Preparing your home for the arrival of a new baby is one of the most joyous times in any couple’s life—so it’s important to get it right. In order to remain content and happy, babies need a carefully controlled nursery environment that will encourage them to sleep and play in equal measure. As babies grow up fast, it’s important to start with a fairly neutral, adaptable base that you can alter as their habits and needs evolve. For newborns, stick to the basics with plenty of nursing pillows and blankets for swaddling—as well as a suitable crib, cradle or bassinet. You’ll also need a changing table and mattress protectors to keep things fresh and hygienic. Once your tot reaches 4—8 months of age, try adding a rocking chair or crib to their room. It’s also a good time for a little dresser in which to store the ever-increasing baby paraphenalia. Once your child approaches 9 -12 months and becomes a little more mobile, you’ll need to factor in more safety features such a door gates, corner guards and special latches for cabinets and drawers. This will prevent inquisitive little minds and wandering feet encountering any harm in the nursery and surrounding rooms. Finally, you’ll also need to think about your baby room decor. If you’re feeling traditional, there’s always the blue boys’ bedroom or pink girls’ room themes to consider. But as we’re now firmly in the 21st century, why not try replacing this archaic and suffocating idea with something a little more creative? Cartoons, animal prints and an array of pastel colours will fire up young imaginations beautifully.
Apart from looking cute, pretty much all newborn babies do is sleep—so it’s vital to get their sleeping space right. Do your research, shop around, and gather recommendations before you decide whether to plump for a traditional crib or cradle, moses basket, bassinet, carrycot or nursery swing. In terms of practical furniture, you’ll also need to invest in a sizeable dresser and changing table to accommodate your tot’s needs. The wealth of baby-related accessories and supplies you’ll require should not be underestimated, so make sure the dresser has sufficient space in which to store it all—and that it remains within easy reach. It’s also essential to include a hygienic and secure rubbish bin for quick and easy disposal of nappies or wipes. In terms of basic furniture pieces, you might also want to consider a high chair once your baby is old enough to sit up and eat, as well as a rocking chair or cradle to help soothe them to sleep.
First and foremost in any new parent’s mind will be the safety of their child—and this is particularly important in the nursery when they’re especially vulnerable. Make sure the cot or crib has a firm mattress and fitted sheet and is free from loose blankets and soft toys—these can become a suffocation hazard for very young infants. It’s also vital to remove any loose cords, strings or ribbons from toys or furnishings near the cot to avoid the risk of baby getting caught up. While you’re at it, don’t forget to check and tighten all screws and bolts to keep everything robust with no sharp edges. As your child grows and starts to crawl and toddle around, you’ll need a door gate to prevent them from leaving the room until they’re old enough to safely do so. It goes without saying that these barriers should also be installed at the top and bottom of every staircase within your baby’s reach. If necessary, opt for a secure playpen in which your child can sit with their toys. This should keep them quiet and allow you peace of mind while you get on with something else. Bear in mind, though, that different toys are suitable for different ages—so look out for choking hazards or sharp edges and always refer to the manufacturer’s age guidelines. It’s also a good idea to consult a professional for comprehensive advice on nursery safety. Lastly, install a smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector for absolute certainty that your tot is safe and sound.
As a key element of nursery decor, lighting should be carefully researched in order to create a safe, cosy and calm environment for your infant. As a general rule, stick to low, soft lights to soothe bubba to sleep—with maximum natural daylight during waking hours. Hanging lights above the cradle or cot can work well as a distraction, as can toys with illuminated features. Make absolutely sure that there are no wires, cord or loose attachments your baby could ingest or become tangled in, though. Finally, it’s always a good idea to invest in a decent night light. This will both comfort your tot through those dark hours and provide practical illumination when it’s changing or feeding time.