Getting ready to welcome a new baby into the world? When your little one arrives, you are going to be spending a lot of time in the nursery, so focus on making it a place that both of you will enjoy. Read on for 10 tips to create a healthy, simple, beautiful nursery.
1. Choose a soothing color palette. Color goes such a long way to setting the mood of a space, and in the nursery, the mood you want is peaceful. Loud prints and bright colors are great for playtime, but in baby’s sleeping area consider restful hues like soft blues, grays, lavender, and white.
2. Stick with a few well-chosen toys & books. There will be many years ahead for your child to accumulate toys…you don’t need to start with all of them now! Infants love being able to explore how things feel, so focus your energy on selecting a few safe, well-made toys that are interesting to touch and look at. Keep it simple.
3. Hunt for vintage furniture. Not only will picking up a vintage piece or two save you some dough, it’s the best possible option for the environment and for your baby. A vintage dresser can make a fabulous dual-purpose piece, holding diapers and supplies inside and a diaper changing pad on top. When your little one is out of diapers, the same dresser, sans changing mat, can hold junior’s clothes. Other great vintage pieces to shop for include rockers, rocking horses, and toy chests. A crib or bassinet is the only piece it’s best to buy new, as vintage cribs may not be considered safe by today’s standards.
4. Use zero-VOC paints. Most paint companies now offer a low- or zero-VOC formula, available in the same color range as the regular paints — but without the most harmful chemicals. If you have furniture you wish to paint, like basic pieces from Ikea, or a vintage find, consider using milk paint. Milk paint is the most natural option of all (and yes, it really is made with milk!) and comes in a lovely range of natural hues.
5. Layer natural fiber rugs. Area rugs made from natural fibers like cotton, wool, and jute are pure and healthy, and feel great underfoot. Consider adding several different area rugs to define zones — a plush wool or easy-clean cotton rug for tummy time, and a hardworking jute, hemp, or sisal rug in areas that get heavier traffic.
6. Splurge on a natural mattress and sheets. Newborns spend most of their early days (and far too few of their nights…) sleeping. That means that sweet little face will be nuzzled right up to whatever mattress and sheets you have chosen, so it makes sense to devote a little extra room in the budget to a natural mattress and set of basic sheets if you can.
7. Provide plenty of easy storage options. Picking up tiny toys, board books, and wee clothes is not so easy when you are operating on two or three hours of sleep — make things easier on yourself and set up ample storage options before baby arrives. Open baskets in various sizes can work to hold just about anything, so stock up!
8. Consider light and noise. A beautifully sunny room can seem like a blessing…until you are trying to get the little one to nap on a bright, sunshiny day! Invest in thick drapes or shades with a blackout liner, and be sure to bring in a small stereo or ipod dock to play soothing bedtime music.
9. Pay attention to flow. Try to position the crib with at least one side against a wall, preferably two, and place it in such a way that baby has a view of the door — your little one will feel more secure that way. Also be sure to keep the main path from the door to crib clutter-free…whatever is on the floor will trip you on the way to those late-night feeding sessions!
10. Keep it clean. A green nursery is a clean nursery. Frequently cleaning the floors and wiping down surfaces, including window sills and baseboards, will help keep pollution and other yucky stuff out of your little one’s serene space.
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