A baby's nursery will be one of the first places a newborn child will spend much of time those first few months, so why not make it as special as possible.
Proper design, decorations, and organization can take an extra bedroom or old home office and turn it into a magical place where a young child, and their imagination, can grow and blossom.
But designing your child's room can be a difficult and stressful endeavor — there's just so much pressure to make it look beautiful but be functional at the same time. Fear not, as we have several tips that will hopefully help you out when trying to be design your child's first room.
Before you get started with the decorating process, you'll need to take several factors into consideration.
Crib placement is one of the most important things to consider when designing your child's nursery.
Experts say that you should keep your child's crib away from windows for a number of reasons, keeping blinds and curtains out of reach and windows being cooler being two of the biggest. Even with the crib against an inner wall, parents should hold back on placing anything like lamps and shelves out of reach from the crib.
You should also keep into consideration the distance between the crib and rocking chair in the room. As any parent will tell you, there's nothing worse than getting a cranky child to sleep in the chair only to have it wake up screaming by the time you get it to the crib. Cut that distance and you'll all get more sleep.
We all want our newborn's room to be as well-decorated and cute as possible, but we shouldn't lose sight of what's important — having a safe place for our children to rest. With that being said, you should never sacrifice the function of the nursery to accommodate for cute decorations. Sure, nice paintings and stuffed animals are great, but their importance shouldn't outweigh that of a safe crib, comfortable chair, and well laid out room.
Many parents want to know what they're having as soon as possible to best decorate their room. Some will buy buckets of blue paint and decorations aimed at boys while others will go with shades of pink instead.
But that's not always the case. There are parents out there who either don't want to know what they're having or just want to have a neutral room that doesn't try to reinforce stereotypes.
Before you get started, make sure you decide if this will play a factor into your design.
But now that we've gotten through all of that, let's take a look at ways to make your child's nursery into a magical and wonderful place.
If you're having trouble coming up with ways to decorate your nursery or you like having everything go together, you can always give the room a theme.
There are too many themes to include them all here, but some of the most popular include the classic nautical look, a forest or jungle, a starry night with pictures of the night sky and a solar system mobile, or even a nursery that looks like a mini library.
Your choice of paint color can make or break your baby's nursery. What if you want to use the nursery for something else once your infant becomes a big kid or needs to move to a different room?
Fix that problem before it even starts by using grey paint (any shade really) because it's going to be versatile (you can accent with decorations or art), it's easy to clean, and there are countless options to choose from.
When my wife and were getting ready for our first child to be born, we tried to save as much money as possible and made a purchase we soon regretted. This chair was something else. It was loud. It was uncomfortable. The springs would pop out and you fall through the padding, baby and all. There were countless nights where we would almost have our daughter to sleep when another spring would give out. Rinse and repeat.
Don't make the same mistake.
Find a chair that is comfortable, sturdy, and that's within your budget. Just keep in mind that you will be sitting, rocking, and even sleeping in that chair more times than you care to know.
What if you find yourself in a spot where your nursery is lacking on space? It can get even worse once you install the crib, rocking chair, changing table, dresser, toys, etc. That's where proper storage comes in.
My daughter's original nursery (we moved when my wife was 8 months pregnant; don't make that mistake) was in a narrow room without a lot of space, so we decided to transform her dresser into a changing table/dresser combo. The drawers gave us ample space for her clothes, swaddles, and diapers, while the the top of the dresser had plenty of room for the changing pad and supplies.
You will want to find ways to best utilize the space you have in order to cut down on clutter and provide you and your child with enough room to get around.
And most of all, make sure everything you need is within arm's reach of the crib or changing table. Trust us, there will be times where you are in the chair with a nearly asleep baby that's in need of a burp cloth or pacifier. You can avoid a disaster if those items (and numerous others) are all within reach of you at any given time.
This will differ from person to person, but a lot of people like to start working on their baby's nursery — whether it be planning, buying furniture, and painting the room — around the 20-week mark.
There are numerous steps that you'll need to take and purchases you'll need to make, so it's never a bad idea to hit the ground running and get as much accomplished before you or your partner start to feel the effects of the late stages of the pregnancy.
Ideally, the nursery should be completed no later than the 36th week of the pregnancy, because you're on borrowed time after that. Make sure everything is assembled, every piece of art is hung, the diapers are purchased and ready to go, and you have plenty of clothes ready for when the little one comes home.
That's when the fun begins.