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Must-Haves For Your Baby’s Nursery… & A Few Helpful Extras

Bringing a new baby home is an exciting time, and naturally you will want to prepare a safe, comfortable environment for them. Here are some essential items to stock up on for new arrival, and a few things that might come in handy a few months down the road.

Somewhere to sleep

The most important nursery item is of course a suitable secure place for your baby to sleep. A newborn up to the age of six months is best suited to a crib or a moses basket rather than a cot. A portable moses basket can be placed next to your bed if you want to keep your baby close during the night, and also used for daytime naps.

As your baby grows, they will need a cot or a cot bed that can be converted into a toddler bed. A cot bed looks like a traditional cot with bars, but the sides and end panel are removable to allow it to accommodate a larger infant. 

This can be an economical option even though it may initially cost more, because it should be usable until the child is seven years old. However, cot beds are larger than a cot, so if you have a small nursery you may find that it takes up too much space. If you do have limited room, look for a cot or cot bed with drawers underneath for extra storage. 

All cots and cot beds in the UK, whether they are new or second-hand, must meet the British Safety Standards to ensure that they are a safe depth and that the bars are a correct distance apart. Some cots have a height-adjustable base, which allows the level to be gradually lowered as the baby grows.

Many cots also have drop-sides, which is useful to make lifting your child in and out easier. Some cots have built-in teething rails, which is a protective piece of non-toxic material that runs along the top edge of the cot. This can help to reduce the risk of the baby chewing on toxic or breakable material that they could potentially swallow. 

Babies can start the teething process from around four to six months, and it can continue until they have their first full set of teeth at around two or three years. While some infants do not show any signs of distress during this phase, many may feel discomfort or pain. The baby may seek relief by chewing on objects to put pressure on the gums.

Some parents find gently rubbing their baby’s gums with a cold cloth can help. Another teething therapy that has been gaining popularity in recent years is the raw cognac amber necklace. This is not a teething toy that is designed to be chewed, but rather a holistic medical item. 

Raw Baltic amber contains particularly high levels of a substance called succinic acid, which has natural painkilling and antibacterial properties. When the amber beads are worn next to the baby’s skin, the body heat causes small amounts of the succinic acid to be released. This is absorbed into the bloodstream, and it may have a gentle analgesic effect.

It’s important to remember that the necklace should not be used as a toy or a decorative item, and that the baby should be supervised at all times while wearing the necklace.

Other nursery furniture

Once you have got the bedding sorted out, it’s time to think about other items of furniture that you will need for the nursery. This may include a changing table, but if you have a suitable flat surface to place a changing mat on such as a low chest of drawers or a dressing table, then you may not wish to purchase a separate changing table. 

Plenty of storage space is useful of course, for all those clothes and toys that you will no doubt acquire. Drawers or shelves are more useful than a wardrobe, and extra space can be created with baskets, blanket boxes, and hanging shelves. A comfortable chair such as a rocking chair is useful for nighttime feeds and soothing a fussy baby back to sleep. 

Those helpful extra items

A night light that provides a soft glow for night time visits is a good investment as it eliminates the need to turn a bright lamp or ceiling light on, which can be overstimulating. They are available in all sorts of fun colours, shapes, and sizes to provide a decorative element to the nursery.

A baby monitor will give you the peace of mind of being able to check up on your child no matter where you are. Some devices also have two-way audio systems and respond to voice commands that allow you to control other functions, such as adjusting the temperature or lighting, or playing ambient background or white noise music to soothe the baby.

Blackout curtains or blinds can be helpful to provide suitably dark conditions for daytime naps, or to block out nighttime light pollution from street lamps or traffic.

Prioritise safety

It is essential to consider the safety of your nursery when you are planning the furniture and decor. Make sure all the electrical sockets meet the required safety standards and are in a convenient location where you won’t need to have trailing wires. 

Place all furniture or anything climbable away from the windows, and if the windows open from the bottom half have child locks fitted. Make sure that you choose sturdy items of furniture that won’t easily topple over, and protect any sharp corners. Cot beds should be placed away from heat sources and curtain or blind cords.

If you have an older house and you are not sure when the room was last painted, you may want to consider having it professionally redecorated. This is because older paints might contain lead, which is highly toxic if accidentally consumed.