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Getting the nursery ready for your new arrival is actually a really fun project. Who doesn’t love choosing cute colour schemes and pretty decor. However, it’s easy to get carried away and purchase every possible piece of baby paraphernalia but what is an essential and what is a nice to have? That’s where I can hopefully help.

Having gone through the process of preparing the nursery twice I’ve learnt what items you really need and what just get shoved in the cupboard. With all the expense that comes with a new baby you need to spend your money wisely (and maybe save a few pennies for some frivolous garlands and related pretty). Below is what I found to be essentials for when baby first arrives. The only other thing I would probably add in is a comfy chair but this is very much dependent upon available space.

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  • Moses Basket or Crib – For the first 4-6 months baby should be in your room and so unless you fancy squishing a huge cot in you will need a moses basket or crib. These also help baby to feel safe and secure as it is a smaller space. I can also highly recommend a bedside crib such a The Snuzpod. You can see Charlotte’s review here and find out why it is such a great purchase.
  • Cot or Cot Bed – Baby won’t need this initially as they will be in your room but if you are like me you will want to have the room all ready. The debate between a cot or cot bed is one that we had. With Molly we opted for this cot bed from John Lewis as it could then turn in to a little toddler bed when she was big enough. When Alice was born Molly was still using her cot so this time we just bought this cot. It will depend on available space but I would say a cot bed is a good option due to the longevity of it.
  • New Mattress – It is recommended that you buy a new mattress for each child. I was a bit baffled by all the choices; sprung, foam or organic. The list went on. I will admit that my way of choosing was standing in Mothercare asking the assistant but not really understanding. I simply chose the middle priced one!
  • Chest of Drawers – Although you may be tempted by that cute little bedroom set you don’t necessarily need a wardrobe to start with. Obviously this will depend on the amount of clothes your new arrival possesses but I found I folded most in to the drawers (and still do). Rather than purchasing a separate changing table we chose the white drawers from Ikea which were the perfect height for adding a changing mat on top.Just make sure they are sturdy/secured to the wall if you plan to lay baby on top.
  • Black out blind/curtains – Keeping your little’s room dark is essential for a good nights sleep, especially in the summer months. Go for a good quality black out blind or curtains. Alternatively I can highly recommend the gro anywhere black out blind which we had for Alice.
  • Storage boxes/baskets – Believe me, you can never have enough storage! Perfect for storing everything from nappies to muslins, cute hats to teeny socks. I can recommend adding some divider storage in to drawers to avoid all the baby socks, vests and so on getting jumbled together. Charlotte had some great little boxes from Ikea which I may have now purchased.
  • Mattress Protector – A mattress protector is a must. You can of course go for one of the plastic waterproof ones but there are some great options out there now. I have the organic ones from The Little Green Sheep which are lovely and soft but still waterproof. John Lewis has some good options too.
  • Sheets – You will need at least 4 sheets in each size (moses basket and cot/cot bed). They will need frequent washing so its good to have spares. I went for fitted sheets for ease and opted for the jersey cotton.
  • 2 x Swaddling Blankets – Most babies love to be swaddled. You can choose to do this with a sheet or blanket but I had these fabulous swaddling blankets from The Gro Company. They were super soft and the shape of them made it easy to understand how to actually swaddle a baby.
  • 2 x Sleeping bag – As baby gets a bit bigger you can move them in to a sleeping bag. These are a god send as covers don’t get kicked off and there is no risk of little one burrowing under the blanket. They come in a different togs for summer (1 tog) or winter (2 or 2.5 tog). Buy two. Believe me there may often be middle of the night leakages!
  • 2 x cellular blankets – Cellular blankets are those blankets that you can use for everything. Tucking over baby in the cot or pram or laying on the floor as a play mat. You will use them quite a bit. I also loved a nice soft jersey blanket for the girls and had a few of these from Frugi.
  • Room Thermometer – It is recommended that you keep babies room at 18 c. Personally I found this a bit cool so you can go a few degrees warmer if you feel it is appropriate. I had this thermometer which is also suitable for use in the bath. If you don’t fancy buying one Gro bags come with a little cardboard version that does the job.
  • Baby monitor – This is one of those purchases that many people dither over. I know I did. Do you get a standard monitor, a sensor mat or a video monitor? This is probably a post in itself. I opted for a standard with Molly but got the Angel care sensor mat for Alice, mainly as she slept on her tummy. Most of the team have this and we all love it.
  • Night Light – A small night light is useful for middle of the night feeds/changes when you don’t want a harsh bright light.
  • Changing mat – Perfect for night time changes or if you choose to take baby in to their own room for changes during the day. I liked the soft towelling insert on this one from Mamas & Papas. You can buy extra inserts which I recommend.
  • Nappies – Lots of them!
  • Wipes and cotton wool – To create a little changing station.
  • Nappy Bin – I had the Tommy Tepee nappy bin which was good as it locks each nappy away in a little pouch which definitely helps with the smell!
  • Muslin squares – Useful for EVERYTHING! I also used a muslin tucked over the sheet under the girl’s head. It meant I didn’t have to change the whole sheet everytime they were inevitably sick!


So there you have my round up of the items that you probably need to get your nursery started. Do you have any more suggestions that you can share with our soon to be mammas?