The wait for the arrival of a baby is one of the most nerve-wracking of our lives. The little human grows daily and will soon erupt into your life and change everything. As you prepare, one of the biggest jobs is the decoration of the nursery. How do you create a space that is both fit for a young mind and still practical for its parents?
To ease some of your worries and concerns, we have gathered some advice on how to decorate the nursery. It is not how to apply paint or prepare your walls; this is advice on what colours will calm your baby and how you will deal with the aftermath of tsunami poos.
There are two main concerns when choosing the paint colour. One, how do you keep it neutral when you might not know the gender of the child or are keen not to continue gender stereotypes. Two, how do you decorate to aid your baby’s sensory development?
A good place to start is to have some fun. You will be spending a lot of time in the nursery, so why not browse magazines, cut out pictures and create a collage of baby room ideas. Here, you can get an idea for a theme that might influence the room’s colour palette. Once you have had some initial fun and got some ideas of what you want from the room, you can move on to buying the paint.
Choosing warm colours can impact your baby’s mood. Yellows, reds, and oranges can elicit happiness and comfort in the baby, helping them feel cosy. However, shade counts here. Bold reds, yellows, and oranges will stimulate and energise the body – red is known to increase the heart, blood, and respiration rate. Therefore, too much warmth and your baby might not be getting much sleep.
Consequently, while some warm colours are great in the nursery, you might want to use them in moderation. You could try an accent wall or find some accessories in contrast to the main palette of the room.
On the opposite side of the colour wheel to red is blue. Choosing pinks and blues is always linked to gender, and you may want to avoid this. However, blue is a calming colour and can lower the heart rate and respiration, reducing anxiety.
Green can have a similar impact on the body and is known to promote a sense of wellbeing. Many parents love to create a nature theme in a nursery, so greens and browns work well here and can be complemented with an overflow of cuddly animals.
Once you have chosen your colour, it is time to choose your finish. Eggshell is a popular finish for nurseries because it is durable and highly stain resistant (remember the poo tsunami, then the vomit). It is a finish that is easy to clean and helps you keep the nursery in great shape for your youngster.
Yet, some eggshell finishes come with some glare, and you want to choose a wipeable paint surface with a Low Reflectance Value. Most paint tins will include an LRV value on the label, and realistically, you want to keep this 60 or lower to help with your baby’s sleep pattern. You might find that some of the pastel matte finishes work best, though you need to be sure to go for the paint that allows you to clean the walls too. It is all about balance when hoping to retain your sanity in those early days with your newborn.
A final note on safety
A newly painted room is often filled with fumes from the paint. Many paints contain a heavy amount of VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) that are not great to breathe in. You may want to go for a low or no VOC paint when choosing your paints. Alternatively, you may wish to give the room time to air and leave windows open to ventilate, ensuring the room is free of fumes before the little one arrives home.
You got this!
While there seems like a lot to get wrong, there is also every chance your baby’s bedroom will be the highlight of your home. Trust your instincts and create something that brings you happiness. Your baby is much more receptive to your moods than they are to the décor, so keep yourself in mind when painting the walls and trim.