How to Create a Nursery
A baby nursery should be a place that’s cozy yet functional. Finding that balance is simple if you know what to do — and that’s where we come in! Here’s our go-to list of go-to tips to turn your nursery into a comfortable space for your new arrival.
Setting Up the Changing Stations
Having a few places to swap out diapers is key. Of course, one spot should be in the nursery. And the other location will serve you best near the living space where you and the baby will be spending the majority of your time at home. Here’s what you need to know.
Prep each changing station. A dedicated space to manage your baby’s diapers is a must. Infants also make a mess on themselves all day long, so having a place to frequently swap out their clothes will be helpful. Investing in a changing station that doubles as a dresser and diaper storage area is a great way to have everything nearby when you need it. Stock it with diapers, wipes, a changing pad and covers for the pad.
Baby wipe warmers are a good idea. They’re great for sensitive newborns and can sooth the baby’s bottom. These plug into the wall, so you’ll need to have an outlet nearby. Gently heating up the pack of wipes, warmers can reduce the cold shock babies sometimes experience when getting changed.
Fragrance free is your friend. A newborn’s skin can be sensitive, and if they’re suffering from diaper rash, certain fragrances can sting on contact. Pick up hypo-allergenic items and steer clear of scented wipes and products to keep your baby feeling comfortable.
Safe diaper disposal is key. One item no home with a new baby can do without is a good place to store used diapers. Invest in a few diaper garbage pails and contain the smells. Keeping proper sanitation around baby diapers is another reason to have these in the house.
Lights and Sound in the Nursery
Newborns need plenty of sleep. Having the right kind of lighting and exterior light control can help to create a regular routine that your baby will get used to. Also, outside noise can startle a sleeping baby, so think about using a white noise generator and be sure to balance the noise level with your ability to hear the baby through your monitor. Here are a few other things to keep in mind.
Consider the lighting. Direct sunlight and bright lights can wake the baby when it should be resting. Use dimmers on lights and lamps to control the lighting when the baby’s sleeping. Install blackout curtains too so you can decide how much light is right.
Think about an air filter. A HEPA-certified air filter that pulls impurities from the air in the nursery serves a couple of important purposes. First, they’re great for keeping pet dander and other dust to a minimum. Secondly, they’re good for acting as a white noise generator that can help the baby rest more consistently.
Sound machines can soothe the baby. Sound machines are a great addition to any nursery and some can be programmed to fade out after a period of time. You can find ones that play songs to help the baby relax and rest.
Find the Right Baby Monitor
The market for baby monitors is changing all the time. New ones can keep you informed on the go, and other, more practical options are out there as well.
Source your baby monitor carefully. Think about how you’ll want to use your baby monitor, as there are several types on the market today. If you’d like live audio and video sent directly to your phone, consider upgrading to a smart monitor system that connects to your WiFi. With these monitors, you can check in on your baby even while away from home. Other, less costly bay monitors get the job done and let you know when your baby’s awake.
Focus on broadcasting range. Monitors that work locally and send a radio frequency signal from the base to the receiver will only work within a given area. And the signal can get weakened if it’s passing through dense walls. Also, take into consideration that if you plan on traveling with the monitor, you may need to observe the baby at greater distances.
The Baby’s Nursing and Wakeful Hours
Here are a few tips to get the rest of your nursing needs in place. Remember, comfort is key. Have a blanket, nursing pillow and soft rags handy because feeding little ones can get messy.
About gliding chairs. You’ll want a soft, comfortable chair where you’ll feed your baby in the nursery. Nursing at night near your baby’s crib is great for lulling a baby to sleep after feedings. Find a comfortable rocker or glider that’s easy to get into and out of. Many come with an ottoman that many find important as well. Sometimes, there’s nothing better than putting your feet up after a long day!
Find the baby appliances. Take a look at the shower gifts, hand-me-downs and stored baby items you’ve got tucked away and unpack what you’ll need for the infant. Bottle warmers, formula, pumping supplies and swaddling blankets should all be stored so that they’re easily available.
Stock the dresser. Place onesies, clothes you’ll need after changing, socks, mittens and other things the baby will wear in the top drawers of the dresser. Have a lower drawer dedicated to storing extra diapers.
Make sure the crib is safe. Be sure your crib is strong and operating as designed. Look online for recalls on the make and model number of the crib and carefully follow instructions on the recall. Use tight fitting sheets designed for the exact size of your baby’s mattress. And be sure to have a waterproof mattress liner underneath, it’s a great addition that can help save your mattress.
Decorate Well Before Labor and Delivery
Making your nursery feel comfortable is as important to you as it is your baby. You’ll be spending a lot of time in there, so be sure to decorate the room so you’re relaxed in that space too.
Install mobiles safely. If you’re planning on hanging mobiles for your baby to look at while in the crib, be sure they’re safely mounted to the wall or ceiling out of the baby’s reach.
Find a sturdy cubby bookcase. Square-shelved cubbies are a great addition to a nursery. They afford easy access to a variety of items that can be stored in an organized fashion.
Get the painting done now. If you plan on painting or updating the walls in your nursery, now is the time to get it done. Source low odor / low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint, pick a good neutral color and get rolling.
Apply murals to the walls. One great way to decorate like a pro is to pick up self-adhesive murals that can be found at local craft or big box stores. Be sure to measure out the space on your wall before shopping and bring those numbers along when making your decision.
Well done! Your nursery is coming along nicely, and everything will be in place when your newborn comes home. But one more thing to be sure you have prepared — while you’ve still got some room on your calendar — is your life insurance policy. Contact your agent today to review yours. You’re going to feel great knowing that you’ve protected everything that matters most.