Nursery may be one of our favourite words in the English language. A visual metaphor that speaks to the way a single room that can sprout milestones in a child's life from very humble roots, a nursery itself also grows with your little one to become their always safely held haven. Building the perfect nursery isn't as hard as it sounds, so long as you know the right way to plan and decorate it, and so long as you don't fall into the usual pitfalls. To help you along the way, here's DaisyBaby's guide to creating the perfect nursery for you newborn!
What You Need - The Essentials
To be most prepared, a nursery should be very much inhabitable at around 4 weeks before your due date. It not only needs to have an ample supply of nappies, clothes, toys, bedding and the four walls and a roof to store them all, but having an area of the nursery dedicated to housing all this primary babyware will reduce the amount of clutter, which will be of no help at all when you're in the thick of first-time parenting!
When it comes to buying a cot, the mind immediately strikes up a list of desparate questions: how much space will I need? How necessary are all those features? How do I know it will keep my baby safe? This great blog post from The Handy Bump & You guide should answer a few of those, but in terms of building a good nursery, we strongly suggest investing a cot that's designed to last as long as possible into your child's development. A cot that turns into a toddler bed makes the sleeping transition a great deal easier, and this philosophy can be applied to changer units, drawers, wardrobes and anything else in which you see big-kid potential.
Decorating - The Fundamentals
Whilst covering the brick and mortar basics of building a nursery from scratch would require a full education in home improvement, we can at least cover some of the design elements. What you should search for ultimately depends on whether you intend this to be a one time change, or if you want the wall to be your own canvas. You could opt for a simple baby-friendly colour - white, magnolia and cream are eternally popular - and you could even add a little border to it for that classic look. Whether you want to use stencils to create your own decorations, or would rather use easily removable wall stickers, have a go at making a mood board that contains all the wallpaper samples and pictures you intend to use; you can very easily make them online these days!
The physical make up of the nursery is also worth taking advantage of. You nursery should be a super sensory enviroment for an infant to grow up in. Wall art with well matched colours, big photographs, glow in the dark stickers and of course the iconic mobile (with music!) all help a growing little mind. You will want to reel it in on some of the unwanted sensations, like draughts from a window too close to the cot, or laminated over carpet floors to make mess a little easier to clean up!
Examining different Mummy forums and not-so-successful stories, here's a few tidbits of often missed advice we think you should adhere to when planning your nursery:
Reading Corner!Every inch of the globe is well aware what a profound, positive effect reading to your child at a young age can be. Rather than overexpanding your family bookshelf with yet more titles, why not dedicate a little space in your new nursery to sew the seeds of creativity, and to develop easy early development. Whether you use a chair, a beanbag or a big pillow, whatever makes both of you feel most comfortable when you're exploring the worlds of imagination works best!
Natural Nursery Themes.
It can be a bit of a risk decorating a baby's haven with wall art and designs based around a popular media character or popularity. We love Sesame Street and Teletubbies, but your baby won't for a little while, and by then it'll feel a little out of date. Nature themed nurseries like the designs above have a timeless feel to them, and are made rather easy to set up.
Baby's First Light Display!
As we mentioned before, stimulation is a fundamental part of a good nursery. Whilst your little one will have to wait a while for their first fireworks show, the way different lights can be used as hanging decorations will wow not only the little one within, but all passing guests who gaze upon its battery-operated stars!
What was the most important lesson you learnt when putting together your baby's nursery? Let us know in the comments, or you can share your stories & opinions with us on Facebook, through Twitter or on Google+!