As The Mama Coach™, I get to step inside many beautiful nurseries. It is obvious that care and time was taken with each detail to make it a stunning safe haven for their little one. The paint is carefully chosen, the furniture and each accent piece makes most rooms I see look like they are from a magazine. When parents hire me to help their baby sleep, I come and do an assessment of their nursery. Often these beautiful nurseries are just that. Beautiful. But they can lack functionality. You want to create a space that is not only beautiful, but functional and conducive to your little one’s sleep. Here’s how:
1. The furniture you choose for the room should grow with your baby. Purchase a convertible crib that can transform to a toddler bed and then a double when your child is ready for the transition. By doing this, you avoid having to move your older child out of his or her crib before they are developmentally ready. You can purchase one unit per child and have them grow with it, instead of ending up with a crib that is no longer needed when your children have outgrown it.
2. Save space. A change table is very functional and a key piece of furniture for your baby. Lots of time will be spent there changing many a diaper. If your nursery does not have space for both a dresser and a change table, avoid having to change diapers on the floor by purchasing a dresser that is long enough to place a changing pad on top. When you are past the stage of diapers, you simply remove it and you have a lasting piece of furniture.
3. Curtains. Darkness is vital for quality sleep, and long peaceful naps. This is the biggest change I make in my client’s nurseries. They often have beautiful blinds or shutters, but it is bright mid-day even with them closed. I tell them their baby’s room should be as dark at 3 pm as it is at 4 am. Darkness is also important for avoiding getting up with your baby and the birds at 5 am. Blackout blinds or curtains are the best investment you will make for your baby’s room, and will save you from tacking blankets over your beautiful blinds in a desperate attempt to achieve darkness for your wide awake baby.
4. Avoid too much stuff. Bumper pads are not necessary and are actually not safe. They are a suffocation hazard for a small baby and provide that extra boost an older baby needs to climb out. A mobile is also something I would not recommend. Stimulate and encourage your child’s development during her awake hours, and make her crib a safe, peaceful place for sleep. Use a nightstand, or the extra space on the dresser to personalise your baby’s room with beautiful accent pieces chosen specifically for him or her. Also, purchase a few fun crib sheets that go with your theme and add color or personality to the room.
5. Choose a chair with other functions in mind. If you plan on putting a chair in your baby’s room imagine how you will use it when you are done feeding your baby in it. Buy a neutral color that could be used as a reading chair as your baby grows, or as an accent piece somewhere else in your home. This will save you from adding it to your “garage sale” pile a couple years from now.
Congratulations on your upcoming arrival. Enjoy decorating the room you will spend countless hours in while your baby grows. Questions about your baby’s sleep space? Comment below and I’ll get back to you!
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Carrie Bruno RN, IBCLC, Infant and Child Sleep Specialist