A good friend of mine here in Berlin recently found out she was pregnant and it was rather unexpected news. It brought back a lot of memories of when we found out I was pregnant and that entire rush of thoughts that goes through your mind. Your pregnancy movies along rapidly, and before you know it, a new bundle of joy arrives. So you spend a lot of that time preparing, reading books and going to classes. But you also can’t forget to do the all-important task of preparing your baby’s room.
Planning Your Baby Nursery
Before you lift a finger, gather ideas from magazines, Pinterest, stores and friends. You need to first decide whether you want a gender-specific theme or something more neutral. Do you want something that will work for a toddler as well, or is this just a nursery? What feeling do you want to create in this space? Bold colors, contrast and fun shapes will interest and stimulate your child. Soft neutrals or pastels with a touch of class or vintage will give you a sense of peace and tranquility as you treasure those precious moments.
Once you’ve figured that out, you need to assess the room you’re going to use as your nursery. Is the room being used for another purpose? If so, what are you going to do with everything that is currently in the room? Some will just move it all to the attic, but you might want to make sure that you still need the stuff in that room before you bother moving it. If it’s just a bunch of stuff you’re storing, go through it all before you end up moving it twice. Trust me, you’ll have a lot less time on your hands with a new baby (and then a toddler) in the house!
Once you’ve cleared out the room, look more closely at the basics of the room. Are there safety hazards, like mold, lead paint or exposed electric wires? Go ahead and childproof the window, outlets and doors. Is the room practical? Do you need to install a ceiling fan or shelves, put in double-paned windows or even a closet? Is the wallpaper or paint in good condition? Does it fit with your theme? Is the flooring in good condition and easy to clean?
Add up what needs to be done and research prices. Doing it yourself is cheaper, but remember that you can’t physically do everything while pregnant, especially when dealing with toxic fumes. Ask friends to help and get estimates from professionals. Talk to your bank about renovation or refinance loans, if you’re considering doing major work.
Nursery Room Ideas
Now that the walls and floors are ready, it’s time to shop for furniture. Decide if you want to start with a bassinet for your newborn, or will be using a crib directly.
Search consignment and second-hand stores for deals on an eclectic look, if that works with your theme. Buy a new set of furniture for your modern nursery. Just keep in mind that some older cradles and baby beds may not be quite up to today’s safety standards, so you need to be careful. But a dresser or shelf should not pose any problem as long as you remember to anchor it to the wall.
A small table next to a comfortable armchair or rocking chair makes a nice station for midnight feedings. Lamps provide welcome soft light for baby eyes.
If you have space, it is nice to have changing table next to your baby’s clothing. A dresser top with a raised edge works as well.
You’ll need storage handy for clean diapers, in a drawer or basket, and a covered pail for soiled diapers.
Coordinate sheets, crib bumper pads, curtains and rugs. Don’t use the same fabric or print on all of them, but consider alternating with solid colors.
Finish by adding personal touches like a pregnancy photo. Leave an empty frame for a picture of the newborn you’ll soon welcome into your new nursery.