How to Build, Decorate and Furnish an AB's Nursery
Creating a safe haven for your adult baby is one of the best ways you can make his fantasies seem real. But before you do or purchase anything, make a plan, and consider your finances and your lifestyle before you make any decisions about your future. Painting, decorating and furnishing your baby's nursery can cost anywhere between $500 to $25,000 so fiscal prudence should be the order of the day. (See the section, "Decorating Baby's Nursery on a Budget" at toward the end of this article.)
The Psychology of an Adult Baby's Nursery
The psychology of an AB's nursery is absolutely dependent on both the parent's and baby's inner needs. Is the baby's inner-self a crawling infant, a toddler or a preschooler? Does he or she need to be diapered every night or would training pants suffice? Does baby need to be spoon-fed his din-din? Does baby eat baby food at night? Is baby in disposables or cloth diapers? Does he or she need a nightly bottle? Does he or she have a collection of baby toys that baby likes to play with on the floor? Does baby have a beddie-bye story read to him before he goes nite-nite? Do you nurse your baby and need an extra-large rocking chair? Do you sing lullabies to baby or does baby have a collection of lullaby tapes or CDs? Does baby use hypnosis tapes? Is baby a happy, go-lucky sort who is overactive and needs to be calmed down or is the baby depressive and needs to be cheered up? Is baby naughty or nice? Or is baby playful or withdrawn?
How far are you, as the baby's caregiver, willing to go to care for your superannuated baby? Do you have a wife that merely wants to be diapered and cuddled like a baby, or do you have a husband who wets or messes his pants when he comes home from work? Is your hubby a sissy who wants to wear baby dresses in addition to diapers, or do you have a doting baby boy who loves to suckle at his mommy's teats?
If you are a wife, do you merely tolerate his infantile desires and want to put him into a nursery so you won't have to look at your diapered husband, or do you feel so maternal with him that your willing to make him your permanent baby? Are you angry with your husband and wish to humiliate him and give him the treatment that he begs for and dress him in humiliating baby doll clothes, or do you leave him alone to his own devices? Or do you have an esoteric bent and want to use the principles of Feng Shui to design and layout your baby's nursery so that he or she will be as comfortable and happy as possible?
Every AB is different and expresses their need to return to the time of innocence and unconditional love in his or her own way. So too does each parent have his or her limitations or needs. Each one of these questions has a direct bearing on your baby's nursery design, decoration and furnishings.
Picking a Room for the Nursery
You will need to decide where your adult baby is going to sleep and where you can store all his baby paraphernalia and toys. The first question is, "Will it be big enough?" (See the section "Possible Construction Changes Needed to Create Baby's Nursery" that immediately follows.) After you have chosen a place for the baby, spend time there at different times of day and night. Can the neighbors see everything that would go on in the nursery? (See window's treatments for possible cures.) Note where the sun shines brightly into the room, and where streetlights might be a problem after dark. List everything you think you will need and work out a budget and a schedule. As a rule, you should complete all major room renovations at least one month before you plan to move your baby into his new nursery.
Possible Construction Changes Needed to Create Baby's Nursery
It may be necessary to knock out a wall and convert two small side-by-side 10' x 10' bedrooms into one large bedroom for baby's nursery. If proper scaling were observed, an adult baby's nursery would be at least 20' x 20' with a 16' ceiling height. Since that is impractical, the space must be large enough to contain baby's dresser, crib, and changing table at a minimum which will probably require a 12' x 14' room. Even at that size, baby will have little room to play. If you plan to feed baby in the nursery as well as play, then that size is too small for everyone's comfort.
Other considerations come into play as well. If the door is a standard 28" in width, you will never be able to get baby's crib or cot out of the nursery without disassembling it. Double doors are the solution to that problem. Don't have laminated hollow doors installed, if you are going to that much expense, install wood-covered steel doors and have the old wooden frame replaced with steel doorjambs and frames. If you have a two-hundred-pound baby boy who is throwing a screaming, kicking tantrum on the floor of his nursery, he would easily be able to kick through hollow doors by accident.
At the same time, you might want to have a connecting door with the master bedroom and the nursery installed. You may also have safety issues with your radiator or gas heater which should be addressed by an appropriate contractor. You may also want to remove the flooring and replace it with a type of flooring that goes better with your concept of what your baby's nursery should look like or what you can afford.
Tip: If you decide to make major construction changes for your baby's nursery, tell the contractor(s) that you plan to store and display your family's valuable antiques and memorabilia in the new room. Put the construction money into escrow with your bank and contract for it to be surrendered only upon successful completion of the contract. The bank's staff lawyers will protect you from suit in the event of the contractor's failure to meet the contract. Deal with a reliable company who will assume the responsibility of the major contractor who will subcontract to other companies. The escrow agreement should spell out that the main contractor is responsible for the subcontractors and making sure that they are properly insured and/or bonded.
Have a security company install iron burglar bars with a parental emergency lock escape in case of fire along with the security gate mentioned below. They can also wire the room for the CCD camera as well as for the various types of alarms mentioned below without knowing the actual type of alarm except that it is a pressure switch, simple SPST (off-on) switch, or magnetic window switch along with the nursery's carbon monoxide and dual smoke sensor. They may think you're a bit over-concerned with the safety of your family memorabilia, but if you have the money, they will install it without a word. Hire a separate contractor to paint and decorate the nursery after they are finished, then move in the furnishings.
