Decorating a nursery for your baby-to-be is really exciting, especially if you’re a first-time parent. There are a lot of cute choices for your nursery furniture and textiles and you might get overwhelmed about where to begin. Here are some helpful tips to guide you in decorating your baby’s nursery room:
1. Be practical
Strolling at all those baby shops is a wonderful feeling. You’d wish, “If only I had enough budget, I will buy this and that for my baby.” But if you do have money, be careful because you might blow your future diaper money on furnishings and décor. Be realistic about your finances and set a budget as to how much you can spend on decorating your nursery. Remember that you’re decorating a room for a baby, who will grow up fast and will quickly develop their own interests. It shouldn’t be a huge investment.
You may consider putting your wants on a baby registry. If your friends and family are asking what they can get you, be honest and say what you really need. For instance, seemingly cheap items like bedding sets, baby clothes, and feeding bottles can get really pricey in the long run, and it’s great to have someone else contribute for these items. But remember, it’s not proper etiquette to ask others to purchase expensive things, like a crib. You may want to get that yourself.
2. Start with the crib
Speaking of the crib, it’s the focal point of the nursery, so you have to start with it. Make sure you have a crib ready before your little one arrives. You need to allow some time for delivery, and back orders and damage from shipping or other related problems can set you back for weeks. If you have to return or replace with a new item, you’ll need plenty of time, so you’d have to place your order early.
When looking for a crib, it’s best to choose one that grows with your child. A small, bassinet-style crib might look cute now, but the baby will easily outgrow it. Get a crib that can also serve as a toddler bed in the future. There are cribs that can be adapted with a toddler rail, to keep small kids from rolling out of bed at night, but also allows them to safely climb up and down the bed when they need to go to the bathroom.
Also, make sure that you pick a crib with non-toxic paints and materials. Babies can chew on the side of the crib, so it’s very important that the paint and materials are safe.
3. Pick the key pieces first
Many parents get excited about deciding the paint color for the walls. They start with it, only to find out later on that the perfect furniture pieces and the proper curtains that they want clashes with the paint job. You need to focus on finding the essentials first, such as the crib (as mentioned earlier), mattress, dresser and changing table. Once you have purchased these major items, you can take a look at your budget and see what other accents you can add. By then, it would be easier to pick a paint color that will best match your items.
4. Keep your décor consistent with the rest of your home
Treat the nursery like the rest of your house. Is your home style contemporary, traditional or a bit of this and that? Go for the style and décor that you have chosen for the rest of your house, so your nursery won’t look out of place. Keeping your interior design style in mind will also help you choose what furniture pieces would look best in your nursery.
5. Keep it simple
If you have money to spend, and with all your friends giving you stuff for the baby, it’s easy to go over the top with decorating your nursery. But remember to keep it child-friendly, not childish. Start with a simple room (believe us, it can clutter soon enough), and decide on a single focal point early on. When decorating your walls, you can use wall stickers, since it’s a cheap material that can be easily taken down once your child gets older.
And also, not all baby stuff should be kept in the nursery. Keep other things that are not yet appropriate for their age in the storage, and just bring them out when your child can already use it or play with it.
6. Decorate the ceiling
You can choose a bright yellow or vibrant red as paint color if that’s what you like, but it’s best to stick with calm, soft and tranquil colors. Now that you’re expecting a newborn, you need calm more than anything. The decoration in your nursery is not so much about the baby yet – it’s for you. Babies don’t care yet about the color of their walls because all they care about is being fed, being carried and getting sleep. Once they grow older, they can have their own color choices for their bedroom. Right now, it’s best to think about what makes you feel relaxed.
7. Place your crib properly
You may have bought the best crib for your baby, but where you place it is just as important. Don’t place the crib near a window or near anything with glass, especially in earthquake-prone areas. If placing the crib away from the window isn’t possible, you have to make sure any window treatments like curtains and blinds are out of reach to the baby so they won’t drag them into the crib.
8. Use dimmer lights and nightlights
A baby may be wide awake and screaming at 4 AM, but chances are you’ll be exhausted and won’t want to turn the lights on fully. It’s best to install a dimmer on any intense overhead lighting fixture, especially if it’s placed directly over the crib. This will avoid jarring both of you even more awake. Also, add a small table or floor lamp for additional ambient light.
Also, keep night lights on for both your safety and comfort. Chances are you will be visiting your baby during late night and whenever he or she cries, so a small light that’s always on will make it easier for you to walk to and fro without needing a bright light.
9. Decorate the ceiling
Babies spend much of their time lying down on their backs. Why not give them something to look at to stimulate their senses? You may consider painting the ceiling or add murals or decals. Or perhaps add a mobile above the crib.
When it comes to mobiles, you have to mount them properly. If any hooks that hold on to the mobiles snap loose, it may fall down on the face of the baby and make a choking hazard. Also, make crib-mounted mobiles are out of reach by the baby. It’s also a great idea to mount the mobile to the ceiling above the crib, but just make sure the hook is securely attached to the stud.
10. Create a changing station and put everything you need within reach
Set up a changing table for convenient replacing of your baby’s diapers and clothes. There are changing tables out there with removable edges, so you can later convert it into a standard dresser for your child. On that changing table, make sure every sanitation supply is within easy reach, such as diapers, baby wipes, laundry hamper, diaper disposal system, burp cloths, changing table covers, paper towels, and the like. You know you shouldn’t step away from the baby and risk him rolling off because you need to grab some baby wipes to clean his bottoms.
11. Create a nursing station
Whether you breastfeed, bottle-feed or combine the two, you’ll need a comfortable spot for nursing your little baby during late-night feedings. Get a relaxing chair and an ottoman so you can get in a comfortable position while your baby is feeding. This makes nursing time stress-free for you.
12. Be creative with storage
Babies come with a lot of stuff, so you’re going to need a plan to prevent clutter from getting out of hand. Start by doubling your storage space and using organizers and dividers. Sort your baby’s clothes by size and type and fill the most accessible nursery closet and/or dresser drawers with the clothes the baby can wear now. Label and put away any of those clothes to be used in the future. Also, keep a box or storage handy for clothes that will soon be outgrown. Putting away the outgrown and too-big items prevents it from creeping into your baby’s closet, saving you the time looking for what to put on to the baby.
13. Don’t forget your windows
If your windows let in a lot of sunlight during the day, it may not help the baby sleep comfortably. Window treatment for nurseries is more than a design choice, it’s for your baby’s safety and rest. You can use blackout curtains or heavy blinds in the nursery to keep the room dark at daytime. Also, these types of curtains can prevent the room from getting too hot during the day, which can lessen your baby’s risk of SIDS.
14. Add touches from people who love your baby
When decorating your nursery, don’t forget to add something personal. Maybe your baby’s grandpa and grandma live away, so it’s best to add pictures of them on the walls. The baby needs something stimulating, and one best thing to display are photos of your family. This will also help your baby start recognizing familiar faces.
15. Think outside the box
Don’t limit yourself to nursery-specific furniture, accessories, and designs. Yes, your kid is a baby, but it doesn’t mean you have to make the room strictly baby-ish. If you love the cutesy motifs, then go for it, but you don’t have to stick to these if you don’t like them. Remember, you’re the one with the interior design taste who would be frequenting that room, so make sure to fill it with the things and colors you love.
Also, a nursery doesn’t have to be gender-specific. Female babies won’t cry because their room isn’t pink, and male babies don’t care if their room isn’t blue. There are a lot of fun styles and themes you can adapt. But you may also consider not having an obvious theme so that you can easily change the room’s design as your baby grows.