How to keep your own needs in mind when setting up a new baby’s nursery because #selfcareisntselfish

An awesome reader and I got into a long discussion about setting up a new baby’s room.  She found out about her child’s diagnosis recently, and she has to wait a few more months to meet the little angel!
There is so much to think about when setting up the little nursery.  The “nesting” instinct that mothers get is SO REAL, and it is so satisfying to put everything into place before showtime!  It brought me right back down memory lane.
There are so many mistakes we made with the first nursery that we fixed with the second, and all of those mistakes had to do with fostering my mental health as a mother to a newborn.
Before we had Nicholas, we were so excited to set up his bedroom. We set up his crib and changing table. A little rocking chair for me, a bookshelf filled with books. All of the things I thought HE would like in HIS room.

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My husband even painted this super cute mountain mural.

Here was the reality that I didn’t know about:

You are going to spend 60% of your time sitting in the rocker that you picked after scouring Pinterest for hours. Remember all fo that time you spent sleeping before kids?  That time will be spent in the little nursery you have been dreaming about.  Oh, and you are going to be starving, thirsty, exhausted, and BORED sitting for an hour staring at the wall while your baby has his or her 30th meal of the day.

So, my advice is to set your baby’s room up keeping your baby’s needs AND your needs in mind. I know that before having your first, it is hard to imagine what you may need to include in there to salvage your sanity.  As I always say, you don’t know what you don’t know!

Here is some advice from someone who has gone from insanity and back in a nursery that was not equipped to meet my needs. Let me share some of the dos and don’ts that I have found in the process of decorating two baby rooms.

1. Do not make the smallest room in your house the nursery!

I am putting this first because to me, it is the most important!  This doesn’t even have o do with meeting your new-mom needs.  It just needs to be said!

I feel like this is such an immediate instinct for so many, my husband and I included.  Sure, babies are small and cute.  They should probably be in the smallest and cutest bedroom in your house.  I mean, why does a baby need a lot of space anyway, right?

WRONG.

Here is the secret that is hard to grasp while you are only expecting your first child. That child grows up and gets bigger (who knew?).  So do all of their things!  Their beds, their clothes, their toys.  Everything! Sadly, we made this mistake, and now my firstborn has the smaller room, while my second child has the room that I invested a lot of time and energy making comfortable so that I can spend my nights there and not go crazy.

Make the room you would pick as your room if the master bedroom didn’t exist in the baby’s room.  Then, your child can grow into it, and you won’t be stuck making major changes later on.  You will be spending a lot of time in there, after all.

 2. Make sure you are creating a space that you can be comfortable and cozy in.

IMG_0678Here is a picture of my nursing area at night that I saved from a Snapchat.  Doesn’t that look soothing?

During some of those long nights, I really did find peace in this little spot, especially when I had all of the lights set up in a soothing way.  I actually enjoyed going in there and having some time with just my baby girl and me!

When I had Nicholas, I was suffering from severe postpartum depression.  I struggled for six weeks to get him to even latch, let alone nurse comfortably!  He had low muscle tone, so it took all of my body strength to sit there with him to try.  I felt like I couldn’t use formula because I did not know how it affected kids with Down Syndrome.  I knew nothing about Down Syndrome! It was all I could do to even hold my phone let alone do any research.  So, my nursing experience was not as cozy and relaxing as it was with Marley.

The second time around, I knew that I needed to make the nursing area a stress-free zone so that I can focus on just my baby and me, not the stressors of the world.

 3. Let yourself have a TV, trust me.

IMG_0051This seems, at first glance, to be a really selfish thing.  You may not even want your future child to have a TV in their room, but that is something you can change later.

When you become a mother, your baby’s needs come before yours in every aspect.

You will find yourself feeding them when you yourself are starving. You will find yourself changing them while you yourself are struggling not to pee your pants. You will find yourself bathing them when you haven’t had a proper shower in days.

The least you can do is give yourself something to bring entertainment while you spend hours nursing your baby.  Maybe you can finally watch that series on Netflix all your friends have been talking about.

4. Have your survival supplies within arms reach.

When you hear those cries in the night, and they wake you from a sound slumber, your instinct is going to be to make that sound stop as soon as possible.  Once you get all set up and the nursing starts, at least in my experience, the extreme hunger and thirst set in.

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I actually took this picture recently but wanted to use it as a reference.  Right between the rocking chair and the nightstand, I hid a bunch of bottled water and packages of mini muffins.  Mini muffins were a perfect nursing snack for me because they were so delicious and gave me a small sense of being satisfied before I could get a real meal in me.

Having water and food right there was so perfect, and I wish I had figured it out with my son.  It would have saved me a lot of unnecessary suffering.  I was able to get to Marley as soon as she woke up, and did not have to gather a bunch of things before I started nursing. I could just reach down once I started, and help myself.

These small changes can make such a difference to your mental health when you are in the cloud of the newborn phase, and for some reason, no one talks about these things!  The topics found when searching nursery decor has nothing to do with the overall comfort of mom!  This shocks me!

Hopefully, these tips help you when setting up your new baby’s room.  Don’t forget to look out for yourself.  It isn’t selfish, it’s smart!

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I was shocked as a new mom to find out that my son has Down Syndrome. I had no idea that my life would be changed for the better! Now, I am using my passion for writing to spread awareness and acceptance for people with Down syndrome.

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