Safety is of paramount concern in designing a baby's nursery. Under no circumstances should you have a fireplace in the nursery! Moreover, the inexpensiveness of Carbon Monoxide and Smoke detectors has made them cheap enough for everyone's wallet. Flannel baby clothes, especially homemade clothes without a fire-retardant surfactant, will burn VERY readily. If your adult baby smokes, take his cigarettes or cigars as well as his matches or lighter away from him when he is in baby mode. Let him suck on a pacifier or ba-ba instead. He may not like it, but babies have no business smoking in the nursery. Likewise, allow no candles or any sort of flame whatsoever into baby's nursery.
If you need to store baby's medications in the nursery, place them in a cabinet or refrigerator secured by lock and key. Likewise, any chemical disinfectants, laundry chemicals, bleach, etc., should be in a locked cabinet. The locks supplied for little babies are insufficient for adult babies, so use a high-quality pin tumbler lock with a sturdy hasp to protect your baby! Make sure that there is no coin, nail clipper, pocket knife or anything else that could be used as a tool in the nursery! Throw away all wire hangers and never allow a plastic bag, rope, belt or unsecured strap into the nursery.
Even if you let your adult baby have alcoholic beddie-bye milk-based drinks from his ba-ba, never, ever, store any alcoholic beverages in the nursery! Remember that adult babies are subject to periods of intense depression because of the travails of their upbringing and the disappointments in their lives! Adult babies should be treated like little babies or suicide-prone individuals who have no sense of the harm that they might do to themselves! There is little difference between the treatment of either, since both types cannot be trusted to look after themselves rationally. If your baby quails at such treatment and throws a tantrum, remember that it was he that requested to be treated like an infant! Let him scream and drum his heels on the floor until he wears himself out and then tell him his behavior is exactly why he has the privileges of an infant! While there is an "up" side to being a baby, i.e., unconditional love and care, there is a downside as well, i.e., the loss of ordinary household privileges that even a four-year-old enjoys. It is this loss of privilege that makes babyhood so bittersweet and enticing to your baby. His internal guilt monster is assuaged by the sacrifice of his adult privileges as an appropriate and logical consequence for the fulfillment of his desire to return to babyhood!
Your baby has surrendered his or her adult responsibility for him or herself unto you, his or her parent or caregiver! Even though your baby may be chronologically an adult, by retreating into babyhood, he or she has given up all adult rights and considerations for the unconditional love and trappings of infancy. While in baby mode, your baby cannot be trusted with medications, chemicals, matches, lighters, alcohol, etc. It is perfectly permissible for you as a parent or caregiver to say "No, no, baby!" or slap the top of baby's hand if he or she attempts to play with either dangerous, valuable, or adult objects! You, as their parent or caregiver, are ultimately responsible for your baby's welfare!
If baby's nursery is lucky enough to have a full or half bathroom, then you have another opportunity to decorate to your heart's content. The theme should match the nursery, but there are a number of additions that should be made for an adult baby. Primarily, the tub should be provided with a number of brightly colored self-adhesive non-slip pads to keep your baby from falling in the tub. Safety rails should be provided to he or she can catch himself.
If your baby has potty-training problems that require that he be restricted from the bathroom, have a lock with a set of push buttons to act as a combination lock to the bathroom. The sequence is easily learned by the parent and can be done one-handed while the parent's hand blocks the combination from the baby's casual view.
There is an adult-sized reclining bathing chair that looks almost exactly like the one's made for babies. These are widely used by parents of chronological babies and make bathing your "little" one a snap.
It can be found at: http://store.yahoo.com/am/larrecbatcha.html
A quote from the description of the chair is, "The Large reclining Bath Chair is for a person 54-70" (137-178 cm) and 180 lb. (82 kg). Inside Width is 17" (43 cm), Seat Depth is 17" (43 cm), Back Length is 31" (76 cm), Outside Width is 19" (48 cm), Full Recline Outside Length is 51" (130 cm), and clearance between seat bottom and tub surface is 6-9" (15-23 cm) depending on recline angle. Optional Extension Legs, Caster Set, and Head Support are available separately."
Even if you can't afford a reclining bath chair, consider putting in a personal shower head with an extended tube to make bathing your baby easier.
If your baby wears cloth diapers, you should get a diaper duck for the toilet as well as stock up on disposable plastic picnic knives. Scrape the majority of the mess into the toilet bowel with the disposable knife before using the Diaper duck, Either rinse off the knife in the toilet or dispose of it. (Recommended.) Parents of cloth diaper users are "hooked" on this on this one! Daddies love them! Save your hands, your time and your money! A Diaper Duck and cloth diapers can save you over $3.00 per day! Just hook it over raised toilet seat. It holds the soiled diaper for rinsing. (No more "flushed" diapers and stopped up toilets!) Then, just wring the diaper dry! Made of tough white Lexan plastic. Guaranteed to last the entire diapering period. $7.77 Available from: http://webhome.idirect.com/~born2luv/catalog7.html#duck
The following hyperlink will lead you to a tiling calculator so you can immediately estimate how many square feet of tile it will take to cover your baby's bathroom: Tile Calculator
Last, but not least, don't forget to get a baby ducky for your baby to play with in the tub!
