Creating a nursery for your family's soon-to-arrive is an exciting time for any expectant parents. But it can also be immensely stressful, particularly for new parents who oftentimes find themselves inundated with advice on what they "have" to buy and facing the burden of several expensive furniture purchases.
To help you sort through the plethora of nursery-specific furnishings out there, start by thinking about how you will be using this room down the road and what will be required when your little one becomes a toddler. It's important to remember that before long, your newborn will be a walking and talking toddler with no need for a crib.
Keep things simple
Rather than baby-centric decor, opt for classic patterns such as leaves or stripes, which are appropriate for a nursery and toddler's room. Then select neutral shades for drapery, trim and floor coverings, which will complement any decor items you bring into the room.
Fight the urge to go with a coordinating theme for all of the decor elements. If you want to incorporate a theme, find some inexpensive prints and have them framed and add in a matching blanket. You'll be able to change these out later as your son or daughter grows. If you really want to give impact to the room, skip the wallpaper for some removable wall decals that will add a bit of whimsical decor. Search on Etsy (www.etsy.com) for some unique decal designs.
Think long-term for furniture
Consider purchasing a crib that converts to a toddler bed (or even a full-sized bed) to cut down on the amount of new furniture you have to purchase. However, verify if the convertible crib you've selected requires the purchase of additional hardware to complete the conversion and purchase this kit at the same time as the crib. Don't plan on buying this conversion kit later when your son or daughter is a bit older, as it could get discontinued or sold out.
Convertible cribs can be costly, so if you find it is not in your budget skip the toddler bed when the time comes and go straight to a full-frame bed. You'll be surprised how quickly your little one will need this larger bed, which will serve its purpose much longer than the smaller frame.
Just as for the crib, consider purchasing a convertible changing table with a removable top so the piece can later serve as a dresser. However, do consider the cost of this convenience. If a convertible changing table is out of your budget, skip the purchase and find a dresser with a solid and large top to it. Convert it top a changing table by securing a padded changing mat to the top. Use decorative baskets on shelves nearby to store diapers, creams and other essentials.
Organizational items are your friend. If you include these pieces into the nursery then you won't have to figure out how to incorporate storage pieces later on. Pick up some decorative bins that can store toys and books, but remember to make sure that these pieces are neutral in colour so that they can easily be included in the transition from nursery to toddler's room.
Child proof the room early on so that you are already prepared for when your son or daughter starts the inevitable attempt at climbing furniture. Make sure any large furniture pieces that will stay in the room when it makes the transition from a nursery cannot tip over. Secure these pieces to a wall and keep any furniture your son or daughter might climb on away from windows.
Remember that in this room, practicality prevails over design and things don't have to match perfectly. As long as you and your son or daughter enjoy this space, then it is serving its purpose perfectly.
By Erin Kelly