One of the main activities that go into preparing for a baby is buying a crib. It’s a major item and a major purchase for expecting parents. Many dads like to take up the responsibility of building a crib from scratch to show their love for the baby and support for the household and also to show their manliness. And for parents that decide to buy a crib, they still have to put it together which is usually a bonding time for the couple or a time of arguments lol. Whatever category you fall in and whether you decide to buy your crib and have it delivered and set up, you still need to keep in mind the basics of what should be in a crib and how to set up the perfect crib for your baby.
Components of the Crib
Crib: Yes the number one component of a crib is the crib itself (Captain Obvious). Many parents decide to invest in the crib by getting a good quality sturdy crib and with good reason. Many kids sleep in their cribs for up to three or four years and a sturdy crib will hold for that long. Also, if you invest in a good quality crib you can use it for several if not all your kids that are born after the fact. When buying a crib, ensure that it meets all the safety standards set by the consumer protection and child protection agencies. You kid will be left alone in the crib a lot of the time (when they nap and at night) so it’s worth crossing all the Ts and dotting the Is to make sure it’s safe and comfortable. If you’re going to have more kids it’s best to keep the color and design of the crib gender neutral. If you’re using the crib for just one kid you can invest in cribs that can be transformed into toddler beds as the kid grows older.
Crib Sheets: The second important item to not for are the crib sheets and toddler beddings. Besides the fact that they are a major design element that most times set the tone for the theme of your nursery, they are also very important for the baby. Crib sheets should be made from safe materials that are gentle on your baby’s skin, soft to the touch, lightweight and airy. When buy crib sheets, you should buy at least four or five as you’ll have to change them out pretty often. The crib sheets should be made from healthy and soft material so it doesn’t irritate the baby’s sensitive skin. Same also goes for the detergent you use for laundry. Make sure you wash the crib sheets with detergents that a mild or natural so they don’t cause a reaction to your baby’s skin. As mentioned earlier, crib sheets and bedding are a great opportunity to incorporate a theme or build a color palette.
Speaking of a design and color theme, designing the crib and nursery is always a fun project. In decorating, the rug is a good place to start, you can pick a rug that speaks to your style the most and let that inspire the rest of your design. For example, if the rug you pick is fun and quirky, that informs the rest of the items and if it’s a minimalist looking rug then you can work around that too. The rug adds a lot of personality to the nursery and could be the centerpiece. If you have wood flooring, you should opt for a plush wool or shag rug. It’ll serve as a cushion when your baby starts to sit, crawl or learn to walk. If you go the shag route, just be sure the shag is a short pile. Long pile rugs can pose a choking hazard. If you have carpet, opt for a flat weave construction. It will add color to the nursery without any additional bulk. Choose a rug that’s easy to clean or even machine washable. Another major item in decoration is the curtains. Curtains play a great role in setting the vibe of the nursery and also the lighting. If you want to get light and airy curtains, be sure to get blackout curtains as this will help when your baby naps during the day. If you don’t want to get blackout curtains, get curtains with a built-in liner so you can darken the room during nap time. If you have a small space, consider roman shades, blinds, or short tailored panels. They’ll add far less bulk to the room and help to keep it looking spacious. When it comes to decor, the only rule to follow is that there aren’t really rules. If you fill your space with things that make you happy, the result will be beautiful and will make you happy.
While decorating, remember to have fun and don’t stress about it. So long as you choose what suits you and your baby it will be perfect. Don’t feel the pressure to make your nursery look like every picture on Pinterest. Most of those are done by professionals and trying to replicate the perfect pictures in addition to preparing for the arrival of your baby is too much unnecessary stress added. Make the nursery personal by adding sentimental pieces and even pictures of the family. If this is your second child, consider having your older child make something for the new baby’s room. Perhaps a finger-painting that you frame and add to a gallery wall.
Keep in mind that the safety of the nursery and crib is of utmost importance. Buy a new crib if you can. Hand-me-down and used cribs may have traditional drop-sides, which don’t meet the latest safety standards, or have broken or missing parts. If you do reuse your first child’s crib or borrow one from a trusted friend or relative, check to see if it’s been recalled and inspect it for missing hardware and loose parts. When picking a mattress, make sure it’s firm. The mattress should also fit snugly into the crib, with no more than a one-inch space between the edge of the mattress and the side of the crib to avoid a suffocation risk. If you can fit more than two fingers between the mattress and the crib, the gap is too wide. Make sure the mattress pad and crib sheet fit securely and wrap tightly around the mattress corners so they won’t slip off in the night. Keep the mattress at the highest setting to start, then lower it as your baby learns to sit and stand. When choosing a spot in the nursery, keep your crib away from windows. Cords, blinds, and curtains pose a strangulation hazard. Window areas also have the highest temperature in the room (hot or cold) and are harder to control. Don’t put stuffed animals, toys, folded blankets or decorative pillows in the crib.