Getting your nursery kitted out (also known as nesting) for the new arrival is an exciting and fun part of pregnancy, especially for first-time parents. There are so many things to consider from the basics of décor and furniture right up to storage and essential safety items to ensure you are ready for the busy months ahead. The important thing though is to enjoy the process without feeling overwhelmed. The following tips give an idea of what’s involved.
Nursery Decoration Tips
Painting – a popular choice and there are some gorgeous colours out there.
- Beware when pregnant as some paints and cleaning products can be harmful to the unborn baby. Opting to use chemical and toxin free eco paints and strippers made from natural ingredients means you don’t have to worry. For example, https://www.edwardbulmerpaint.co.uk/ colours do a lovely Nursery Collection of natural paints which are wipeable.
- Soft pastel shades in pale blue, lilac, green or grey are said to be the most soothing and calming. Ideal for winding down with baby at bedtime when the focus is on sleep not play. However if you prefer a less bland look, a feature wall in a brighter or darker shade will give the nursery more definition.
- If you are lucky enough to be artistic or know someone who is then go for it and paint your own feature wall. Alternatively there are a great range of nursery stencils that anyone can use – try idealstencils.co.uk and get creative.
Wallpaper – whether princesses, unicorns, floating clouds or woodland animals, there’s sure to be a wallpaper for the special space you want to make for your baby.
- Most nursery wallpaper is easy to wipe clean but wise to check first. As soon as your baby is crawling, watch out for those messy little hands!
- If a fully wallpapered nursery is too much for the size of room then papering a feature wall will add interest whilst keeping the room looking spacious. As there are so many lovely designs out there it’s a good ideal to get samples which you can order (for a charge) from the large selection at https://www.iwantwallpaper.co.uk/ wallpaper so you can judge how it looks before committing to buy. Alternatively if you visit one of the large DIY outlets such as B&Q you are allowed samples free of charge.
- There are a huge variety of themed wallpaper murals available. A company such as https://www.muralswallpaper.co.uk not only have an impressive choice but there is also an option to upload your design to make your own wallpaper mural.
- Applying self adhesive stickers to painted walls means that changing the décor with new ones as your baby gets older can be a labour saving option. You can find good wall art stickers at https://www.tinyme.co.uk/ wall-stickers.
- For something smaller but still unique you could personalise a wallpaper border using photographs or your own design. Available at bagsoflove.co.uk.
Lighting – One of the essentials and easy to get right.
- The nursery is where you want your baby to relax and sleep but overhead lights can be harsh and over-stimulating for un-focused eyes. Soft ambient lighting placed in different parts of the room controls the areas you need but if you want to keep your overhead central light then installing a dimmer switch is a great way to create a relaxing atmosphere too. Low lighting also means your baby is more likely to remain drowsy during the night when you are feeding or at the changing table.
- Natural light is lovely but when the long summer days and nights come along, it can discourage sleep and also lead to the room becoming too hot. A dark, cool nursery is highly recommended for your baby to sleep longer and to prevent over-heating which has been linked to SIDS. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/sudden-infant-death-syndrome-sids. Using a blackout blind can solve the daylight problem. Take a look at those available from ‘bloc blinds’: https://www.blocblinds.co.uk/ ‘best nursery accessory’ silver award in the MADE FOR MUMS selection 2017. If you like curtains to dress your windows there is a nice blackout range from http://www.next.co.uk/ with matching accessories.
- Not many homes in the UK have air conditioning but installing a ceiling fan is a good way to keep the air circulating on muggy nights. Some also come with dimmer lighting.
- Night Lights come in a variety of guises including wall mounted, plug-in, free-standing and musical. This is also a budget friendly way to light your nursery. While baby is small the plug-in type is useful for lighting the room and hallway, but beware the crawler and toddler’s curiosity and ability to pull from the sockets! Check out 10 of the best here: https://www.motherandbaby.co.uk/shopping-and-reviews/shopping-ideas/best-night-lights-for-babies-and-children.
- Bedroom fairy lights are another way to light a small area. They come in strings or in jars and picture frames etc. Ensure you fit them securely and out of reach. To see a beautiful range go to: https://www.etsy.com/uk/market/bedroom_fairy_lights.
Nursery Furniture – The main pieces you may want to invest in include: a cot or cot-bed, baby monitor, changing table, and nursing chair. Storage is also handy and can be added to as your child gets bigger. A wardrobe for example is not essential at the newborn stage but a set of drawers or shelves will be. If baby is to sleep in your bedroom for the first few months then a smaller crib or cradle in addition to the cot might be useful.
- Cots and Cot/beds – probably the largest and most expensive item on your list. If prospective grandparents are asking what to buy then this is often a good option, but remember it can roughly cost between £80 for a basic cot to over £600 for a luxury cot-bed. Research your cot and visit stores to get a good idea of size and features. If there is a Baby Show in your area all the better as this is an ideal way to compare and contrast. Also the bespoke and major brand baby companies will all be there under one roof and vying for your custom with special offers. Every cot requires a mattress, fitted sheets and blankets therefore it is helpful to make yourself aware of the types required to keep your baby safe whilst sleeping. Safety tips are available at https://www.nct.org.uk/parenting/sleeping-safely-cot.
- Baby Monitor/Alarm – a must, especially for first-time parents. With your baby’s safety in mind and to give you ‘piece of mind’ – a baby monitor is your eyes and ears when you are not in the same room. They can be audio only or audio and video depending on what you want. The main thing to know is they come in 2 parts, one for you whether in bed or working around the house, whilst the other is located with your baby. This wonderful little device ensures some security and is portable and easily set up when visiting or on holiday. With technology moving fast there are now many additions to standard monitor/alarms, but a wide range of signal plus a clear sound and image are good starting points. Pricier versions may include features such as: gauging room temperature; movement and crying alerts; a talkback facility; and built in music. Doing some research will lead you to the one you feel fits your family. For some monitor reviews check out – https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/baby-monitors.
- Changing Table – built to be used at standing height, this is a practical addition to the nursery. Changing a new baby at floor level can be difficult especially if you’re recovering from a hard labour or have undergone a c.section. Considering that a newborn can require between 6 and 12 nappies a day, a changing table will also go a long way in protecting your knees and back. Models range from a basic table with shelf to those doubling as a chest of drawers but the result is the same -you can change your baby safely with nappies and accoutrements to hand. Ikea have a good practical changing tables at: https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/products/childrens-ikea-products/baby/changing-tables-nursing/. Or go big with a selection from https://www.mamasandpapas.com where you are bound to find one to fit your décor.
- Nursing Chair – New mummies quickly come to realise that the little bundle of gorgeousness soon starts to feel very heavy after the first twenty minutes or so of feeding. A comfortable feeding chair with good arm and back support is a piece of heaven when you’re tired after a long baby shift of numerous feeds and changes. For further advice on nursing chairs and types go to: http://www.madeformums.com/reviews-and-shopping/best-nursing-chairs/42862.html. You can of course utilise any existing seating with the addition of a breast/bottle nursing pillow for a more cost-friendly price and take it with you on your travels. Endorsed by midwives, http://thrupennybits.co.uk/ sell an award winning pillow.
Don’t forget… some additional nursery items
- Baby bath and hooded towels
- Organic baby wash, lotion and wash mitt.
- Stock up on nappies, wipes, tissues, bottom cream, disposal bags and nappy bin.
- A changing bag
- Bodysuits, sleepsuits, hats, non-scratch mitts, muslins and blankets.
- Bottles, teats and steriliser.
- Breast pads and perhaps a breast pump
- Room thermometer and medical thermometer