I am currently preparing for the arrival of a new baby. One of the most exciting things with which you can busy yourself while you wait for baby's arrival is the design of your nursery. When planning a nursery there are lots of gorgeous decorations and furniture available and you can really let your own style and imagination run free but there are a few practicalities that you should bear in mind - here are my tips as a second time mummy!
Choose a changing unit wisely
You will spend a lot of time at the changing unit during the first years of your baby's life so make sure you choose one that is comfortable for you to use. Bear in mind the height of the unit; I am a tall woman and found it hard to buy a changing unit that wouldn't make my back ache by having to bend down. Is there plenty of space for all of your essentials such as nappies, wipes, top and tail bowl or cotton wool? Can you get at all of these things easily? Finally, you should think carefully about where in the nursery you want to position your changing unit as it will become the main point of use in the whole room - don't do what we did first time around and hide it behind the door where it is difficult to get to.
Storage - lots of it
It is easy to underestimate the volume of storage you will need for your baby, especially as they grow older. Clothes, nappies, toys and accessories haven taken up a lot more space than I ever imagined. Think about buying a wardrobe or a chest of drawers to put tiny clothes in - it may seem like overkill when your baby is very small but you will quickly fill it. A series of shelves or drawers work well for storing blankets, sheets and towels as well as some of your baby essentials.
Whether you are using cloth nappies or disposable nappies you will need to make sure that these are the easiest thing to access (and dispose of) in your nursery. Think carefully about where you plan to store your nappies so that you can reach them without having to leave your baby unattended on their changing mat. We used cloth nappies and made life easier by storing them all made up and ready to use in order to save time when changing.
Blackout blinds and curtains
During the summer months, a blackout blind or curtain has proved invaluable in our nursery to prevent our daughter being woken up by the bright light. A blackout blind has a thick lining designed to reduce the amount of light coming in through and around the window. For a nursery, choose a blind without a pull-cord ,such as Sunbuster Blinds, to reduce the risk of injury.
Choose bold colours
If you are decorating a nursery for a newborn baby it is tempting to opt for neutral or pastel colours (I'll admit that I couldn't resist it, even the second time around). In fact it has been proven that bold colours are most noticeable for young babies. You child's ability to distinguish colours take some time to develop so a newborn baby will receive most stimulation from colours which have a high contrast such as black and white.
Relaxation for Mummy or Daddy
Don't forget to make space for yourself in your baby's room. You will no doubt spend a lot of time sitting next to your baby's cot or your child's bed or feeding your baby in their room so make sure that the nursery is as comfortable as possible for you to spend time in. This time around I have chosen a rocking chair but last time, an office chair worked well for me with a beanbag and cushions to support my feet when feeding.
A light which gently dims and brightens made a big difference in our nursery to avoid the harsh lights and the big changes in brightness when you switch the light on. If your nursery does not have a dimmable light switch then consider buying a small dimmable lamp or a nightlight or clock that will slowly turn itself on and off.