DIY Nursery: Create a great nursery
If the drive to nest has reached urgent levels and your nursery Pinterest board is overflowing, here's our guide to getting it right the first time
There comes a time in every pregnancy when thoughts turn to creating a beautiful nursery for your wee one. In the third trimester it’s not uncommon to find a heavily pregnant woman up a ladder, painting, late at night. Getting it right is important because in those first few months, you and your family are going to be spending a lot of time in your nursery – at all hours. Feeding, changing, burping, and maybe a bit of swearing will happen in there.
Here’s our top tips to create a great nursery:
The cot is an investment piece. It’s possible your child will sleep in it for up to four years if it’s one that converts to a bed. Look for something sturdy and practical with versatile features, such as a side that lowers, and a base that can be set at two levels: bassinette height for when baby is little, and lower for when baby rolls over or can climb out. Even if you choose to use a pēpi pod or wahakura in the early days, the cot can be a great place to put it, with or without a sleeping baby inside. A gender neutral style is great if you are planning on having more than one child.
Curtains with a blackout lining are not essential as your newborn needs to learn the difference between day and night, but they can be a lifesaver when trying to get an older baby or toddler down for a day nap.
The idea of buying a special chair to breastfeed feels like going overboard until you realise how much time you’ll spend feeding. Comfort is essential. The chair needs to be low enough that you can put your feet comfortably on the ground, and needs to have arm rests and decent lumbar support.
The recommended room temperature for a baby is between 16 and 20 degrees centigrade, with 18 degrees being ideal. That may seem cooler than you think but experts recommend a heater only to take the chill off baby’s room, and that babies should not sleep in a hot room. For peace of mind invest in a thermometer. Opt for a heater that’s safe and can’t be knocked over, like a panel heater.
You might think a changing table is a luxury but bear in mind newborns need their nappies changed seven times a day, and nappy changing will continue for two to three years. Having a table that’s above hip level can reduce back pain and means you can enjoy the ritual of changing your baby’s nappy. It’s a great time to bond. Go for something with storage for nappies, wipes and clothing.
A dim or night light is essential for night feeds and nappy changes when you don’t want baby to wake more than necessary. A lamp near the feeding chair is a good option.
Adding a personal touch to your nursery can be as simple as a homemade mobile or a string of bunting. If you have the budget, there’s no limit to the amount of fun you can have.
Did you know children won’t wake to the sound of a smoke alarm until they become teenagers? The Cavius Wireless Family alarms connect via new RF technology; when one alarm sounds, all other connected alarms will sound, providing your family with the earliest detection. All adults in your home, whether they’re upstairs or downstairs will know immediately if there is a potential fire developing. Fast detection provides vital minutes and will help with evacuation out of the house faster in the case of a fire.
Choose baby-safe paint
Ask for water-based paints with low volatile organic compounds (VOC’s). You’ll find a range of these at your Resene ColorShop. If you’re repainting an existing wall finished in waterborne paint in good condition, usually a quick clean and two topcoats is all you’ll need. If you’re pregnant, it’s best to let someone else paint the nursery and allow to air until dry.
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KIM: My journey to becoming a foster parent goes right back to when I was 15. I have always wanted to be able to help a child in need. I have been married for 30 years and have four children of my own, as well as one grandchild.
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Recently, my sister and I took our toddlers for a walk to buy a morning coffee. As we walked, my sister asked if I had a preference as to where we might dine.“Somewhere with good high chairs,” I replied. There wasn’t a mention of location or coffee quality. High chairs were my primary focus.