Planning a nursery
Good planning is essential to create a nursery which is safe, practical and flexible. Only a year separates the newborn from the active, exploring baby. These early months represent the most intensive period of development in your child's life.
The cost of furnishing and equipping a nursery need not be expensive. Many nursery accessories can be improvised very economically to make the most of your budget.
Ideally, the nursery should be close to your bedroom, but away from main living areas. Although tiny babies are not so disturbed by noise, older children need peaceful surroundings for daytime naps. A baby monitor will allow you to keep in touch with your child's needs from another part of the house.
Flooring is a key consideration in any decorative scheme, but especially so in the nursery. From an early age, children spend a great deal of time on the floor, learning to crawl, exploring and playing, and they need a surface that is both comfortable and hard wearing. Carpet contributes warmth, sound insulation, colour and comfort to a room, as does today's modern cork flooring. Laminate floors are attractive and easy to maintain, but they may prove unacceptably noisy.
Walls also take a battering in children's rooms. So whatever finish you choose, ensure that the surface can be cleaned easily and is fairly robust.
Screen unwelcome light with curtains lined with blackout material or blinds. Darkened rooms help children to get to sleep on long summer evenings and crreate a tranquil atmosphere for daytime naps. If you must have curtains, rather than blinds, opt for a shorter length to avoid the possibility of an adventurous toddler trying to climb or swing on them.
Nursery lighting needs to be flexible; a dimmer switch lets you adjust the level of light to suit the time of day. The soft glow of a nightlight provides enough illumination for night feeding. Additionally, ensure that there are enough power points in the room for future needs.