Preparing your space for your first baby is a huge deal. While you don’t need to go around and baby-proof everything just yet (though that will come far faster than you expect), you do need to rework your space so that it supports you best during this new and, for many, daunting time.
You can have read all the parenting books, but unless you’ve already gone through the motions of taking care of an infant up close and personal, there’s always going to be moments that are unknown to you.
That’s okay! With the help of friends, family, and any parenting groups or classes you take you will be able to take care of your newborn just fine.
What you can do now before that baby arrives is set up the nursery. Despite common belief, the nursery design isn’t really for your baby at all – it’s for you.
Sure, you want to use fun designs or make it look baby-friendly, but what should come first and foremost are things you like, you enjoy, and you find soothing (and useful).
As your baby gets older and starts to form opinions and can express them, then you can go out and redesign the space. Until then, you’ll want to stick to these top essentials:
1. A Theme and Palette You Enjoy
When it comes to designing your nursery, know that things like painting the walls or picking out a color scheme are actually all for you.
If you want to save the time and effort of picking out a specific theme and implementing it when your baby is older, do it.
What matters is that you find the space calming. A neutral pallet that you find soothing will also soothe your baby.
2. A Comfortable Crib
One thing you will want to get that’s as much for you as it is for your baby is a very comfortable crib.
This means a great mattress, soft crib sheets, and a good collection of swaddling blankets. Keep in mind that, up until this point, your baby will have never known hunger, cold, or even being on its own.
Having a crib is important so that you can put your baby down to sleep while you go out and do other things (including sleeping without worrying about accidentally smothering your newborn), so go all out with the most comfortable, soothing crib, mattress, and extra sheets to account for any dribble.
3. A Great Changing Station
Changing stations can be anywhere in the home. You can have just one or several throughout your property so that you can quickly and comfortably address a dirty diaper.
One of those areas, however, should be in the baby’s room. This changing station should not only have a comfortable place where you can rest your baby while you are changing them but also where everything you need is well stocked and within reach.
You need storage so that everything can easily go away where it needs to, and, more importantly, you can put things away in a flash.
This is going to include things like a bin next to the changing table, for example, and a basket right within reach for all the laundry.
Storage and a place to put everything quickly and one-handed is going to change the game.
Get foot-opening baskets and bins to keep the smell out for laundry and dirty diapers, open baskets for soft furnishings and toys, and furniture with plenty of drawer space.