There are lots of advantages to having a nursery that is perfectly suitable for any baby, regardless of their gender. By creating an adorable room that features bright colors and adaptable furniture you can ensure that your baby will be comfortable well into their toddler years. Should you have another baby of a different gender, or if you are a parent of girl and boy twins, there is no need to give your nursery a complete makeover as long as you opt for gender-neutral décor in the first place. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
In the days when most parents didn’t know their child’s gender before birth, gifts of baby clothes tended to be a white or lemon color: it was considered acceptable for both boys and girls to wear these colors. Before the second world war, blue was often associated with girls and pink with boys, so there is little logic in today’s reversal. In fact, it appears that the association of pink with girls and blue with boys gained a new lease of life because manufacturers decided that these colors would prevent parents from handing on clothing and toys from one child to another. In other words, gender branding was profit motivated.
Your nursery can be any color you like no matter the gender of your baby or toddler. The important thing is that it’s bright and cheerful during the day and peaceful and calm at night. You can do a lot with clever lighting, so choose tones that darken well – pale yellows, or pastel blues and greens are often preferred to primary colors, although these can be great in a playroom or in bedrooms for older kids.
When it comes to themes there are lots of options beyond the stereotypes of princesses for girls and cars for boys. A good castle scene with royalty, knights, dragons, and horses can be an all-round winner. Animals and birds are a big favorite, as are nursery rhyme characters, butterflies, and trees. The main thing is to give your baby or toddler something interesting to look at and, even better, something that you can talk to them about when they are very young and refer to when they are old enough for bedroom stories.
You can use murals and decals on walls to reflect your chosen theme as well as crib mobiles that play a soothing tune. Ceiling decorations are also fun, especially little stars and crescent moons that absorb light during the day and glow softly in the darkness at bedtime for a little while.
It’s important that your nursery has plenty of natural daylight to help your baby learn when it is the right time to be awake and when it’s time to sleep. You also need to manage and adjust the amount of daylight in their room when it’s appropriate. For instance, your baby might find it hard to settle during daylight hours but you need to put them to sleep for their afternoon nap. A great solution is to fit shutter blinds so that you have complete control over the amount of light in the room at any time. It’s easy to measure up for shutters and to fit them yourself, so you won’t make a big dent in your nursery budget.
In terms of artificial light, low-level night lights are ideal as they will allow you to move around the nursery during the evenings if your baby needs a diaper change or a feed, without having to switch on glaring main lights that may startle your child. As any parent knows, once your baby is fully awake it can be hard for them to drift back to sleep again.
Another important issue when it comes to designing a nursery is the use of contrast. No matter which color palette or theme you choose, make sure you open baby’s eyes to an array of different shapes, sizes, and hues. Contrast is also easily achieved by including a range of textiles in your nursery. If you think about play mats for babies, they are often a combination of different surfaces, from soft to shiny to gently ridged textures. Try out a warm and cozy sheepskin rug on the nursery floor, and let baby lie on top of it occasionally, instead of in the crib.
Finally, if you like to bathe your baby in the nursery when they are very small, make sure that part of the floor is waterproofed and remember to move into the bathroom once your baby is big enough to do some energetic splashing.