There are certain handy essentials an infant – and you! – need in a nursery. In some ways it is much the same as your bedroom; lights, a place to sleep and a place to store clothes. Of course, these need to be carefully selected.
First off, bed. This can be a Moses basket, a cot, a bassinet; pick the right one for your baby’s age and developmental stage. Choose bedding that is lightweight and preferably organic; as babies are wont to gum surrounding fabrics before they can chew. A normal chest of drawers is helpful, but plastic chests can also work well; they come in bright colors and can be re-used for other things when baby gets bigger. Curtains are very important; baby will be going to sleep early, and napping during the day, so the fabric needs to block out the light effectively. Choose a blackout fabric lining, with a pretty outer style in contrast, to help baby sleep throughout their nap. In terms of artificial light, choose a soft bulb for the main light and attach a shade. A lamp can also be a handy backup.
Making it Beautiful
Decorating the nursery is the most fun element of the preparation. The walls can be decorated with artwork, non-toxic stickers or stencils; a professional illustrator I knew painted a mural on his daughter’s wall. Don’t feel you have to stick to pink or blue – they can be very limiting! Babies are drawn to bright colors and variety will keep them interested.
You can use almost anything child friendly to decorate – there are plenty of gorgeous baby products out there and an almost equal number of simple craft projects. I’ve always loved mobiles; you can make your own using crocheted wool, foam shapes, painted cardboard. Soft toys are an essential part of any nursery; you can pick them in colors that complement the room’s décor. Night lights in the shape of animals are great too; these display a pretty light pattern on the walls and play music to soothe baby to sleep.
There are certain items that will make your life so much easier.
Keep a portable basket, with sections, specifically for nappy changing, with nappies, powder, cream and wipes, and changing time will become much less stressful. A machine washable, super soft rug, placed under the changing area, may get messy but is a reassuring backup once baby starts rolling. If you use washable nappies, keeping an odour free nappy bin in the room will save a lot of time.
Keep a storage box for clothes that baby needs to grow into, and a bag to store outgrown clothes until they can be donated or repurposed. Keep a stack of neutral colored baby-gros in a cupboard, along with a stash of muslin cloths and spare dummies – these are the main things that tend to get lost and soiled, and can be stockpiled cheaply.
Include a rocking chair in the room, so you and baby can relax during feeding time – it can take babies a little time to figure out how nursing works, so you might as well be comfortable!
Written by Helen Shepard, a craft enthusiast looking forward to breaking out the pom poms in decorating the nursery. Will be helping baby sleep with blackout curtains from Edmund Bell.