Remember Practical Considerations
For safety reasons, a crib should not be near a window, drapes, hanging pictures, or anything with a cord. If it looks like the room isn’t big enough for all the pieces you want to include, don’t despair. “You can simplify by putting a changing tray with a pad on top of a dresser,” says Sachs. “Or try placing the crib or dresser at an angle rather than flush against the wall.”
If the room doesn’t have a lot of storage space, consider buying an armoire (you can get an unfinished one and paint it yourself). While considering colors and styles, remember that your baby will only be an infant for a short time (difficult to imagine, but true). “Choose colors that will last beyond the infant stage,” says Sachs. That goes for furniture styles and accessories, too. The dresser, rug, and chair should be functional for years to come. A Baby-Room Blueprint Once you settle on a style, you can begin buying the pieces. Some tips on what to look for:
■ The crib
Although the crib mattress size is standard, some cribs are designed to be large and colorful while others are compact and sleek. When choosing a style, consider how much you want the crib to dominate the space. Choose one that feels sturdy, with a drop-side panel you can lift and lower easily but that will lock securely when baby is in the crib.
Some cribs can be transformed into toddler beds, which can save money down the line. In terms of safety, remember the following: Crib slats should be no more than 23/8 inches apart. There should be no cut-out spaces on the headboard in which the baby’s head could get caught. The crib mattress should fit snugly in the crib. Corner posts should be either flush with the side panels or at least 16 inches high, so that baby’s clothing cannot get caught on them.
You’ll need a crib sheet, bumper, and skirt. These are sold separately and in sets; you can buy several sets and then mix and match colors and patterns. They can be inexpensive or quite pricey. Remember: Do not place blankets, quilts, or pillows in the crib with your baby because they can cause suffocation. Some experts have expressed concern that bumpers may also be a risk. Once the baby can stand, you should definitely remove the bumper so she can’t stand on it and risk a fall.
■ The nursing chair
A comfortable chair for nursing is a must, but choose one that you can get into and out of easily. A rocking chair is a great choice as its motion can soothe your baby (and you), and it can be placed anywhere in your house when your child is no longer a baby. Many women also like to have a footstool for extra comfort. You’ll need a sturdy side table to hold burp cloths, a glass of water for you, etc. Keep a nursing pillow nearby, too.