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Decorating A Nursery

Decorating A Nursery
One of the fun parts of being pregnant is decorating the baby's nursery. Who hasn't fussed over all the adorable gifts given at a shower? There are so many cute and clever items out on the market these days.

Comfort and safety of the baby are the topmost and foremost priorities while decorating a nursery. Early morning sunrays may disturb a little one's morning sleep while streetlight and traffic flow may disturb its sleep and make the baby cranky. A particular tree outside the nursery's window may cast shadows that may terrify a little child and window that sends in cold drafts may keep the child cold in winters. A crib too close to the window may cause a child to climb on the window and fall out! Here is some very practical advice for your nursery décor:

  • Babies cannot differentiate much between a plastic laundry basket lined with a soft blanket, expensive Victorian antique cradles and latest high-tech cribs.

  • You may use a deep waist-high bookshelf to substitute changing table and chest of drawers. Use common sense and functionality for cheaper options of the traditional furniture pieces.

  • The furniture essential for nursery includes bassinet or cradle, crib, changing table, chest of drawers, rocking chair and glider.

  • Cribs with slats or posts too far apart may cause the newborn baby to slip through it.

  • Corner posts should be in level with railings of the crib so the baby's clothes do not get caught in them.

  • Mattress should fit the crib exactly to avoid the baby's limbs getting caught in them.

  • Never used lead-based paints for anything in the nursery as they are poisonous and babies tend to chew on everything they can find.

  • Changing tables, potty seats and other furniture pieces for the baby should have straps to avoid them from falling.

  • Don't use floor lamps and put all electricity switches, plugs and sockets high on the walls so that children cannot reach them or have child safety devices fitted on them.

  • Don't use any accessories that are small enough to be swallowed by the baby and get choked or having sharp edges.

  • Nontoxic paints and wallpaper patterns suitable for the nursery are available in the market for you to choose from.

  • Do not spend too much on nursery décor as children soon outgrow them and then you will need to refurnish it, probably with children's choice.

  • Solid color walls and inexpensive area rugs are a good idea that can be given the funky look by adding borders and other accessories, lamps, mobiles and framed pictures.

  • Children tend to grab at floor-length curtains or drapes and may even get suffocated by them.

  • Similarly, blinds with long pull-cords, especially the looped ones are NOT for the nursery.
Obviously, every family will need a car seat (or you won't be able to bring the baby home from the hospital). Diapers, whether they are cloth or disposable, are absolutely essential. But there are many other items that every nursery should have to make life with Baby easier. Here are 10.

1. A nightlight. When you creep into the nursery at night to feed your baby, you'll need to be able to see so you don't trip or bump into things. Nightlights at floor level attract crawling babies to sockets. Instead, place a nightlight in a socket out of the baby's reach and install a dimmer switch for the room's lighting fixture. Or use a lamp with a low-wattage bulb.

2. A rocking chair or glider. No nursery should be without a rocking chair. "It is my absolute favorite thing we have in the nursery. It is so nice in the middle of the night. It soothes both the mother and the baby back to sleep, and it is a nice place to nurse or feed the baby.

3. A safe place to sleep with a firm mattress. When selecting a crib, quality and safety don't always correlate. A high-end crib isn't necessarily safer than a $110 model. The safest crib is the most simple. The mattress should be very firm to prevent possible suffocation. Budget $90 to $150 for the mattress. We advocate keeping the crib bare. Ditch the bumpers, blankets, toys and pillows to avoid suffocation and strangulation. Put the mattress at its lowest setting as soon as your baby can stand up. That's also a good time to remove the mobile.

4. Changing table. Although the baby can be changed on any surface, the changing table makes diaper and clothing changes easier. It keeps everything needed right at hand. It also can double as a dresser. The table should be at a good height for the people who will be changing the baby.

5. A baby sling. A good-quality baby sling frees up your hands, keeps the baby close and allows the mother to nurse the baby.

6. Books. Especially books with bright illustrations and thick pages. An innovative way to build Baby's library is to encourage family and friends to buy books rather than greeting cards. Inside the book's front cover, the givers can "sign" the book as they would a card. Research has shown the importance of reading to Baby in those earliest days, and cuddling with a book is a lovely way for Baby and parent to bond.

7. Easy-to-put-on baby clothes. Cute outfits are a staple at baby showers. But cute outfits are a real pain to put on the baby and even worse to take off. Those are the clothes to put on Baby when going visiting or when you want the baby to look most adorable. For everyday use, the nursery should be equipped with easy clothes. Ask any mother what clothing item for Baby she couldn't live without and she will likely say the one-piece outfit. These are T-shirts that have snaps at the crotch. In warm weather, it is all the clothing the baby needs (and they can be bought with cute patterns and designs). In cool weather, it is an extra layer of warmth and also keeps the baby's belly covered at all times. Other easy-to-deal-with clothing items include sleepers of varying materials (blanket sleepers for winter; cotton for warmer days), nightshirts and shirts that snap rather than need to be pulled over Baby's head.

8. Swaddling blankets. Newborn babies feel safer and more comfortable when swaddled in blankets. A nursery can never have enough receiving blankets. The small blankets are used to wrap the baby for nursing and cuddling or to soothe the baby. They also can double as burp cloths and a changing pad.

9. Health care items. Mooney recommends that every nursery have an ear thermometer. Other items to include in the nursery medicine cabinet include diaper rash cream, an aspirator bulb, infant pain reliever, rubbing alcohol (especially for cleaning the umbilical cord), teething gel, infant nail clippers and petroleum jelly. For the parents and other caregivers, the nursery also should include disinfecting soap and at least one book on medical advice.

10. Diaper pail. Look for a pail with a child-resistant locking button or mechanism that makes it difficult for little people to break in. If you use cloth diapers, the issue becomes especially important because liquid is involved. Not just any plastic kitchen garbage can will do. Parents need a cloth diaper pail with a securely locking lid to prevent your baby from possibly falling in.

And finally, the most important essential is not an item that can be found in stores. Every nursery should include caring adults. Not just the parents, but the adults who will be a part of the baby's life. Every baby deserves to have someone who responds affectionately to the baby and to be lovingly cared for.

Copyright ©, 2006-2008: Newborn: Decorating A Nursery