Planning a nursery is an exciting time and with a little help, it can be nearly stress-free. It should be noted that a pregnant mom shouldn't be the one to do the painting since paint fumes aren't good for the baby. If you don't feel like you have a choice, talk to your doctor before Mom does the painting and get his or her advice. As for the planning stage, there is a lot of fun to be had and everyone can participate!
Choose a paint color. Paint is something that can change the look of a room dramatically and with that, it is the first place to begin. If you choose a gloss or semi-gloss paint, it will be easier to clean as the child grows. It should also be noted that this is the time where most of us lean toward pastels, however if we choose a bolder color, it will be easier to change the accessories as the child gets older and have a room that remains appropriate for an older child, too.
Make sure that you get supplies to cover the carpet and primer, which will make the whole paint job look much better.
Consider the furniture. A nursery needs certain furniture and now is the time that you can pick out the pieces. Whether buying matching items or picking up garage sale finds, choose what you need while keeping in mind the overall look. Woods are lovely, but if picking up mismatched pieces, then you may want to prime and paint the items. The choice of what you consider to be necessities in your nursery is up to you, but some things to consider are:
- Crib or bassinet. A crib will last much longer and in this day and age, a three- or four-in-one that becomes a day bed and then a full-sized bed might be the way to go. However, a bassinet is something you can move into your room or the living room if need be.
- Dresser. Most of us like using dressers and sometimes it works really well to hide tiny clothes that are a pain to fold inside a dresser. If you are careful, you can get one with a changing table as a top and save space.
- Changing table. While not a must-have, a changing table does make changing an infant much easier. You can do a dresser changing table combo and skip out on the extra furniture and then you have something that will definitely be worth using later on.
- Rocking chair. A rocking chair also isn't a must-have, but it is nice for you and for the baby. You can rock your baby instead of having to pace as much on nights that you have to stay up with the baby. This could become your favorite piece of furniture.
- Shelves. Whether you want bookshelves for toys and books or shelves that go on the wall for a good place to stick diapers, shelves can come in handy.
- Toy box. It won't take long until you have a lot of toys out and about. You can buy a toy box, or even a plastic tote in a color that matches your nursery, and store the toys here.
You have a lot of options to make the perfect room and it can be done on a small budget or a huge one. Whatever you have.
Paint colors for furniture and accessories. If you are painting your furniture, then you will want to pick out the color scheme. You can stick with baby themes or prepare for the future--the choice is up to you. Each piece of furniture can be painted to match or fall into a color scheme. If you have good quality wood, a better option is to leave it plain.
Choose accessories. It is fun to pick out wonderful decorations and accessories for your nursery. You might go with a theme (such as the ever-popular Pooh bear) or you might pick out a variety of things that go with your color scheme. Either way works. You can choose bedding, a mat and sheets for the changing table, things to hang on the wall, decorations you wish to have, and other things that will make for a great room.
Safety first. An important thing to note is that babies should not sleep with comforters or blankets (with the exception of a swaddling blanket), stuffed animals, or soft crib bumpers. You can buy these things for when the baby gets older, but they shouldn't be used with infants because they increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). If you feel a crib bumper is necessary to protect the baby from the slats or rails of the crib, then go with a mesh one (which is much safer) and make sure you secure it and that your strings are not long enough to wrap around the baby's neck.
Planning the nursery can be a lot of fun. If you are doing it while pregnant, then you might want to do the actual painting after the baby is born or you might want to have your friends and family members do it. Have a party with snacks and music at your house while you and a few friends go shopping for accessories. You can then put someone in charge of the painting and the putting together of furniture. Spend the night at a hotel as a last-minute getaway for you and your special someone!