By Benedetta Pedrana, 1thousandays
We call it ‘nesting’, creating the nursery of our dreams, waiting for our little one to be born.
It’s a time in which it’s easy to fall for cheesy commercials on the ultimate dollhouse or to be seduced by the perfect pastel-tone nursery advertisement in a magazine.
While it’s certainly not forbidden to relish in some fun decorating activities, whether you are designing your first nursery or redecorating an existent one, you should always be tailoring the space to your baby’s needs, not yours.
Just like with every project (as businessy as this may sound), you must ask yourself the question: who is my client? What are their needs and requests?
The objective is to create a safe, functional space where the child feels comfortable sleeping, playing and learning.
Here are some simple rules to help you create your first nursery at home…
Tailor the space to your child’s needs and age
It might be counterintuitive, but not all babies need a nursery room when they first come home from hospital.
In the first six months, many parents choose the option of co-sleeping, which includes having the baby in a bedside crib.
This could be your option if you intend to be breastfeeding, or want to keep an eye on your baby during the night.
It could also mean that if you don’t have a spare room and intend to have someone help you out with the baby, this person could still have their own room to sleep in.
It will also allow you time to adapt to your new life and learn what you really need for the house, avoiding non-essential purchases.
Watch out for hazards
By nine months old, babies typically creep and crawl so, when designing your nursery, think about putting anything that could be a hazard to the child out of reach.
If adding cabinets or baskets with toys, either lock doors, use shelves and/or choose appropriate toys for your child’s age.
The sleeping environment
It probably goes without saying, but make sure the sleeping environment is relaxing, nurturing, silent, and not too bright.
In time, your child will learn to discern day and night-time and to associate night to his sleeping routine, but that will take a while.
In the meantime, place the cot away from light sources and prefer neutral colours to bright and bold patterns.
It’s important the child is not overstimulated when put to bed.
Also, make sure the room temperature is not too high. An ideal temperature is between 19 and 21 degrees Celsius.
Keep it simple
New-borns are easily overstimulated, and this can create confusion at a time when their brain is developing fast.
In the first few months, your baby will not be able to tell colours apart, therefore, black and white patterns are the best choice.
Think about how you can incorporate black and white into your child’s daily routine – for example, muslins, picture cards and books.
While it’s easy to be shopping around for cute drawings and name tags to hang to the wall, consider whether your child is actually going to be able to read those signs.
Favour a friendly design with simple letter shapes, rounded and open (for the example the Sassoon primary font).
From the very early stages, make sure you stimulate your child through all five senses.
Create sensory trays to dip hands and feet in, use toys in different shapes and textures and let your child explore sounds by banging and shaking toys.
1thousandays is a business committed to helping parents best assist their child’s development, offering tailored educational programmes, room decor advice and much more. Visit: www.1thousandays.com