There’s a lot of excitement and fun that comes along with designing a nursery as a first-time parent, but there are also a lot of concerns, questions and fears that can arise. All of my clients have concerns about the nursery, and a big part of my job is to help acknowledge each issue and direct them toward the right solutions. You’ve got enough to worry about before a new baby! I polled my friends, family and clients and put together a list of some of the most common concerns I see, and how you can handle them.
I see so many products out there—should I believe all the hype?
This is a big one, perhaps the biggest concern I get from clients. We live in the age of social media, and we are being constantly marketed to at every turn. How do you know if that item you keep seeing in your feed is really worth it? My answer is generally a little odd for an interior designer, but I tend to direct my clients to err on the side of minimalism in these situations. I’ll help them make a list of the things they absolutely need, then the things they want, and then anything else can go on a list to be consulted later if the need arrises. Every person you know with children is going to tell you to get such-and-such must-have item, but only you will know what your baby needs and what you want. I say listen to your gut, even if it means waiting until the baby is born to feel things out. This is where Target and Amazon Prime come in handy!
Does the nursery need to function as a playroom too?
Sometimes the nursery will end up also functioning as a guest room or office for space reasons, but a lot of clients ask me if they need to save room for playing. This is a tricky one, because it can depend on the personality of your child along with how you develop your routine around playtime (and this can’t always be planned). It’s always a good idea to have open floor space with a soft rug for playing in the nursery, but I wouldn’t say you need to have a full play space in there. Again, this might be a wait-and-see scenario, and you can always add things later. Who knows, your child might end up preferring to play in the living room, or you might want to have them play near the room you spend the most time in.
How much storage space do I actually need?
I have clients who could fill a whole walk-in closet with baby clothes, and others who prefer just a small basket of toys. If you like to shop and know you’re going to want lots of clothes and toys for the baby, just make sure you have a place to put them. The size of your dresser will likely be determined by how big your room is, and a lot of it will be filled with diapers and burp cloths. I like to think of this one a bit backwards—figure out what areas in your home you want to designate as storage spots (include the nursery too, and don’t forget about bathroom and feeding items) and then only buy things that will fit in those areas. It’s true that there are ways to add more storage to the nursery, but you also don’t want a room that’s stuffed with shelving.
How do I know that everything is safe?
Safety is absolutely important in the nursery, and should definitely be something you spend a lot of time researching. Luckily, you won’t have to worry about the baby moving around for a while, but there are still some concerns aside from that. When it comes to baby proofing, consult a professional if you can. Otherwise, I always recommend getting on the CPSC mailing list for safety alerts, and doing diligent research into baby safety. There are other “dangers” lurking around though, such as chemicals and toxins, and these are important to address as early as possible. Mind Body Green has a great article on this, which you can read here.
What other big questions or fears did you have?