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Baby's Nursery

Some items, large and small, that will make your nursery complete:

crib linens

Your baby will be spending a lot of time in his crib so have fun with the linens. Your bedding set will determine the color and style of the room so make sure you fall in love with it. Look for machine washable linens so that your baby does not have to sleep on or near dry cleaning chemicals. Bumpers should be slipcovered for easy washing. This helps to keep them looking like new. After two years of my girls sleeping and jumping up and down in their cribs and on their bumpers, they still looked brand new. And of course, don't forget extra sheets.

crib

Be sure the crib you are choosing meets all current safety standards and fits with your overall vision of the room. I prefer a crib to not have solid wood ends so that the baby doesn't feel “closed in” and has a view on all sides.

moses basket

Be sure to find a Moses Basket with a waterproof mattress pad and slipcovered fabrics for easy machine washing. I've given these to so many friends as shower gifts and they all say that this was by far was their most used item for their newborn. One friend said that her son would only sleep in the basket, so she would actually put the Moses Basket into the bassinet. Another friend's baby had colic, she said the only way to calm him was to put him in the basket on top of the dryer while standing next to him.

closet organizers

These are worth their weight in gold. You can do-it-yourself by going to your local hardware store or you can hire a company that specializes in it. Having a clean and organized closet for your newborn will help you to keep your sanity after giving birth and losing lots of sleep. Be sure to really think about your needs and how your closet can function best. Allow for hanging areas, shelf areas, shoes, toys and a hamper.

bookcase

There's never enough room for all of the fun books that your child will accumulate. Choose a bookshelf that allows for a child's easy access and don't forget to anchor it to the wall.

window treatments

Choose something to complement your bedding choice. If you are using a covering that has any type of cord be sure that it is secured close to the top of the window so no part of the cord or string is dangling at baby's reach. It's also a good idea to not use window coverings that make babies accustomed to only sleeping in the dark.

lighting and dimmer switches

Overhead recessed lighting gives great coverage for playing and creating. The dimmers are also nice for midnight diaper changes to keep baby in sleep mode. Table lamps offer a special warmth and character and add to the decor of the room.

paint/artwork

Choose paints and artwork that complement your fabrics. Remember to select calming colors for the paint on the walls and artwork. If you are doing a mural on the wall keep larger animals such as horses or cows off in the distance so that they can be painted smaller. A child's room is a place for creativity but it is also a special place for cuddling up and telling stories, reading a book and of course, going to sleep.

changing table

Having drawers at the top of your changing table creates the perfect spot for all the diaper care necessities to be at your fingertips. The drawers also make it extra nice because all of your supplies stay organized but are not out in the open creating a cluttered look in the room. Choose a distressed finish for your baby's furniture so that you don't have to cringe when your little one drives his bus into it or bangs it with his toy telephone. This way it always looks beautiful and can stay as a part of your home forever.

area rug/rug

Choose something that's soft yet durable and easy to clean. If you have wood floors, celebrate them. It's fun for kids to have the hard surface for cars and blocks while still having a soft play place on an area rug. If wall-to-wall is your only option chose a neutral color that will be able to grow with your child.

rocker

Think comfort and style. For comfort and ease, hands down, you'll need a glider rocker. Unfortunately, they don't exude style but that problem is easily solved with a slipcover. They're the best because you can toss them in the washing machine. Be sure to choose a comfy fabric for your glider because you'll be spending a lot of time in it. And don't forget a coordinating throw pillow for the rocker. It's great for your lower back and again helps to pull the whole room together.

twin bed

If you can manage a twin bed into your budget for the nursery you will find it to be invaluable as a special place to curl up with your newborn in the nursery. It also makes a comfy spot for you to sleep when your baby is sick and you feel like you need to be extra close. It's also a great place for you and the baby to read and play together.

child’s play table and chairs

Believe it or not, Gracie was using her chairs and table at seven months. Because she was our first baby, I was quite surprised. She would crawl over to it and climb up on the chair (with some help) she loved to sit there and bang her toys and rustle papers. It's an important place for them, and it's the perfect size for them to sit and create as they grow. Try to find a table set with a distressed finish so that bumps and scratches end up looking like they belong…

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