So you’re expecting a baby! As your little one’s arrival draws near, you are probably thinking about preparing a perfect room in the house for him or her. Perhaps this is a DIY project where you will be redecorating or repurposing a room into a baby nursery or maybe you’ve had to hire a general contractor to help you make bigger changes to accommodate your growing family. Either way, there are a million blogs and websites out there with images of adorable nurseries to inspire you and help choose the perfect decor but I’m more of a “function over fashion” kinda gal when it comes to nurseries.
Will your newborn care if the draperies and bumper pads don’t match perfectly? Probably not. In fact, when decorating a nursery, you are primarily decorating for the adults who will be spending countless hours in the room tending to the wee one. In my opinion, when remodeling a room to turn it into a nursery, it is most important to start with the functional aspects of the room and then address the decorating afterwards.
The Practical Aspects of a Baby Nursery
• There are a few essential furniture items to check off your list to get started. You’ll need a crib or bassinet that is safe and comfortable. If you are not buying new, make sure that the crib model you have has never been recalled for safety reasons. You’ll also need a study change table and dresser. When it comes to kids’ rooms, I realize that the mini versions of furniture are adorable but they aren’t very practical since your kids will outgrow them rather quickly; just buy normal sized dressers that they will grow into.
• When choosing a rocking chair, find one that is comfortable for feedings, late night cuddles and story time when the baby becomes a toddler. Try out several chairs before deciding which one to take home.
• Like any room, this one will need window treatments. There are all sorts of adorable patterns available but I do recommend using draperies with heavy lining or blackout blinds to help baby sleep better during the day and also so they aren’t waking at the crack of dawn each day. (You can thank me for this tip later.) Another factor to consider when choosing draperies is their length. Although long draperies soften the look of a room, if they reach all the way to the floor, your little one will be very tempted to pull on them as soon as she is crawling around playing in her room. Make certain that there are no strings or cords on your blinds that can be a safety hazard for your child.
• When choosing that perfect shade of light yellow or grass green paint, you’ll want to choose a brand that offers no-VOC (or low-VOC) paint. Regular paint can continue to emit noxious gases even after it dries and you certainly don’t want your baby (or pregnant mom) inhaling those chemicals.
• Once all of the remodeling is done, make sure the room is childproofed to keep your child safe. You may as well go ahead and do it now while you have the time instead of waiting until you are chasing after a mobile baby.
• When hanging draperies, shelves or pictures on the walls, be sure that nothing is within baby’s reach or enticing them to stretch and fall out of their crib. It won’t be long before your baby can pull himself up to a standing position and yank on that mobile if it is hung too low.
Redecorating a room to turn it into a peaceful baby nursery is a pretty standard (and rewarding) do-it-yourself project, but if you need a hand or are unsure of how to proceed, talk to your local home improvement expert to get some assistance.
Oh, and congratulations on your new little bundle of joy!