Two of my lovely friends have recently had babies. They are beautiful. I’ve loved sniffing their little heads and feeling their tiny fingers wrap around my thumb. But this is the first time in a while that I’ve been able to soak up the gorgeousness of a newborn without feeling that familiar lurch of the ovaries telling me I want one of my own. I was looking back at some old photos the other day, remembering the special time just before Effie was born, when I threw myself into decorating her nursery. I loved selecting the nursery furniture set and pulling the room together.
Most places sell nursery furniture sets four to a set (crib, dresser and chair, bedding, and changing table), but we chose to buy each piece individually, mixing up old pieces with new in our mint, grey and yellow colour scheme. The rocking chair belonged to my late grandma. I painted it and we now have it in the girls’ new bedroom. I can’t imagine ever getting rid of it. When I was looking at baby furniture sets I ended up buying online, spending ages poring over finishes and colours, wood type and design.
If you’re expecting your next baby I’ve put together a list that might be helpful when you’re planning your nursery project. My main piece of advice is to enjoy it and don’t get stressed. It doesn’t matter if it’s not ready as soon as the baby is born – Effie ended up sleeping in our room for nine months anyway!
1. Cot or crib
A crib or cot is the central element of any nursery, and as well as being a comfy place for your baby to sleep it can really change the look of the room. These days you can get 5-in-1 designs, with lots of cots converting into a toddler bed, day bed and even a full sized bed later down the line.
2. Crib skirts
I didn’t even know crib skirts were a thing until I started looking into decorating the nursery, but apparently you can get these to go around the bottom of the cot to cover the lower part which can then be used as storage for nappies and extra bedding. Another alternative if you’re low on storage is to buy a cot with a storage drawer underneath. We ended up with this type of cot when we had the Cosatto Owlet bed.
You can buy lots of mattresses now that have hypoallergenic properties and some are even scented with things like lavender to try to promote good sleep.
4. Mattress protector
The Lullaby Trust recommends a waterproof cover over a mattress, which will also save the need for dry cleaning if there are any nappy leakages.
5. Changing table
This isn’t a necessity but it will make life easier – especially if you’re recovering post-birth and struggle to get up and down from a mat on the floor. We used a mat on top of a chest of drawers at first, and then moved this onto a cot change top which sat on top of Effie’s Cosatto cot. But you can get specialist changing tables with extra drawer space for changing accessories, if you have space in the room. If you’re wondering if this is a short-term buy, there are lots of ideas for upcycling change tables into new pieces of furniture on Pinterest. A change table into a bar cart, anyone?!
6. Changing mat
This will make nappy changes far more comfortable for your baby, as well as protecting the wood of the furniture underneath!
7. Chairs or Sofa
The one thing I was determined to have for my second baby was a decent chair to feed her in. When Freya was a baby we had a little double futon in her room. Although it was useful to have a sofa in there it wasn’t the comfiest to feed on as it was so low. My grandma’s rocking chair was so comfortable to feed in though, and after a new lease of life with some Annie Sloan chalk paint it fitted right into the room.
A couple of baby blankets can act as accessories in the room, tying a colour scheme together, as well as being extremely useful. We tended to put Effie in baby sleeping bags at night but for her naps she’d often be tucked in with a baby blanket. Large muslin cloths (Anais Anais ones are gorgeous) were really useful to use as sheets in the summer, and fitted sheets made changing the cot so much easier.
By far the favourite accessory in the room was a handmade cot mobile which we still have hanging in there – even though the room is now a playroom and not a nursery! I also invested in some new prints for the walls, 3D frames to house her first ever pair of shoes and hang on the wall, and some star decal stickers to add some interest to the mint feature wall.
Hope this checklist proves useful. It’s making me want to tackle our next interiors project!
This is a commissioned post. For more information about how I work with brands check out my Work With Me page.