Decorating Baby's Room Tips

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Can you give me a stellar idea for a twin baby shower gift?

Twin Babies Diaper Cakes

Yay, the good news is that your sister is having twins, the bad news is that you hate to shop. The pressure is on as the baby shower draws near. After all, as the relative, it's up to you to buy something really unique and stunning. Whatever you buy has to garner loud applause, several thumps on the back, and maybe a little awe-inspired gasp from the crowd. Ordinary baby crib bedding sets aren't going to get you that response.

Sure, it's all about buying something for your sister's twins, but it's also about proving yourself to be worthy of twin aunt-hood. You do want to be trusted with those little darlings once in a while, don't you? Well, then, the pressure is on. Here's a little tip: Everyone loves gift baskets, even twins who aren't born yet. Instead of buying two separate baskets though, why not buy a twins babies diaper cake? In it, you get 26-30 infant disposable diapers, two orthodontic pacifiers, two fork and spoon sets, two metallic baby photo frames, one 9 oz. feeding bottle, two infant brush & comb sets, two key ring rattles, two embroidered & appliqued bib & burp cloth sets, two bundles of cotton swabs tied in tulle, two pair infant booties, two plush animal rattle toys, two "Baby Dots" magnetic star photo frames, and two 100% cotton infant receiving blankets. Come on! Buy something like that and you're going to be on every baby shower invite list for the next ten years.

How do I tell my mother not to over-bundle the baby?

Olds Habits, New Times

Depending on the generation in which your mother, or your grandmother, was raised, you may be shocked to come home after a night out to discover your baby bundled tightly into a cocoon of five baby blankets. Before you went out you asked your mother, or grandmother, to put the baby in the crib, on his back. When you got home, the baby was propped up on his side. What do you do? The minute you try and broach the subject, you're going to hear something like, “Well that's the way I raised you, and you turned out alright.”

Unfortunately, things were different back then. People weren't aware of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) for one thing. They didn't' realize that over-heating a baby was a bad thing, or that babies could actually suffocate if they're trapped under too much baby bedding. So, if you're planning a night out, and your friend, mother or grandmother has graciously offered to baby sit, it's really important to have a heart-to-heart with them about how the baby should be placed in the baby cradle. It's not going to be an easy conversation to have, but having some literature or pamphlets on the topic might make it a little easier. At the very least it will back up what you're trying to say, and not make it look like you're just being a “crazy new mom”. Ultimately, if you don't feel safe going out for a much needed break, you might have to hire a qualified babysitter.

What color should I paint the baby nursery?

Baby Nursery Design

Generally, when people start thinking about baby nursery design, the two first colors to come to mind are pink and blue. It's obvious and it's overdone. Now, if you've always dreamed of a cotton-candy pink baby nursery for your little angel, go for it. However, if you're thinking about something a little different, don't be afraid to try out some of these color schemes:

• Green. There are many different shades of green, but try to find a green that falls in the “warm” spectrum of colors. Keep the walls a soft muted green and add layers of color by applying stencils, photographs, etc.

• Yellow. Not everyone loves yellow, but it can be done in a way that isn't too bright, overwhelming or over-the-top. You don't want it so yellow that your baby has nightmares of canaries. What you want to do is paint the walls a soft white-yellow, and then incorporate bouquets of yellow flowers (they can be artificial), stuffed animals, photographs, etc., into the nursery.

• Red and Purple. Now that's bold! Everybody goes for soft, muted colors, but there's nothing to say you can't go for the gusto. Really! Your baby honestly won't be psychologically damaged if you choose bright contrasting colors for the baby nursery. Take a purple baby cradle and coordinate the room with red baby bedding, etc.

These are just a few ideas to get you started. You can always do web searches for photographs of other baby nurseries, or buy some interior decorating magazines for more help.

Should I send thank you notes for the gifts I got at my baby shower?

Baby Gift Thank You Cards

Your friends will never forget the look on your face when you opened that gorgeous baby cradle that they all chipped in for. The wood was pure mahogany with angels carved into each end. The rails were smooth and the size was perfect for a newborn baby.

No doubt everything you got on the day of your baby shower was wonderful. Maybe you got some organic cotton baby blankets, extra baby crib bedding sets, and even some new mother gift baskets just for you!

There's still a few weeks left before the birth of the baby, which is the perfect time to sit down and write up the thank-you cards. The best way to write a thank you card is to keep it brief, but meaningful in some way. Sure it's meaningful to say “thanks”, but add a little comment about how you intend to use the item. For example, for the baby cradle, you could say something like, “Thank you for your generosity! This will stay in the family for generations to come.”

During the excitement of the baby shower, it's possible you've actually forgotten what a few people bought. If you think of it, have someone keep track of that while you're opening the gifts. If it's too late and the day has already come and gone, you can still send a generic thank you card. You could even write a personal note that says something like, “Thank you so much for the gift! I'm really glad you could make it to the baby shower.”

