Nesting is an important part of preparing for a child. Whether you’re a first time mother, or have done this before, we all want to create something special for our little bundles of joy.

It can be easy to pick out a new crib and matching chair with a state-of-the art changing station, but before you begin your journey of designing the nursery of your dreams, you must set a budget. Be realistic about what you can afford, and remember that you will receive gifts at the baby shower that can be used to decorate your child’s room.

Start now. Planning early may alleviate stress about having too much to do before the baby arrives. Make a checklist of essential tasks and focus on those first. Accomplishing a little bit each week can make the process seem less overwhelming than trying to do it all in a month. 

Begin by choosing a theme. It’s not imperative to have a themed baby room, but many parents find that incorporating a theme helps to narrow down colors and prints to create a room that is cohesive.

Choose textiles & details. Consider adding decals for a simple way to enhance your nursery walls. Choose curtains that have texture for an extra touch, and find the bedding you always imagined. Choose these touches first, before you paint, to ensure that your colors don’t clash. 

Add color. This can be considerably easier if you’ve picked a theme with colors already incorporated. Make sure you consider the space you are working with. If the room is small, consider light or neutral tones with a bright or deep accent wall to open up the space. Also, always choose VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) free paint for your child’s nursery.

If you don’t plan to find out your child’s sex until after birth, you’ll want to keep you nursery coloring neutral. You can stay neutral and add a pop of color when the baby arrives, like a pink rug or blue curtains to bring a touch of the gender to the room afterward.

Find the right bedding. It is important to find the right mattress because infants spend a large amount of time in their cribs. Bedding should leave no gaps between the crib and mattress. Look for a mattress that is a firm, to reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Be aware of off-gassing from VOCs found in non-organic mattresses that may pose health risks for your infant. To avoid off-gassing, find a mattress created with natural fibers.

Storage is essential. Although baby clothes and diapers are small, you’ll be surprised how much you can accumulate and how quickly. Design the room with extra storage (you don’t need to fill every nook and cranny now) because as your baby grows, so will their things, and you’ll want to have plenty of room to store them.

Add seating. In your nursery, it’s important to have somewhere comfortable to relax and hold your new bundle of joy. Place a comfortable rocking chair or small sofa for you and your partner.

Think about space. Put the changing table and crib close to one another. If you’re a first-time mom, this is a tidbit that will save you time and energy. Putting these two next to each other allows you to quickly and easily move your baby to the changing table when they have an accident. 

Prepare for the future. It’s important to remember that while it may feel like nine long months before your new baby arrives, in a couple of years they will be out of their crib and into a bed. In blink of an eye, they are pre-teens, so it’s important to create a room that can be versatile. This will keep you from having to re-paint when they no longer like the color pink, or have outgrown their Ninja Turtle wall decals.

Add a ceiling fan. The Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine published a study that reports infants who sleep under a ceiling fan reduce their risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) by 72%. 

Tone down the lighting. Remember that bright lights and direct sunlight can be too harsh for baby. Invest in thick curtains and never face the crib toward direct sunlight. Also, choose indoor lighting that is soft and not overly bright. 

Childproof as you go. Childproofing your whole home is a necessity once you have a baby in the house. It can be easier to childproof your newborn’s nursery as you go instead of backtracking after the fact.

Enjoy! Take your time and enjoy the process of creating a room for the new addition to your family.

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