Transforming a Spare Room into a Baby Nursery
Becoming a parent is one of the most exciting challenges you’ll ever face. It’s certainly a welcome rite of passage for countless Americans. There were just over 7 million families with three or more children under the age of 18 living in U.S. households during 2019. And while couples may be waiting a little longer to have kids, parenthood isn’t going away. In fact, women are now more likely to become mothers than they were in the recent past and are now having more children than before.
Of course, you have to properly prepare for parenthood -- and those preparations extend far beyond what to expect when you’re expecting or what you might experience in the delivery room. Not only do you need to ready yourself to become a mom or a dad, but you’ll also need to ready your home in order to provide the safest possible environment for baby.
That task might be easier (and cheaper) said than done. Total U.S. home improvement expenditure amounted to an estimated $394 billion in 2018. Combine these costs with the expenditures of raising a child and you might soon realize it’s time to start saving. Most parents do want an established space for their child, so it might make sense (and cents) to transform a spare bedroom into a nursery. But what should you keep in mind when taking on this project?
Safety should be a major concern for any renovation, but it’s especially important to keep in mind when children are involved. Home accidents send nearly 2 million children under the age of four to the emergency room every year. Anything you can do to prioritize safety both during and after your renovation can help to protect your family.
For example, consider avoiding crib “extras” that can pose health hazards. Data shows newborns can sleep for 16 to 17 hours per day, so your infant will likely be spending a lot of time in their crib. However, blankets, pillows, and bumper pads can act as suffocation hazards. Keep the sleeping area rather simple, as experts recommend that “bare is best.”
In addition to babyproofing the room and opting for decor that won’t cause harm to your child, you should consider the impact of building materials -- like paint and carpeting -- on your infant’s health. When choosing a paint for the nursery, opt for health-focused paints that contain no VOCs. This nontoxic paint can provide a healthier home environment for your baby. Make sure that your upholstery, rugs, curtains, and cleaning agents are free of harsh chemicals, as well.
When getting the nursery ready, it’s a good idea to focus on the essentials. This can keep you on-budget and ensure your home won’t become cluttered with items you don’t really need. Experts recommend that you obtain a crib (be sure to avoid cribs in excess of 10 years old for safety reasons!), a mattress and mattress cover, a nursing chair, a chest of drawers or a dresser, and plenty of clothing -- in addition to diapers, wipes, and other care items, of course. If you're hoping to repurpose furniture from other areas of your house, a fresh coat of health-focused furniture paint can help transform an old dresser or table into the perfect accessory for your baby's nursery. Lastly, consider function when you decide on furniture placement so that you can care for your baby with ease.
When you convert a spare room into a baby nursery, chances are good that you won’t be undertaking a major renovation. But you’ll likely need to redecorate and purchase a number of items to make the transformation complete. When undertaking this task, remember to make choices based on safety and functionality first.