So you are expecting a baby! Congrats and try not to think too much about the nursery: although it sounds like a lot of work, it really isn’t and you don’t have to spend tons of money either. Fortunately, we know how to decorate the nursery on a budget!
We know how pricey it is nowadays to supply for a baby, which is why we decided to give you a hand in the matter. First of all, there are a few things we need to talk about, in order to make sure your baby will spend most of its time in a safe and playful environment. So take out a pen and a piece of paper and listen up:
- If you decide to paint the room, make sure the baby won’t be anywhere near the whole process. The fumes can cause brain damage in grownups, not to mention newborns! Always wear a mask when using paint, leave the windows opened and when you’re done let the paint dry for 24 hours. Even though most manufacturers recommend a period of 12 hours for the drying process, it’s best to be safe than sorry. We may not sense the fumes, but the baby will definitely do, even after 12 hours.
- Pay attention to the fabrics and materials you use to decorate the nursery. Babies need to feel textures, which is why you should use wood instead of plastic, cotton, wool, silk, avoiding polyester and other plastic-derived materials.
- Don’t cover everything in soft fabrics, thinking that this way you’ll protect the little one from injuries. You may not know this, but you’ll only create an unrealistic environment for the baby: although small, your little bundle of joy still needs to touch a hard table, his little toys and so on. By doing this, the baby learns more about the world, knows how to differentiate between textures and so on.
We all want our kids to be smart, so why not teach them more about the world right after bringing them home from the hospital? Of course, babies can barely make the difference between their mothers and a lampshade until the age of 6 months, so don’t expect miracles.
However, it’s good to start your little remodeling project with a theme: paint giraffes, elephants, kangaroos and other animals on the nursery walls and write the name of each one of them. You can also cutout animal silhouettes out of dark fabric and sew them on the nursery curtains (in which case you should go for sheer curtains, to increase the contrast).
When it comes to adventures, there are many things you can try: either go for geography walls, a world globe or just an Indiana Jones- kind of adventure, with magnifiers, treasure maps and so on.
Whatever you do, don’t forget to put tags and names here and there and then occasionally give your baby a tour of the nursery. Although they are very small, scientists have discovered the fact that we all remember things from this period of our lives, so try educating your child to become a strong and curious individual, to explore other countries and to be brave.
Believe it or not, babies don’t really like dark colors, so try painting everything a light color, preferably pastel if you have the possibility. Try not to use spray paint since it comes off pretty easily when it’s not used for outdoor furniture.
The reason babies react better to light colors is that their vision is not fully developed yet and it’s all a blur in their first days of life. To them, navy blue, brown and black are one and the same thing, a big dark spot that causes nervousness. Light colors are friendly, inviting and don’t pose any threat.
Easy and Cute Storage
Replace those massive wooden boxes, shelves with cute knitted bags, where you can store all toys, diapers, clothes your little one has. This way, moving them around the nursery will be as easy as pie and nobody will ever bump into them.
If knitting is really not your thing, you could sew handlers on big pillow cases and call it a day. Of course, keeping all the clothes folded and pressed is going to be a challenge, but fortunately the little one doesn’t need to look dapper every day, so don’t be afraid to use pillowcases for his/her everyday outfits.
Carpets and Rugs
Before we start discussing color and patterns, let’s talk about textures and composition. Although most parents choose thick rugs that could protect their babies when it’s time to start crawling, the long bits of string and fabric can easily be pulled from the carpet and swallowed by your little one.
It’s a much better idea to choose a thin carpet, made of cotton and a soft blanket if you think the carpet alone is not enough. In terms of patterns, make sure they are not too intricate and go for polka dots, stripes, and hearts and so on. This way, you’ll help your baby’s vision and stay away from negative energies as well.
Yes, you may buy a can of chalk paint and spread it on a wall, just make sure the baby can’t reach it just yet. Believe it or not, babies tend to lick everything and chalk really isn’t the most delicious snack ever! You can draw shapes and write things together. Teach your baby how to use the chalk and let him play, but don’t let him unsupervised! We actually have a few pictures for you, just in case you want to see what it looks like.
Your little girl will sure appreciate flowers, so why not use them to decorate the nursery? Collect all the plastic and fabric flowers you can find, cut them out of a floral piece of fabric, wash them altogether and then either glue them on the ceiling or above their bed (after all, babies spend 80% of their time on their back, staring at the ceiling. We might as well decorate that blank space for them, don’t you agree?).
Another idea would be to sew the flowers onto the nursery curtains and make it look like a waterfall of flowers.
If you’re quite a crafter, why not use this to your baby’s advantage? Start sewing and knitting toys, tiny clothes, blankets and anything you can think of. This way, you won’t have to worry about purchasing anything to decorate the nursery. Plus, we have a few ideas for you:
Enroll the family
Yes, you are going to need your family’s help if you plan on painting the room. You might think you can handle this, but being pregnant and paint fumes don’t mix! Plus, if you already have a baby at home, he or she is going to need your undivided attention, so it’s best to delegate.
Ask your father, mother or even a cousin to put up with you and your whims for a day. Tell them not to get offended if you’ll get indecisive, cranky, or annoyed. Your hormone level is still high, which means less patience. When the baby grows up, you can create thank you cards and send them to those who’ve helped.
Things you absolutely definitely need to have
The essential things in a nursery are really not the ones you’ve been thinking of, probably. Of course, you’ll need a changing table, a crib (bed), a glider and possibly a rocking chair too. However, try handling things without a nice dresser for the baby, diaper supplies, baby oil, toys, and loads of towels and so on! Here’s what we think:
- Create a diaper bag out of a pillow case and don’t forget to restock it every now and then.
- Create a baby’s bag containing diapers, baby oil, baby wipes, a chew toy, a snack for your baby and some water. This bag will prove to be crucial when you need to leave the house in a hurry and there’s no one to babysit for you.
- A laundry bag for your baby: throw all your baby’s clothes in it and wash it every time you wash the clothes in it. Be careful: in order to destroy all germs and microbes, it’s best to wash everything at a very high temperature. Yes, they will probably warn out faster, but at least your baby will be safe!
- A large and comfy chair if not a bed for you to sleep on when your baby needs you. Unfortunately, colic and other ailments will keep you up all night for a while, so make sure you get enough rest. Plus, don’t underestimate the skin-on-skin contact with your baby. Although sleeping together is not possible all day round, you can still steal a few minutes with your bundle of joy every now and then.
- Also, many pillows, sets of sheets, soft blankets and a few bottles of water. This way, you’ll be able to clean the room in no time and also hydrate in case you need to. Most breastfeeding women don’t realize that they really need to drink more water. They become tired faster than usually and their hair and nails start looking bad.