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> How to Prepare a Healthy Nursery

Getting ready for the baby can be both exciting and overwhelming. Besides the physical and mental preparation, the next step will be to prepare a space to welcome the new addition to the family. Ideally, the nursery should be cozy, comfortable, and a healthy place for the baby to grow. It’s not necessary to spend excessive amounts on designing your nursery, although many first-time parents do indulge their first child a little more. With subsequent children, simplicity, practicality and frugality typically kick in.


We’ve talked to experienced moms on what it takes to create the perfect environment for a baby, and here are their 5 essential tips that will aid you in creating a lovely nursery space on a budget.


1.  Know Your Floor Plan

Before you go scouting for cute baby furniture, wall decorations and nursery accessories, let’s get to the basics first! If you’re more of the go-getter type, this may be harder for you, but it’s advised that you draw up the nursery floor plan with some simple measurements. Knowing the room dimensions, and having a rough idea of where each piece will be, you’ll be able to avoid the situation where the furniture doesn’t fit. Thereafter, it’ll be easier to formulate your nursery shopping checklist!


Choose a central point and design outwards; since the crib is going to be where your baby spends most of his time, it’s going to be the natural choice. Make sure the crib is not placed too close to the window, where temperatures can fluctuate more.


The four main areas of a nursery are the sleeping, feeding, changing and playing zones. Remember that as your baby grows, he’ll start to explore the immediate areas around the crib, so keep your tables, dressers, and objects which pose a trip hazard a safe distance away. Your baby won’t stay small for too long, so plan ahead by opting for cribs that can convert into a toddler bed, and dresser tables that can be repurposed as necessary.


2.  Keep The Room Safe

When your baby begins to crawl and then toddle, he’ll grab onto anything close to steady himself, so make sure to soften the sharp edges of dressers with rubber, and choose furniture which are smaller in size to avoid falling hazards. If you do use larger furniture, ensure that they are installed correctly and firmly secured to the wall or floor. Babies are inquisitive little creatures, so place the softer, safer items on shelves at the lower levels, and keep any heavier or harmful items such as scissors on the higher shelves. Keep an eye out for exposed electrical sockets, holes, and cables laying around, which could also pose a trip and electrical hazard.


3.  Set The Ambience

The fun part of preparing a nursery is in designing it! Besides being safe and functional, a nursery should be aesthetically pleasing. Choose a theme color for the nursery instead of going for a haphazard design; perhaps the favorite color of you or your hubby, or the color you’d associate with your baby’s name – the choices are endless!


Set the temperature of the nursery to anywhere between 16°C to 20°C; 18°C (65°F) is ideal for a newborn. The hot and humid climate in Singapore means you may have to dress your baby lightly, and to check in regularly to ensure he’s not sweating too much. Keep the air in the nursery fresh and well-circulated.


4.  Yes to Nursery Lights, No to Overhead Lights

During the first year, your baby will spend most of the time staring at the ceiling. Why not make it a pleasant experience for him? Ensure that there’s no glaring light source directly over the crib; a colorful mobile would be a nice addition to the crib, to keep him intrigued and to stimulate creativity. You could opt for a soft, soothing nursery light that will be perfect for night time feeds, and to soothe your baby to sleep.


5. Choose Non-Toxic Materials

This is related to the safety in the nursery, except it’s related to the choice of furniture material and paints. You’ve likely encountered furniture that has a strong, distinct and sometimes pungent smell that emanates from it; these are VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) that are contained in the paints on the furniture. Your baby would probably be gumming the crib rail and bars, so the paint has to be non-toxic as well. Exposure to VOCs can cause a host of health problems, from headaches and nose/throat irritation, to cancers if exposed for long durations of time. Check with your retailer regarding the paints and materials used to construct your nursery furniture, to ensure they are baby-safe.

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