Now, find a comfortable spot (assuming you can!), and start writing those thank you notes.

How can I make sure I don't get a lot of duplicate baby gifts?

Baby Gift Registry

As the mother-to-be, you can expect to get a wide variety of gifts at your baby shower. There will be baby boy gifts and baby girl gifts. You'll probably get things like diapers, baby bath kits, and all sorts of things that you can use in the baby nursery.

If this is your first baby, you might just be happy to receive pretty much anything baby-related. If this is your second or third child, maybe you don't need as many things. You may already have plenty of baby bedding, for example.

In this case, your friends and family might be uncertain what to buy. They may ask, which is helpful, but you can also register (just like you did when you got married) at different baby boutiques. That way, you just need to tell them where you're registered and let the rest fall into place. Of course, there are some things you can never have enough of. So what if you get enough diapers to fill a small moving van. You'll be able to put them to good use, as long as they're not all in size “newborn”.

If something happens and you do end up getting way too much of a good thing (or a good gift, in this case), just remember you can probably bring it back to the store and exchange it for another color, size, etc. If your friends and/or family purchased the item online, check with the store's return or exchange policy. Guidelines for online returns are sometimes a little different than those of a local retailer.

Enjoy your gifts!

If I can't use things like bumper pads in the crib, what should I do with them?

Keeping Giraffes Out Of The Nursery

True story: Every night a man tucked his little girl into bed, then closed the curtains saying, “Don't want you to get a draft!” This went on for several nights and gradually the little girl started to complain about bedtime. She was afraid to go to bed alone and her parents had no idea why. Finally, she looked at them and said, is there still a giraffe? A giraffe? said the parents. Daddy also closes the curtains because he says I'll get a giraffe.

The whole time he was protecting her from a draft, she thought she was being protected against a giraffe. Curtains aren't the only way to protect against giraffes…uh, drafts.

If there are drafts that sweep under doorways, or through window panes, use items from baby crib bedding sets to block the air from getting in. Those long bumper pads that go on the inside of the crib can be stretched along the inside of doorways, or even placed on a windowsill. Your baby will be safer without the extra padding in the crib, and warmer if you happen to live in an older, drafty home. The warmer the nursery is, the less baby bedding you'll need to put in the crib, making it that much safer for baby.

What should I consider before decorating the baby nursery?

Decorating The Baby Nursery - Things To Consider

When you're designing the baby nursery it's really tempting to go crazy with the whole baby theme. It's only natural to want to just go over-the-top cute with all things baby. These days, more couples are finding out the sex of their baby, enabling them and their friends and family to start shopping early. You can have a name picked out and everything personalized before the baby makes his (or her) grand appearance.

If you want to do that, go for it! Fill that baby nursery with baby boy gifts or baby girl gifts to your heart's content. Go nuts on the walls and stencil cartoon characters, butterflies, flowers, trains, or anything else you can think of. You might even go for wallpaper that practically screams “a newborn lives here”. Before you start investing all of that time and money, consider these things:

  • Budget. Do you have the budget to change the décor in a few years when the child gets older?
  • Space. Do you have a large enough house that you can move the baby out of the nursery and into another bedroom once he or she gets older? School aged children aren't happy sleeping in anything that resembles a nursery.

Decorating the baby nursery is one of the final ways of preparing for the birth of the baby. Months have gone by and you've gradually gotten used to the idea of a new baby. As the time gets a little closer, decorating the nursery is a great way to work with the newfound nesting instinct that seems to take over. That's great! But if you're looking for ways to save money down the road, keep the baby nursery décor simple.

What's the best way to decorate my baby's nursery?

Safe Stuff Around The Nursery

No matter how small the baby nursery is, it's really important to make sure certain things are away from the crib, and away from baby's tiny hands.

You wouldn't keep dangerous chemicals within baby's reach, so pay equal diligence to cords, wires, heavy objects, glass ornaments, etc. A baby is only a newborn for a short period of time and before you know it he's actually acting like a real person. He's going to stretch, yawn, reach, and grab for anything he can get his hands on. That could include anything within reach from the comfort of his crib.

You hear the stories of the people who took a chance, thinking the baby couldn't possibly pull something over, or otherwise get himself into some sort of trouble. They're babies, after all. They can't even roll over on their own for a few months.

Somehow, they manage to do the impossible. The next thing you know, you've got an injured newborn with his baby boy gifts or baby girl gifts dumped on his head.

The best thing you can do is keep the crib away from any shelving, no matter how far away it seems to be from the baby. Don't set up lamps, stereos, televisions, radios, etc., anywhere near the crib. For one thing, baby could accidentally pull the cord into the crib and become tangled in it, or the baby could wind up sticking a finger or toe into the nearby electrical socket. A pet could easily knock an object near the crib onto the mattress or worse, onto the baby.

So, when you're decorating the baby nursery, keep these things in mind so that you can keep your baby as safe as possible.

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Guru Spotlight
Susan Sayour