster ride of sorts for a woman and also for the new dad. You have to go through emotional and physical changes. You will also be having a different responsibility and bond to this dependent creature. It is best to