Nursery Basics for First-Time Parents


Are you expecting? Great news! You're probably bursting with excitement as you prepare for your little one's arrival. The nursery is likely at the forefront of your mind, and rightly so, as it is going to be your baby's first home. As a first-time parent, setting up the nursery — and doing it right — can feel overwhelming amidst all the new experiences headed your way. And with a million and one products out there, where do you even begin? Don't worry. This guide will walk you through the nursery basics, and in the end, you will be equipped with information to provide your little one with a comfy, functional, and safe space to thrive. Here's your nursery essentials checklist.


The Baby Cot
The cot is the nursery's most important piece, so do your research before making this investment. You want to be certain you get the perfect cot. Find out what makes the perfect baby cot here. Prioritise a sturdy model that meets the latest safety standards in your country. In the U.S., look for CPSC certification. In Europe, ensure it is EN 716 compliant. Key cot safety features include a firm, tight-fitting mattress, slatted sides no more than 2⅜ inches (6cm) apart to prevent entrapment, and fixed sides without drop rails. Consider a convertible style that transitions to a toddler or full-size bed, maximising value over time.
Belgravia Cot Bed
Soft, plush crib bedding may look tempting, but truthfully? Most of those bumpers, pillows, blankets, and accessories are hazardous for infants due to suffocation risks. Resist the urge and follow safe sleep guidelines. You basically need three things: a tightly fitted cot mattress, waterproof mattress protector, and wearable blankets for warmth. Choose breathable materials like cotton. And for added assurance, pick bedding without ties, loose threads, or embellishments that could pose choking hazards.
The Changing Station
You'll be changing countless diapers those first months, so craft a fully-stocked changing command center right in the nursery. A dedicated changing table is ideal for keeping supplies organised, but you can also repurpose a dresser by adding a changing mat on top. Stock up on all the diapering essentials: plenty of clean diapers, fragrance-free wipes, diaper creams, and multiple changing pad covers. Install a cloth hanging organizer or pegboard within reach to corral small items like nail clippers, thermometer, bulb syringe, and grooming supplies. New parents inevitably deal with diaper blowouts, so place a trash can nearby for easy disposal. If space allows, keep a basket with clean spare outfits close too.
Storage Solutions
Babies require far more clothing and accessories than you'd think. Stay organised from the start with smart nursery storage solutions. Invest in a sturdy dresser with multiple drawers to compartmentalise onesies, sleepers, socks, and more by size. Use hanging organisers and closet dividers to separate seasonal items. Wall-mounted shelves are handy for books, keepsakes, and display-worthy treasures. For toy storage as your child grows, use low shelving units, bins, or fabric cubes. These make for easy toddler access and clean-up. And don't forget a hamper with a divided section for stashing dirty laundry.
A Feeding Nook
Whether breastfeeding, bottle feeding, or combining both, you'll be spending countless hours cradling and nourishing your newborn. Carve out a tranquil feeding nook in the nursery with a comfy chair or glider – good neck, back, and arm support are musts. Placing this cozy spot near a window provides welcome natural light. A small side table keeps burp cloths, nursing accessories, water and snacks within reach. If breastfeeding, you may want a nightstand with drawer space for your pump, pump parts, nursing pads, and creams. For midnight feeds, install a soft lighting source like a dimmer switch or salt lamp (If you're bookish, a clip-on book light enables you to read quietly while nursing). 
Soothing Ambiance
Babies thrive in calm, soothing environments. How to create a soothing nursery environment? Use blackout curtains to keep sunlight from disrupting nap times, and install dimmer switches for gentle evening lighting as bedtime nears. Add warmers or humidifiers to regulate air quality for optimal sleeping conditions. And consider aromatherapy with gentle scents like lavender to provide additional cues for slumber and a nursery that smells good.
When setting up and decorating the nursery, prioritise safety. Secure area rugs with non-slip pads, and avoid hanging anything heavy over the cot or changing table. Opt for cordless window treatments to eliminate strangulation hazards. For artwork or wall decor, choose pieces with no sharp edges, small removable parts a curious baby could put in their mouth, or loose parts that could potentially fall off and cause injury. And anchor all tall furniture like dressers and bookcases to the wall to prevent tip-overs.
Artistic and Personal Touches  
Hang meaningful artwork and wall decor in the nursery. For visual stimulation, try hanging an inspiring mobile over the cot, or weaving in soft, patterned textiles through curtains, rugs, or upholstery. Arrange a rocking chair in the corner as this should become meaningful for soothing fussiness, reading stories, singing lullabies, and savouring snuggles. Tuck a plush sheepskin or quilt into the chair to maximize comfort. As the finishing touch, display meaningful keepsakes, framed sonogram photos, and other mementos.
The nursery is just the first step in your parenthood journey. No matter how you choose to set it up, the most important thing is filling it with unconditional love for your little one. As you do though, don't forget these major takeaways!
  • Focus on Functionality: While it's easy to be swept away by adorable decor, your baby's space needs to be practical above all else.
  • Safety First: Always ensure all furniture and equipment meet current safety standards, and take precautions when setting them up.
  • Personalise: Add a few decorative touches that reflect your style and create a warm, inviting atmosphere.
  • Less is More: Don't overcrowd the nursery. This can be overwhelming for newborns and make cleaning more difficult.
  • Think Multifunctional: Look for furniture and accessories that can grow with your baby.
If you want to make the most of your nursery journey, then our nursery interior design service is made for you! With this service, you can rest assured that your nursery essentials and design will be spot on, and that your baby will have the best environment to grow in. How to get started? Visit our showroom at 408 King's Road, London, SW10 0LJ for an appointment with our experts who are always on hand to attend to you. Not only do you get to consult experts in real time, a visit to our showroom also allows you access to shop the very best cots, cribs, moses baskets, decor and other nursery essentials for your nursery! If a walk-in is not feasible, our personal shopping and virtual concierge services allow you shop with us and give you access to our experts from wherever you are in the world!
So, there you have it. Every essential consideration for creating a nursery! You have nothing to worry about, because once your baby arrives, even the most ordinary setting is elevated into something extraordinary.
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