When you first got pregnant, how long did it take before you started visualizing what your baby’s nursery was going to look like?
(Pic of our actual nursery for Baby E)
Go ahead. I won’t judge. For me, it was about an hour and a half (why did it take so long? I was making my registry!).
At first, I was thinking zoo animals. But then, I thought about how much I used to love Winnie the Pooh, and how cute would a Winnie the Pooh nursery be? Later on, I changed my mind and decided that a more contemporary, elegant look was the way to go (grey and white bunny themed).
At the end of my nesting, I had this beautiful nursery with stuffed animals all over the place, beautiful framed pictures, books galore, and just about every baby gadget or top of the line “must have.” If I had known then what I know now, I should have spent my time researching crib mattresses and sleep sacks.
Because when it comes to nurseries, I’ve got four words of advice for you:
Dark, cool, comfortable, and boring.
I know how tempting it is to stuff baby’s sleeping quarters full of adorable mobiles, inspiring images, and fluffy, squishy toys. After all, wouldn’t baby want to be surrounded by a sea of cuteness while they drift off to sleep?
Well, actually, probably not!
Sure, they may like it in theory, but it’s not conducive to a good night’s sleep, for the same reasons that you shouldn’t bring your iPad to bed or watch TV while you’re drifting off. It’s stimulating, and stimulation and sleep are best kept at a distance from one another.
So what does the perfect nursery look like?
I’m talking pitch black. Some blackout curtains or blinds are a much better investment than a colorful mural. I’m a huge advocate of baby sleeping in the same place all the time, which means naps should be in the crib. And you’ll find naps go down with a lot less fuss if there’s no light coming into the room.
It’s cool (in temperature, not in trend ;-)
It may sound cold, but studies show that babies sleep best in a room that kept between 68 – 72F degrees. Obviously, you should follow your baby’s lead on this, but a warm, comfortable sleep sack or onesie in a cool room will often lead to better sleep than no cover in a warm one.
Babies sleep for nearly half the day, so a great mattress is a sound investment. It’s well worth your time to do some extensive research and spend the money you had set aside for mobiles and stuffies on the surface baby’s going to be spending the vast majority of their time on. Which brings me to my major point...
Music and soft light, pictures of Disney characters, swirling colors and little plastic fish, all of them seem like they should have a calming effect on a baby, but it’s just the opposite. These standard nursery accompaniments are distracting and stimulating. Blank walls and an easily accessible changing station, those are your best decorating choices when it comes to baby’s bedroom.
Favorites (and things to avoid)
Check out my website for a few of my favorite things when it comes to nursery accessories.
And, here are some things to avoid:
Mobiles, Crib Aquariums, bright colored walls, the Snoo (more on that another time!), bouncy chairs/swings (not in the nursery at least).
I know it’s probably a little bit of a tough pill to swallow for new parents, because we really do look forward to putting together a little corner of baby-themed paradise for our little ones. But bear in mind, this room serves a crucial function in your baby’s day-to-day life, and that’s to be a quiet, relaxing environment for them to get the extensive amounts of sleep that their growing bodies need.
There will be plenty of opportunity for them to adorn their rooms with extensive amounts of knick-knacks when they’re teenagers.
Having read all that, I know you will heed every word AND find a way to be super crafty and fashionable. So, tell me what your nursery theme was and your favorite part of your child’s room – I’d love to see a pic, too!!