Practical tips on how to create your ideal nursery
Creating a nursery can be one of the most exciting points in your nine month journey. There are a few practical tips we can offer when creating the ideal nursery.
Get a feel for the space
Spend time in your nursery-to-be room to get to know the space. Your baby will most likely sleep in your bedroom for the first six months of his/her life, but the nursery will still have all the practical uses during the day. Get a feel for the temperature – is it constant and comfortable? Is the room very light or dull? This will all help you to create the ideal nursery for your baby when he moves out of your bedroom. Make sure there are no creaky floor boards, and that the door doesn’t squeak as it is opened and closed so as not to disturb your baby when asleep.
Plan your room before shopping
Measure up the room so you can see what furniture will fit into the room before you commit to any purchases. Measure from the skirting board, not the wall, to make sure items will fit. Try to select furniture that can grow with your child if it will fit into the room – they grow so fast! Many cots convert into toddler beds (cot/beds), they may cost a little more but work out cheaper in the long run. You can get changer pad that can fit onto the top of drawers instead of a dedicated changer unit. The one shown on the right is a piece of repurposed furniture with a changing pad on top. A little tip: put an anti slip shelf mat underneath, they’re cheap but effective.
It’s a good idea to create a mood board. Collect images of items you like/want and pin them to your board. This enables you to see if they all fit together or if some are less important than others.
Pinterest allows you to create online mood boards and you’ll find lots of inspiration too. You could start by looking at our mood boards, and then creating your own collection. You can also find examples of mood boards in some of our own articles, such as ‘A pretty nursery colour scheme in lilac, pink and grey‘, or ‘Gender neutral nursery scheme in white and grey‘.
Remember when planning, your baby’s cot is best located out of direct sunlight, away from the window and definitely away from any radiators. Ideally purchase a room thermometer and locate it close to the cot.
Storage, storage and more storage
Think about all the things you will need in the nursery. Ensure everything is catered for in terms of storage. Nappies, toys, books, clothes, bedding, and all the paraphernalia that goes with nappy changing. Adequate storage will not only help you keep the nursery tidy, but also keep it safe for baby. Remember that when you are carrying a baby you only have one hand to do everything with. All the essentials for nappy changing should be arranged within arms reach of the changing table/top, and you’ll need several changing pad covers (unless the mat is wipeable). You’ll find a plethora of nappy stackers available and place yours by the changer pad. We picked a few ideas we found in our research to show you. Storage pockets at the end of the cot are really useful for keeping necessities to hand. The over-door storage rack provides and excellent way of storing little bits and pieces. Having a top drawer neatly organised by your changing mat will make life easier. These soft toy storage bags won’t be a problem when your child is old enough to crawl around the nursery.
Ideal nursery lighting
A relatively simple, yet effective addition to the nursery is a dimmer switch instead of the normal light switch. You’ll be able to control the lighting and create low levels of lighting when nursing and trying to get your baby to sleep. Another cheap and simple tip is to purchase some battery operated LED touch switches. Locate these carefully so you can see what you’re doing without switching the main light on.
Start baby-proofing the nursery from the design stage. Its not just the electric sockets that need covers. Think about the windows – can the baby reach them? Apply baby locks to the windows if they can be reached. Make sure curtains are out of reach and ensure there are absolutely no cords hanging down, as they pose a serious risk to your child.
You’ll need plenty of fitted cotton cot sheets. We recommend at least 5-6, and some flannelette or cotton flat sheets. Quilts, duvets and pillows should not be used for babies under one year old (or when they can sit up by themselves). We produce patchwork blankets/coverlets (often with a matching quilt for later) for these earlier months. They’re as warm as a blanket and sheet combined. It’s really important to ensure your baby is not too hot. All of our cot quilts are 100% cotton (unless stated otherwise) which are great for sleeping under. Our blankets have 100%cotton uppers and with either fleece or minky linings, making them stylish but warm. Crochet blankets have the advantage of being both light but very warm as well. You can find information on ‘Is a quilt or blanket best for your baby?‘or for more information on safe sleeping visit The Lullaby Trust.
A place to sit comfortably in the nursery while you’re feeding, comforting and cuddling will prove a wise investment. What you can fit into the room and your budget will have a large impact on what you buy, unless you are able to repurpose something you already have. A rocking chair or glider are really great for helping send your baby to sleep. Having an ottoman in the nursery to put your feet up is also a nice touch and will help complete the ideal nursery.
You can find further helpful tips in our article ‘How to start designing your ideal nurser decor’.