How to set up the perfect nursery for your baby

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 Photo: Getty Images

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The day you get to meet your baby is fast approaching. Your bump is getting bigger, you're losing sight of your feet and you are definitely waddling when you walk.

Yet you've got one major hurdle to overcome before the big day arrives: you have to set up the perfect nursery.  

So where do you start?

Setting the scene

Choosing a colour or decorative scheme is as good a place as any to begin, and with so many options available you certainly won't struggle for choice.    

If you know the sex of your baby, you may choose the traditional pink or blue colour scheme. If the sex remains a surprise, or you want to keep things neutral, yellow and green are good options, as are stripes, polka dots or even a baby animal motif.

The key thing to remember is that the room should offer décor that is not too stimulating, and that's easy on the eye for both you and bub. After all, it's likely you'll be spending lots of time in the room too, so anything too full on might quickly lose its novelty.  

As well as paint, you can brighten up the room with cute prints - there are lots and lots on Etsy), from pictures to sweet sayings to colourful abstracts. You can also check out wall decals, which can be as small as a cute animal perched above the cot, through to trees and landscapes that cover the whole wall.

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Comfort for you

Given that for the first few months of your baby's life you'll be doing lots of feeding, it's important to set up a comfortable spot in the nursery that is mostly about you.  

Feeding in a chair that you have temporarily dragged through from the dining area is unlikely to offer you comfort or relaxation when feeding your bub; instead, invest in a chair that is designed for feeding.  Alternatively, look into something that will fit that purpose for the short term, and can then be used in another area of the house later on.

As part of your set up, you should also consider investing in a small table and lamp that is reachable from your feeding chair.  A small table means things like drinks, snacks and your phone are never far away, and a small lamp will mean less fumbling around in the dark at night.

The big items

It's also important to think of yourself when it comes to choosing your baby's cot and change table, as picking up and resettling a baby in a low crib or changing nappies on a low table can take its toll on your back very quickly.

The best solution for a cot is to invest in one that has an adjustable mattress height. This will tick the boxes for your back when transferring your sleeping baby, and will also tick the boxes for baby in terms of being changeable as they grow.

You can also check out convertible options that can change to toddler beds as your child ages. They can cost a little more at the beginning, but you can save money in the long run.   

For a change table, aim to have the top sit somewhere between your hips and waist - this will minimise your chances of back pain as you  change your bub's nappy countless times in the new months (and years!). It's also handy to ensure that the change table has good storage so that all nappies, wipes, and creams are within easy reach, as well as a nappy bin nearby.

Think about layout

See if you can place the cot in a location that means you can peek round the door without disturbing your sleeping baby.  Also make sure they can't reach any cords or a window, as later on this will become a safety hazard.

Think about putting your change table near a wardrobe or drawers for easy access to outfits, and consider placing your feeding chair nearer the cot to make transferring your baby easier.

As well as this, also consider the layout carefully in terms of your baby's safety, their exposure to hot and cold temperatures, and their exposure to light and dark.

The little extras

Storage is another factor to consider when setting up the nursery - even though babies are small, it's surprising just how much stuff they need! Storage solutions don't have to be serious or take up a lot of room - you can get inventive and adapt normal storage boxes with a theme, or seek out clever solutions that are child friendly and offer additional décor to the room. (Check out 10 clever space-saving ideas.)

Speaking of additional décor, a nice soft rug can serve the purpose of making the room feel more accessorised, while also giving your child a cosy spot to rest and play while you move around the room.

This article brought to you by Bebe Care.