Setting up a baby's nursery is A LOT of work! You can't just slap it together and hope for the best, it's something that takes time and effort.
If this is your first baby, you want to give them a room where they will be happy, comfortable, and at peace. That means that you'll need a comfy crib, the proper baby-friendly bedding, stuffed animals to entertain them, and the list goes on and on.
You have no idea how much work goes into getting the nursery ready for baby to come home. For this reason, it's wise to start setting up the nursery WAY in advance. I'm talking a solid six months before the due date.
"What?" you may gasp in surprise. "That sounds like way too far ahead of time!" Trust me, when you get into the later stages of your pregnancy, you're going to have NO energy to do any sort of heavy lifting, painting, or organizing. You'll want to stay off your feet as much as possible, and a large portion of your time will be spent napping.
If you want to avoid the last-minute stress, it's wise to start decorating the nursery ahead of time. You can do a little bit at a time and save yourself a whole lot of hassle in the final weeks and months leading up to the big day.
Check out our timeline below, and follow it to ensure that your nursery is completely set up well before baby is ready to move in. When the big day rolls around, you'll be ready to go!
6 Months Before Due Date
Did you know that you can find out the baby's gender as early as 12 weeks into the pregnancy? That means that six months before the baby is due to be born, you can decide on the color scheme of the nursery.
The earlier you start decorating the nursery, the more energy you'll have. The second trimester is when you're going to have the most energy. So don't put off today, what you can do tomorrow, start thinking and planning in your first trimester, and then execute those plans during your second trimester.
You've got all the classic colors: blue for boys, pink for girls, and yellow for unisex. But why not great creative and choose a color scheme not according to the baby's gender, but according to the emotions you want to bring out in your little one?
- - Red is for passion and excitement. If you want an active baby, paint the nursery red.
- - Orange is a warm, cozy color. For a calmer baby, paint the nursery a pumpkin orange.
- - Yellow is cheery and energetic. If you want your little one to have a sunny disposition, yellow's the color of choice!
- - Green is a nurturing, refreshing color. It's a natural color that will promote your little one's learning.
- - Blue is a subtle, healing color. It's great to keep baby calm and cool, so ideal for hot climates.
- - Purple is a color of luxury and dignity. Choose a softer tone (lilac or lavender) to keep the little one calm.
- - White is a pure, innocent color. For a sweet, angelic little one, white is the color scheme of choice.
- - Grey is introspective and emotional. If you want baby to be a deep thinker, paint the nursery soft greys.
No matter what colour you decide to paint your nursery, it will be perfect because it's your own personal gift to your baby. You can make the baby's room extra special by making custom crib sheets and blankets.
And if your sewing skills aren't quite god enough for the task at hand, you can enlist the help of someone who does have the skills required to make all the blankets and curtains you need for the baby's room.
5 Months Before Due Date
By now you will have confirmed the baby's gender, so you can make any final additions to the baby's room décor. You're still in your second trimester, so you should still have the energy required to help set up the crib and hang curtains and pictures.
Another bonus is that your bump isn't so big that it's getting in your way all the time. While you should still avoid doing tasks like painting, you can still help putting the crib together and filling drawers with baby clothes.
You can spend your time doing tasks that aren't physically demanding, but require you to do some planning and strategizing. This may include:
These are just a few of the things you can use to complete the décor of your baby's nursery. But get the big stuff out of the way! If you received or bought the baby's crib and chest of drawers,put those together now before you're too tired to help or enjoy setting up the nursery.
4 Months Before Due Date
Now is the time to hold the baby shower. You're not quite HUGE with a pregnant belly yet, and you're still able to fit into your looser clothing. Now is when you'll look amazing in your baby shower photos, so it's time to hold that event.
A baby shower also doubles as the perfect event to get all the furniture you'll need to decorate the baby's nursery. You can sign up at local supermarkets and department stores to create a gift registry for your baby shower.
If you can get all of these items in the baby shower, you're off to an EPIC start with the nursery setup. Anything you get from your shower that requires assembly should be assembled sooner rather than later. You're almost out of the second trimester and you'll find that not only are you becoming increasingly tired easier, but that you aren't able to move around as easily.
Once your bump grows large enough to block your view of your toes you'll find that your energy gets drained easily and that simple tasks make you want to lie down and take a nap.
