Saturday, August 19, 2006

Liven Up Your Baby's Nursery

By Misti Sandefur

Being pregnant is exciting, but what makes the pregnancy even more exciting is setting up the nursery together. Pick a time when both your husband and you can spend some quality time together. On that day, liven up your baby's nursery by adding new furniture, decorations and etc. This time will be a special time -- a time you will both cherish.

Begin by choosing the colors. Soft bright colors will add a warm touch and attract your precious little one's attention. Some colors you may go with are: a soft blue (if you know the baby is going to be a boy), a soft or brighter color pink (if you know the baby is going to be a girl), yellow (another good color for a girl), peach or green.

Many new parents also decorate their nursery with a theme of some sort, but make sure the theme you choose blends in well with the colors. Or, decide on a theme first and then decide on colors to go with the theme you both choose. Some themes could be: Winnie-the-Pooh, Noah's Ark, baby Snoopy, butterflies, sports, barnyard, teddy bears, sheep or Disney. Just be careful when choosing a theme, because as your child grows they may want something different when they're old enough or start liking things like Spongebob, Blue's Clues or etc. With that said, be sure to decorate where things can easily be changed later down the road.

You both agree on the colors and theme for your baby's nursery, so now all you need is furniture, decorations and etc. to liven things up for the baby when he or she arrives. Following are some things you can liven up your baby's nursery with.

Your baby will need a crib and bedding for a comfortable place to sleep. Choose a crib you both like, and a crib that will fit within your budget. Then, after choosing a crib, shop for the bedding. If possible, try to get bedding that will match the colors and/or theme you decided on earlier. The bedding should consist of: bumper pad, fitted crib sheet, a quilt and/or blanket, and a dust ruffle (optional, but adds a finishing touch).

A dresser for baby's clothes will be needed. A small, four drawer dresser will do for the first few stages of baby's life, but as your baby grows a bigger dresser, or just another dresser to match the current one, will be needed. A cherry or oak finish will go with any colors you choose.

Your next investment, after the crib and dresser, should be a changing table. When choosing your changing table, make sure to pick out one with drawers. Drawers provide convenience for storing diapers, changing pads, wipes and etc.

Every nursery needs a rocking chair! Babies love to be rocked, and rocking your baby provides a special bond between baby and you. Rocking will also provide your baby with a sense of security and safety.

Your nursery will need privacy, so curtains and a blind should be top priority. When deciding on blinds, choose a color that matches your nursery colors, or, if they are no colors that go well with the nursery colors, then you can always go with white or almond color blinds -- they should go well with any color and theme.

Since you have blinds, a topper curtain would look really cute. Or, if you prefer, you can select long tie back curtains. As you're shopping for curtains you may find some that goes with the theme you've selected. An alternative -- if you can't find what you're looking for -- find material to match the theme of the nursery and make your own curtains.

Some other things you and your spouse may want to consider are the following accessories: a mobile for baby's crib, soft wall decorations to match the colors and/or theme, baby monitor (to hear baby when you're not in the room), a sleep sheep that plays soothing sounds (mother's heartbeat, springtime rain, ocean surf, etc.), wall shelves (for knickknacks, books and etc), diaper pail, small lamp, hamper, wall clock, wall art to match colors and/or theme and/or wallpaper border to match colors and/or theme.

Finally, you want your nursery to be safe for baby when he or she starts crawling and walking. In order to provide a safe environment for baby and piece of mind for you, you need to baby proof your nursery. Here are some accessories for baby proofing your nursery: safety gate, door-knob covers, outlet covers, drawer locks (for dresser and changing table), finger-guard for doors, furniture wall straps (to prevent tipping), window stop (especially if baby's room is on a top level), smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector and edge or corner guards.

Now, step back with your spouse and admire the nursery you've both created together. This is the time when you both should really start feeling the excitement. Keep in mind, as your baby grows the nursery themes and colors may change over time, and you'll almost certainly add new furniture and accessories too. But, for now, you should have a safe and delightful nursery for your new addition.

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