These days, parents are faced with a dizzying array of choices as they pick the necessities and accessories to deck out their nursery – which can be slightly overwhelming for first-timers!
Maybe Baby spoke to several new parents and narrowed down the must-haves and key ideas to help you along.
Choosing a colour-palette
In the typical Singapore home where space constraint is an important consideration, a first-born’s nursery often becomes a shared bedroom as more children are added to the family. Choosing a gender-neutral colour theme is a smart way to stretch your dollar, as the décor and look of the room can be easily adapted for boys and girls alike – it will certainly be easier to work with a neutral colour such as yellow or green from the start, rather than have to repaint and renovate a completely pink or blue room later on.
In choosing a colour, it is also important to note that your baby’s sight will gradually develop over 6-8 months after they are born. While they can see colour from birth, they will only be able to distinguish between similar colours as the months progress. Thus, choosing softer tones such as light pastels as the predominant colour will be more soothing to your newborn’s eye.
Purchase your must-haves first
These are the pieces that will anchor your room. Ideally, they should be in a light or same colour, to make the room larger than it appears. We spoke to some parents, and the must-haves on their lists include:
A cot (Price range: $120-$600)
A sturdy cot is an essential item for your newborn. There is a wide variety of cots in the market, and you can be sure to find one that fits your space and budget.
A cupboard/chest of drawers to hold baby’s clothing. (Price range: $100-$150)
A small compact chest of drawers is the most convenient way to store your new-born’s clothing. This can be replaced with an adult-sized wardrobe or cupboard as your child grows up and needs more space in his closet.
Optional: A diaper changing station (Price range: $60-$200)
Choose one that is at a comfortable height for you (the changing mat should be at hip-level) and has sufficient space to store changing essentials such as diapers, wet wipes and extra sets of baby clothes. A tip: pick one with a wipe-down changing mat for easy cleaning.
Optional: A comfortable chair for nursing (Price range: $200-$600)
If you choose to breastfeed, a chair with good back support is a great help for your frequent nursing sessions. Some mothers vouch for a rocking chair as their babies are soothed by the to-and-fro movements, and drop off to sleep easily.
Optional: A small bed (if space permits!) (Price range: $90-$150)
Late night feeds are an inescapable fact for new parents, and having a bed or pull-out sofa in your baby’s nursery means that you can catch a nap in between feeds, or for those times that you are too tired to make it back to your own bed!
Optional: A night light (Price range: $20-$30)
Inexpensive versions can be easily purchased at hardware stores, while higher-end decorative versions costing $100 and above are available at most stores selling baby and child accessories. Remember to place these away from the reach of other younger children, when in use.
Choose your accents wisely
Be selective in the accessories you choose for your new born’s nursery- these should be of value without over-cluttering the space. Some popular accents include:
A hanging mobile (Price range $60 and above)
A hanging mobile over your infant’s cot can be excellent source of stimulation and self-entertainment for your little one. The different movements, colours, shapes and sizes will be exciting for a child. If you choose a motorised version, do pick one with soothing sounds, with no bright rapid lights or fast movements.
A play gym (Price range $150 and above)
A play gym can be used for tummy-time for your infant, and aid in the development of his fine motor skills a well-designed play gym often comes with various toy components that the child can grasp, squeeze and manipulate with their hands and feet.
A child’s library (Price range $5 and above)
Reading storybooks will develop your child’s imagination and language skills. In the early years, reading aloud to your child can promote parent-child bonding as well. One of the best nursery ideas is to create a library of well-loved books that you can read to your child, and that he in turn can read to himself one day! Include hardbooks and soft books that can withstand wear and tear from your active little child.
Remember, safety first
The most important consideration when choosing items for the nursery is to ensure that they meet stringent safety standards. Purchase your items from reputable companies and sellers. Also, do your research beforehand by reading online user reviews and check if there have been product recalls on any items you are considering.
Decorating your baby’s nursery is an enjoyable process, so take time to enjoy it!
Shulin Tan, 26, expecting twins: “We were pleasantly surprised when my doctor said I was carrying two! As a young couple with limited budget, it was really helpful when my husband’s colleague passed us an almost new baby cot. We just bought a mattress to replace and some pretty sheets. We are looking forward to the birth of Yvonne and Yvette!”
Budget-Friendly Ideas for Nursery Room Decorating
Here are some cost-saving ideas to decorate a nursery without blowing a hole in your pocket!
Go the DIY route
Shop at baby fairs and hypermarts
Make a baby shower list