Monday, February 20, 2006

Decorating and Furnishing a Nursery

By Rebecca VanGinkel

When you are pregnant with a child, weather it is your first child or your third, your baby's nursery is always very important. It is great if you can have your baby's nursery decorated, furnished, and stocked with everything you need for him or her, before you come home from the hospital with him. There is a lot of planning, shopping, and work involved when getting a nursery ready, so you may want to recruit some helpers! Lots of people will be around, ready to hold the baby when he is born, but it may be a little harder to find people to work with you and help you out before he is born!

Before you can start shopping for your baby's nursery, it is ideal to find out the sex of the baby. It would not be good if you painted the room pink, and then gave birth to a baby boy! To avoid this from happening, either get an ultrasound so you know what you are having, or you may want to decorate the room with green and yellow, which are more neutral colors. Green and yellow will work with a boy or a girl.

After you find out what you are having, write a list of all the furniture you will need and want in your baby's room. Decide if you want a crib, a bassinet, or a pack and play. If you decide to buy a crib, you will have to choose if you want a regular crib, or one that turns into a toddler bed. The cribs that turn into beds are more expensive, but it will save you time and money. You also will not have to store the crib away so soon. If you choose a bassinet, you will eventually have to buy a pack and play, or a crib. Bassinets are only safe for baby's who are not old enough to sit up and be mobile. If you decide to buy a pack and play, you will eventually have to buy a toddler bed, but pack and plays are very versatile. Pack and plays now come with diaper holders, changing tables, and bassinets attached. Some even come with music. Pack and plays are also easy to move, and easy to store. No matter what kind of bed you decide to buy for your baby, you will have lots of colors and styles to choose from, so it is best to have an idea of what you are looking for before you go into the store.

Besides a bed, you will also need to buy a changing table. When shopping for a changing table, look for one that is sturdy. You do not want your baby lying on a table that is creaky and unstable. You will also want to choose a table that has adequate storage. It is nice to be able to keep diapers, extra clothes, and things like that right inside your table. That way, you will never have to walk away from your baby while he is lying on top of a table. Again, you will have a lot of different colors and styles to choose from. You also may decide that you want a rocking chair and ottoman in your nursery, so you can hold and rock your new baby. If you do buy a rocking chair, sit in it inside the store before you buy it. You do not want to get home and sit in it for the first time, and realize that it hurts your back! Most rocking chairs are hard on your back, but there are back and seat covers made just for them. You can buy covers to match the decorations in your nursery.

After you buy all of the furniture for your new nursery, it is time to pick out decorations. It is fun to start by picking out bedding for the crib, bassinet, or pack and play. It is dangerous to have any kind of pillow or stuffed animal near a new born, so if you do buy those things, make sure they are out of the baby's bed before you place your child in it to sleep. If you bought a crib, you will need to buy crib sheets, blankets, and a crib bumper. A crib bumper will keep your baby from hitting his head on the crib rods, which can be very uncomfortable. You can usually buy all of the bedding for a crib in a set. If you buy a bassinet, you need to buy sheets, and a few small blankets. If you have a pack and play, you will need to buy sheets and blankets also. When you put your baby in his new bed, you may want to lay a changing pad under him. Newborns tend to have leaky diapers once in awhile, and the changing pad will keep his sheets and bedding safe.

After you have all of the bedding picked out, you can start buying accessories for the nursery. You can buy stick-on stickers for the walls, which are easy to remove, without wrecking the paint, or you might choose to paint a mural, or put up wallpaper. You might also want to buy a crib toy for your baby. You can pick out a mobile, which will play music and spin around with toys on it, or you can choose a toy that straps onto the side of your baby's crib. Some of the toys will light up and move and some will just play music. Hopefully your baby will be interested in it, and eventually fall asleep. Besides crib toys, you might want to buy a baby swing. A baby swing almost always soothes a crying baby, and will also entertain him for long periods of time. You can choose between a wind up swing, or a battery powered swing. Some come with toys on the trays, and some play music, but they are more expensive than the ones that are plain.

After you furnish and decorate your nursery, it is time to stock it with all the baby essentials. Make sure you have enough clothes for your baby. Besides outfits, you will need socks, onesies, sleepers, hats, receiving blankets, and burp cloths. Have a lot of diapers and wet wipes ready also. You might also want to buy pacifiers, baby medicine, mittens, rubbing alcohol, baby bath soaps and lotions, and anything else you can think of that you may need in the first few months.

When you are decorating your upcoming baby's nursery, keep in mind that you will be spending a lot of time in it in the next few years. Make it fun, functional, and most of all, a place that you enjoy!

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