Whether you’re a new parent or you’ve been around the child-raising block a few times, preparing a nursery for a new baby can be one of the most stressful items on your To Do List. With some time and careful planning, though, it doesn’t have to be. Get an early start on those preparations; the earlier the better, especially when you’re planning to order furniture and other items online. After all, you never know when they’ll actually arrive. Figure out your budget too, then create lists for everything that will fit into it. Take on a little at a time, rather than try to get everything in one chaotic rush.
In addition to all of the usual necessities that you’ll be advised to purchase, like a crib, dresser, or toy box, one item that no parent should be without is a rocking chair. Many new parents wonder whether or not they should include one in their nursery, but experienced parents know that rocking can be one of the most wonderful pleasures for both mother and child. A rocking chair is soothing and gentle, and it does wonders to calm a fussy infant. Swaddling and rocking simulates the close, snug security and motion of being in the womb, giving the child something familiar and comforting when the stimulation of the new and outside world gets to be too much to handle.
For mothers, a rocking chair offers comfort and support while feeding, or through the long, difficult nights when your baby is teething, sick, or just having trouble getting to sleep. It’s also a good idea to combine the rocker with a nursing stool. This will help lift the knees and give Mom some leverage. Mom will be able to hold her infant comfortably on her lap while she nurses or offers a bottle. Good back support, soft cushioning on the seat, and arm rests will make those three a.m. feedings much easier to handle. You’ll be relaxed, and your baby will be relaxed too. When feeding time is over, you’ll both have a lot less trouble going back to sleep.
But what sort of rocking chair is best for your nursery? The best way to answer this question is to make a list of all of the features of a rocking chair that are important to you.
Do you want to color coordinate your child’s nursery? If so, you’ll want to look through a catalogue of different styles, different woods, and different cushioning materials to find a look that will best match your décor. The best fabrics to use for cushions are those that are stain-resistant. Children can get very messy, and you’ll want to pick out something that can be washed very easily, whether it’s by hand or in a washing machine.
How much space do you have in your nursery? Some chairs are larger than others, so be sure to look for measurements of the chair you intend to buy. No one wants to purchase an expensive chair only to find it won’t fit and has to be returned.
Is reusing the chair important to you? It’s sad to say, but children won’t stay babies forever, and a good rocking chair can be an investment that you can use in the bedroom of an older child or in your living room. A high-quality, carefully-selected rocking chair can be passed down from generation to generation, becoming a treasured family heirloom.
Wooden Rocking Chairs – a Timeless Classic
It’s all too easy to imagine a quiet and peaceful night with your little baby tucked snugly in a blanket, drowsily drinking milk during a midnight feeding, with only the soft, gentle creaking of a wooden rocker to listen to. It’s an idyllic scene, but as most new parents soon discover, the reality is often a lot louder and features tired, bloodshot eyes the next morning. Wooden rockers have been around for a long time and are popular for two main reasons: comfort and durability. They soon become like a reliable friend: always there for you, supporting you and helping you soothe a fussy baby.
Needless to say, many parents grow deeply attached to their rocking chairs and often come to see them as life-savers.
When it comes to a wooden rocking chair for your baby’s nursery, comfort comes in the form of full support for the back and lower body. This is a time to look for something practical. Too many gaps between the slats can cause skin and muscle to push through after a while, leaving the remaining slats to dig into your back in uncomfortable ways.
The Bob Timerblake Cottage Rocker has long, narrow slats arranged vertically and fairly close together to help support the back. The seat features a gentle concave curve to conform to the shape of the body, and the high back also provides a place for your head to rest when your neck gets tired. Some variations on that theme include the Country Style Slat Back Rocking Chair and the Five Farm Road Wooden Rocking Chair. Each of these rocking chairs is also available with custom-made cushioning – a definite must-have when you’ll find yourself sitting in that chair for hours.
And why wood? When it comes to furniture for the nursery, the key word is durability. Hardwoods are easy to clean, and not much can stain them when they’ve been given a coating of lacquer or paint. They can withstand a lot of use without showing signs of wear and tear, and as your children get older, they will definitely get energetic enough to put that rocking chair through its paces. Furthermore, wood has a great look to it. Any of these chairs would make a striking addition to any living room or front porch once your baby’s outgrown needing them in a nursery.
Alternative Styles and Materials – Putting a New Spin on an Old Favorite
Depending on your needs, your budget, and the dimensions of your nursery, there’s no reason not to look at alternatives to the classic, time-tested, wooden rocking chairs. New designs, new styles, and new materials are constantly being developed by craftsmen, and many of them would make a wonderful, striking addition to your baby’s nursery while remaining practical and helpful.
