Despite what department stores and mother-and-baby magazines might make you believe, babies need very little other their Mummy (on demand, 24 hours a day) for the first few months, so decorating a room for your newborn should be done with the aim simply of satisfy your own nesting instincts.
Having said that it won’t be long before they can be eased into their own space to sleep, and there’s all the clothes and toys that have to be housed somewhere, so most people like to get their nursery equipped and decorated before baby’s arrival.
Far be it for us to suggest what equipment you will and won’t need for your baby – simply consult an experienced parent! Look at the furniture you already have before buying anything new; a low chest of drawers with the addition of a changing mat on top will be fine as a changing station, and can contain all the nappies, creams, babygrows and other paraphernalia you’ll inevitably need.
A low comfortable armchair is a good idea for feeding, since it’s best to get baby fed and put down for a sleep in the same room so they associate the room with comfort and restfulness. Look for a chair with a loose cover in a sturdy, washable fabric. An alternative is a large, bright-coloured beanbag, since it will be a fun piece of furniture for your baby to use when he/she becomes a toddler.
Plain painted walls and an easy-care floor offer the most restful environment for a baby. Choose colours that you like since it’ll be a long time before your little one shows any interest in what colours the walls are. Plain walls offer the perfect background for colourful textiles and accessories, so plain white or a pastel colour such as lavender or duck-egg blue would be a suitable backdrop for those many (inevitably) primary-coloured toys.
Don’t forget babies spend a lot of time lying on their backs looking upwards, so making the ceiling interesting to look at is probably more important than the walls.
Keep the nursery looking modern with fuss-free window treatments, and remember to add (or choose) curtains and blinds with blackout lining to prevent your baby waking at the crack of dawn, which don’t forget is 4.30am in high summer.
Roller blinds, Roman blinds or shutters are simple and neat; be aware the cords on window blinds can be dangerous for very young children (see http://www.rospa.com/campaigns-fundraising/current/blind-cord/) so look for blinds which are “safe by design” – which all modern blinds should be - and/or are fitted with child safety devices.
If you go for curtains, try plain pastel colours or check the more exclusive fabric books for beautiful, child-friendly abstract patterns. You may have to give in and buy Barbie or Thomas the Tank Engine curtains one day, but for now you can have what you like!
Need inspiration? That’s what we’re here for! Come over to Interior Inspirations in Farnborough for a wide range of fabrics, soft furnishing, furniture and wall coverings. You’ll definitely walk out with lots of ideas for your nursery. Good luck!