For first time parents, welcome to parenthood, and for those preparing to make use of the old rocking horse and crib buried shoulder deep amid other attached mess in the garage, welcome back!
As many second, third or even fourth-time parents will know, the right environment and mood surrounding your child can provide them with the best possible start in life. Everything from your baby's mood, mental and physical health to their awareness and emotions can be soothed or inspired by nursery Feng Shui.
While most people think this may break the bank and leave their pockets with gaping holes, they could not be further from the truth. In actual fact, nursery Feng Shui has absolutely nothing to do with designer linens or expensive interior decorators. With a little research it is an easy do-it-yourself project that simply anyone can do.
In a nutshell, Feng Shui is a 3,000-year-old Chinese practice of interior decorating which allows for the open flow of positive energy in a home, educational or workplace setting.
Practitioners of Feng Shui, which literally means "wind and water", believe space must be arranged for energy, or "chi" to flow freely, to invite good luck, success, and positive energies. As such, it is not hard to see where this could have been used as a tool to raise your child in a healthy environment.
Laila Wah, a master Feng Shui practitioner and Doctor of Acupuncture in the US with more than 30 years experience exploring complimentary medicine, outlines several Feng Shui principles to consider when arranging a nursery. These include the location of the nursery in the house, as well as furniture arrangement, color and movement in the bedroom.
Choosing the right bedroom With Baby Nursery Bedding
There is not a large margin for error when deciding which room to place your baby in. A baby is better placed away from stairwells, but not on a floor above the parent's bedroom. According to Wah, if this happens the child has the upper hand and as the common saying goes "rules the roost". A baby should also never be placed over a garage or empty space in the house, and should be somewhere where it will not be disturbed by excessive noise. Feng Shui also suggests a baby boy should be placed in a nursery located in the east and north parts of a house, while a baby girl should be placed in the south, southeast or west parts. If all else fails, it's best to arrange the room so it is in harmony and has a positive flow.
Locating the Crib
Perhaps the most important thing to consider when arranging furniture in a nursery is the location of the crib. The crib should be placed in a command position, the widest angle to the entrance of the room, just as an adults bed is placed in one. The head should be places against a solid wall for protection and grounding, and should not be placed along a wall that is shared with a bathroom or storage room, since this is believed to adversely affect the baby's health. Either side of the crib should be open, so the baby is able to see his caregivers as they enter the room and feel safe and protected. Nothing should be stored or placed under the bed since it impedes the flow of Qi and interferes with sound sleep. Try to keep a child's bed away from electrical outlets since it creates negative energy.
Creating movement in your baby's room does not mean arranging the furniture so you can move better around the room. In essence there should be lots of space in your child's room, but the movement Feng Shui reflects to is that of sound and air movement. For soft energy flow this can be achieved by use of a fan kept on a low setting. Soothing music and a mobile wind chime also enhances the energy of a room and can also be used to compliment the flow of energy.
Choosing the right colors
The right colors in a nursery can influence a baby's mood. It has been a popular practice of decorators to use colors to influence mood; blue is calming, yellow is energetic and happy, green is restful, orange invokes enthusiasm, and purple inspires the creative juices. Before you break out the dramatic colors however, Wah insists nursery's be painted in soft colors with appropriate pictures, like the child's artwork. Although bright colors are attractive they can be too stimulating for babies. To find the appropriate shade for the room you can use a Feng Shui bagua, a wheel chart that assigns colors and elements to certain areas in the home, as well as to life aspects such as relationships, careers, and children. If stuck trying to make that decision, the bagua indicates white as the best color for children since it is associated with creativity. If you wanted more color though, do so using soft muted colored furniture.
Babies bring meaning to the word "spoiled" as grandparents, relatives, and parents themselves, shower toys and gifts upon them. Soon soon you're struggling to find space to fit it all. When it comes to the child's bedroom it is important that this clutter is stored elsewhere. Excess clutter of toys around a child can be over stimulating, which can lead to restless sleep, inability to fall sleep, confusion and attention disorders. An over crowded room can also create or assist respiratory problems. Unnecessary clutter can block a baby's creative energy, both physically and mentally, and lead to discouragement. While a much more busy life ensues, it is important that clutter be organized and away from your child.
The right fabric
A point often overlooked is the effect touch can have on a baby's mental growth or wellbeing. Smooth textures such as cotton, cotton knits or velvet promote a sense of calm, quiet, and sleep, while silky textures such as polyester, silk and satin, ignite excitation and action. While shopping around for baby nursery bedding iecrib sheets, bumpers, or blankets, choose fabrics that are smooth but not silky.
The principles of Feng Shui are often simple and do not always require the expertise of interior decorators. Negative Chi can often be felt instinctively by people arranging their furniture in a new house, or while looking for a new home. A little research goes a long way when preparing for your child's first few years in the world, but be reassured, it does not take a university education to ground your baby in a positive environment. Trust yourself to know what's right for both you and your baby, and let your imagination point you in the right direction.