My nesting instinct went into major overdrive when I was expecting my first daughter. I wasn’t satisfied with merely picking out new baby furniture, painting the room and adding some decorations as we waited for her to arrive. Nope, one HUGE part of the room had to go: the carpet.
We were giddy with excitement over being pregnant and my husband loves to get his hands dirty undertaking big home improvement projects. Over the span of about five weeks, he worked painstakingly on new flooring for our daughter. It was so beautiful when he finished – the perfect room for our princess, complete with classy dark floors, light coral walls and cute hand-punched birds attached to the walls. I skipped the themed bedding sets and went with sweet floral sheets and gray and white accent pieces. I can still remember passing away Sunday afternoons, folding her tiny onesies and letting them rest on my belly, dreaming of when I’d rock her to sleep in her room.
So I have all these sweet memories, but almost no good photos. When she was five months old, we sold that house and moved to The Woodlands. The only thing about the house that I still miss (even today, four years later) is her bedroom. So many hours of work went into the perfect space for her… and she’ll never see it. I tell myself over and over, even now, that surely the new owners kept that beautiful room just as I left it. I can’t bear to think of it looking any different.
We worked equally hard on the rooms for our second and third girls – Emily’s room was freshly painted in a stunning shade of orchid (the Pantone color of the year for 2014) and we put up wainscoting to give the room a vintage feel. Josephine’s room was decorated for a boy or a girl, with gender neutral accents, since we didn’t know which direction to go before birth.
No doubt investing hours in your nursery too. If you’re not nesting yet, you will, trust me! That deep instinct to prepare, declutter, clean and organize hits like a category five hurricane force wind – there’s no ignoring it! Once you pour your blood, sweat and tears into a bedroom for your newborn, make memories that will last – take pictures!
The image at the top of this post is from sweet Carter’s nursery. I photographed his little family of four earlier this year. Fortunately, his family moved into a house that was already perfectly painted for two little boys! His parents worked hard to hang sweet decorations on the walls and create a comfy, cozy place for their second son. With thoughts of my first daughter’s nursery in mind, I made sure to take pictures of Carter’s first room so his mom and dad will always remember what it looked like.
The nursery is a central part of your pregnancy journey and of your baby’s story. Although they may not spend much time in the nursery for a while, it’s a calm, quiet place you’ve prepared with them in mind. After all that effort, have something to show for it – in case you move, or have more kids and change up the room, or for when you redecorate when your kid is like 16 (IF you ever redecorate, right?!).
Here are five photos to take of your nursery so you can show it off to your child someday:
1. A view of the whole room
Do this the right way – get out your DSLR if you have one and take photos when the light in the nursery is the brightest. Stand in the doorway and take a shot of how the whole room is put together. If you can’t get everything in the frame at once, divide the room up into sections.
2. A close up of the crib and anything you’ve hung above it.
Make sure baby’s sheets are on the mattress. Back up as far as you can away from the crib and fit in the bed and baby’s name/initials/etc that are hung on the wall. Center yourself so that the crib takes center stage in your photo. Can you squeeze in that gorgeous rug on the floor too?
3. The dresser/changing station with diapers stacked neatly nearby and wipes ready to go.
I had pretty, frilly hangers that I would put an outfit or two on and hang them from the dresser handles for an added touch. I also stacked a few of my favorite baby books to one side of the changing pad. You know the ones – they’re so sweet that you can’t read them without tearing up but you blame it on pregnancy hormones.
Pull the dresser drawers out going across like stair steps to capture all those precious, tiny baby things tucked neatly inside.
4. The glider or rocking chair waiting for you and baby to snuggle in together.
I have a beautiful old quilt from my great-grandmother gently laid on the rocker in our nursery. It’s been there for all of my girls. I love that parts of the pattern have matched the color of each of their rooms (light coral, purple orchid and a light, light blue).
5. The bookcase where you’ve already carefully lined up books to read.
A beautifully decorated bookcase is like artwork. Once you get that perfect balance of books to decor to pictures, it’s like all is right with the world.
6. A close up of anything you’ve created or made for the nursery – mobile, a collage of special photos, painted wooden letters, etc.
Our youngest is still in her nursery, but we moved our older two into the same room together since they’re attached at the hip anyway. My middle daughter’s nursery is now our guest bedroom, and the only reason it didn’t bother me to redo that room so quickly was because we were expecting number three when we made the change. (Babies 2 and 3 are only 15 months apart! I decorated nurseries for different babies two summers in a row!) I have many beautiful photos of the space we created for our second, and I have tons of photos of our third daughter’s nursery, too. After leaving behind that magical first nursery when we moved, I haven’t made the mistake again of not taking photos – and now you have no excuse not to capture the sweetness of your baby’s nursery!
The little years are so fleeting and there are endless moments you want to remember forever – it’s easy to overlook a room you spend so much time in. It’s simple to assume you’ll always remember the nursery. Take pictures anyway! You’ll be glad you did.
These six must-have photos are on my must-have list for any lifestyle newborn session I shoot. After getting some family photos, while mama is taking a break to nurse baby, I sneak off to the nursery and make sure to capture the big and little details. I want you to look back at these images in 5, 10, 15 years and almost smell that intoxicating newborn scent! It’s the best thing ever.