How to welcome your baby home
Preparing the nursery for your bundle of joy is a wonderful experience that brings bags of excitement. But if you’re doing it for the first time, you’ve probably got quite enough to think about and a little straightforward shopping list of essentials might well be helpful!
And don’t forget that you don’t need to buy everything at once – your cot or cotbed, for example, can wait for the first 4-6 months (depending on baby’s weight and height). A crib or Moses basket are great to start off with, as they’re both small enough to have in your room to begin with (which makes life easier for night time feeds). The Moses basket is also ideal for travelling to family/ friends in those early days.
First of all, think about where in the room you are going to place your baby’s furniture. Avoid putting the cot next to a radiator if you can, and think about erogonomics when it comes to having things you need close to hand - when using the changing table for example. The nursery’s often the smallest room, so placement of furniture is crucial – how easy is it for you to get through the door when holding baby for example? Bear in mind too that if you opt for a cotbed – a more flexible option for the long term (it should last til they’re around 5 years old!) – they’re a bit bigger than a cot.
And what about the window? On a sunny day you may get the light flooding into the room and onto the baby’s face; the same applies with a bright artificial light, so position your baby away from anything that’s likely to wake them or keep them awake (or you for that matter!) If you really can’t avoid the sun, think about a blackout blind which you could use with or without curtains, or underneath a Roman or Venetian blind – great for afternoon napping, or just lighter evenings in spring and summer. Just make sure your blinds are child-friendly or fit with a spring mechanism. If you're confused, read our safety article or watch our spring mechanism fitting video for help.
So what you do you really need? Well quite a lot is the truth! But here’s a list of some basics for the nursery (for a complete list that covers bathing, changing, clothing and other bits and pieces, see our Nursery checklist).
Either bedding or a baby sleeping bag if over 7 lbs. 7 oz. Using a sleeping bag will minimise the amount of blankets and sheets that you use, and as your baby gets older, they can’t wriggle out of them!
Changing unit, changing top and changing mat. Changing units are great for storing items such as nappies and wipes etc, but if you don’t have space for one, think about a cot top changer, as this can be placed on top of the cot/cotbed, so it needs no extra space!
Chest of drawers and/or wardrobe - choose matching furniture for a complete look.
Baby monitor, to allow you to get things done while baby’s asleep!
A nightlight is very useful if you don’t have one on your baby monitor. Having a nightlight not only means you can check on your baby without disturbing them, it’s also good for night time feeds.
The Grobag night light is a super idea as it also has a room thermometer – it’s an egg shape that glows according to whether the room is warm or cold.
Cot mobiles don’t just look pretty – once your baby has moved into their own room in their cot/cotbed they do give them something to focus on when falling asleep or just coming round – tinkly music optional!