There are literally hundreds of different themes you can choose when decorating your adult baby's room, from warm and cozy, with wooden furniture and rich sunflower hues or bright and bold colors with white furnishings and bursts of vivid colors throughout. You can also use window treatments, wall appliques, painting schemes, decorations on various furnishings, coverlets and accessories to create one of the popular cartoon motifs. Since the room will be your baby's haven, ask him which color or nursery scheme that he prefers. If you choose to use a cartoon motif, you can even purchase matching light switch plates for the light switch. (Light switch plates, wall appliques, nightlights, and one-touch parent nightlights are available from http://www.babyant.com/roomdec.html)
Probably the most popular nursery of all time is Winnie-the-Poo! Dear old Poo bear has delighted parents and babies of all ages since the popular character was created by the Scot author A. A. Milne in 1928. The character is a favorite in both the United States and Great Britain and over the years has enjoyed world-wide acclaim and affection. If your baby likes Winnie-the-Poo, you can decorate the entire nursery in a Poo motif! You can find a Poo theme for everything that you would possibly need to decorate the nursery, such as wallpaper, curtains, comforters, sheets and linens, lamps, lamp shades, appliques for cloths, large posters, decals, large plastic appliques for walls, plastic borders, drawer pulls, light switch plates as well as toys and diaper pins!
Inspect the baby furnishings section of several different stores and thumb through a few catalogs before buying anything. As you look, you'll probably find yourself attracted to variations of the same theme over and over. This gives you a place to begin, though you should keep in mind that your imagination and inspiration are far more important - and often less expensive - than having any one theme continued perfectly throughout the room.
Painting the Nursery
You can use color in your baby's nursery like nowhere else in the house, so have fun while being creative! While pastels are still never-fail color schemes for baby, but today's fashions favor lush saturated colors like hunter green and deep blue in everything from bibs to crib bumpers. Yellow and green are good neutral colors if you don't want to emphasize either sex. Whatever you choose, try to keep the colors soft and soothing unless you have a psychological reason for stimulating or causing a deep meditative state in your baby. Deep colors like midnight blue foster drowsiness and sleep, which might be exactly what you may want for an overactive adult baby. One the other hand, a bouncy active yellow can encourage a lazy baby into playing. Predominant reds other than a rose hue should be avoided.
Consider painting two walls in one color, and the other two with a complementing or contrasting paint color or decorate with plastic wallpaper. If you use this technique, keep the ceiling light-colored or white to create the sense of a larger room. You can emphasize this effect by creating the illusion of space by extending the painting onto the ceiling: Mark lines diagonally from each corner, meeting in the center and forming four triangles. Fill the triangles in with alternating, complementary shades, giving the room a tent-like effect.
One the other hand, you can start with a light blue at the bottom and work your way through graduated tones into a deep midnight blue at the ceiling. Use laser-cut holographic aluminized stars and luminescent dots on ceiling to create an effect of a room open to starlight. Babies don't care if their nursery appears large or small! Paint a park mural on the wall to give the room a feeling of being set in a well-managed city park that is surrounded by wrought-iron fencing to make your baby feel secure. Latex-based paints are best because they're easy to use, wear well, are often washable. Don't use oil or lead-based paints, they are toxic. After the walls are done, try painting a wall mural, or use a paint effect such as stenciling the walls with pictures of farm animals, flowers, clouds or whatever you'd like. You can also try paint sponging, rag rolling or glazing to add visual interest and color.
Feel free to mix patterns and colors, and consider trying something new, like painting a mural on the wall or sponging or stenciling letters or animals on the wall in a contrasting shade. Hand-painted trim and nursery rhyme themes add lively touches of color and design. Also, remember that your big baby will be a baby forever - so think well before you choose a pink or baby blue pastel bunny motif for the entire nursery, You'll be looking at it for a long, long, time!
The following hyperlink will lead you to a paint calculator so you can immediately estimate how many gallons of paint it will take to paint your baby's nursery: Paint Calculator
Wallpaper and Borders
If you choose to paper the walls, use vinyl-coated wallpapers since they provide the best covering with the least work.
You can cut down on the wallpaper expense in the following ways: use wallpaper on only two walls or divide the wall with a paper border or wooden chair rail, using wallpaper only above or below (or use a wallpaper 'set': coordinating papers with the same color scheme). Wallpaper borders can instead be used near the ceiling or at chair rail height (Beware! This is also ideal height for adult babies to reach up and tear the border free if they are upset with mommy!) to add a splash of color or to establish a nursery theme. Self-adhesive removable borders and wall stickers are widely available, and feature a variety of familiar cartoon characters that will delight your adult baby.
