Are you excited at the idea of preparing a nursery for your new baby? Are you anxious about getting things perfect? Don’t worry everything doesn’t need to be perfect for Baby’s arrival as you really don’t need to have a room for them straight away, they should be sleeping with you for the first six months. It is a good idea to do any DIY that is required before baby arrives however as you will underestimate how tired you will be when baby does arrive, this includes dad! You can still use your baby’s nursery as a play area, clothes store and changing room until he’s older. Here are our top 10 tips for preparing a nursery for your new baby.
1. Look for inspiration
Looking for ideas for the room is the fun bit. You could spend many a happy hour on Pinterest and Instagram browsing all the fabulous images! I have added a few of my favourite themes to the post below for you. There are so many online sources these days that it is easy to become overwhelmed. Remember that not everyone has a show home and the images on display have been created to sell a product, don’t feel you have to buy everything new. Just take inspiration and do things your own way. There are lots of ways to re-purpose your existing furniture and there is nothing wrong with borrowing or buying second hand furniture. Just remember if you are re-painting to use non toxic paints and be very careful that your cot is safe to use.
2. Get the basics in the room sorted.
Lots of people will be adapting a spare room for the nursery. Before you start to decorate take a look at the empty room. If you are in an older home does it need plastered? We moved into our home 3 years ago and it is around 50 years old. The decorator told us that we would never get a perfect finish if we were painting on the old walls and could either wall paper or plaster. He suggested that plastering adds value to the walls and once it is done you can happily repaint the walls yourself as your colour scheme changes. Another useful update to the room can be to change or update the skirting boards. Our skirting boards were damaged and had been ripped out where there was an old fitted wardrobe. This was a lot cheaper to replace than we thought, we bought Lambs Tounge Skirting that was very reasonable and we surprised ourselves by managing to fit it with no problems, well with a little help from good old youtube.
3. Decide on your furniture first.
Once you have decided on your main pieces of furniture you can then get a colour scheme to fit around it. Some people like to buy a cot bed that can be used for the toddler stage whereas others prefer to buy a smaller cot that can be reused if another baby comes along. It all depends on your space and your future plans. I would buy the best quality cot you can afford as it gets a lot of use and knocks. You can make do and reuse other furniture in the room if need be.
4. Think about storage
You may have noticed that small people have so much stuff. Nappies, clothes, toys, books all need to find a home. Choose storage that is adaptable, open boxes or fabric bins are great for baby things and can be used for toys as they get older. Don’t have all your storage at floor level because as soon as baby is on the move they will be pulling and emptying everything they can get there hands on. Consider some wall shelves or use a bookshelf with higher shelves for toiletries etc
5. Think Safety
When preparing a nursery room think about safety as baby grows. Don’t put the cot or any low standing furniture under a window where they could climb as they start to move. Remember the blind or curtain cords are a major strangulation hazard.
6. Don’t forget the lighting
Remember to include some softer lighting for the room, if you are going in for night feeds you don’t want to be putting on a bright overhead light. Get a nice side light or freestanding lamp that can be moved around.
7. Choose a colour scheme
Try not to go overboard with cute baby designs as you will soon tire of them. Go for a neutral colour base and decorate with pictures etc that you can update. Wall murals are an easy way to personalise the room – there are lots of lovely stick on designs available that mean you don’t have to be artistic to make an impact.
8. Is it safe for Mum to paint ?
This is something I hadn’t really thought about but taking a look at the NHS website I found the following advice. “It’s highly unlikely that painting or being around paint fumes while you’re pregnant will harm your unborn baby, as the risk from most modern household paints is very low. The risk of harm to your baby may be slightly greater from solvent-based paints and old paintwork, which may contain traces of lead. For this reason, you should avoid using solvent-based paints and stripping old paintwork while you’re pregnant.” So if you are restoring old furniture get family or friends to help.
9. Soft Furnishings
Go for minimalism in the cot, all you need are a fitted sheet and a cot sheet or sleeping bag. Cot bumpers are not really recommended now even though they are still in a lot of nursery themes. All the soft toys, throws etc should be taken out of the cot when it is in use so it is easier to keep it simple from the start. You can add some colour with curtains and rugs to help the room feel warm and cosy.
10. Enjoy the finishing touches
This is where you can add your own stamp to the room. Maybe a mobile for over the cot or some personalised prints on the walls. Add some family memorabilia to the room, maybe your favourite toy from childhood, some family photos or favourite books.
Now you are all ready to enjoy your new baby. Share with us your thoughts on preparing a nursery, should you get one ready beforehand or not? Would you go neutral or gender based? Let us know !