When you are expecting a baby, one of the most exciting aspects is planning your home for it’s arrival. You will want to design a lovely nursery where you will spend lots of time with your baby in it’s early years, as well as ensure the rest of the house and garden is child friendly and appealing. It’s probably a good time to take stock of your home and draw up a list of essential tasks that need completing, especially relating to safety. Once your baby has arrived, you will have much less time on your hands to get things done!
A well designed, freshly painted nursery is so appealing, it really adds to the excitement and anticipation of welcoming a new life into the world. As nurseries are often situated in the smallest room in the house, a little planning is needed in order to utilise all available space.
Even if you know the gender of your baby, it’s best to keep the colours of your nursery subtle and unisex – mistakes happen more often than you think! Soft muted colours are also calming and sleep inducing, which you will be thankful for a few months down the road. Another option is to decorate your nursery in sunny, strong primary colours, this will be attractive to a babies developing eyesight. Over the weeks they will be able to distinguish shape and colour. The flooring you choose for your nursery needs to be practical and easy to clean. Carpets are warm, but are not as practical as wooden floors. You could add a rug for cosiness or an easy to clean option over carpets. Dressing your nursery window needs careful consideration. You will likely want a black out blind, so that your baby will nap during the day. Whatever blind option you choose it needs to be safe with no dangling cords. Be sure to research roman blinds accessories to consider your options.
The cot will be the focal point in your nursery. Ensure you choose a quality mattress which meets current safety recommendations. Also it would be a good idea to buy a cot, which grows with your child, ie one which will turn into a toddler bed, once the cot stage is outgrown. Whichever style you choose is down to personal preference, but remember your baby will spend quite a few years sleeping in it’s cot, so comfort is key.
There is such a huge choice of bedding available, it’s down to personal preference as to which you choose. Often people opt for a particular range, which extends to curtains and light shades too, which really brightens up a room. Whatever you decide, try to choose natural breathable materials such as 100% cotton, as this will help your babies temperature to be regulated more easily. Another good idea is to purchase a room thermometer, which will give a good idea as to how many bedclothes your baby should sleep in, when its warm.
Buy lots of bedding, especially bottom sheets as you will need a lot, especially in the early days.
Ideally if your nursery is large enough, you should consider buying an armchair, or a nursing chair. In the early weeks and months you will spend a lot of time during the night feeding, comforting and singing to your baby and a comfy chair will be invaluable. Some nursing chairs have a rocking motion, which will further sooth your baby back to sleep.
Nappy changing area
Having a new baby puts a remarkable amount of strain on your back and changing a baby at an awkward position can further exacerbate it. Changing tables allow you to change your baby safely and at the correct height. Some have the option of converting to a handy cupboard once the baby grows.
Young babies and children thrive when they play in the great outdoors. Even very young babies reap the benefits from being in the fresh air and will start to distinguish between day and night more quickly when they are exposed to daylight. As your baby grows you will want your garden to be a safe haven for your child to play.
Gardens are full of potential hazards, so it’s worth trying to reduce them as much as possible before your baby arrives, whilst you have the time and energy! There may be obvious hazards such as fish ponds, which need safety proofing, or removing. There are also other hazards which may not be easily recognizable such as poisonous plants. You also need to carry out a risk assessment of your garden, through the eyes of a crawling baby! Are there gaps in fences, glass structures, sharp nails or steep steps? Try to rectify the problems early on and get used to rechecking every so often.
To enhance the enjoyment of your babies outdoor play you could consider investing in some play equipment. Try to get a quality item, that will last many years such as a climbing frame or slide. Young babies also love the opportunity to play in sand or play on “ride on” toys.
Site the equipment on soft ground such as bark chippings to reduce any injury from falls and check the condition of the play equipment regularly for damage.
Children love to learn about nature and will appreciate an area of the garden where they can simply dig for worms, feed the birds or grow something from seed. As longs as there are no water hazards or poisonous plants, young children enjoy a little freedom. You could grow flowers that will attract butterflies and bees or make a hedgehog house. A love of nature nurtured from an early age will last a lifetime!
During this article we have discussed how you can make a child friendly nursery and garden, we haven’t touched on the rest of the house! It is important to take as much care and attention with safety in every room in your house. Bathrooms and kitchens have the potential to be particularly hazardous.
Don’t forget that you will need storage – and lots of it!
*This is a collaborative post*