Home & Garden

Be practical when decorating a nursery

Few things in life are as exciting as having a baby on the way. When you’re ready to decorate the nursery, though, it’s a good idea to emphasize practicality over thrilling designs and fanciful color schemes. Concentrating on the needs of your infant will help ensure that everything is in place when your baby arrives.

Storage and organization

It’s amazing how many supplies you can use when caring for a baby. Think carefully about clothing storage, a place for diapers, baby toys and bottles, baby safety supplies, lotions and powder. If your nursery has no closet or a skimpy one, look for baby furniture with plenty of storage.

An excellent option is a changing table with drawers or a changing table dresser. Both can keep items you’ll need close for changing and dressing your baby. For safety’s sake, avoid the temptation to put shelves over the changing table or crib; babies often try to grab at them and items could fall on the infant.

Instead, place a shelving unit next to the changing table. That furniture arrangement poses no hazards but keeps supplies where you need them. If you need drawer space, also consider adding a closet storage unit with pull-out drawers. Wire closet organizers allow you to see things quickly and easily. The organizers also can be useful as your baby grows.

Comfort and safety

If you have wood floors in the nursery, an area rug could be good for warming your feet during late-night feedings. A rug will also cushion your baby’s legs and hands once he/she reaches the crawling stage. A comfortable rocker or cushioned chair can make you both comfortable.

For the crib, pediatricians suggest avoiding comforters and other fluffy blankets that could suffocate an infant.

Your newborn will be a busy, active toddler in the blink of an eye, so decorate with this in mind. Avoid hanging pictures over a crib. The frame could fall, or your child could grab at it and be injured.

Use wall decals instead of framed art. Decals come in styles suitable for almost any decor and can be quickly applied and removed or changed. Look online at wallpops.com or etsy.com for something artsy and original.

Paint and decor

Your nursery should be a space that can grow and change with your child. Decorate with an eye toward how the design and colors can be adapted for a toddler, then a young child. Make sure you have space for a standard child’s bed or twin bed.

Try to finish all your decorating at least two months before your baby arrives.

When painting, opt for products that won’t release volatile organic compounds into the air. Paints in this category are easy on a baby’s developing body and don’t have strong odors. Benjamin Moore’s Natura line ( BenjaminMoore.com) has no VOCs. Low-VOC brands also are available.