by: Michael Kabel


The baby nursery is such a rich source of memories and emotion that it's hard to underestimate its exact meaning to any proud new parents. The baby lives, eats, and most importantly sleeps in the nursery. Mothers and fathers alike want to make the entire room as comforting and nurturing as possible.


Presented below are several ways to make your baby nursery the best it can possibly be.


The basics of furniture are still much as you remember them


The floor plan of the nursery is the same as its always been, and consists of a crib, dresser, rocking chair, and of course the changing station. Except for the crib, which has undergone several improvement safety upgrades, everything remains classical and traditional.


Understanding crib safety


It's goes without saying that the crib is the most important part of the nursery, so you want the safest model you can get. Remember that crib slats should be spaced no more than 2 3/8" inches apart, and that the drop gate should go lower than nine inches above the mattress.


Avoid cribs that have decorative cutouts on the headboard or footboard. The crib should have no more than two inches space between the mattress and the crib sides.


Stocking the changing station


You can save money by constructing your own baby station using typical baby supplies. Start with a low-set dresser and include a safety pad and surface mounted changing stand. Make sure the padding is hypoallergenic and easily cleaned. You'll want to stock the station with a supply of diapers (naturally) but also talcum powder, moist wipes, and antibiotic hand cleaner for yourself. If you're using cloth diapers, have a plastic bag-lined hamper ready to take the empties.


You can also install a mobile above the station to help distract the baby from your work. Just hang it high enough to stay out of your way.


Use toys and keepsakes that mirror the sounds and smells baby wants to hear.


Some crib toys are able to mirror the sounds of a mother's womb and even replicate her scent. They're also able to mount to the top and sides of a crib, so they're out of baby's reach come bedtime.


Other toys feature night-lights built right into them, while some mount to nursery room walls and glow in the dark. Both provide a reassuring presence.


Get a little music into the nursery


Many parents and child experts believe playing music for children while still in the womb or soon after birth helps to gently prepare their young minds for the challenges of learning. As you decorate the nursery, you might wish to include an MP3 or CD player that includes classical and light jazz music.


Remember the best nursery feature is mom and dad.


Don't neglect yourself when getting all the nursery items together. Include a chair where you can sit and watch the baby sleep and especially don't forget to get a snug rocking chair for extra quality time. You may also wish to store breastfeeding materials and the baby's traveling gear inside the nursery, for "one-stop shopping" when it's time to get ready.