Nursery preparation can seem daunting: where do you begin? Here are a few smart steps to get you started.
One size does not fit all
When it comes time to plan for your baby's nursery, don't just hit the shops until you have a plan. A smart plan emphasizes safety and convenience, facilitates organization, and can save you both time and money. Put first things — like safety — first.
As you purchase furnishings for your nursery, remember that little hands like to explore. Cracks, crevices, holes, and slots are there for prodding — virtually nothing is off-limits in the mind of a child. Think safety first when making your wish list for furniture, bedding, and accessories.
Hand-me-down cribs and changing tables initially save on expenses, as long as you make sure they are safe. If the slats on the crib are not up to code, a child could get his head or arm stuck between them and get hurt.
Also remember that gliders can pinch curious fingers, rockers can smash fingers and toes, and flimsy shelves can fall onto baby as she is trying to stand or walk. Toy chests provide storage and additional seating when closed. However, they can injure or even trap a child if not equipped with a special safety hinge that remains open until closed by an adult.
Nursery storage is not limited to the traditional changing table or decorative wooden shelves.
Ages and stages
Bear in mind that your baby will not stay little for long. Your newborn will quickly outgrow a bassinet, so if you don't have room for one, consider using a Moses basket or heavy-duty stroller. Both are small, easily stored and portable.
Planning for the arrival of your first baby can be fun, creative and practical. Be as frivolous or frugal as you like, and still be well-organized. Plan, shop, and plan some more. Remember that you can always change your system at any time when it stops working for you and your child.
Keep an eye out for creative uses of wicker baskets, baby wipe containers and other things to contain the clutter in your nursery. No matter how much you organize it, you'll find that it mysteriously multiplies, taking over your entire house. But don't worry — by that time, you'll be so enchanted by your little one that you won't mind at all.
You will grow with the flow of things, adapting your standards to focus on more important things, like rocking, singing, bathing, and catching stolen moments with your baby.
By: Debbie Williams
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