Preparing for a newborn can be a little less stressful with the help of a custom nursery closet designed to store essentials like clothes, shoes, and feeding supplies.
I’m not certain about a lot of things in life, but I do know that in the DC metro area, McLean is one of the best spots for raising a family. Fairfax County is known for its excellent schools, and it also boasts a crime rate that is 58 percent lower than the rest of the state. One of my good friends is expecting her first child, so I wasn’t exactly surprised when she and her husband announced they were buying a house in McLean.
Designing a closet for your nursery can be tough, though, especially if it’s your first kid and you aren’t really sure what to leave room for. Luckily, I’ve worked on a number of nursery closets and was able to offer a few pointers on the best layout. I thought I’d share my suggestions here, too, for other new parents in the same boat. Here are some often-forgotten features that you’ll probably be thankful for during those early months:
Since most nurseries have reach-in closets, adding built-in drawers is usually my first suggestion. Folding your baby’s clothing is far easier than taking the time to hang every item, and drawers are also great for essential items that you use daily, like diapers, wipes, and creams. Keeping these things in designated drawers makes it very easy to find what you need, and it reduces overall clutter.
You could get a similar effect by using a dresser, of course, but drawers that are built into your closet free up a lot more floor space, which tends to come in handy as your child gets older and you have walkers and playpens to contend with.
Shelving with Two Different Heights
When nursery closets get designed, we’re often so focused on the baby’s items that we forget to think about mom and all of the things that she’ll need. Breastfeeding, for example, has become pretty common among new mothers, but it comes with a lot of luggage. In addition to your actual breast pump, you usually need a breastfeeding pillow, nursing cover, and breast pads, and these all need a home too.
By creating two columns of shelving, one that is “baby height” and another that is “mommy height,” you’ll have two distinct spaces for storage. Shelving in the “baby” section can be much closer together since you don’t need much space to fold tiny onesies or display infant shoes. For mom’s space, though, you’ll want the shelves to be much farther apart.
Double Hanging Rods
If you decide that hangers are your thing, consider adding multiple hanging rods to your reach-in. Newborn and children’s clothing aren’t generally long enough to limit you to one hanging rod per section, so I’d suggest installing two instead. This provides you with more room for infant clothing but still leaves enough clearance that your child can continue to use the space as he or she gets older.
Storage Space Up Top
When my husband and I had our baby shower, I remember being overwhelmed by the number of gifts. But because many of our friends already had children and understood how quickly babies grow, they gifted us with clothing that it took some time for my daughter to grow into. Space at the top of your reach-in closet can really come in handy for situations like this.
Generally speaking, I’d suggest leaving at least 12 inches of room up top to accommodate baskets or bins for storage. For particularly organized moms-to-be, I’d also recommend separating all clothing by size and labeling it so that you can easily find what you need when the baby is ready for it.
If there is one piece of advice that stuck with me through the haze of the newborn days, it’s that you should avoid waking a sleeping baby. We all know, however, that there will be moments when you need to put laundry away or grab something from the nursery closet. Adding LED lighting to your reach-in is the perfect workaround. This lets you see inside without turning on the overhead light and disturbing the baby, giving you the ability to maintain your baby’s closet (somewhat) on your own terms.
The months leading up to the arrival of your child can feel overwhelming because there are just so many things to get done. It will probably never feel like a walk in the park, but a custom closet with a carefully thought-out design can alleviate some of that stress once your newborn is safely home. Get in touch with us for a free design consultation to explore your options.