Of all the decorating you do in your home, nothing is more joyous than decorating your baby’s nursery. The experience your baby has in the nursery has a lot to say about his or her health and development over the long term. Here are some helpful hints if you are preparing for the most special of places.
You may dream of using the very same crib for your child that your parents used for you, but safety must be the primary guide with this vital piece of furniture. Cribs today are designed to minimize the risk of injury for a baby. Look for these basic features when you purchase your crib.
- * Crib slats should be no more than 2 and 3 eighths inches apart.
- * The crib mattress should fit in the crib frame with no more than a two-inch width between the edge of the mattress and the crib. Make sure you have a waterproof liner for the mattress in case of accidents.
- * Some cribs now offer a drop-gate feature, which lets you operate the crib with one hand from either side.
- * Other cribs are designed to convert into a toddler or twin bed when the child is ready for it.
- * Avoid decorative cutouts to prevent your little one’s arms or legs from becoming trapped.
- * Avoid using a comforter or pillow since these have been shown to present a suffocation risk for some children.
Rocking chairs are a central element when it comes to decorating a baby nursery. This item has always allowed for quality time between a parent and child, especially when the child can’t settle down and needs a little rocking. Your rocker should have flat arms and a cushioned chair seat. With the right rocker, this special part of the day can be cherished and enjoyed all the more. Though rocking chairs come in a range of prices, materials and styles, it should be comfortable for both parent and child. A quality rocker will take on a special character over time. You may also choose a glider rocker, which will offer a smoother rocking motion than a standard rocking chair. This chair can do a better job helping you to lull your bundle of joy back to sleep.
For many parents, space is at a premium and the nursery is no different. It pays off to make use of unused areas. Start by using storage boxes for clean diapers, baby clothes, shoes and other necessities. Put them under the crib and use a runner from under the mattress if you want to hide them.
The Only Constant Is Change
If you’re like most parents, you have two feet in the present and one eye on the future. You may want to invest in a changing station that converts into a dresser when your child gets a little older. Buying a washable laundry hamper will come in handy when you’re handling the many diaper changes that mark the first years of life.
Work areas such as the changing station should have better lighting than the crib and rocking areas. Investing in a dimmer switch may represent the right solution.
Color My World
It’s true that color is an important factor in keeping your baby stimulated, but the baby’s room should not be too bright or distracting. You can design the nursery so that secondary colors offset a solid base color. You can change colors as you please. If the child’s room faces north, you can give the nursery a warmer feel with warm yellows or reds. A south or west facing room can be cooled down with colors such as green, blue or purple. Decorating ideas will be dictated by your own taste of course, but form and function meet squarely in the middle when it comes to the nursery. It should be a soothing refuge for your child, while helping you to efficiently meet the child’s needs at the same time.
Some cribs have casters or wheels installed on them. This sometimes results in a rocking baby moving the crib right across the room. You should either remove the casters or buy a crib without them. A crib should be stable and there should be no risk of the baby’s normal activity moving it.
Touching Up Old Paint
If you plan on using an older crib, make sure that the paint is not cracked, bubbling or blistered. If paint chips are present, you know that they will wind up in a baby’s mouth. This could potentially pose a lead paint hazard with older cribs. If your old crib is in need of repainting or re-varnishing, it should definitely be done.
A mobile is a staple of most nurseries because it gives the baby something to visually focus on when they are lying down. An attractive mobile can make diaper changes easier too. You should hang the mobile so the young one cannot reach it when they are standing up. The mobile should be well made so it won’t come apart if the baby does get to it. Mobile materials should not have pointed or jagged edges and the materials should be non-toxic in case part of the mobile does wind up in the crib with the baby.
When securing a bookcase to a wall, or if you are hanging heavier pictures, it’s very important that you find a stud behind your nursery wall so the weight will be well supported. If a picture is hung without adequate support, it may drop off the wall at a later time and that can put your child at risk. Some people will use the old fashioned method of simply rapping on the wall with their knuckles to find a dense spot where the stud is. An experienced person may get by using this method, but it’s better to buy an electronic stud finder. This tool will reliably determine where the stud really is so you can hang pictures or secure other furniture with confidence.
Your nursery is a wonderful expression of the love that you have for your child. With a bit of planning, it will be a beacon of love, hope and togetherness for your child and the entire family.