Creating a nursery fit for a little prince (or princess!)

From the moment you discover you are pregnant, you may find yourself dreaming up the perfect little nest for your newborn. You will be faced with endless choices, not to mention a whole new world of shopping and so we have put together a little piece to guide you through your pregnancy project, also known as the nursery. 

We suggest starting by choosing a colour or theme for the room and whether you know the gender or not, there are so many more options than the obvious pinks, blues and neutrals. For the design conscious parents, it’s ok to think beyond babyish and create a fun and playful space for your baby that mirrors your own style and flows with the rest of your home. We are big believers in the nursery being all about you. It is important for new parents to feel calm, comfortable and confident in their surroundings and there is plenty of opportunity in the future for your child’s room to be a reflection of them.

Once you have a style in mind, it’s time to look at furniture. This is likely to be the main expense in your nursery, so consider longevity and think of some items as investment pieces that can grow with your child. For example, does your cot convert to a toddler bed and even beyond? Could your changing unit be re-purposed as a dresser? And does the wardrobe provide ample storage for increasingly bigger items?

In addition to these considerations, the placement of your furniture is also important. The cot makes a good focal point and is generally a good wall to make a feature of, whether you choose a striking wallpaper, prints for the wall or something else. It should be neither too close to a radiator or a window for safety and having a nursing chair close by makes for easy navigation during night time feeds. Talking of nursing chairs, there are many styles available, from rockers to gliders and the right choice for you may depend on the size of the space you are working with. Comfort and support should be a big factor too, so you can relax and enjoy spending quality time here with your baby.

I don’t think you can ever have too much storage space for your growing collection of baby gear, so in addition to your changing unit and wardrobe add some pieces that are both decorative and practical, such as interesting shelving and storage baskets for the floor. Then add some soft furnishings and accessories and your room should start to look complete. Blankets, cushions and rugs will add warmth and texture to the room and can double up as a comfy play space. It’s worth remembering that for the first six months the sheets are likely to be the prominent feature in the cot, so make them count! Banish boring white sheets, these are made to be hidden under bedding but your newborn isn’t ready for duvets and pillows just yet.

Get the balance right with lighting to encourage good sleeping habits. Welcoming in a new day by flooding in some natural light and fresh air will help your baby to understand it is day time, but on the other hand, especially in the lighter summer months, you’ll need to be able to block this out at bedtime, some quality black out blinds or curtains should do the trick. Dimmable lights work well in a nursery and the comforting glow of a night light is perfect for your little one and the ideal amount of light for inevitable night time get ups.

Hopefully your nursery will be all set up by the time your nesting instincts take hold, this biological urge to prepare your home for your baby’s arrival is very common and is fuelled by big bursts of energy in the later stages of pregnancy. You can satisfy these urges by putting the finishing touches in place, from organising all the baby gear, to displaying the little treasures and washing, ironing and hanging all the baby clothes in their new wardrobe. 

The reality is, your baby probably won’t move into their room until they are at least six months old, but you are unlikely to have the time and energy to put into the room after your baby has arrived and you will still spend a lot of time here so it should be a space you love. You will feel content knowing everything is in order and we all know that a happy mum equals a happy baby, all you need to do now is wait!

Nicola Zabel