Designing The Perfect Nursery
Two of my closest friends started the process of adopting a child a little less than a year ago. One week ago they were told that they had been chosen by a birth mother, and I swear the entire world must have heard all of their friends and family screaming with joy when we heard the news. Complete and utter excitement! The due date was just over a month away… only 5 weeks to get it all together and be completely ready for baby!
Is anybody in truth “ready” for their first child?
Although, is anybody in truth “ready” for their first child, even if somehow magically every item on the to-do list has been checked off? While they have obviously been on a mission to become parents for some time, suddenly it was real – and they were on a 5-week deadline. It was time to shop, get the nursery together, and get everything else in line. In what seemed like the amount of time it takes to snap a finger, the madness of getting ready for baby on a tight timeline began.
There aren’t a whole lot of phrases in the English language that have the power cause both complete elation and paralyzing fear at the same time.
Only one week after getting the big news, some items were already checked off the list. The village of friends and family surrounding these two beautiful people had banded together. The baby shower had been scheduled, and planning for it was well underway. Tons of Pinterest images had been liked and shared, and plans for the nursey had begun. Now it was time to tackle the all-important registry.
So this past weekend, my friends tackled the completely overwhelming task of the baby registry and brought a few friends, myself included, along for moral support. (Sidenote – one actual mom was present in the group… we weren’t all complete newbies, so no babies were harmed in the making of this article.)
There aren’t a whole lot of phrases in the English language that have the power to cause both complete elation and paralyzing fear at the same time. I’m now a firm believer that “we have a baby on the way” is one of them. As I walked with my friends through a colossal and completely intimidating store filled with everything baby related, I saw the proof of it.
As we walked from aisle to aisle, the fear was starting to set in.
As we walked from aisle to aisle, the fear was starting to set in. Don’t get me wrong, the complete and utter joy was still there. However, somewhere between the diaper aisle where we were debating organic cotton and the first aid aisle where we were questioning whether the special “baby booger removing stick” was needed, the panic started to show in their eyes. They were going to be parents!
Needless to say, we survived the baby registry extravaganza. Everyone made it out in one piece, and we were all somehow still sane and smiling. We made a mad dash for a well-deserved late lunch, where we discussed dressers, nursery decor, and mulled over the merits of paint chips in various shades of blue, yellow and grey.
The room should be soothing and functional for both you and baby, and above all…safe.
Now we’re on to the next mission: designing the perfect nursery for baby. In the spirit of sharing, here’s a compilation of the best advice we’ve found. In a nutshell, the room should be soothing and functional for both you and baby, and above all…safe.
Pick a theme
Not only will a theme help you when planning and selecting items for your nursery, but it will also help guide you when you’re registering. If this is your first child and you haven’t been shopping yet, let me warn you…. the options are overwhelming! We’re talking hundreds of options for a fitted crib sheet alone. Choose a theme early that gives you all the good feels, and go with it.
Placement Is Important
Cribs should be placed away from windows, since cords from blinds and other window coverings are a choke and strangulation hazard, and access to windows is dangerous on its own. Be careful when placing artwork above or near the crib, making sure that it’s secure to the wall and cannot be pulled down or away from the wall by tiny seeking hands as the child grows.
Make sure everything you need is within easy reach of the changing table.
Make sure everything you could possibly need is within easy reach of the changing table. Heading into a closet or across the room for supplies while you’re in the middle of the diaper-changing action isn’t a possibility. Keep what you’ll need close by at all time.
In a nutshell, avoid clutter. Sometimes more is just more, and when you’re running low on sleep with a sweet little new baby in the house simple can be better. While the multitude of knick knacks that match your nursery theme certainly are adorable, think about how much more that is for you to dust. Wouldn’t you rather be spending that time with baby? Keep it simple.
Show The Love
Incorporate touches from people who love them.
One of the best ways to truly make a nursery feel like home for both you and your baby is by incorporating touches from people who love them. Hand-me-downs, artwork, photos, and heirlooms can all be great options. Ask for those who are closest to you to contribute items which go along with your theme. You’ll be pleasantly surprised what they come up with. Later, as your child grows, you’ll have stories to tell them about where it all came from.
When it comes to babies, s*!@ happens…
Washable. When it comes to your babies interacting with your wallcovering, s*!@ happens… among other things. Choose wisely, especially around the changing table. Whether it’s paint or wallpaper, just make sure it’s wipeable. You’ll thank me later.
Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark
The lighting in your nursery should be able to mimic nighttime at any time. Depending on your space, if there are windows involved that means finding a heavy enough curtain or window shade to be able to fake nightime for naptime. While blackout curtains are indeed the safest bet, a combination of shades and heavy curtains may also do the trick.
At the end of the day, fill your nursery with things that make you happy.
There’s certainly much more to consider when planning a nursery, but I hope this gives you a starting point. Keep doing your research, and you’ll find the perfect solution for your family. At the end of the day, filling your nursery with things that make you happy will mean years of happiness for all of you!
A Little Update:
Ironically, just 2 hours after I started writing this article, my friends received a call. Their baby boy was on the way, 4 weeks early. They made a mad dash for the hospital outside of Orlando and got there just in time to welcome him to the world. A 5 pound and 9-ounce bundle of joy joined their family today, and we’re all rejoicing. Happy birthday, sweet baby Shea. I can’t wait to meet you. Now, if we can only get that nursery done ….
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