This is a guest post by Kimberly Aardal, a woman who lives and explores the mountains in Southwest Colorado with her husband and best pal Ginger (a yellow lab). You can find her reviews and articles about glider chairs for nurseries, rocking chairs, glider chairs and ottomans at her website Everyday Rocking Chairs, as well as other sites.
Creating a comfortable, safe and stylish nursery doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. All it takes is some simple research, good advice and a plan to get you started and you can’t go wrong. You probably already have a few ideas for the decor, and have thought a little about cribs and other furniture. Here are a few more things to keep in mind.
Do start out by making a plan. How do you want the nursery to look? Will the colors and decor blend with the rest of the house, in keeping with current trends? Or do you prefer a colorful room, busy with children’s characters? Remember that it will always be easier to create a new look by swapping out art and toys than it will be to paint over a bright wall color. A clean and simple design, embellished with changeable design elements, will ensure that the room can grow with your child.
Don’t make the nursery an obstacle course. It’s tempting when you’re pregnant to buy lots of fun gadgets and cute furniture, but keep in mind that the nursery needs to be a functional room. A crib that converts to a toddler bed, a changing table, a small dresser and a relaxing chair are all you really need. If the nursery is large you can certainly add a rocking horse or other decorative items, but keep in mind that the room should be open and accessible. If the room has little or no closet space, look for furniture with built-in storage. Otherwise, be sure to stash all of your supplies in the closet and up off the floor. You should have unhindered access to the crib and other furniture, and not be in danger of tripping over anything when you walk in the room.
Do load up on supplies well before your due date. Check the Sunday paper for coupons, keep an eye out for sales and sign up online with manufacturers of baby products. Your nursery should be stocked with plenty of baby wipes, diapers, diaper cream, lotion and powder. Don’t forget the hand sanitizer for yourself, and a bottle of rubbing alcohol for swabbing the umbilical cord.
Don’t settle for a cheap chair. Skimping on a chair will cost you in the long run. You will be spending many exhausted hours in your nursery chair– make sure it’s one that will provide plenty of back support and cushioning. It’s also a good idea to look for features such as recline and swivel, and for locking mechanisms, all of which make resting (and standing up) while holding a baby much easier. You can customize a Storkcraft glider and ottoman to fit your nursery decor, or choose one of the styles available in-store if you’re pressed for time. The advantage of choosing a quality custom chair is that it will fit effortlessly into your living room, or your next nursery, when the time comes for it to be moved out of the baby’s room.
Do outfit the baby’s room with organic bed linens. You don’t have to pay a fortune for exotic or expensive brands. Most retail stores now carry cute and affordable bedding made with unbleached cotton that is produced without the use of chemical pesticides. You can be confident that your baby is sleeping in a healthy environment, free from harsh chemicals, and you don’t have to break the bank.
Don’t paint the walls with standard paints. They contain substances known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which emit toxic fumes. Low or no VOC paint is available in all price ranges at home improvement stores and at many large retailers. You can find it in any color, or you can have it custom mixed to suit your design plan. A popular trend for nurseries is to paint the lower and upper parts of the walls in different colors. Even if you choose colors that complement the rest of your house, this fun design idea can help to make the nursery unique. Whichever color you choose, be sure to paint the nursery at least a month before your due date to ensure that any fumes will have dissipated before you bring your baby home.
Do look over the nursery one last time with safety in mind. Get down on the floor and consider the room from a baby’s perspective. Are there lamp cords within reach, or other electrical cords that could be pulled down? You should conceal them behind furniture. Also remove any curtains or blinds with cords that might present a risk of strangulation. Have you fitted all of the electrical outlets with plastic covers? Those little holes are enticing to little fingers.
The most important item on your to-do list is to get started. Your pregnancy will be over before you know it, and taking care of a new baby leaves little time for anything else. If you plan ahead and take some time every day to work on your nursery then you’ll be able to breathe easier in the days leading up to your baby’s birth. And you’ll both come home to a nursery that is functional, warm and welcoming.