Once upon a time, back in the middle of the 19th century, wicker furniture was a popular choice for parlors. Today, it enjoys popularity as outdoor furniture, but a good wicker rocker like the Portside Plantation Rocking Chair offers fantastic back support as well. It also yields beneath the weight of the body, providing superior comfort. Most wicker furniture today – including the Portside Plantation rocker – is made from synthetic, resin wicker rather than the real thing. This means it’s easier to clean, maintain, and will last longer. With so much to offer, there’s no reason not to bring wicker back indoors!
There is also a growing movement among families to look for more environmentally-friendly alternatives to wood, but it hasn’t been until recent years that it was taken seriously, and the 21st century has brought new, innovative designs and materials. The Polywood Woven Jefferson Rocking Chair is an exemplary example of this trend, in that it doesn’t merely use synthetic materials. Polywood uses recycled HDPE plastic which looks like real wood or wicker, except it will never rot, warp, or fray, no matter what gets spilled on it. For families who want to look for ways to reduce their carbon footprint, a chair like this will not only lessen the demand for lumber, it will also keep trash out of landfills.
There are also some families for whom a rocking chair is not a practical choice. It may be due to having a smaller-sized nursery, or they simply might not like how rocking chairs can occasionally scooch up a bit and need to be pushed back into place. For this reason, many families turn to using a glider, like the Royal English Glider Chair. These wonderful chairs give you all the sensation of gently rocking back and forth, but they have a solid base that stays firmly in place. While they are often found on a front porch – their durable construction makes them ideal for outdoor use – this particular model of chair only needs a cushion and a coating of paint or lacquer to make it suitable for the indoors.
Not Just for Mom – Rocking Chairs for the Family
For families with multiple children, it’s not uncommon for older siblings to feel a little jealous of the new baby. After all, if they’re used to having Mom and Dad’s attention all to themselves, it can take time for them to adjust to the fact that this new, crying person in their lives needs Mom and Dad too. If Mom is spending hours in the nursery, rocking and feeding the baby, how can Big Sister or Big Brother join in or help?
There are lots of ways! Asking the older children to help take care of the new baby can help to foster a sense of caring, and it can help to give them a sense of importance and pride, knowing that they’re Mom and Dad’s right-hand man or right-hand woman. You can also let them join you with their own rocking chair in the nursery, like the Child’s Slat Rocking Chair. With a rocking chair like this, the older child can sit with you and relax with you while you’re taking care of the baby.
Bonding time with Dad is important too, but if the mother is nursing instead of bottle feeding, then the father could end up feeling like he’s missing out. There are a lot of reasons why parents wouldn’t simply resort to giving the baby a bottle just so Dad can take care of a feeding, but one alternative solution to the problem is to invest in a double rocking chair like the Classic Double Rocker. This way, Dad can sit with both Mom and the baby, letting the child bond to the sight of his face and the sound of his voice just as much as the baby will bond with Mom. A chair like this will take up more space than a typical rocking chair, so be sure to double-check the measurements of the nursery!
Don’t Forget Your Feet – the Nursing Stool
When it comes to sitting in a rocking chair, most people don’t give too much thought to the angle of the lap. They just sit down and relax, but as the parent of a baby, the rocking chair is more than just a place to kick back and get comfortable. It’s a place where you’ll actually be working to take care of your baby, even if it doesn’t really seem like something most people would consider to be work.
Most rocking chairs allow people to sit upright with their feet back on the floor, which is great if you’re just going to sit in it, but for cradling an infant on the lap and for nursing, it can get awkward and uncomfortable after a short time.
Nursing stools are the perfect answer to this, since they allow you to put your feet up and give you more leverage for rocking. More importantly, they change the angles of your legs in a resting position, making it easier to cradle your infant during nursing.
When looking for a nursery stool, you’ll want something sturdy, durable, and designed with safety in mind, like this Nursing Stool Made from Natural Wood. Your stool should be able to grip any floor surface without slipping, and if multiple people will be feeding the baby, an adjustable height is a useful way to accommodate them.
All of these chairs and more are available, and when you take a look at our full selection of high-quality rockers and accessories, you’ll be sure to find something to fit your needs and your budget. Not only are they a great choice for your own home, but they’ll also make wonderful gifts for your daughter or a friend who’s going to be expecting their own child.
Calm, Soothing, Swaying
So there you have it! As you can see, there’s no shortage of wonderful options for your baby’s nursery. Think about what you’d like in terms of comfort, function, design, and appearance. Then click on the links above–or browse our full selection of rocking chairs and children’s rockers–to find your perfect choice for reclining, rocking relaxation.