Want to create a modern nursery that helps to ensure your baby actually sleeps? Though most babies sleep best in dark, cool (18-20C) and quiet, cave-like rooms, it is still possible to have a chic, contemporary nursery that can be easily transformed into a zen-like sleep space.
1. Choose your cot
The most important criteria is that your cot meets Australian safety standards. After that, the world is your creative oyster: choose a cot that best suits your personality and design goals. Consider choosing one that converts to a toddler bed once your child is older so you get more bang for your buck.
If you plan to room-share for the first few months and want a smaller sleep solution to start out, you can’t go wrong with Baby Bjorn’s beautiful cradle, which folds away for easy storage.
2. Black it out
Newborns aren’t sensitive to light and dark yet because their circadian rhythms are still developing. However, around three to four months you’ll want to expose your baby to light during awake times and darkness during sleep times. For most parents, that means installing blackout curtains so you can easily control the level of brightness. Pottery Barn Kids makes a range of cute blackout curtains that will work in any nursery. (If you have your heart set on a certain print and are a DIY mama, you can also make your own).
3. Settle on a comfortable chair
Whether you’re breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, you’ll want a super-comfy place to do so. This is a good item to splurge on – just for you. Find a chair that suits your frame (be sure to try it out in person) and is stylish enough that you could potentially use it elsewhere in your home once your baby is older. Whether or not the chair has rockers is up to you.
4. Quiet down
As they get older, babies become more sensitive to environmental sounds. If you live in a city (or in a home where noises carry easily), a white noise machine can be key to good sleep. Though it’s not the most stylish, Marpac’s Dohm White Noise Machine is a tried-and-true favourite with mamas.
5. Minimise distractions
Many parents think that their nursery must have a fancy mobile that plays songs, lights up and spins around on command. However, sleep space should be totally zen. If you love the idea of a mobile, ditch the electronics and instead choose a simple one, such as the handmade mobiles from Gisele Blaker Designs, which ship to Australia from the United States.
Hadley Seward is a certified sleep consultant and founder of Bonne Nuit Baby. Based in France and New York City, she works with exhausted parents around the world to get their kids’ sleep back on track.