Creating a comfortable and nurturing environment in your little one's nursery can have a significant impact on a newborn's feeding and sleep routines. From the moment they are born, babies rely on their caregivers to provide them with a safe and secure place to rest, eat, and grow. By taking the time to carefully design and organize the nursery, parents can help establish healthy feeding and sleep habits that will serve their baby well throughout their first year of life.
The bed or bassinet is one of the most important elements of the nursery to consider. Babies spend the majority of their time sleeping, so it is essential to choose a safe and comfortable sleeping surface for them. When selecting a crib or bassinet, look for one that meets safety standards, such as those set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Choosing a bed with a firm and flat mattress can also help to prevent the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).*
Climate & Lighting
While the bed is one key component to making a nursery comfortable for your baby, it is also important to consider the lighting and temperature in the nursery. Compared to adults, babies are not able to regulate their temperatures as easily. It is essential to keep the room at a comfortable temperature, between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Also be sure to keep the room well-ventilated, as this can help prevent overheating and promote healthy breathing.
When it comes to lighting, consider investing in a nightlight or dimmable lamp that can be adjusted depending on the time of day. A softer, dimmer light is often more conducive to sleep while a brighter light can be helpful for feedings and diaper changes.
White noise can help create a peaceful environment for your baby and help with restful sleep. Many babies are sensitive to noise and can be easily awakened by sounds from outside the nursery. White noise machines or apps can help create a soothing and consistent background noise that can help mask other sounds and promote sleep.
Textures & Colors
In addition to the physical comforts, it is also essential to consider the emotional and psychological needs of a newborn. This can include the use of soft and comforting materials, such as blankets and stuffed animals, as well as the incorporation of calming colors and patterns in the nursery décor.
Establishing a routine can be a vital aspect of helping a newborn sleep and eat well. Routines can include setting a consistent schedule for feedings and diaper changes, as well as establishing a bedtime routine that includes activities like singing lullabies, reading stories, and swaddling.
Consider your comforts
As a new parent, it is important to also remember to take care of yourself. Focus on creating a comfortable and functional space in the nursery for you to rest, relax, and care for your baby.
A comfortable chair or rocking chair in the nursery can be a great addition in the nursery. This can be a place for you to sit and feed your baby, as well as a place to rest and relax when you need a break. Look for a chair that is comfortable and supportive, with features like armrests, lumbar support, and adjustable backrests.
A designated space for all of your baby's essentials, such as diapers, wipes, and clothes can help you and baby be comfortable in the nursery and help make routines easier. Consider adding a changing table or dresser to the nursery, as well as storage bins or baskets to keep everything organized and within easy reach.
Creating a relaxing and enjoyable space for yourself in the nursery can make the space feel cohesive in your home. This can include incorporating personal touches, such as artwork, photographs, and plants, as well as using soothing colors and textures in the décor.
Remember to take care of your own needs as a new parent. Ways to do this include setting aside time for self-care, such as taking a warm bath or getting some exercise, as well as seeking support from friends, family, or a support group. By taking care of yourself, you will be better able to care for your newborn and navigate the challenges of parenting.
Finally, it is important to be patient and flexible when it comes to a newborn's sleep and feeding habits. Every baby is different and it may take time to find what works best for your little one. By providing a comfortable and nurturing environment and being consistent with their routine, you can help your newborn establish healthy sleep and feeding habits that will serve them well throughout their first year of life.
*For further guidelines on how to choose the safest mattress for your baby's bed or bassinet, review guidelines from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.