Decorating the baby’s room may be one of the most fun things parents do before the baby arrives. It is such an exciting time and parents love to take great care, down to the very last detail. Of course it is important to remember that all a baby really needs is you, food and a warm place to sleep to be completely loved and cared for, but nurseries are fun for the parents and can be designed in ways that make caring for the baby a little more practical.
A great idea for a nursery, if you are not short on space, is to make room for some adult sleeping space. This can either accommodate a visiting relative who comes to help out, or provide a place for an exhausted mother to crash out either during or after a midnight feed. (Just educate yourself on safe co-sleeping first).
Instead of area rugs that wear out quickly – and look more tired than the mother by the baby’s first birthday – floor tiles are hugely popular. Floor tiles used to be known for boring colours and a stubbly texture, but they are now available in vibrant colours and can feel soft and plush. They are very durable and you can peel and stick them down and then simply pull them up to replace them.
A modern look for nurseries is to use dark wood instead of the traditional white or natural. This looks lovely with crisp white bedding. Instead of the traditional pink and blue, soft neutrals, or primary colours, use orange. It’s warm, cosy and gender neutral. It’s also quite common to put up real art instead of just kids’ pictures. It’s never too early to encourage good taste, or to stimulate that brain. It is now very popular to put up maps and learning charts from the very beginning. Remember though that nothing stimulates your baby’s brain more than your affection.
You don’t actually need a rocking chair. It is a traditional image that is simply not practical for many reasons. Simply swaying a baby in your arms is often enough. It can be much more practical to simply have a comfortable chair to sit back and feed in – the rocking can actually get in the way. Rocking chairs can also be terribly uncomfortable for breastfeeding.
A changing table is another item that you can cross off your list if you are short on space. Better to make room for that second bed and simply buy a portable changing mat. There is also less of a risk of your baby rolling right off it.
Make room for some white noise. Remember a baby is used to lots of noise in the womb, so coming home and being left to sleep in a silent room can be quite scary. You can either buy white noise CDs or buy special toys the make the sounds of the ocean or the mother’s heartbeat.
However simple or elaborate your baby’s nursery is, remember to have fun with it and enjoy the process. Once the basics are in place, you can add as little or as much to it as you please. Much of how parents decorate a baby’s room is symbolic. A baby’s room shows a parent’s wish to surround their baby with love, comfort and beauty – but even the most beautiful of baby rooms is no match for the parents’ love, so don’t feel guilty if you are not able to go all out. You are not depriving your baby.