Whether you have a first, second or third child on the way, one of the most important things to get right is to ensure you prepare their bedroom correctly. Not only does your baby’s bedroom need to be suitable for their needs, but it also needs to be conducive to yours. So, while it’s a nice idea to focus on getting beautifully designed color schemes and splendid furniture, don’t forget that practicality needs to be of equal priority.
With this in mind, here are some ideas for you so that you can DIYerfy your baby’s new bedroom to practical perfection. With this guide, you should be able to create a beautiful space that is perfectly balanced between form and function. Let’s get started with the basics and take a look at everything you need to know.
Planning and prep
As with all DIY projects, perfect planning prevents poor performance. Start by thinking carefully about the room you will use for your new baby. It’s a good idea to choose a room that is close to your own bedroom, so you don’t have to walk too far or wake the entire house up when your little one needs a nighttime feed. It’s also a good idea to create a mood board for your design ideas. What we see in our mind’s eye often looks very different in reality, and a mood board will enable you to piece together all the color and design in the right way. Consistency counts for a lot, too, so while you might be tempted to go wild with the decor, it’s advisable to keep your nursery at least a little reflective of the rest of your house.
Keep it simple
Another critical thing to remember about your nursery is that it’s all too easy to go way over the top. There are so many beautiful, gorgeous and incredible pieces out there for baby rooms that a lot of people get a little wide-eyed and fanciful – and end up spending a fortune. There’s nothing wrong with spending money, of course, but think of the impact it will have on the room if you overblow it. First of all, a complicated design and lots of furniture are hardly going to be child-friendly. Secondly, it will be a pain for you to keep in good shape. As your child grows older, you will collect an astonishing array of toys, books and clothes, and to be honest; there won’t be any room for anything else. So keep things minimal, to begin with, and you will save your workload by a considerable amount.
Keep it calm
Another thing to watch out for is garish colors and decor – or a focus on storybook or cartoon characters. Sure, the room might look cool – for a short period, at least – but the reality is that your child will soon grow up – and out of the trends you have chosen for them, instead preferring their own. It’s a much better option to keep things relatively neutral and go for calming and nurturing colors as much as possible. And another thing to bear in mind is that if you spend a fortune on expensive, beautiful wallpaper and paint, it won’t be too long until your baby is old enough to start drawing on everything – or ripping it off completely.
Heating and air con
It’s not just colour and decor that will keep your baby comfortable. There is a delicate balance to strike when it comes to heating and air conditioning in a baby’s room, too. If your child is overly hot, they are going to start sweating – which could cause them discomfort and heat rash. As pointed out in an article Baby Heat Rash: How To Treat And Prevent It, if your baby is nice and cool, their body doesn’t need to sweat – therefore no rash. If you see your little one’s cheeks flushing red, it’s probably a good sign that your heating is on a bit too high, so turn down that dial! However, it goes without saying that the reverse can be true, also. Small children can be affected by the cold a great deal more than adults, so try and keep your room temperature neutral as much as possible.
Think safety first
While we’re on the subject of your baby’s health condition, make sure that everything you buy meets the relevant safety standards. Avoid buying used when it comes to things like cot mattresses, as there is a possibility – albeit slight – that it could pose a threat of some description. It’s also a good idea to keep the cot and cradle in a safe place. Position it away from heaters, lamps, wall decor, drape cords and windows. Be careful of where you put bookshelves, too. It won’t be long before that tiny baby starts to stand up and reach out for anything he or she can lay their hands on.
Your comfort is critical.
A lot of new parents forget about an important part of the new baby equation – the night feeding. To ensure you are comfortable and able to get the job done quickly so you can get back to sleep, don’t forget about adding a chair – or even a sofa bed – to your nursery. You can guarantee that many sleepless nights lie ahead, and you will be incredibly grateful for somewhere you can relax – and possibly even sleep in – for the night. Nightlights are also essential so you can see while not waking the baby too much during the sleep training process. Your ‘mom zone’ can also include a couple of books and magazines to while away the time while you wait for your little one to get to sleep.
Invest in a changing table
A lot of parents see changing tables as an unnecessary expense. But when the time comes, you will be delighted you made an effort and splashed out. Keeping a changing table in your nursery means you will be ready for anything, which will – rather inevitably – happen when you least need it or expect it. You can keep everything in these tables, from wipes and muslin cloths through to diapers and towels. You can even stash drinks, snacks and other baby gear in there.
Storage may not seem like an issue now, but as we discussed before when your baby grows you will pick up an astonishing amount of clothes, books and toys. To make your life considerably easier, get yourself some decent storage options. Open baskets made of light fabric are ideal, as they can hold an incredible amount of clutter. They will hold toys and almost anything else, and make cleaning up a breeze. Plus, of course, they are incredibly lightweight, meaning when your baby starts to crawl they won’t be pulling anything too heavy down on top of them.
Waterproofs and protectors
Please don’t forget that your baby – as cute as he or she is – will be far from cute at some points in the future. You will never see so many bodily fluids spill out of something so small, and your nursery is likely to bear the brunt of the ‘outbreaks.’ To save yourself time – and a reasonable amount of money – cover your mattress with a waterproof blanket or covering so that all you have to do is change the top sheets rather than the bedding itself. Don’t like plastic? You can get waterproof bamboo covers these days, which are sustainable and comfortable enough for your little one.
Getting a monitor?
It seems like the vast majority of parents decide to get a monitor these days. Some even do the whole shebang and get a video camera and pressure pads that sense your baby breathing. The big question is – should you get one? The truth is that it is difficult for parents to sleep soundly if they cannot hear their little one. Some moms and dads won’t sleep well without one. But while audio, video and pressure monitors will give you peace of mind, they can also increase your stress levels. False alarms are a lot more common than you might think, and there will be times when you can’t get to sleep because the baby isn’t making enough noise, never mind too much. Ultimately, it’s a choice you need to make for yourself. But given that humans have brought up babies for tens of millennia without electricity, let alone monitoring devices that rely on electricity, don’t feel guilty if you decide against it.
As you can see, there is plenty to think about when you are considering what to get for your new baby’s room – and what not to get. Good planning will help you avoid many of the problems that might arise, so get out your pen and paper and take notes, compare decor options, and go wild as you like with your mood board. But the reality is that you don’t need to overthink this. After all, your little one will hardly notice, and over time, as their personality develops, they will begin to wan their own thing anyway. Ultimately, your best bet is to keep it simple, don’t spend a fortune, and put a focus on storage. Good luck!