Decorating a nursery as a first-time parent is no easy feat - it requires a lot of forward planning and strategic thinking to put together an aesthetic and practical nursery that's versatile as your baby grows. Nurseries are vital for child development, so every item that goes in should help make your parenting life easier and have a positive impact on your baby’s growth.
Here’s an ultimate guide to decorating nurseries for first-time parents.
1. Allocating a space
Start with assessing the available space for your baby - it can either be allocating an entire or partial room space for a nursery, or even sharing with the master bedroom. This generally depends on your lifestyle, as some parents may be staying in a temporary area then moving out subsequently.
The amount of space you have and how permanent it is plays a huge role in deciding what furniture or decorative pieces to get. Depending on these factors, you can consider the size, type, and functionality of nursery furniture to purchase.
2. Choosing a theme
A designated theme ties the nursery together and gives you more direction in selecting nursery furniture that complements.
Draw inspirations online or via social media, including Pinterest, for a better idea of your overall theme. Of course, this could be a double-edged sword if you can’t find furniture or decorations that compliment your desired theme. Many parents opt for a neutral colour palette due to the preference for lighter shades for their baby and flexibility in selecting complementing colours.
Also, keep in mind to ensure that any decorative accents are safe or secured enough to be placed in a nursery, as babies are likely to put anything they can get their hands on in their mouth.
It’s recommended to get your nursery essentials settled before starting on the decorations. Here are some fundamental essentials to start on.
1. Baby crib and mattress
A safe and functional baby crib is definitely at the top of the list for your baby nursery. Consider the following factors when looking for a baby crib - form and function, safety standards, dimensions, and versatility.
Exercise caution if you’re considering a drop-side crib, as even though convenient, the mechanism may potentially become extremely dangerous for your baby especially if there are any loose parts or wear and tear. This has caused numerous accidents in babies and, unfortunately, some fatal as well - for that reason, the US has banned any production or sale, and even donation of drop-side cribs.
For practical parents, a convertible crib is a wise investment for them. A convertible crib grows with your baby, giving you the flexibility of choice for different configurations and adjustable mattress heights.
Compliment your crib with an extra-firm mattress - ideal for backbone and motor development, especially in the early stages of infancy. Opt for ones that are hypoallergenic and are professionally certified, including but not limited to OEKO-Tex Standard 100 or GREENGUARD Gold Certification.
2. Changing table and dresser
Given the high volume of items you need for your baby and the frequency of their diaper changing needs, it only makes sense to combine storage and a changing station for maximum space efficiency and have necessities within arms reach.
Babies typically outgrow their changing station within 2 years. Hence, it’s best to get a versatile piece that can double up as a storage dresser. These usually have a removable top for a longer lifespan and minimizes the strain on your back as it’s elevated to an ideal height.
3. Nursing Chair
While this may not be a high priority on many parents’ lists, nursing chairs can make your pregnancy and nursing days a whole lot easier and better.
Unlike ordinary chairs, nursing chairs are designed for optimal support and comfort as you may be nursing or holding your baby for up to hours at a time. Designed to rock (and some swivel), this motion helps soothe fussy babies and lull them to dreamland. A consistent and familiar environment creates habits and routines for your baby to establish a comfortable daily rhythm.
If you have any space constraints, consider getting a nursing chair with a reclining function instead of a matching ottoman. You can start using it as early as your pregnancy days, and for many years to come!
4. Convertible high chairs
Any conventional highchair is typically usable from around 6 months onwards when your baby is able to sit up by themselves and is starting on their solids. Opt for a convertible piece that is usable from birth and grows with your child - making it a wiser investment choice.
Here are some important factors to consider when choosing the best convertible highchair for your family - durable and anti-tip, versatility to adapt to different configurations to grow with your child, cleaning, and care. They usually have different attachments or adjustable panels for different stages of your baby’s growth, from a baby bouncer for newborns, a removable tray for starting on solids, to an adult configuration.
It’s also best to view the highchair in person at a physical store to be familiar with the sturdiness and adjustments to different configurations so you can be ready when your baby is out!