Instead of a traditional paint or wallpaper border, for example, you might build a wooden mount to hold large alphabet flashcards, or photographs of babies, animals or other subjects purchased from a teacher's supply center or learning store. To construct the mounting, nail two strips of panel molding to the wall, parallel to each other and slightly closer together than the height of the pictures you want to display. Bend the flashcards or pictures to fit between the strips, and let them slide into place.
The following hyperlink will lead you to a wallpaper calculator so you can immediately estimate how many rolls of wallpaper it will take to cover your baby's nursery: Wallpaper Calculator
Wall-to-wall carpeting gives a nursery a homey look, as well as providing warmth and knee comfort for crawling babies. Don't use deep pile carpeting in a nursery! Choose an indoor-outdoor carpet made with nylon fibers or another synthetic that has been treated with stain protectors. Even so, spills on carpet or rug can be a chore to clean. Under no circumstances should you ever allow your baby to have grape juice in a carpeted nursery! The stain is virtually impossible to remove! A generally accepted juice drink for babies is apple juice. It's non-staining and easy to clean if you have carpets or rugs.
However, wall-to-wall carpeting makes the floor of baby's nursery difficult to clean and maintain. A good alternative to carpeting is a wooden floor, though wood-based laminates like Pergo, ceramic tile, vinyl tile or linoleum can also used. If you wish to use a throw rug over any smooth finished flooring, secure the bottom with a non-slip backing first. Vivid flower-shaped rugs give life to a nursery and foster baby's play.
The following hyperlink will lead you to a carpeting calculator so you can immediately estimate the cost of carpeting (you will need to know the carpeting cost per yard) your baby's nursery: Carpeting Calculator
Try framing some colorful posters in inexpensive plastic/Lucite frames to complete the nursery's decorations. Laminated posters that won't need framing are the most inexpensive route. A teacher's supply center or learning store for home teaching is your best bet for young educational posters. Other wall decorating ideas include large plastic cartoon appliques, kites, flags, pennants, mirrors, educational visual aids, and bright plastic clocks. Make sure that the wall decorations are securely fastened to the wall at both the top and bottom.
The right window treatment will "make" baby's nursery. Choose drapes that will allow sunlight but minimize glare, to allow you the privacy of changing your adult baby, but will allow your adult baby to see the world outside from his or her crib when they are open. Consider curtains, mini blinds, and roller blinds are all good choices as are fabric shades or shutters. (If economy is an issue, that most craft stores have kits that you can make your on roller blinds from any fabric.) If your baby is a sissy, then be sure to use lots of ruffles and laces with a pink color motif. Ultraviolet filter films will reduce the chance of exposure to ultraviolet radiation while heat reflective drapes can be a big help in keeping the nursery cool in warmer climes. These films will also provide a bit more privacy against casual observation of the nursery by the neighbors. As the global warming continues, protection like this is not only a health measure, but reduces your energy costs. A combination of blinds, film and heat reflective drapes are ideal, especially if you have to put your baby down early for the night (when there is still sunlight) because he's being cranky or difficult. The combination of the three will assure that almost no light from the outside enters the room.
Tip: Buy washable fabrics or blinds that can be wiped down easily with a damp cloth.
A baby's nursery should have at least one 60 watt overhead light for nighttime emergencies and if you can afford it, some recessed lights over the crib, rocking chair and changing table. For decorative effects, small low voltage (12v) halogen lights are available in tiny brightly colored shades, animal shapes, flowers and airplanes. They are somewhat expensive and tend to give off a good deal of heat. Find a lighting showroom that specializes in halogen lighting, and consult with a lighting expert to give you tips on design and installation.
Dimmer switches are marvelous when connected to the overhead light, allowing you to vary the amount of light you'll need. A theme nursery lamp is also a good idea when placed on a dresser next to the rocking chair. Select an unbreakable (The bulb is manufactured with a thin plastic cover on the bulb itself to keep it from shattering.) 10-to-15 watt bulb in case it gets tipped over and use the dresser to hide the cord. Use a lamp shade to reduce glare. Don't forget to put a small 4 watt nightlight in the nursery!
Don't ever use floor lamps or halogen upright lamps in the baby's nursery! They are too dangerous and present both a burn and fire hazard!
Heating and Cooling Baby's Nursery
To help keep the baby from chilling or getting hot, position the baby's crib away from the window and out of the direct path of any heating or air conditioning vents. If you have an exposed radiator, cover it with a grille to protect your baby from chance burns caused by falls as well as to improve the nursery's overall appearance. In warmer climes, a ceiling fan/overhead light combination is the best and most inexpensive way to circulate air and light the nursery baby's room. Purchase a quality brand, like "Hunter", because inexpensive fans are difficult to install and balance as well as more noisy. Cheap fans also have a shorter life span. Since your adult baby will be using his or her nursery for a long, long time, a quality fan is less expensive in the long run. Don't position the fan directly over the crib where your adult baby can stand up in the crib and put his fingers in the fan!
Portable electric space heaters are extremely hazardous, and should be kept away from drapes and other furnishings while they are used to take the chill off of the air. They should be removed from the room when the parent leaves the nursery.
