Putting together your baby’s nursery is an important job and one everyone wants to get right. It’s also a lot of fun and choosing the right bits of furniture and can be a rewarding experience. In this guide, I wanted to go over all the different things you’ll need to know in order to have a stress-free, fun time getting your nursery furniture together. Lets go over the basics of the furniture your baby will need in the nursery.
What nursery furniture do you need?
There’s really two or three major bits that any nursery needs:
- A good changing unit
- A wardrobe
- The cot itself
Most people opt to buy a ‘nursery room set’ which comes in either two-piece or three-piece varieties. (Three piece sets have a changing unit, cot and wardrobe, with the 2-piece options taking off the wardrobe and coming in at a much lower price). The advantage to buying them as a set is that you’re ensuring you’re getting a perfect match between each bit of furniture, and the price for an all-in-one is also usually cheaper.
The 3 stages of the baby cot
All good cots will have 3 sleeping positions for your baby. (Once your baby leaves his or her basket cot and moves into that roomy nursery cot that is!) The first position is the starting height. As really small baby’s don’t roll around and get up too much the first stage is raised up and is super kind on your back. I can’t imagine having to bed down each time you have to pick baby up. You wouldn’t be able to move after a few nights.
The second position is dropping the base of the bed down (this is actually not that stressful to do) I put it off but it’s really just a case of taking the bolts out with an alan key, dropping the bottom of the cot down and lining up the bolts. Pretty easy to do!
This position and stage of the cot is for when your child is moving around more and doesn’t require quite so much attention. This is where the child can move around safely and the rounded ‘bars’ (that sounds awful) will stop the baby from getting out and about.
The final stage is a biggie. It’s time to remove one of the sides and leave one side ‘open’. By now baby has learned to subconsciously not roll out of the bed and is able to sleep more like they will as a younger child. In a proper bed. Fun begins now as they discover they can just ‘get up’. We had a lot of fun trying to get my little boy to stay in his room, never mind his bed, once he learned it was open season and he could get out when he wanted.
The changing unit
While every nursery will have a changing unit (where else are you gonna store all those nappies?) not everyone changes their baby on top of the unit, or gets one which allows you to do that. The alternative is a cot top changer which is like a large wooden tray that you plop on top of the cot (across the top edges of the bars). This sounds scary but they’re honestly as safe and sturdy as you can imagine.
While you can technically change a new baby on the floor, on a mat, it’s not recommended. A changing table, or other sturdy surface at just below waist height, is ideal. You’ll also need a nice thick, padded baby mat, preferably one of the ones with thick cushioning around the edges to protect baby’s head when you lie them down. It’s one thing changing a baby when you’re alert, but it’s another matter at 3 in the morning.
For our little girl, we had a changing unit with the built in changer, and for the next baby we went for the cot top type. I can say there’s no difference at all and no benefit to one or the other. Once baby gets a bit bigger and starts wriggling around, you’re better off getting your changing matt and taking it to the floor anyway.
Picking the perfect wardrobe
Once little ones come along, storage in the home really becomes an issue for anyone. A nice, deep wardrobe, like the ones that come in a lot of nursery sets, is ideal. I’d recommend looking for something with a dual rail so it will last a long time into your child’s development and preferably two nice deep drawers to store stuff in. Another sneaky place to get some extra storage is if you can get a cot with a roll-out drawer underneath. These save a lot of space and can store spare blanket for the baby’s cot.
Future proofing your nursery furniture
When we were expecting the baby, we pretty much thought about just that – the baby! I mean they’re this impending situation that there’s no getting out of after all. But babies do grow and soon there’s this little sir or madam toddling around your home. And, before long, as far off as it seems, they will have different needs as they start school and play in their rooms a lot more.
If you’re SUPER forward thinking and organized then it might be worth thinking about how your nursery set will be used once they grow up a teeny bit. Cots can be taken down and either sold on gumtree (there’s always a demand for these and they tend to last a long time. Or you can store your cot in the garage for the next arrival. But the wardrobe and changing unit will likely be around for a long time yet! Thankfully a lot of the room sets I’ve seen have wardrobes that will last a long time and things like double rails are VERY handy once you have school and casual clothes to contend with.
If you’re not short on space, then the changing furniture can be used to store all kinds of stuff. My little boy is 5 now and we still have both the same wardrobe and his changing unit (which now stores toys and is just a handy surface to keep clutter on).
Good luck designing and creating your nursery. It can be a lot of work but it will also be worth it once your baby comes along and is snuggled in there. It’s a special room that you’ll enjoy for years to come. All the best and let me know in the comments how yours comes along!