I never felt the strong nesting instinct I was expecting during my pregnancy. Probably because I always have an insatiable desire to tidy up and improve our space.
When we first bought our home back in 2015 this room was an eyesore. It was light blue (even the ceiling), had old beige carpet, and old ratty blinds. I started by painting it a soft pink color and made it into a room for my two rabbits, Jasper and Bun Bun. When we put in the new floors, hubby said no more pets in the house (there’s still some evidence of the damage they did). Shortly thereafter, we found out we had our own little bunny on the way, and it was a boy! So the pink room had to go.
Keeping baby stuff to a minimum
We thought keeping a home minimal with a new baby would be an impossible challenge. Babies just seem to show up with all sorts of brightly colored plastic contraptions, large and small, cluttering every part of their new home. But it hasn’t been as hard as we expected.
Wooden baby toys
We started by kindly requesting only wooden toys and nothing that lights up or makes unnatural sound. Wooden baby toys look great and are plenty exciting for the baby. His favorite “toy” has always been staring at the ceiling fan anyways! We also registered for the bare minimum of what we might need and requested books (books don’t count as clutter in our book, you’ll see we have a far from minimal book collection).
Non-toxic nursery please
Even more important for us than the nursery being minimal, was that it should be non toxic. The number one most important thing to us was that the mattress and sheets were organic (some studies have linked VOC’s with SIDS). We also opted for mostly organic clothing and fragrance free laundry detergent because rashes were something we definitely wanted to avoid!
Airing out new infant furniture
We purchased the furniture for the nursery as early as possible so the inevitable new chemical smell would have as much time as possible to dissipate. By 2 months the crib no longer smelled at all. We also opted for using an old rug. Even though the old rug wasn’t our favorite, we came to the decision after buying a new one online and the smell made me completely sick at the beginning of my pregnancy. Our next rug will definitely be coming from a store so that we can actually smell it before buying.
Choosing a nursery theme and decor
We have our nursery loosely woodland/wilderness themed to encourage our son to grow up with a respect for the outdoors. We chose Sherwin Williams Repose gray (SW 7015) for the walls so the room would be consistent with the rest of the house (we have white in common areas and different grays in each room). The floors, furniture, and rug are all dark walnut brown so a light grey was important to us. It feels like you’re sitting in a warm cloud when you’re in the room. Eventually I’d love to find a woodland themed wall cling for behind his crib, or perhaps I could talk my husband into painting something fun!
- Dresser: The furniture is walnut brown and the dresser we chose is full size, not baby size. We only wanted to buy a dresser once, so found something he could grow into. I wanted the items I purchased to have longevity so I opted for one that even a teenager would be able to use. The dresser fits perfectly in his closet, which was necessary because of how small the room is.
- Changing Table: The changing table was a hand me down which just happened to match everything really well. If I hadn’t gotten this changing table, I would have just placed the changing pad directly on the dresser (this is the cover we use) and used some baskets to keep the diapering things organized.
- Crib: This crib was a great find, purchased at a huge discount thanks to Amazon Prime day. I was pleasantly surprised by how sturdy it is, and it was really easy to put together. It also can transition to a toddler bed! Finding
- Organic Crib Mattress: We opted for an organic mattress to avoid as many volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as possible. VOCs are harmful chemicals that can cause respiratory irritation and other health problems and have been linked to SIDS. We also opted for an organic crib mattress cover and organic 100% cotton baby sheets from Burt’s Bees.
- Rocker: My absolute favorite part of this nursery is the La-Z-Boy and it wasn’t even on my nursery radar before we bought it. Originally I planned to get a typical wooden rocking chair, something that would fit the theme, but I’m so glad that I went this route instead. I’m able to sleep comfortably in this rocking chair, and there aren’t any hard arms for my baby to knock his head on. It’s not the prettiest thing in the world, but with a nice blanket over the top, it fits right in. I found this one at a hefty discount at our local Home Goods but if you go to La-Z-Boy’s website you can choose other models and colors.
Creating a space for baby while pregnant is one of the most satisfying things you can do. For many, those pregnancy hormones really cause that nesting instinct to kick in! Whether you have a corner of your bedroom to decorate, or a whole room, my best advice is to keep it minimal, make it safe, and have some fun! Your baby doesn’t need all the things, they just need you!