If you’re pregnant or a first time new mom, you’re likely to have poured and obsessed over pretty Pinterest baby room shoots and dreamt about installing a drop chandelier in your child’s room (I mean, can’t hubby just remove that boring ceiling light?!)
I totally did this with Benjamin.
His room turned into a beautiful woodland escape, complete with themed fox, badger & owl décor. Everything from the duvet cover to the wall decals to the nappy holder and the framed photo of his dad at age three was a tribute to a forest scene. I avoided Superman blue, stayed away from sailor-boy stripes and congratulated myself that if we had a girl next time, this theme could totally work for her too.
Turns out, we had Oliver and he really didn’t mind what his room looked like. And after a few sluggish attempts to change the turquoise, white and blue polka-dots colours into a more muted grey and blue feel, I simply updated the necessaries, which at the end of the day, is actually what you need. Also, babies don’t need duvets till they are like one.
Here are my absolute essentials for having a nursery that functions practically and perfectly for mom and new baby:
Make sure you have easy-access storage bins or drawers that you can grab a new set of wipes or bib from right from your changing station. We purchased white plastic bins that slotted easily onto the shelves of our repurposed work-bench from Builders Warehouse (which we used as a compactum). They were easy to pull out and I could see at a glance what I needed. We had a bin for nappies & wipes, one for toiletries, another for bibs, socks and burp cloths, and another for muslins and receiving blankets.
- COMFY CHAIR
You won’t regret ensuring your chair is comfortable, because you’re going to spend a lot of time in it! Hours. Beautiful hours! We ‘borrowed’ / took over my mom-in-law’s armchair, which was covered in white bull-denim. I added a cute receiving blanket to the seat to ‘match’ the décor, added my breastfeeding pillow and made sure I had a little stool next to me (ideal for phone, a glass of water, magazine and tablet) and I was ready to go. Bring on the 2am feed.
My mom installed three small shelves directly above and to the right of our changing station (ie: not over baby’s head glory-be) where I stashed all my daily-use toiletries, medicines, a cute photo or two and some sweet ceramic bunnies and geese I found at a bric-a-brac sale for R5 each. So when I needed to reach for the bum cream or gripe water it was easily within reach.
- DECENT PLUG POINT
So we sort of failed with having only one plug point in the baby room, but we made it into a win with one of those great extended double-adapter jobs. Because, OH BOY, do you plug a lot in. Baby monitor, clock radio (with big glowing letters so your blurry eyes can see the time at 1 in the morning) which had a CD player, cute lamp and then for summer a fan, and winter a heater.
My mom found this great wrought-iron brocaded hanger with about 5 hooks on it. We sprayed it white and fixed it to the wall in an easy to access spot. This has hung bath towels, nappy bag, muslin blankets, dressing gowns and overalls. You can never go wrong with a few hooks in a baby room, because not everything is made to easily fold away in a drawer, and when you are dashing around with a baby attached to your boob and wet towels in your free hand, a handy hook is your best friend.
And so, those are just a couple of practical and necessary things I found very helpful in my nursery. I’m sure Benjamin appreciated them as much as I did, and now that he’s in his big boy room (post on his room makeover coming soon!), I’ve also installed hooks, plug points, shelving and storage. Some things don’t change! Oliver is not even in his room yet; he’s still ensconced in the camp cot in the corner of our bedroom.
But don’t let all this practical nonsense fool you, I’m still a sucker for gorgeous baby-room décor. An upcoming post on beautiful white and grey baby room décor is in the works…