There’s a lot to consider when planning your nursery:
Bassinet or crib?
Neutral tones, or bright and happy?
Artwork or wallpaper?
And how much storage do you REALLY need for a tiny human?
While some will have you believing that you absolutely MUST have the latest designer furniture pieces and added extras, at the end of the day, your little one isn’t going to remember if you had the latest in rocking chair technology or the perfectly Instagram-able neutral nursery theme.
As Mums ourselves, we’ve designed (and re-designed!) our fair share of nurseries, and we know what’s important. And while there are plenty of things you’ll learn ‘on the job’ when your little one arrives; their nursery is the one thing you’ll feel better having organised before you bring them home.
What really matters is that you’re able to meet your baby’s basic needs safely and comfortably. Allow us to take you through the must-haves (and the nice-to-haves!) when it comes to setting up your baby’s nursery.
Nursery Essentials Unpacked
There are three absolute essentials when it comes to organising your baby’s nursery: A place to sleep, a place to feed, and a place to change your baby.
What to Look For in Baby Cribs
As with all things baby-related, the technology has improved in leaps and bounds, with newer cribs being kinder on parents’ backs and easier to get baby in and out of. Whether you choose to purchase a new crib or to go with a second-hand option, here’s what you need to look out for:
- A firm, tight-fitting mattress
- Slats no more than 6.5cm apart (about the width of a soft drink can)
- No missing or broken screws or slats
Plus, if you’re short on space in the room, a crib with built in storage underneath can be a lifesaver.
Our pro tip when it comes to making the crib? Start with a mattress protector, then a fitted sheet, and alternate for 3-4 layers. When you need to change the bed in the middle of the night, you just whip off the top two layers and won’t have to struggle with fresh sheets! (You’re welcome)
Babies can be pretty messy, so make sure you have plenty of wipes, onesies, and swaddles close at hand!
Comfortable Feeding Chairs
While there’s an old-world charm that comes with having a rocking chair, if you’ve had a caesarean or are struggling with your core strength, it can be difficult to get in and out of a rocking chair when you’re holding a baby.
We recommend a ‘four on the floor’ style chair – that is, four sturdy legs that give you added stability and reduce the risk of little fingers getting jammed underneath! (Because they’ll be crawling before you know it)
We love Fantastic Furniture for their range of affordable armchairs in colours and styles to suit any nursery design. Our pick? The Valentina Love Chair. With plenty of room, we can see you reading stories with your little one in this chair for years – right up to when they’re able to read the stories to you! Check out the range here.
Even in summer, babies can get a bit chilly, so make sure you have extra socks, a cosy sleep bag and a swaddle blanket within easy reach when you’re nursing.
While some would argue that a changing table isn’t a necessity, it can be an absolute life saver for your back, not to mention having a designated space for changing your little one before they go to sleep contributes to their pre-sleep routine. Make sure you choose a sturdy change table with added storage.
Baby Boy Nursery Ideas
Designing a nursery for a baby boy can be SO fun – simply because there are so many options available! From your standard blue-and-white theme, to safari and dinosaurs… the possibilities are really exciting!
If you’re renting or don’t want to commit to a wall colour that doesn’t fit in with the rest of the house, there are plenty of stick on wallpaper and decal options available these days. Zanui has an extensive range of fun wall stickers that will brighten up the room without causing damage to your walls. Find them here.
If you prefer to hang artwork that you can change easily as your little one grows up, you’ll find some unique (and adorable!) options over at Short Story. Find them here.
Baby Girl Nursery Ideas
We have a real soft spot for baby girl nurseries. Pinks, florals, soft furnishings – we love it all! If you’re not a huge fan of a ‘girly’ girls’ nursery, you can still achieve a soft, comfortable space with neutral tones and different textures.
If your little one can’t get to sleep without a bit of noise or music, we love and recommend this music box for a gentle send off into the land of nod. It’s a piece they’ll pass on to their own children, one day.
It’s also nice to have toys to keep your little one occupied, close at hand. Soft toys and cushions don’t just keep your little one occupied during change time, they can provide a sense of comfort when it’s time to go to sleep.
Those first few weeks after you bring baby home can be a bit of a blur. To stay on top of things, we recommend working with checklists to help you establish feeding, bathing and bedtime routines. Have a chat with your maternal health nurse to see what resources they have available, or jump on Pinterest and see what cute designs other Mums have created.
We also recommend giving everything a ‘home’ in your nursery – or maybe a couple of spots! For example, wipes can live in a tray under the change table, and also next to your feeding chair for spit up situations. We strongly recommend getting a cart on wheels that contains all the basics – nappies, wipes, rash cream and a big bottle of water to keep you hydrated while you’re feeding.
As always, we recommend going with your gut, in the end. Set your budget, set a time limit for going down the internet research rabbit hole, and chat with other Mums about their nursery must-haves. You’ve got this, Mama!