Decorating your baby’s nursery to provide the best possible atmosphere for development is a lot simpler than you would think. There is no need to spend copious amounts of money on expensive gadgets and unrecognizable furniture. With a little tweaking here and there, the simple traditional methods of decorating lead the way for maximum growth potential. Here are my top tips for the next chapter in my three part series on Nursery Decor.
Decorating For Development
1) Crib Mobiles – I love using mobiles in nurseries for two reasons. The first reason is that they can help aid in visual development. Infants can see approximately 8-15 inches away and need your help to further develop their eyesight. Since a crib mobile is the ideal length away from a baby’s face, it is the perfect tool for stimulating their vision. Using patterns and colours is highly recommended, as well as a mobile that spins around, since month 2 & 3 will see (pardon the pun :)) your baby developing sharper visual acuity, as they start to follow moving objects.
The second reason I love mobiles is for the music. Studies have established the presence of, “The Mozart Effect” in correlation between music and spatial reasoning in cognitive development for learning and problem solving. Not only that but the music will relax and sooth baby as well.
2) Wall Art – After month one baby can approximately see objects up to 18 inches away and sight will continue to develop at a rapid pace. To help further stimulate your infant’s vision, decorate their room with artwork that has bright, cheerful, contrasting colours, and shapes. It is advisable however, that you do not over do it in this area. Too much stimulation will backfire and you will wind up with a very cranky baby, and I imagine I will wind up with a few unhappy phone calls as well :s. A few interesting pieces will do the trick, or you can even opt for wall stickers that will easily peel off once you want to redecorate!
The trick is to keep the wall art consistent around the room to develop a sense of balance as your newborn develops. So if you are hanging paintings you would want them to be equal distance apart and the same amount on each wall. Likewise if you are using wall stickers you would do a cluster equal space apart, same amount on each wall, or you could even do a border of wall stickers instead, around the centre of the wall at the same height that baby will be looking at while in the crib. The idea is to keep it stimulating but simple and consistent at the same time. We want to help the baby develop not have a brain aneurism 🙂
3) Patterned area rugs- Supervised tummy time is very important in helping baby develop important muscles and learn how to hold their head up, turn over, and crawl. Why not give them something to look at that will stimulate their eyes and brain at the same time? A simple patterned area rug is a great way to provide warmth, comfort, and stimulation as well! Since your baby will be a couple of inches from it you can opt for something neutral that will blend in with your decor.
4) Lighting- Did you know that a one month old baby requires 50 times more light than an adult to be aware that light is even present? Fast forward to one month later and that amount is reduced to needing 10 times more light than an adult for optimal sight. As their eyesight develops and becomes acclimatized to their new environment it is a good idea to have a dimmer switch installed for your ceiling fan (as discussed in Part 1) and some soft lighting around the room such as nightlights. Providing some low lighting will provide visual stimulation when they are awake in their crib.
5) A Rocking Chair- Of course I couldn’t finish without the obvious! What does a rocking chair have to do with development you ask? It gives you a cozy, quiet spot to bond with the newest love of your life. Bonding is an important human instinct that gives us a sense of security and self-esteem. Quality bonding time is a key factor in your baby’s social, emotional, intellectual, and physical growth. The soothing rocking motion will also calm and de-stress you both, allowing you to slow down and enjoy each others company.
The main thing to remember when decorating your baby’s new space is to keep it simple and comfortable. It is better to provide a calm, soothing nursery, with a few bold, bright decorating pieces that will support growth, than it would be to over stimulate with what could only be described as a Skittles explosion.
Next week, I will share my final top tips for decorating your nursery in true baby style!