Old-fashioned gas space heaters are extremely hazardous and should be avoided if humanly possible. If you must use them, have a plumbing and heating specialist replace the heater with one that needs a special key to turn it on. Then mount both a dual photosensitive and ionic fire alarm and a carbon monoxide alarm in the nursery above the door just inside of the nursery. The precautions for portable electric space heaters should observed for gas space heaters as well.
The bright side of space heaters is that the Sun is now at Solar maximum (summer of 2000), which means that until the winter of 2005 at Solar minimum, we should have hot summers and warm winters that gradually cool as the Solar minimum approaches. The rise in global temperatures will probably offset the Solar minimum at that time, so the winter of 2005 may be warm as well. The only danger of extreme climatic change is a possible snowblitz caused by the melting of the Arctic snowcap whose fresh waters may flood the northern Atlantic which may shut down the warm Gulf stream to the Arctic and cause an unexpected Ice Age to begin.
Adult Baby Furnishings
Adult Baby cribs are hideously expensive. Expect to pay between $4000 to $5000. There are four possible sources for AB cribs; adult hospital cribs from manufacturers, or hospital medical suppliers. Used adult hospital cribs from companies that sell used medical equipment or from a charity thrift store like Goodwill will be the most inexpensive. Adult Baby cribs from a company which caters to adult babies orr custom made cribs made by local craftsmen or furniture makers will be the most expensive. You can purchase plans for a baby crib for $9.95 at http://www.scrollsaw.com/crib_bed.htm and have the furniture maker scale them up to meet baby’s needs.
Diaper Station at: http://www.diaperstation.com/nursery.html has promised to come out with an Adult Baby crib soon. Or you can buy a hospital adult crib from: Basic American Medical Products. The current URL for their crib page is: http://www.basicamerican.com/hospital/cribs/simclad.htm
You will need at least 7 sheets for your baby's crib unless you want to do laundry every other day. Crib sheets should be fitted and have no loose threads or worn elastic. Don't "double sheet" the crib to make it easier to change. Your baby will only soak both sheets and double the laundry! If your baby is active in his crib, you might want to consider adding elastic bands with clips (they look like the fasteners on garter straps and come in sets of four) that go diagonally across each corner of the underside of the mattress and attach to the edges of the sheet for added insurance.
Large disposable bed pads can be placed under baby's bottom to help absorb wetness and cut down on the laundry.
Bumpers are nice, but not necessary. If you want to provide bumpers, your best bet is to make them yourself or hire a seamstress to make them. If you make them, make sure that they have at least six strong tie-down places. I recommend 1 inch woven tape with sewn-on velco to attach them to themselves around the slats of the crib.
Crib skirts are nice too and make the baby's nursery look neater. Another advantage to a crib skirt is that it can make the crib look extremely feminine if yellow, white, rose, peach or pink is chosen as the color, which may be desirable for a sissy adult baby. I don't recommend adding lace trim to the crib skirt as it will gather dirt and dust bunnies, making it difficult to clean.
A canopy over the crib can be constructed from a simple swag of fabric. Sew three one inch hems (channels) into edges of the fabric, then slide in half-inch wooden dowels, and hang from the ceiling on thin, decorative chains. Small plastic chain in white is readily available and will compliment a nursery with a white color theme.
The crib's mattress should have a waterproof cover with an additional quilted waterproof pad to help absorb wetness. A washable, waterproof mattress pad will protect your baby's mattress from his or her inevitable nocturnal potty accidents. Buy three pads at a minimum.
Since your adult baby isn't susceptible to SIDS, you can provide a pillow for him or her if you wish. If your baby is a heavy nighttime drooler, use a waterproof cover over the pillow and put a standard disposable bedpad under his head or shoulders. A comforter may also be used, but be aware that they are bulky and will increase your washload.
Dressers and bookshelves can be purchased either used or unfinished to save money. Then you can paint or decorate the furniture to match the nursery's motif. Use large plastic baskets or containers in the drawers to sort out his or her baby socks, onesies, plastic pants, pj's, and T-shirts. Fasten bookshelves and dressers to the wall with brackets and screws at both top and bottom to avoid an accident if your baby decides to practice climbing on the furniture. Put favorite toys on the bottom shelves of the bookcase within reach of your crawling baby and store books at chest level or higher.
Other storage types include toyboxes, chests and even nets! Some toy stores sell special nets which allow you to hang stuffed animals from the ceiling. If your adult baby is like most, he or she will have a fairly formidable collection of stuffed animals by the time he or she is twenty!
Changing tables for adult babies are expensive and hard to find. The best substitute is a masseuse's massage table as it is built to take an adult's weight and usually has open shelving below the flat, padded "table" surface. If you can find one with a white plastic pad, it's perfect, otherwise get the standard tan pad that can usually be found. Use open wire sliding drawers like from a company like the Swedish company "Elba" to store diapers and other necessities directly under the table's surface, to store his baby powder, creams, wipes and diapers out of reach. The other (expensive) alternative is to have a changing table custom made.
