Courtesy ellie arciaga lillstrom pincusnursery01 iefeyx

Courtesy Ellie Arciaga Lillstrom

Pincusportrait01 i6ny8p

The Experts: Lindsay Pincus, Lindsay Pincus Design; Carolyn Brennan, Senior lecturer, UW Department of Early Childhood and Family Studies

 Of all the planning that comes with a new baby, the nursery can be the most time consuming and easiest to overthink. Put away questions like “What kind of bunting will my child most appreciate above the crib?” for a moment and let a designer and a child development specialist simplify the baby’s room for you.

Roll Out the Blue Tape

You’re going to move around the baby’s room…a lot. So it’s smart to visualize the space before buying a crib or changing table. Lindsay Pincus suggests using painter’s tape to map out furniture on the floor, then “stand in the center of the room and see if it feels right.” Do somersaults, even. You never know.

Sleep Safely

Most parents know to anchor dressers and avoid hanging heavy items. But Carolyn Brennan thinks newborn crib hygiene gets overlooked. “People often want to put stuffed animals and blankets in the crib,” she says. But a firm mattress, fitted sheet, and swaddle around the baby remain the safest sleep space.

Find a Glider

The centerpiece of any nursery should be a glider or rocking chair, as it’s where most parent-baby interaction will take place in the room. The ideal glider is comfortable but not baby room–specific, says Pincus. “Maybe it gets used with the next child. Or maybe it goes into the guest room.”

Bless the Mess

Clutter is inevitable, warns Pincus. So for your own sanity, find a storage option that allows a mess to be hidden away in a pinch, like boxes that slide under the crib or shelving. Brennan notes that a child’s room is a place for the child to engage with the world, so think an open-top chest that doubles as a climbing surface.

For the Adults Too

Newborns just need high-contrast visuals to look at, says Brennan. So recognize that those rooms on Pinterest are more for the parents, and that’s okay. Create a room you want to spend time in. But Pincus warns not to overfurnish up front since “babies’ rooms should grow with them.”

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