Not to mention the C word but with everything going on at the moment this can be a pretty daunting time to have a baby, especially for first time mums. One way to distract yourself, if you’re not yet in nesting mode, is to look at how you are going to design your nursery.

With so many options and nursery trends out there at the moment, your baby’s nursery no longer has to be your typical traditional pink for a girl/blue for a boy, room. What’s great about nurseries is that you can have a bit of fun when designing them, delve into your inner design child and pick out something unique to you and your baby.

But first back to basics, some practical steps that will help you as your baby grows.

Safety is of paramount importance with young children, but also as your child grows older so does their curiosity and everyday household items can become potential hazards. Some safety tips include:

  • Window blinds: a simple safety device fixes all chains to the wall, make sure yours have this to stop children playing with them
  • Window locks: ensure your windows are fitted with locks.
  • Drawers and doors: use stoppers on both to prevent them from slamming shut on little fingers.
  • Mirrors and shelving: make sure large mirrors and shelves are securely fixed to the walls and won’t fall easily.
  • Electrics: make sure all plugs and wires are safe and hidden as much as possible.

When shopping for furniture, it’s good to always be forward thinking. Select furniture that can evolve from nursery to a child’s to a teenager’s room. And plenty of large storage areas is always a God-send when you are trying to tidy up after a day’s playing. There are some beautiful cribs now like the oval stokke bed that turns into a toddler's bed later. The great thing about toddler beds is that they don’t take up too much space in the room giving your toddler lots of room to play around in. Also many changing tables can adjust into regular dressers or a chest of drawers. I’ve seen cots also remade into desks for older children.

Babies love to be rocked to sleep. And I for sure don’t mind the soothing effect of rocking, either. One way to style up your rocking chair is to re-upholster the fabric in some fab print or pattern. Or why not rock baby to sleep by using a hanging chair. Also keep an eye out for easy clean fabrics that are now widely available. Great for spit ups and milk spillages. Villa Nova, Designers Guild and Thibaut have beautiful fabrics to choose from. Mixing textures is also great for stimulating young children’s imagination. You could use faux furs in throws and a mix of velvets, faux suedes, wools and felt for cushions and curtains. A nursery that is interesting for your child can be a nice place to be as you try to calm them down before bed on a bright summer’s evening!

The nursery is one room where I think adding a beautiful wallpaper can go a long way. It’s great for early chat from a toddler. There are so many patterns to choose from but animals are always top of the list. Themed rooms are lovely, but remember that your child may outgrow a specific cartoon character, but a specific theme may stay with them all their lives. If they must have a contemporary cartoon character, you can get around it by adding a cushion or soft toy featuring the character, easier to replace than a full set of wallpaper.

And don’t forget to add fun elements to a nursery like a tent or animal rocking horse that the baby can use as he/she grows into a toddler.

From a flexibility point of view, you can’t beat good carpets in a child’s bedroom. They’re good for walking around in bare feet, and lying out on the floor as that’s where you will spend a lot of time!  They’ll also provide some give if/when your child falls, and mean you can add even more colours. Wooden floors with rugs on top provide too many hazards in my opinion, especially if there’s lots of activity in the room which there is sure to be during future playdates.

Exhausted adults spend a lot of time in the nursery so one thing I found invaluable was putting a futon in the room. If you have the space for it it’s great to have somewhere you can get a few minutes sleep in between feeds.

Lastly if you have an older child it might be a nice idea to get them involved in the designing of the room. It makes them feel more included and gives them a sense of responsibility for the new arrival.

Tap into your inner design child and build a nursery for now and that will grow with your baby.


Julianne Kelly

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