3 Months Before Due Date
Are you missing anything important for the setup of your nursery? What did you get in the baby shower? If you still need a few items for the nursery, now is the time to pick them up. You have three months until your baby comes, and not to sound too dramatic, but time is running out.
Before you run out the door you should take inventory of the items you already have and cross them against what you need. And don't be shy about a href:"http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/21/when-is-i... target="_blank">returning a gift that isn't quite right. The person would want you to have what you need, they'd want to know that you used the gift they gave and if you didn't, then it was a waste for them and you.
This could mean any of the following things:
- Stroller, needed to take baby around with you once he/she is born
- Car seat, which you are legally required to have if you want to bring your little one in your car
- Walker, necessary for when baby is old enough to start moving around on their own
- Jump-up, an accessory that will help to strengthen the little one's legs
- Rocking chair, which will give you a place to sit while rocking the little one to sleep
Get all of these large items now, and your nursery will be most of the way set up! You might find that your nursery is too small to house all of these items, so you might want to keep them in a closet or a room you don't use often so they are ready for you when you need them, but not in the way.
If you live in an apartment or condo, you might ask your parents to store some of these items at their house for you until you need them. You won't be able to use a walker, jumper, or exersaucer until your baby is closer to six months, so it's okay to store these until later. Just don't forget about them.
2 Months Before Due Date
You're seven months pregnant and feeling tired, and with good reason. Your baby is growing at an incredible rate. You'll see that with each passing week you're just not as full of energy as you were the week before.
Some women are hit harder than others in the last three months. So if you find that suddenly in your last trimester that you just don't have energy to do big tasks, take it easy and only do what you feel physically and mentally able to handle. If this describes you, now is when you finish any items that you are missing. This may include:
Once you have all of these things, your nursery is properly furnished and ready for its new inhabitant. You might want to take a picture once you've finished getting everything in place, because once the baby comes home, it will probably never look this clean and new again.
1 Month Before Due Date
In your last month you're looking forward to the day you bring your baby into this world. You want to meet you little bundle so badly, but you'll just have to wait until the baby's ready to come, or your c-section date if you have one.
In this last month of waiting moving around isn't easy and you'll find that you can only handle doing something simple for a short amount of time before you need a break to catch your breath and regain some energy to get back to work.
If this describes your nineth month state then be glad that your due date is approaching and that you got all the hard work of setting up the nursery out of the way before hand. Now all there's left to do is sort through the little details of the baby's room.
If you just purchased a cabinet last month, now is the time to fill it! That means you're going to need to buy things like:
Although you might not feel like the shopping pro you used to be, making a separate shopping trip for each of the remaining items not only gives you the excuse to get out of the house, but also gets you that bit of exercise you need leading up to the big day.
7. 1 to 3 Weeks Before Due Date
You are ready to pop, each day you wait until your due date seems like an eternity. You might need something to fill your day so the waiting doesn't consume you. Now is when you add the finishing touches to your nursery.
Hang framed pictures of both mother and father, so your baby will see your faces from the moment they are old enough to focus on their surroundings. Make sure that both the frames and the pictures are bright and colorful, as that will make it easier for baby to focus on them.
Now is also the time to hang the mobile over the crib. Get an electric-powered mobile that uses a motor to spin above the baby's head, and make sure it has colorful, eye-catching items so that baby's eyes will be drawn towards it. Some mobiles play music too which can soothe your baby to sleep.
Consider a music box as well, or get a crib activity center that plays music. These usually have a dial the baby can spin when they have more motor control over their arms and hands. These activity centres also include some scenery for the baby to watch, Fischer Price made one with fish that looked like an aquarium. The sound of the music will stimulate baby's brain and will encourage mental development.
For the first few weeks you might want to put black and white shapes around the crib and change table for the baby to focus on. These help the baby to learn to focus their retinas and learn common shapes they'll encounter growing up.
You also might want to keep a stack of baking powder odor eaters on hand so once you begin changing diapers you can keep the smell of the diaper pail to a minimum. Although if you're breast feeding, a breast fed baby's excrement doesn't tend to stink as much as a formula fed baby. You'll want to avoid using air sprays or fabric sprays as the smells and chemicals inside of them might agitate your baby's senses.
Once you have all these pieces in place, all you need to do is give birth and bring that precious baby home!