Doing Up the Nursery

Although the current advice is for babies to sleep in a cot in their parents’ room for the first six months, most new parents will want to have a nursery organised for their new arrival before they are born. It is easy to go out and spend a fortune on lots of new furniture and accessories for your baby’s room, but not every purchase is an absolute must-have.

Changing Table

Baby magazines and specialist retailers will tell you that all babies need one of those special changing tables with a space for a mat on top, and drawers underneath to keep the nappies, wipes and everything else you need. A basic changing unit will cost from £60 up, but are they really any use? Most parents work out quickly that a chest of drawers wide enough to put a changing mat on will do exactly the same job, and these often cost considerably less than a changing unit. If you have an old chest of drawers around the house, a few coats of paint will make it the ideal thing to change the baby on and keep their clothes in too.

Cot Bumpers, Duvets and Toys

Despite the fact that advice on safe sleeping for babies has changed in the past 20 years, the products sold in nursery shops has not. Babies under 12 months should never be put under a duvet or quilt, but should be tucked securely under sheets and blankets, with layers added and removed as necessary. Cot bumpers which are designed to fit around the bars of the cot and stop the baby hurting themselves when rolling over should also be avoided as they pose a risk to the baby of overheating or getting tangled in ties. Too many toys should be avoided in the cot for the same reason.

Wardrobe

There’s no denying you’ll need somewhere to keep all those lovely little outfits from or the little hand knitted cardigans which your auntie will send as soon as you announce your pregnancy. When you think about it, most baby outfits are pretty small, and a wardrobe may not be the best place for them, as there will be lots of unused storage space under the hanging rail. In the early months, it is probably easier to store all of the baby outfits folded in drawers, and as the child gets older you can invest in a wardrobe later. If you are given special outfits, there is nothing wrong with hanging them in your own wardrobe if you prefer to have them unfolded.

Nappies

There has been a lot of debate about which type of nappy allows a baby to sleep the best. Disposables are of course very convenient for the parent, but are they the best choice? Research suggests that to allow the skin of delicate bottoms to breathe, the best sort of nappy is an organic cotton type of re-usable nappy from companies such as Bumgenius or Motherease, which have the added advantage of being totally environmentally friendly, saving resources for future generations.

Decoration

If you’re not sure whether you are expecting a boy or a girl, stick to neutral shades of cream or yellow for the baby’s room. Even if you are sure of the gender of your baby, try to avoid going all out for the blue or pink as the room may be needed in the future for another baby, and there have been instances of the ultrasound scan operator getting things wrong.

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Morag P writes for a large range of blogs and websites, with everything from family matters to travel being covered. Morag Peers can be found at Google+

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