If you are a pregnant WAHM, you might be wondering how you can do a little home office decorating to make room for baby. Good news! There are several delightful options available to make your office cozy for baby while still leaving space for you to work.
Start your planning while you are in the nesting phase of your pregnancy--it will be fun to sit down and plan your home office to accommodate the baby. Depending on when you decide to go back to work, your needs will vary. For example, if you are starting back as soon as possible after the baby's birth, your equipment needs will be very different than if you decide to wait until the baby is 6 months' old. Following are a few suggestions for home office decorating:
Plan a Sleep Area
If you can have a bassinet or small crib in your office, it might help you get a lot of work done while the baby is sleeping. Newborns generally nap every 3 hours or so, so having a comfortable resting place during the baby's first few months will really help you out. Some play yards have bassinets attached, but make sure they are the right size for your baby's age.
Plan a Play Area
Depending on the baby's age, different types of toys will keep her occupied. For the very young, a mobile hanging over her bassinet will keep her amused. As the baby gets older, you can add a play yard or try an exersaucer, which has many interesting toys to keep the baby happy. You can also try a swing--either a wind-up or battery powered model. Baby jumpers, little swings that clamp to a doorway and allow the baby to jump up and down on her own, are great for older babies.
Plan a Diaper Changing Area
You don't need to have an entire changing table in your workspace if you don't have the room. Just put aside a basket with diaper changing needs: diapers, wipes, cream, etc, and keep a rolled-up mat nearby just for this purpose. It will save you so much time and energy, not having to run all over the house every time the baby needs a change.
Plan a Feeding Area
If you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding, you might want to have a comfortable chair nearby so you can feed the baby without even having to leave the office. For bottle feeding, you might want to keep a bottle warmer nearby. You can mix the bottle in the kitchen and warm it in your office, then feed the baby while you sit in your comfy chair. With older babies who eat solid food, feeding time gets a little messy--best to leave that to the kitchen.
Plan for the Little Things
Try to think of the little things that will make your office a comfortable place for you and the baby. For example, have a lamp in your office as well as overhead lighting. That way, you can dim the lights while the baby is sleeping, but still have enough light to work by.
Once you have the baby and start working, you'll actually put your workspace to the test. Feel free to change and add to your workspace as your needs change, to make room for you--and for the baby!______________________________
Sarah Baker is a documentary filmmaker and writer currently living in New Bern, NC. Her first book, Lucky Stars: Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell, will be published December 2009. Read more about her.