4 Tips for New Parents to Prep Their Nursery
Creating a comfortable and well-thought-out nursery is an essential part of raising healthy children. As a parent, you know you have to create a room for your baby but may not be aware of all of the necessary steps needed to create the best possible space for your child’s development. Since you and your new baby will spend many hours a day in this room, your nursery should have all the components necessary for a safe, comforting, and stress-free environment. Read below to see how you can update your nursery and be ready to welcome your new baby home!
1. Choose the Right Room
There are many considerations to keep in mind when choosing a room for your little one. To start, it's recommended that you pick a room that’s close to your own bedroom. This way, you’ll have easy access to your nursery and be close enough to hear ambient noises or crying from their room. Additionally, you should choose a room with plenty of windows, allowing natural light to brighten and warm the room during the daytime hours.
When choosing a room, you should also take into account where fixtures, like a mobile or shelving, can be hung. You also need to be aware of electrical outlet placement throughout the room. Not only will this awareness help you plan out where some important furniture and small appliances will go, but you can make any safety updates to the room long before your baby’s arrival. Overall, choosing the right room from the beginning will help you save time and money in the long run, decreasing the anxiety that comes with being a new parent.
2. Make Safety Updates
There are numerous safety updates that should be made before your baby arrives and even before you add furniture to their room. It’s important to make sure the nursery is as safe as possible, even before your baby starts crawling, as they’ll spend more time here than anywhere else.
Since your baby will be spending ample time on the floor – at first for tummy time and later as they start crawling – this is a good place to start. If you have hardwood flooring, make sure the surface has no imperfections or raised edges that could pinch or injure your child. Many parents opt for a carpet or larger area rug in their nursery instead of plain hardwood, as it provides a softer surface. If you do go the route of carpeting in some form, consider choosing a color that isn't too susceptible to stains – like a gray or darker shade of blue, pink, purple, or green.
Another important safety update to keep in mind is the electrical outlets in the room. We’ve already talked about the importance of having as many as you need in the nursery for necessities, but outlets also propose a safety risk to your baby. First, it’s recommended that you test the outlets in the room to ensure they’re wired properly. After ensuring their safety, you can put baby-safe covers on each outlet to prevent prodding hands or objects from ending up anywhere near an open outlet, preventing any accidental electrocution.
Safety updates cannot be overlooked, as the child's safety is the ultimate goal of preparing a nursery. The best time to make these improvements is after the room has been cleared out and before you bring the baby’s furniture in. Renovation costs, as well as the furniture and accessories needed for a newborn, can be high. So, consider looking into alternative funding options that don’t incur any additional financial stress to your new baby's budget, such as a home equity loan. This allows you to leverage your existing home’s equity and comes in one lump sum you can pay off over an extended period of time.
3. Make Functional Decisions
Once you’ve chosen a room and made the necessary safety updates, there are several functional preparations that can be taken to make daily tasks within your nursery a breeze.
One of the first functional updates you should make is painting the walls to ensure the fumes have dissipated well before the baby arrives. Not only will you want the paint to be the right color for your nursery’s theme, but for true functionality, you may even want to opt for washable paint. Parents everywhere love this option as any splashes from the changing table can be easily washed off the walls, saving you time and money from trying to clean the mess. Additionally, washable paint will be future-proof when crayons and markers inevitably end up on the walls.
Another helpful functional update to consider at this time is the layout of the room. In order to plan where your furniture will go, you must think about what your day-to-day activities with your child will be. This will help you plan for a functional design that makes daily tasks easier. Where will you go when the baby wakes up in the middle of the night? What areas of the room will receive the heaviest traffic? If you ask yourself these questions, you can begin to picture the entire layout of your nursery.
Deciding where the baby’s crib will go is a great place to begin. Ideally, the crib will be placed away from any windows and electrical appliances you have in the room. From there, you can brainstorm a good spot for a changing table. A great space to change diapers includes easy access to any supplies you may need to grab quickly. So, make sure your changing area is nearby some shelving or storage area that’s well-stocked with essentials.
Once you’ve decided where some of your main furniture needs to be, you can then make more educated choices about what additional decor and accessories you can fit into your nursery. Many parents like to have a dedicated place to sit and rock their baby in the nursery, so this would be a great time to establish what size chair fits in the available space.
4. Prepare your Nursery for Sleep
First, you need a designated place for your baby to sleep. If you opt for a traditional crib, there are a few tips to keep in mind. One of the most important is to make sure the mattress is firm and flat, without any objects inside the crib with the baby. A soft and plushy bed is never recommended for babies, as it’s linked with sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
You may also want to invest in a SlumberPod. SlumberPod allows for a more private and dark option that can work in any room of your house for your child to rest while you do other tasks. SlumberPod is also portable, so it can encourage great sleep while traveling.
Another option to help your child sleep is hanging some thick, light-blocking curtains in the nursery and other rooms they nap in. These are a must-have for babies who are fussy nappers, as a dark room is great for sleep. When installing curtains, make sure that the hanging chords are far out of reach of the baby and that the curtain rods are securely fastened to the wall.
A nursery is where your child will learn, grow, and spend ample time. It’s a great idea to take the steps mentioned above to ensure the space you create is as safe, efficient, and nurturing as possible.