If you’ve recently had a baby, then it’s not too long ago that you experienced that bizarre rush of energy that suddenly forced you to drop to your hands and knees and scrub the bathtub grout. Or maybe your nesting instinct was more subtle, compelling you to spend six hours a day on the internet picking out crib sheets. Either way, it’s perfectly normal—most moms have a pronounced urge to create an organized, homey environment for their babies’ first days and months on earth.
When you can’t possibly get the tiles to sparkle any more than they already do, but your heart still feels the need to continue the nesting process, there are plenty of touches to help make your baby’s room the most comforting place in the house—outside of your own arms.
-Sleep with a cotton, silk or velour receiving blanket or your baby’s swaddle blanket for a few days to infuse it with your scent before putting it in the nursery. Newborns have an extremely developed sense of scent to facilitate the bonding process with mom, and smelling you on the blanket may soothe the baby better than one right out of the dryer.
-A number of psychologists believe that some colors are inherently more soothing than others—which is actually less important to a newborn, whose vision is still developing, than to you! In other words, if you’re feeling relaxed in the nursery around the baby, he’s likely to pick up on your energy. So when choosing nursery accessories or paint colors, considering sticking with pale shades of blue and purple which may be more soothing to you than reds and yellows.
-Take a look at your lighting and make sure you’ve got the ability to lower the lamps to something suitable for the post-bath wind down period. Have a dimmer switch installed on an overhead bulb, or use three-way bulbs next to a comfy chair or glider for story time to set the stage for sleep.
-There’s some debate as to whether classical music actually makes little ones smarter, but there’s no doubt that relaxing melodies will help babies get to sleep easier. Have some music available at bedtime, whether it’s a fancy MP3 player hook up on the bookshelf, or simply a mobile that plays lullabies overhead. Consider a mobile that runs on batteries unless you want to frequently race back into the nursery every 45 seconds or so to wind it up again. Trust us, you don’t.