Planning a baby’s little nest is such an exciting time for expectant parents. The more you take a stroll through stores, visit websites, talk to other parents and pin a zillion things on Pinterest, the harder it is to know where to start.
Everything seems enticing. It’s clever or colorful or just fun. The only problem is most baby nurseries won’t hold everything you see, nor will a new parent’s budget expand for everything. It’s really great to focus your time and effort on five baby nursery basics beyond the required crib.
1. Comfortable Rocker
Who hasn’t heard the song lyrics “Rock-a-bye baby in the tree tops?” Even small children playing house seem to know you should rock a baby. Hand an adult a crying baby and they will almost always start to sway, rocking the baby.
But did you know why? Dr. Amy Vaughn Van Hecke, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Marquette University wrote in Marquette Magazine that “research has shown that babies who are held and rocked show better growth, faster brain development, better regulation of breathing and heartbeat, more coordinated movements, less crying and better sleep patterns.”
Once you’ve purchased the crib, a glider or rocker should be next on your list.
2. Soft Rug
An easy-to-clean area rug is a nursery must. To start with, you’ll be up and down in the nursery at all hours of the night. In the winter, the floor is cold. In the summer with the air conditioning on, the floor is cold. You’ll be more comfortable moving from your warm bed to the nursery with a nice cushion under your feet.
As babies grow, they will move from laying on their tummy to scooting and crawling. The nursery rug gives them a comfortable space to do so. As they get a bit older, they will spend a lot of time sitting on the floor with toys.
Even if you have carpet, an area rug is a great idea. There tend to be a lot of spills and accidents in the nursery, so having a rug that is easy to clean can help save your carpet.
3. Adaptable Changing Table
You might be tempted to skip a changing table, thinking your child will outgrow it in a few years. One expectant mother was just heard to say she’d just use a changing pad on the floor. That would be okay occasionally, but would you want to do it thousands of times? Your child will go through 3,796 diaper changes, according to NationalGeographic.com.
If you’re concerned they will outgrow the changing table, and they eventually will, you can adapt a dresser that is the right height into a changing table. You can also buy a changing table that converts to a dresser or use the drawers of a changing table for toy or clothing storage down the road.
4. Plenty of Storage
Babies start to own a lot of things in a short amount of time. You’ll find you receive stuffed animals, rattles, shape sorters and story books from the start. As your baby grows and becomes interested in toys, you’ll only have more. Plan for extra storage into your baby’s room. Shelves with bins or cubbies are something they will use for years.
5. Eye-Catching Details
As you make a warm, cozy nursery for your child, keep in mind that visual stimulation is very important. Give your child plenty of things to look at in the nursery, from hanging a mobile from the ceiling to stacking cute stuffed animals on the shelf.
Use the walls to bring in art and colors. RoomMates Wall Decals are a great way to add interest to the room and can be arranged over the changing table, crib and other places the baby spends a lot of time. As your child grows into a toddler, decals are easy to remove and change into themes that are age-appropriate. Featured above are our Jungle Friends Wall Decals. Browse even more fun nursery wall decals to hang in your baby’s room in the RoomMates Nursery Wall Decal collection.
Lea Schneider is an organizational planner who writes on decor and home organization for the Home Decorators Collection at Home Depot.