If your adult baby is wriggly, you can purchase a tummy-restraining strap from a medical supply house and mount it the sides of the table for safety. If you add a restraining strap, consider adding a guardrail to the sides of the changing table to keep baby from rolling into the restraining strap and suspending himself by his belly. Fancy guardrails made of short turned spindles affixed to a rail can be purchased which will give the changing table an authentic nursery appearance. Or you can purchase two half-round wooden baseboards for finishing the bottoms of plasterboard walls, glued them together, and saw the piece in half to make two four foot pieces. Then round the exposed ends and upper corners with a heavy wood rasp and finish with a large flat woodworking (bastard) file before staining, varnishing and counter-sinking the mounting screws through the sides of the rails into the sides of the changing table.
If you can't afford Elba drawers, mount a small shelf above or high above the side of the changing table to store diapers, baby wipes and other necessities out of baby's reach as he lays down.
A sliding or rocking chair is considered by many parents to be a necessary item of nursery furniture. Studies have repeatedly shown that they can calm a baby very quickly and help them sleep. There is a company on the northeast coast in the New England area which makes oversized rocking chairs for cuddling large babies or teenaged children in hospital recovery rooms. Two normal adults can sit side-by-side in this chair! They are expensive, costing about $2000, but they are well made out of maple and will last several lifetimes.
Diaper pails are a necessity for the nursery, especially if your adult baby wears cloth diapers. Make sure that the pail has a lockable lid to keep prying, curious hands out of the mess.
Tip: Nursery deodorants don't work very well and most of them have been withdrawn from the market. Instead, try some of the following tried and true techniques to reduce "nursery odor"!
After dumping the solid contents of the diapers into the toilet and flushing, place soiled disposable diapers straight into the outdoor garbage or, if you are using cloth diapers, rinse them out immediately in the toilet and place them into the diaper pail to presoak. (See Mama Jenn's article for cleaning and care of cloth diapers.)
Always keep the pail tightly closed
Use several layers of plastic garbage bags as liners and tie each layer individually with twist ties when the pail becomes full. Sprinkling baking soda on the dirty disposable diapers helps keep the odor manageable.
Regularly empty the pail if you are using disposable diapers. (Especially on hot days)
Use a few puffs of disinfectant spray inside the pail every day after each diaper disposal.
Every week, rinse the pail in the tub or shower before filling it with a 10% solution of a chlorine-based bleach and water. Close the lid tightly and let the disinfectant sit for at least one half hour before dumping the contents in the tub or shower's drain and washing the pail out with the shower..
Place a laundry hamper in baby's nursery and line it with a plastic bag which can be sealed with twist ties to keep down the odor of spoiled urine.
Timeout chairs for adult babies: Place a sturdily built chair or bench in a toddler or small child size in the corner for your baby's timeouts. Decorate the corner of the wall with a time-out theme, such as pictures of grandfather clocks and alarm clocks. Stencil the legend, the "Time-out" corner on the wall of the corner. Attach an upside-down windup 60 minute kitchen timer with a loud bell to the bottom of the timeout chair with a quality epoxy like the incredibly strong A&B epoxy putty (What else would you use to glue something permanently in an AB nursery?) so that you can set the time. Make sure that the control of the timer faces backwards. The loud ticking will help your baby measure the time, but because the timer is behind him, he won't know how much time is left on the timer. If you catch him trying to look around, then he's being naughty and deserves more time-out time! When the bell goes off, he's sure to jump and pee his diaper! If you can't find A&B epoxy putty at your local hardware store, then it can be purchased from the Web at the following URL: http://www.agpgolf.com/nfpricelist.html
High chairs for adult babies: A geriatric chair available from a hospital supply will work, but won't look authentic. A specially constructed custom chair or adult baby chair is recommended. Have plenty of adult bibs on hand.
http://www.diaperstation.com/nursery.html has promised to come out with an Adult Baby High chair soon. Place a dropcloth or a plastic feeding mat under baby's chair to catch the mess when you feed him. If you have a really oversized T-shirt (XXXL), then you can dress him in the T-shirt as well as bib him before feeding him as well.
A small bar refrigerator is perfect for storing baby's left over jarred food and his bottles of formula or juice. They can be purchased inexpensively from the want ads in the paper. Be sure to mount a sturdy hasp and lock on the refrigerator door.
Potty chairs are available from medical supply houses and large mail order companies. Since they are distinctly utilitarian, they will need to be decorated.
A small stereo system with either a cassette player, CD player or both is wonderful for playing lullaby's or hypnotic tapes or CDs at night.
Mobiles are a great distracter over the changing table as well as being pleasing over the crib. Make certain that they are hung well out of your baby's reach and fastened securely. Baby stores are a good source as are large discount stores, but for really unusual mobiles, go to an import store like Pier One to find non-traditional foreign mobiles with wind chimes, miniature piñatas, sea shells and carved animals, birds and fish.
You can also make your own mobile by purchasing a broken mobile frame with missing toys for a song from a thrift shop and hanging old car keys, an old wallet, an old watch of his, his High School or College Class ring, an expired credit card or two, an old driver's license, etc., to remind the adult baby what he has given up to return to babyhood. Sometimes you can find novelty dollar bills mounted in Lucite for use on a keychain, which would also be appropriate. If you can find boy's briefs for a small doll like Barbie's Ken, that would also work. (http://members.aol.com/jizenres/homepage/Moredolls4sale.html
Sells a mint condition set of Ken underwear set for $25) You could also use disposable diapers from doll replacement sets for about $4. Or use male briefs from a larger male doll. Some are available for dolls that are 16" to 18" in height. Try not to use briefs for male dolls over 18", because they become too heavy for balancing the mobile and don't deliver the appropriate psychological message that the baby's pubes are demonstrably too small for him to be a real man. This is a subtle psychological attack, but it's devastating.
