Baby, You've Got Style
Today's nursery is rich in style, storage and safety, with a healthy dose of color andplenty of bugs (only their cuteness is contagious).
There's an emphasis on furniture that lasts from "crib to college," or atleast through toddlerhood, and styles are similar to the clean-lined, casual andcontemporary looks popular in adult furniture.
Patricia Youngblood, editor of Your Home Magazine at Furniture.com outlines the latesttrends in nursery style, storage and safety:
While pastels are still never-fail color schemes for baby, today's looks favor lushsaturated colors like hunter green and deep blue in everything from bibs to crib bumpers.
Hand-painted trim and nursery rhyme themes add lively touches of color and design. Fun,flower-shaped rugs put a spring into first steps, and no room is complete without a plushrocker in the shape of a horse, panda or St. Bernard.
Bedding designs offer something for everyone, and with so many adorable choices, ninemonths is hardly long enough to decide.
Choose from licensed characters, such as Pooh, classic designs like patchwork andplaids, or go out of this world with twinkling moons and stars. Accessories from theMoondoggie Bedroom collection will teach your nursery new tricks with rich colors and funshapes. The collection, featuring a playful white moondoggie with red collar, and goldmoon and stars on a royal blue background, includes a crib bumper, crib quilt, fitted cribsheet, and even a lamp!
Furniture is efficient, space-saving and expected to last. As early as infancy, theemphasis is on furniture that works until the kids go off to college.
Manufacturers designing with this "baby shift" in mind offer higher-quality,higher-priced collections for parents who want to invest in furniture that can last fromthe ABCs to the SATs. Versatile pieces, such as cribs that convert to toddler beds, extendthe life of the furniture and in some cases add safety benefits.
You convert the crib into a bed by removing one side and lowering the mattress nearlyto the floor, reducing the risk of falls for a toddler who is able to get out of the cribon her own.
Storage is key. Armoires and dressers keep the nursery clutter-free and continue towork well in a child's room when the crib is replaced with a bed.
Even changing table dressers are being designed for life after diapers. Classic styleslike Shaker and clean-lined Contemporary withstand taste changes as a child matures,making it easy for parents to think "beyond babyhood" when buying pieces. If thenursery will include a twin bed, a design with drawers underneath can offer as much spaceas a five-drawer dresser. With so many resourceful storage options available, the choicesare endless.
Of course, there's no reason storage can't be fun. The hand-painted Snug as a Bugcollection is literally crawling with fun and excitement and offers multiple storageoptions: a two-drawer chest, a five drawer cabinet and a nightstand.
While making room for baby, parents will also have to make room - a lot of room - forall the safety products on the market. Leading the safety campaign are technologicalgizmos that keep baby in view and in earshot from anywhere in the home.
One monitor/television uses an infrared LED so you can "watch" the baby evenafter lights out. And if hearing burps and seeing smiles aren't enough, there's a monitorthat informs you of baby's movements from a sensor pad placed under the mattress.
A big trend is the co-sleeper, an ingenious, three-sided crib-like device that attachesto your mattress, keeping baby close at hand but removed from the possible dangers ofsharing a bed with big people.
It's not only safe but also a great boon for sleepy parents and those who want someextra bonding time with baby. Some co-sleepers even convert into portable play yards orchanging tables when baby moves into a crib of his own. The latest in crib safety is therecently patented, interior hardware design that eliminates moving metal parts that canpinch fingers and cause injuries. Not only safe, the design is good-looking too.
Keep updating your safety check. Children change overnight, and the baby that couldn'troll over today is the toddler who will be reaching for the tub cleanser tomorrow.Redesigned safety gates make it a snap to keep junior from wandering freely and are sureto elicit pangs of jealousy from grandmothers who remember struggling with earlier woodenmodels.
Now made of plastic, today's gates are more flexible, easy to clean and splinter-proof.Plus, with a variety of sizes to fit different openings, any room can be declared offlimits. If your future rock climber does manage to scale his way into the media room,terrific devices like VCR locks can be used to seal the opening from tiny hands andwayward toys. Don't forget old standbys like cabinet safety hinges and outlet covers, andmake sure you bolt or weight wobbly objects that can be pulled over.
"With so many safe, good-looking products to choose from, parents should do theirhomework and start shopping early," Youngblood says. "The drive formanufacturers to improve products, make them easier to use and reduce possible risks isdue largely in part to the efforts of concerned parents. Keep up the good work!"
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