Construct a safe, soothing and practical nursery for your baby with this essential checklist.
Constructing a nursery is a delicate balancing act. Soon-to-be parents can become so immersed in the idea of decorating that they neglect the overall functionality of the room. Above all, this room should facilitate nursing, changing and putting your baby to sleep. Selecting essential furniture is a good place to start.
Try to avoid over-cluttering the space; too many objects may overwhelm your child and detract from the room’s true purpose. The nursery should be centred around the crib and changing table. Once these have been secured, you can focus on the decorative flourishes. Try to invest in furniture that will last the test of time. Choose furniture that can be used at any age, so that once your child outgrows their crib, it will make the transition to a 'big bed' a little easier.
Illuminate the room with soft lighting supplied by a nightlight or dimmer lamp—both help to instill a sense of calm. Also consider investing in blackout blinds; these are fantastic for getting baby down to sleep during the day.
For a personal touch, include wall art or sensory stimuli in the scheme to help facilitate your child’s development.
- Crib or bassinet
- Crib mattress
- Changing table
- Nappy pail
- Night light
- Dresser or storage unit
- Clothes hamper
- Rocking chair or glider
- Room thermometer
- Portable stereo
- Wall art and bookshelf
- Baby swing or bouncy seat
- Baby monitor
When it comes to designing a nursery, lean towards muted pastel hues—ones that are warm and comforting—and avoid overly garish colours or patterns. Soft yellows, oranges, greens and blues work nicely to make a space feel inviting. Contrast your chosen colours with white or natural wood furniture for a clean finish. Young infants will spend a lot of time on their backs looking at the ceiling during nappy changes. With this in mind, offer them something to gaze at like a fun mural or a hanging mobile. Accentuate the room with soft furnishings such as a fluffy rug or a stylish throw over an armchair. For flooring, hardwood options are a preferable choice as these ensure that spillages can be cleaned up in a flash.
Use smart storage solutions to hide away bedding, clothing and other knick-knacks—this may come in the form of under-crib drawers or customised wall shelving. In the spirit of saving space, you could opt for a changing table that folds away. Alternatively, consider purchasing an all-in-one unit that includes a crib, changing table and storage section. Install a pegboard with catchall accessories to keep all the necessities within reach. This feature can also be used for displaying keepsakes.
Think carefully about furniture that will last the test of time. During these early stages of life, children grow at a phenomenal rate. You may find that your child transfers from a crib to a bed in a very short space of time. Instead of throwing the redundant crib away, try to recycle it. With a little manipulation, an old crib can be converted into storage or a small child-sized desk. This will come in handy when your child is a little older—it can form the perfect drawing cove or homework station. Children also have a tendency to outgrow their beds quickly; for this reason, choose one that is appropriate for all ages—something they can mature into. Making smart furniture choices will mean that you won’t have to constantly change the scheme of the room. Through tactical storage choices and up-cycling methods, your nursery can fulfill its true purpose of helping your child to develop and grow.
When your little one reaches their toddler years, choose bedroom furniture like storage beds with drawers and shelves that are larger than a toddler-size bed so that your little one can grow into it as they get older.
Go gender neutral
Nursery trends have taken a gender-neutral turn as of late. Antiquated notions of decorating your tot’s nursery according to their gender no longer apply: long gone are the days of having pink hues designated only for girls and blue for boys. With this revelation comes a huge amount more freedom. Implement a universal scheme for your newborn and adapt it to your child’s tastes as they grow.