Preparing for a baby is such an exciting time that parents created a term for it — nesting. You might start daydreaming about color schemes and decor before wondering if the effort is worth your investment. Babies grow quickly, so nursery supplies may be more costly than you’d like. Here’s how to design a room that grows with your child so you don’t waste a single penny.
1. Pick a Convertible Crib
There are so many types of cribs for parents to consider. Think about the size of your nursery to determine the best dimensions for your baby’s future bed. A tape measure will help you find the most accurate measurements regarding where you’ll place your child’s crib. Once you can narrow your selection down by size, browse the various types to learn more about your options.
Although you might be picturing a regular crib for your baby, a convertible model is the smarter option for growing kids. It’s the perfect size for infants but converts into a small daybed for toddlers and a twin-sized bed for older children. You can even find this model with built-in changing tables or storage drawers that come off when your child needs a bigger bed.
2. Install Human-Centric Lighting
Lighting sets the mood for any room. Calming lampshades and low-wattage bulbs are often used in nurseries, but they’re not the best decor piece for growing kids. Everyone would benefit from human-centric lighting instead, even newborns or toddlers.
Human-centric lighting uses dimmable light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs to simulate natural sunlight. When the sun begins to set, the lights will dim until it’s time to sleep. Limiting artificial light during optimal sleep hours is crucial for young kids. A recent study found that when toddlers interact with artificial light at night, their bodies can’t produce enough melatonin to help them get to sleep. Human-centric nursery lighting will help your child get the shuteye they need to grow through every stage of their life.
3. Paint the Walls Neutral Colors
It’s so exciting to pick out paint chips and test colors on your nursery walls. A fresh coat is like a new start for your home. You might be in love with a bright pink or neon green shade, but opt for neutral colors to design a nursery that grows with your child.
Neutral shades are much easier to paint over later when your toddler grows up and wants to express themselves through their room’s design. They also easily match whatever decor you want to add to your nursery, so you won’t have to worry about mismatched colors in your home.
4. Find a Multipurpose Glider
There’s nothing sweeter than watching your newborn fall asleep in your arms while you rock them in their nursery. A high-quality glider is a perfect addition to any baby’s room, but you won’t need it forever. Researchers suggest that rocking becomes a maladaptive activity after a baby turns six months old because they begin to associate it with falling asleep. As soon as you stop rocking, they have less chance of sleeping through the night.
The best glider for your nursery will convert into an armchair. After your child turns 6 months old or doesn’t prefer the rocking motion anymore, you can take off the attachment on your glider and still use the chair. You’ll both still get time to cuddle without forming any anti-sleep habits.
5. Hang Interesting Art Pieces
You’ll likely find artwork that features baby shoes, bottles and other infant motifs in a baby supply store. Those are adorable when your little one first comes home, but the art will quickly look out of place when they start to walk and talk.
Instead of baby symbols, hang art pieces like painted animals or natural elements, such as trees or flowers. Point to them so your child can learn them as they grow up and match them to future themed bedspreads or pillows. They’ll always fit with the design of your child’s room because the art doesn’t work for one specific age.
6. Use Timeless Storage Solutions
Infants don’t make messes like toddlers do, but you’ll still need storage solutions in your baby’s nursery. Look for timeless options like low-lying baskets for toys. Your baby can crawl over when they want to play and easily reach for whatever item they prefer. You can always move the basket to a bookshelf or closet to store things more decoratively as they grow. Baskets are a great way to corral the clutter that seems to follow little kids everywhere.
7. Organize Supplies on a Bookshelf
You might not picture a bookshelf when you think of a newborn, but they’re instrumental pieces of furniture in nurseries. Place one by your changing table and it can become a storage unit for baby wipes or diapers. Decorative baskets and other containers will hide the brand labels and create a serene, aesthetically pleasing environment.
The bookshelf can hold introductory books and toys when your baby doesn’t need diapers anymore. Decorate it with your favorite pictures of them. As your child grows into their teenage years, they’ll still need the bookshelf to contain their favorite things.
8. Invest in a Dual-Stage Mattress
Even though small mattresses for cribs don’t cost as much as ones meant for adults, they’re still a significant upfront investment. Your baby may only use it for a few months. It’s better to buy a dual-stage mattress because it lasts much longer.
Dual-stage mattresses have a firm side to support infants while they sleep. Flip it over when your child reaches their first birthday. It will better support their growing spine and neck alignment during their naps. Your investment will provide twice the life span and save you money later.
Design a Long-Lasting Nursery
Consider which of these ideas will work best with your current budget. You can always add multipurpose features later or even after they come home. Either way, you’ll make smart investments and give your child everything they need to feel comfort.
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