Are you one of those super brave mamas who is waiting till baby arrives to find out if you’ll be buying pink or blue? If so, you are in for the best surprise of your life! Hang in there, even though I know it is SO tempting to find out beforehand (and then swear you won’t subconsciously signal to your husband what you’re having). There is nothing like that moment when your doctor joyously cries out “It’s a girl!’ when you just KNEW it was a boy – or vice-versa.
We were Team Green with number three, as you may have read on another post already. It was 100 percent my idea to wait to learn the gender of our baby, and I wouldn’t change for a second that we opted for the surprise. It can present some little hurdles when decorating a nursery, through.
Below are my real-life, been-there-done-that tips for decorating a gender neutral nursery:
1. Let go of the idea that you can’t paint the room blue.
What makes me the authority on this? We painted our nursery a light blue because I just KNEW we were having a boy. And then sweet Josephine was born. So she has gorgeous floral curtains and touches of pink all over the place – and I actually love that we went with that light blue shade for her.
Would I paint the room pink and love it for a little boy? Not exactly. But yellow, green, tan, blue, gray – all of these are shades that work for boys or girls. Think light earth tones and you can’t go wrong.
2. You can always wait till baby arrives to pick out items like curtains and rugs.
(Gasp!) WHAT?! You mean I’m supposed to bring my child home to an UNFINISHED nursery?!
You absolutely can! I know that urge is strong to have everything just like you dreamed it would be, before you go into labor. You can either buy things like rugs and curtains that could go either way, or you can finish decorating after you deliver (WAY after).
I decided to finish up the nursery after baby was home. I hung light khaki curtains for the sake of pulling things together before I delivered, but I switched them out for a vintage floral pattern later. I had accent pieces for both genders, and some items that were not gender specific. All of the boy stuff went back to the store and girly things decorate her bookcase, dresser and the walls.
3. Select baby furniture that will work no matter how you decorate the room.
If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t have picked espresso furniture for my nursery. It’s beautiful, but it’s so dark. Instead, I would have put gray or white furniture in the baby’s room. It’s bright and airy, and pretty much any color goes with white or gray. You have so many color options for the glider and ottoman, accent pieces, wall colors, decor items, etc. You can pick two colors for your furniture – maybe a white crib with a gray bookcase and dresser – to keep the room from being too matchy-matchy.
Also, keep in mind what color you have painted or will paint the room when considering furniture. Dark walls + dark furniture will probably look very heavy.
Extra tip: If you haven’t bought your furniture yet – take it from a veteran mom – skip the changing table. Use a dresser instead. As long as your changing pad fits on top, you’re good to go and you’re not wasting money on a piece of furniture that you won’t need for long.
4. Prepare yourself to be frustrated sometimes that you don’t know what you’re having.
Even though it was my idea to wait to learn the gender, I felt so frustrated at Target right before we were due, trying to buy all the last-minute things I had put off. We have literally every single pink thing ever made in the history of the world because our oldest two are girly girls. Pregnancy hormones took over and I felt guilty not buying a set of blue dinosaur-themed crib sheets. If I don’t get them, what kind of mom am I to put my son on the floral sheets we already have? But if it’s a girl, I don’t want these boy sheets in her room! Cue the hormonal tears in the Target baby aisle, while I’m nine billion years pregnant and lugging around two toddlers.
Yes, you will have moments where you wonder why in the world you’re doing this to yourself. Why not just call the doctor right now and have the nurse deliver the big news over the phone? You’ll finally know what color hangers you should buy for the closet, for crying out loud!
Just wait, mama. It’s worth it. And you can always buy things when you know what color works best.
A friend asked me recently if I would go the entire pregnancy again not knowing what we were having. I have no regrets – we knew by 15 weeks with the first two that we were having girls, and the surprise with number three is an experience we’ll never forget. The hardest part was coming up with ANOTHER girl’s name at the hospital (she went two full days as simply Baby Bean), but that’s a story for another time!