The ‘perfect’ nursery for your baby
One of the first things that come to mind when a woman first finds out that she is pregnant is how to create the cute, cosy and most “perfect” nursery for her newborn baby!
What theme will she choose? what colour to paint the walls and which teddy bears and toys to buy.
I’m sure all mums-to-be dream about those things and spend days, if not months, researching and preparing that perfect nursery...
And guess what, this is perfectly normal, and, more importantly, it is a natural instinct known as “nesting.” Yes, this is a real thing!
The Mayo Clinic asserts that the nesting instinct is an overwhelming desire to get your home and yourself ready for your new baby. This can begin at any stage during your pregnancy.
For me, at first I was thinking of a zoo animals theme for my little boy’s nursery but then, I changed my mind and decided that a pastel green, elegant look was the way to go, accented with some forest-themed wallpaper, some plush toys for my baby to cuddle with and a cute little mobile crib to keep him entertained.
Oh, and don’t forget the cutest night light that emanates coloured stars on the ceiling AND plays music for my baby to happily drift off to sleep.
However, had I known then what I know now, I would have just painted it a nice, simple colour and spent the remainder of my time looking for crib mattresses and sleep sacks.
Because when it comes to nurseries, I’ve got FIVE words of advice for you: Dark, cool, comfortable, simple and safe.
I know how tempting it is to stuff a baby’s sleeping quarters with adorable fluffy teddies and inspiring images.
After all, wouldn’t baby want to be surrounded by a sea of cuteness while they drift off to sleep?
Well, probably not. In theory, they will sure like it but the reality is that it’s not conducive of a good night’s sleep.
The same goes for why you shouldn’t bring your iPad to bed or watch TV while you’re trying to sleep. It is simply stimulating, and stimulation and sleep are best kept at a distance from one another.
So, what does the “perfect” nursery look like?
- It’s dark!
I’m talking pitch black. Investing in some blackout curtains or blinds might be the best idea that will help your baby sleep better, especially early-morning hours.
When your baby is in their newborn stage, we always advice that they take naps in a lit room to prevent them from having day/night confusion.
However, this changes at 4+ months when your baby needs to be sleeping in the same place all the time, which means
naps should be taken in the crib. You’ll also find that naps go down with a lot less fuss if there’s no light coming into the room.
A dark room will also help you prevent that dreaded 5 am wake up call, where your baby feels energetic and eager to start their day (unlike you).
Logically, if they wake up at 5 am and find morning light, they won’t be able to go back to sleep as their melatonin levels will decrease and make them feel more awake, whereas if it’s still dark, they’re more likely to go back to sleep.
- It’s cool
This may come off as “cold,” as cosy and warm always sound better, but studies show that babies sleep best in a room that’s kept between 21-23 °C.
In general, it’s recommended to put your baby in one more layer than what you are wearing.
A comfortable sleep sack and onesie in a cool room will often lead to better sleep than no cover in a warm one.
- It’s comfortable
Babies sleep for nearly half the day, so a good quality mattress is an excellent investment.
It’s worth your time to do some research on the best mattresses available and, instead, to spend that money you have set aside for fluffy toys on the surface your baby is going to be spending the majority of their time on. Which brings me to my next point.
- It’s Simple
Music and light, pictures of Disney characters, bright colours and cute characters turning around in circles above your baby’s head, all of those things seem like they should have a calming effect, but it’s just the opposite.
These standard nursery embellishments are mostly distracting and stimulating. Crib mobiles can often cause over stimulation, especially early on.
Simple decorated walls and an easily-accessible changing station are your best decorating choices when it comes to your baby’s bedroom.
- It’s Safe!
When thinking about your baby’s sleep quarters, Safety should come first. The mattress you
Choose has to be firm, covered by a fitted sheet and no other bedding.
No pillows, bumpers or any other bedding are required; on the contrary, any of those can increase the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
In addition, make sure your baby’s crib is located away from curtains, dangling cords or window blinds.
I know it’s probably a little bit of a tough pill to swallow for new parents because we really do
Look forward to putting together a little baby-themed paradise for our little ones.
But bear in mind that this room will serve as a crucial function in your baby’s day-to-day life: that’s to be a quiet and relaxing environment for them to get the extensive amounts of sleep that their growing bodies need.
There will be plenty of opportunity for them when they’re older and more conscious to adorn their rooms with whatever theme they choose – I’m talking extensive amounts of stickers that they’ll want to stick all over the place.