A small CCD camera in either black and white or color with a built-in intercom that transmits it's signals through the house wiring will give your baby the feeling that you have "eyes in the back of your head"! Some of these cameras (the black and white sort) have infrared capabilities as well. These cameras are available mounted in the tummy's of Teddy Bears or in clocks which will make them inconspicuous if mounted high on a wall. A pressure switch pad can be wired to an alarm which will notify Mommy if baby gets out of his crib. These are made to go under doormats to trigger a spooky set of noises at Halloween and also as security devices to notify a homeowner if someone is prowling around their porch. Similarly, a wetting alarm pad with an alarm can also be placed under the baby or non-waterproof sheet to send a signal to the alarm in Mommy's room. Imagine not only being able to see your baby from your bedroom or kitchen both during the day or night, but knowing if the baby has gotten out of his crib or has wet himself! Your adult baby will think that you are positively omniscient!
Other Baby Needs
Let's face it, no one makes a safety gate for adult babies. If you really think that you need one, you have two choices; either use a regular safety gate and train your baby not to cross it, or you can get a single folding steel gate from a security gate dealer and permanently mount it in the outer doorjamb of the doorway of the nursery. Gates like these are available from http://www.wholesalegate.com/ and their smallest size is 41/2'-51/2' wide when extended, 51/2' tall when collapsed, 5' tall when extended and weigh 45 lbs. Since a standard door is 28", you could make a double-door to the nursery, which would measure exactly 56" in width, giving you a extra extensible reach of 10" and be within the 52" minimum. Paint the gate white after they have installed it.
Adult-sized Feeding Seats, Potty Chairs, Car Seats and Strollers for Small adults.
The X-Large Feeder Seat and Floor Sitter fits adults up to 72" (91 cm) or about 250 lb. (114 kg).
All Floor Sitters feature integral abductor, hip positioning strap and quick release H-belt. The exclusive Tumble Forms coating makes them attractive and easy to wash and maintain. Tumble Forms seamless covering is washable, odor and stain resistant, impervious to urine, and nontoxic. The Feeder Seat's contoured interior has a 90 degree seat-to-back relationship to encourage correct seating posture. Shoulder harness slots allow 4" of vertical adjustment of the shoulder straps.
Extra Large Mobile Base and X-Large Wedge for Extra Large Feeder Seat available
The Small Adult Safety Car Seat is actually the Small Adult Carrie Seat without the Footrest or Tray. So, if you just want an affordable Safety Car Seat, this is the way to go. It meets FMVSS 213 (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard). NOTE: use the supplied tether with the standard vehicle equipment 3-point safety lap and shoulder belt.
A child recommended for the Small Adult Safety Car Seat should be approximately 58"-68" (147-173 cm) tall and close to 60-130 lb. (27-59 kg) in weight. Hip Width should range from 12"-16" (31-41 cm) with summer clothing. Thigh Depth should not be shorter than 14" (36 cm), but can be longer than the charted 18" (46 cm).
Optional Small Adult "Shoes" Footrest with bar ready to snap on
To make the Carrie Seat positioning chair mobile, the seat is easily set into the Rover base and secured with one "click". The Small Adult Rover features larger pneumatic tires and a heavy duty frame for all-terrain travel. It folds in a snap to 36" x 24" x 16" (91 x 61 x 41 cm).
A baked enamel metal base with casters facilitates mobility in and out of the bathroom, and the casters are lockable when necessary. It can be located over a toilet or used independently as a freestanding commode. The commode container is removable by sliding on tracks.
The Carrie Potty Seat includes an adjustable tray, height-adjustable footrest, hip and chest harness, head-neck brace, and a penal splash guard that can be removed.
The Small Adult Carrie Potty Seat fits children up to 68 in. (173 cm) in height, and 150 lb. (68 kg).
Decorating Baby's Nursery on a Budget
Although demographic studies have shown that the majority of adult babies are male, have a college education and are employed in positions of responsibility in government and industry, almost everyone feels the bite of inflation and the Almighty household budget. I've collected some tips below that might help a parent of an adult baby decorate a room with the least amount of expenditure.
Tip One: Painting
Decide which color you want to paint the nursery and then look for it on sale.. Then, find it on sale. Shop around and compare sales. Check stores that specialize in painting or decorating. Don't buy it at a hardware store unless you know that they have the cheapest price. Local department and discount stores like Walmart usually have the most inexpensive paint. Either paint the room yourself or have your husband do it when he's in adult mode. It doesn't take a professional to paint a room and the money you save can be put to other uses.
