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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

When a baby is on the way, it is easy for new parents to quickly get overwhelmed with all that needs to be done. Whether it’s baby-proofing the home or reading all the books on what to expect, one area that doesn’t need to take you a lot of time is getting that spare room converted into a nursery!

Start with the end in mind

The first thing you should do is to get a list together of all that you will need for the nursery, and start planning out how it will be organized and laid out. Online checklists like the one found at babyzone is a great starting point to make sure nothing slips your mind.

Once you know what pieces of furniture you’ll need, you can start setting the budget. At a minimum you will need the crib, a changing station, a dresser for all those new clothes, a baby monitor, and don’t forget a comfortable chair for those nights rocking your little one back to sleep! A rocking chair is great, especially with a cushion to sit on, but if you can afford a glider you will never regret the purchase!

Out with the old

Now you’ll need to take the time to clear out whatever you have in the room to begin. Once you’ve relocated or gotten rid of the unnecessary furniture, boxes, and stored clothes, give the room a thorough cleaning. If it’s got carpet and you’re keeping it in place, a good steam cleaning is in order at this time. Even if you can’t free up a whole new room for the nursery, try to clear out whatever you can as there will be a plethora of accessories you’ll need to have handy to properly take care of your baby in the beginning.

Make it a home

While you may not consider painting to be a great or fun experience, you’ll have a deep sense of satisfaction decorating the room for your baby’s arrival. Depending on your taste and the ambiance you are trying to establish, this is a fun time to enjoy yourself and the potential color choices you have available. Many new parents want to make it a fun and vibrant room, while others will go for a more neutral beige or white palette.

Regardless, once you’re done with the painting, you can add zest to the room with fun stickers to the walls that will easily pull off. If you know whether your baby will be a boy or a girl, it’s fun to find these decorations and be a bit of a kid again yourself, putting up unicorns or mutant ninja turtles.

Get the furniture set up

Now it’s time to move all the furniture in and get it set up, making sure it fits as you envisioned it when planning out the room! Almost inevitably, you will find several items you didn’t anticipate that you’ll need to add now or in the near future. For example, a toy bin is a great item to have to keep all the new toys neatly organized and together, even if your newborn won’t be digging through it quite yet.

Another good idea is a light near the rocking chair or glider, and preferably one with either a dimmer or a 3-way light in it. You can expect to be up a lot with your little bundle of joy, and having a soft light near where you’re rocking them is a blessing. These may provide additional lighting for late night diaper changes if needed.

Pull it all together

Now for the real fun, as you can decorate the room and furnishings with all those stuffed teddy bears, curtains, playful mobiles, and pillows that will add your personality to the room. Of course these are not the most urgent modifications you have to make, it’s better to have the changing station and other baby accessories to have ready but these items add a lot to the joy of the task. These pieces of decoration act as a gift to your child and since gifting makes everybody feel great, you can be sure you’ll get a lot of these items from friends and family members. While your child will enjoy these toys and decorative items only later when they are big enough to see them, examine them or play with them, they really make the nursery a more cheerful place right from the beginning.

Bringing home a newborn can be one of the most exciting moments of your life, as you walk through the door and unveil their new, nicely decorated room to them. With a little planning and effort, what could be a stressful time can be made into a smooth transition for your growing family.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents getting ready for baby.