Safe and fun place for kids

Safe and fun place for kids

Swati Kapur, July 29, 2016

Safe and fun place for kids

A  mom goes to the hospital with a bag and comes back with two, or may be more. It’s always the case — baby comes with a baggage of necessities and supplies that occupy space.

No, actually, a lot of space. Value-size diaper packs, hundreds of washcloths and wipes, a paraphernalia that includes milk powder, bottles, cleaners and much more. Then, there are clothes that you buy, clothes that come as gifts, clothes that are meant for the next season and clothes that are handed over the generations. Phew, you could do with some extra space! But the best part is that all this can be managed with some smart space-saving cabinets or cupboards, and some rearranging, dismantling and redoing of furniture.

Begin with the nursery

If you can put together your dream of gifting a nursery to your baby, go for it. A nursery is like a safe space that houses everything at arm’s distance and can make life so much easier. Based on the size of the room, decide where to place the crib. That’s one big investment, given the amount they cost these days. It’s not just a temporary bed for your infant. A good quality crib can last you several kids.

Getting the crib nicely varnished and disinfected before use is recommended. Look for a good quality, standard and approved mattress only. Best part about the crib is that it can easily go in the corner of the parents’ bedroom.

Next comes the cupboard or chest of drawers or a cabinet — whichever one  of the trio gives you the ease of picking up diapers, nappies, clothes and wipes without having to bend or stretch your already sore body. A sectional cupboard is the best as drawers or sections can be organised for one kind of item.

Temporarily, you can also mount a diaper changing board on the wall which opens up and can be closed when not in use. You may want to invest in a bassinet and a rocking chair for a relatively comfortable time while feeding the baby, an ottoman to put up your feet and catch up on that much-needed sleep. Rugs add to the warmth of the room and can be used for playtime eventually when the baby starts to crawl around the house or needs some dedicated time to play.

Stock ‘em up

All of a sudden, there will be lots to store and keep — gifts, beddings, crib bumpers and pillows, sheets, diaper bags, changing mats, blankets, soft toys, play gyms etc. Look for nursery storage collection available online or simply get creative and turn your wicker boxes, rattan baskets, pegboards and drawer separators into pretty storage things. Bed boxes are really handy; so make sure you save a compartment just for your baby’s blankets, quilts, beddings etc.

Pick your favourite colour

Give your room a new look with a brand new paint that immediately transports you to a dreamland. Why? Because after the baby, you will anyway find yourself craving for sleep and relaxation, and a nicely done up room will only add to some comfortable slumber.

“Make sure you use eco-friendly, odourless, non-toxic paints that do not leave any emissions harmful for an expecting mum or baby,” shares interior designer Sarika Sethi. Many go for starry ceilings, or pretty pinks and mauves. Choose what you think you will not get bored of after a short while. Children too outgrow fairy tales very soon so don’t install any permanent fixtures that are cumbersome to change in a few years. It’s fun to decorate and make the place look cute but keep the decorations functional.

Decorative hooks on the walls to hang clothes or a cotton rope strung between hooks to create a ‘hang-up’ place can be made to look neat and purposeful at the same time. Hang laundry hampers made of funky fabric on the wall or on the crib to hold the necessities.

Sleep strategy

Scientists have given enough evidence and brownie points to co-sleeping. And from a design and decor perspective, it definitely saves on a lot of space that your crib perhaps would have occupied. However, ensure that your bed is big enough to spaciously accommodate the three of you.

Babies need night-time change and feed so an armchair or a relaxing rocking chair  can be placed close to the bed. “A good wives’ advice is to have thick curtains, to block off the sun or light. You may have to make it dark any time of the day to induce sleep or give rest to yourself,” says Amrita Raizada, a new mom from recent experience.

And then there are extras...

There will be a lot of advice coming your way for funky and unnecessary furniture marking them as essentials. Pick up only what you really need. Ditch the changing table  — initially useful but for incredibly little time. It turns out to be just a big piece of wood that occupies space and even before you realise it, your baby’s legs are hanging out of it. If space is an issue, make the most of bathroom counters and cabinet tops by spreading a waterproof sheet beneath and padding with soft blankets or beddings.

However, make sure you are beside the baby, each time you use these makeshift changing tables. Ensure all your personal storage extras are out —  for the sake of the new entrant, for the sake of not overcrowding. A clever idea could be using the pocket shoe
organiser. It will hang in a corner or behind the door while holding lotions, oils, medicines, thermometers, toys, washcloths, spit cloths — just about anything that is needed but better be hidden. The space under the crib usually goes forgotten. But there’s no reason why you shouldn’t store boxes of out-of-season clothes, toys, or extra diapers underneath.

Reduce and pass it on Babies never need all the gear you think they do, so it’s best not to go crazy with all the shopping. Buy absolute minimum and add on as and when required. Pass on the good ones to charity and downgrade the shabby ones to kitchen use. “Any polishing, varnishing or disinfecting to be done in the house should be completed before the baby arrives. House clean-up, painting and electrical and wood work is best done way before the baby comes and better if an expecting mom can give it a miss”, opines Sarika.