Tip Two: Borders and Wallpaper
Instead of purchasing expensive borders, you can make your own! You can use stencils to draw the outlines and fill in the area with paint. Sponge painting will also work. A cute idea is to get a sponge the size and shape of a baby's foot and then sponge paint different colored baby footprints on the border. Or you can let your baby put his hand down on a large sponge full of paint and let him make his own handprints on the wall as a border. You can also get free samples of wallpaper from stores or cut out cute pictures of diapered babies from magazines (buy them in bulk from a thrift shop) and glue them to the wall before applying a coat of polyurethane vanish
If you've decided to wallpaper the nursery, comparison shop the same way you would if you were painting the nursery. Look for sales and you'll probably find a very nice wallpaper for half the price you would without shopping around.
Tip Three: Furnishings
Diaper pails, baby bottles, baby books, toys and numerous other baby accoutrements where size and scale is not a factor can be purchased at garage sales, but be sure to be the first one there! Baby items are the first things that sell at garage sales. Larger furnishings, such as nursery dressers can sometimes be found at garage sales but a large thrift store is usually a better place to try. Mama even knows of one AB who was able to buy an adult sized crib at a thrift store. Used medical equipment or used furniture warehouses are also great places to check.
Tip Four: Bibs, Bumpers, Blankets and Window Treatments
Make your baby's crib blanket, ruffle and bumper instead of buying it. Discount fabric stores carry the same fabric that is used to make baby blankets. Edge it with some trim to keep the blanket from raveling and you have a baby blanket for almost nothing. Likewise, a cheap terrycloth towel with a decorative plastic front sewn on will make a perfect bib for your baby! If you can't find plastic, just sew on some edging from the fabric store to finish it after you attach the woven cotton tape to fasten it around baby's neck. Use velco strips so you can adjust and remove it easily. If you are uncomfortable attempting to make ruffles, borders or window treatments on your own, most fabric stores carry the patterns to guide you.
Tip Five: Decorative Toys
Many ABs keep their Teddy Bears from their babyhood as well as their toys. Old wooden toys found in thrift shops can work too! Perhaps your parents or grandparents have some old toys in the attic. Any or all of these make excellent decorative toys.
Going All Out; A Custom Designed Nursery
If you have mountains of money to spare, nothing could be better than a custom designed nursery for your little one. J. Shane has a "Custom Nursery Design" company whose URL can be found at: http://www.jshane.com/customnurserydesign.htm
They will design your entire nursery to your specifications. Between them, a contractor, a few purchases of adult baby furniture and clothing, you can have the entire nursery designed, modified, painted, decorated and furnished without any work on your part. Hire a babysitter or governess through Kathi's Adult Baby Sitter Search and you as baby's parent have got it made!
They can provide nursery themes and all their items are custom made. As far as known, they are not AB aware, but Mama suspects that a stack of cash and a simple script like "My son/daughter/brother/sister is mentally challenged (or mentally ill) and he/she behaves just like a (fill in appropriate assumed age). Our doctor (or his/her psychiatrist) said that the best treatment I can give him/her is to allow him/her to return to the nursery (for the mentally ill) or simply treat him/her like her mental age (for the mentally challenged) since he/she won't ever mature. I don't want to institutionalize my child/brother/sister. I know it's a bit of a stretch, but could you custom make baby furnishings in a size large enough for an adult? I'd be so grateful!"
You can email them with your specifications and ideas, and they will do the rest. If you have a favorite fabric you want to use, they will accommodate you, otherwise, they can supply the fabric. They will also work from magazine or catalog pictures. While they advertise discount prices on baby furnishings, one should expect a hefty increase in price for adult-sized furnishings. They promise that if "You name it, we can make it". If you do not see an item that you want on their posted chart, then ask them for a quote. They accept money orders, personal checks, or x.com and paypal payments.
Their chart includes prices for the following items: Crib Comforter, Crib Bumper, Crib Ruffle, Crib Sheet, Headboard Bumper, Diaper Stacker, Canopy, Changing Table Pad, Window Treatments.Rocking Chair Cushions, Glider, Cushion Covers, Throw Pillow, Baby Pillow, Puffy Crib Quilt
Send requests for quotes to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Feng Shui and the Art of Creating an Harmonious Nursery
Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese method of achieving harmony within one's environs. Properly speaking, an expert on Feng Shui should be employed to survey the immediate geography, rivers, roads, surrounding houses, and construction of your home as well as calculating the Chinese horoscope of the inhabitants and the layout of your home. Since that is a costly and time consuming project, I've provided a few shortcuts to using Feng Shui to help design your baby's dream nursery.
Simple Rules for Good Feng Shui:
Mama Jenn has tried to make this article as complete and as comprehensive as possible. For the construction details, she consulted a building contractor who is an old friend of hers. If anyone has any corrections or additions such as "How to make a homemade AB Crib" or furnishings, please forward your comments via this Website. I'd love to hear from you, so I could include your contributions to this article! You will be given credit for any contributions that you make!
Mama Jenn would also like to express her deep appreciation for Charlotte's reminder to include Poo bear in the themes. Mama almost forgot to include dear old Poo! (How could have Mama forgotten beloved Poo bear?) She also wishes to thank her for encouraging Mama to add a Feng Shui section as well as giving her a perspective on British style standards. - Thank you again, Charlotte!