Becoming new parents is a joy, and a lot of hard work. Here are some ways to create a space to support you and your baby so that everyone is comfortable and happy.
Congratulations, you’re expecting!
If you’re like most new parents, once the initial excitement wears off, thoughts quickly turn to practical matters such as childproofing your home, buying the right equipment, and furnishing the nursery.
People have lots of ideas about what makes the perfect nursery, and everyone’s tastes and preferences are different. But there are a few nursery essentials no new parent should do without when creating a functional nursery. As you prepare to bring baby home, here are some tips for a nursery you’ll love.
Invest in multi-purpose pieces
Babies are expensive, but you can get more value for your money by choosing pieces that have multiple uses and grow with your child. Choose a crib, for instance, that converts to a toddler bed; there are even four-in-one cribs that morph into full-sized beds your child can use for life.
Look for travel systems that let you pop one seat into several different pieces, going from car seat to stroller to swing or soother.
Create a “parents’ zone”
You’ll spend a lot of time in the nursery, especially during the first few months, so make sure the nursery caters to your needs, too. A comfortable rocking chair or recliner is a must, as is a convenient side table with space for books, music, a phone charger — whatever you want on hand.
If you’re planning to breastfeed, many mothers find a small dorm-sized refrigerator stocked with their favorite beverages and snacks makes a handy addition. Even if you’ve got a little one to care for, you still have you to care for, too. Seeing to your own comfort is paramount to taking care of baby.
Opt for open storage
Buy open shelves with storage cubes or bins instead of traditional dressers and chests of drawers. Tiny babies need lots of different tiny things, and it’s much easier to find a clean onsie or fresh pair of booties when they’re grouped in open bins. As your baby grows, the shelves and bins can be repurposed for books and toys.
If space is at a premium, transform your closet into a full-service baby station with hanging closet organizers and over-the-door shoe holders for small items such as cotton balls, lotions, and pacifiers.
Consider a mini-nursery in your bedroom
Many new parents find that keeping their baby with them the first few weeks and months is better for baby — and easier on moms and dads. There are many portable sleep systems that keep baby nearby and do double duty for visits to grandma.
A rolling cart with storage bins for diapers, blankets, and clean sleepers can follow you through the house during the day and serve as an easy changing station in your room by night.
Plan for safety
Install carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in baby’s room, or put fresh batteries in them if they’re already installed. Invest in a good baby monitoring system; many of today’s high-tech models work with apps on your smartphone so a working partner can check up on baby even when they’re not at home. Don’t forget a good first-aid kit designed for infants.
Function and convenience
Design first for function and convenience and then layer in the fun parts like wall coverings, bedding, and rugs for a nursery you’ll love. Taking care of an infant will unlock all kinds of strengths you didn’t know you had. But, having the space itself become your ally will go a long way.