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Decorating the Nursery

Besides choosing a name, deciding how to decorate your nursery is one of the most important decisions you'll make before the baby arrives. But unlike a name, a nursery can easily change and adapt as your baby grows from infancy to childhood. Below are some suggestions to consider when planning for your baby's future living space:


Focus on the basics. Your most important items are a sturdy crib with a firm mattress, a changing table with compartments or shelves, one large dresser or bureau, and a comfortable rocker or glider. Make sure all furnishings meet federal safety requirements. If buying used or second hand, thoroughly inspect items for worn, broken, or unsafe latches or designs. Any crib dated before 1978 should NOT be used, since most of these cribs have lead-based paints and/or trim that is harmful to a child. Keep in mind, you'll probably be changing furniture as your child grows, so keep designs simple and colors neutral.


Choose universal themes and colors. Using wallpaper borders and appliques are a great way to decorate, since they can be easily applied and removed as your child's tastes change. Here are some themes to consider when decorating:

  • Noah's Ark/Zoo Animals
  • Flights of Fancy: Airplanes, balloons, kites, butterflies, birds, bees
  • ABCs and 1-2-3s: Letters and numbers in bold primary colors
  • Mother Goose/Nursery Animals: Teddy bears, ducks, rabbits, puppies and kittens
  • Under The Sea: Fish, sea mammals, pelicans, starfish, sea horses
  • Circus clowns/circus theme
  • Cartoon characters

Decorate with your baby's development in mind. Place mirrors, lights, sun catchers, wind chimes, stuffed animals, or bright sheets or comforters strategically throughout your nursery, especially around the crib and changing table area. Babies respond to bright colors, soothing sounds, and images of themselves or of their mommies.


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