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the five things you really need in a baby’s bedroom

The newborn days are over for our family. Last night, it took two of us to hold the boy down on his changing mat and get him dressed for bed. He’s an acrobat, and he’s just learned to push himself from lying down to sitting up.

After getting him into his clean sleep suit, we were musing about when we should have him Christened (my train of thought being ‘probably before he can leg it away from God’s care in a tiny sailor suit or similar), and I startlingly realised, he’s going to be ONE in a couple of months. A baby no more.

It got me thinking about his bedroom. Second time around, I paid a lot more attention to what WE would need in there, than what would be nice for him, and I think we got the balance pretty right. So, in case anybody else is furnishing a nursery at the moment, here’s my top five things you really need in a baby’s bedroom.

An easy to switch off lamp

You will need to be able to do everything one-handed, maybe even with your foot, whilst you’re trying to calm a baby and get it to sleep. We chose a really cool lamp that you tap from John Lewis, but I really like some of the table lamps from Cox and Cox here. I switch off all the lights just before I feed Flinders, to get him in the mood for sleep, and it’s really important to me that I can do it quickly without moving from where I feed him, so the lamp is within short reach of the nursery chair. This one would have gone amazingly in our yellow/grey nursery.

A very comfortable chair

By comfortable, I mean something you can sleep on, upright. My honest feeding tip for new parents is what worked for me both times – getting out of bed and feeding the baby in another room. Our second fed for two hours at a time in those very early weeks. Our first went through a stage of only being able to fall asleep with us in the room. Without a superb place to park myself, both of these stages would have been a lot tougher. If you can, choose something where you can put your feet up, or curl into. Feeding a baby, breast or bottle, requires some contortions! We went for the good old IKEA Lycksele single chair bed. Ideal, because it has washable covers. You’re going to need that!

This was my view from my very comfortable chair!

Artwork for you, not the baby

Imagine being in an art gallery with only two pictures – the Guess How Much I love You rabbits, and pink and silver framed quote saying ‘dream big little one’. You can’t leave this art gallery. You can’t stop looking at the art. Ever.

That’s night feeding.

Do yourselves a massive favour and pick something you like looking at for the walls. Unless you have it welded on, you can change it later! Babies can’t read, but they can see shapes and stuff, so why not get some great Bristol artwork?

Photographer Jesssica Siggers has some gorgeous stuff, which you can buy from theBristolshop online or from her own web gallery.

I also love Jenny Urqhart‘s contemporary prints.

A stable table

Close to your chair, you need something level and safe that you can reach easily. In fact, if you can, put a table on both sides of the chair, because you need to be able to reach to each side to pick stuff up when you’re feeding. Mostly, this will be drinks for you, or your phone! However, I also recommend something you can pour formula into a bottle from, keep a syringe of calpol on, and a used breast pad or three. In my experience – a wicker basket like the one we use is a terrible idea, as is anything covered in fabric!

A radio

…and wireless headphones if you can get them. I fell deeply in love with BBC Radio 4 on my last maternity leave. Especially using the iPlayer phone app. The gentle, reassuring voices of The Archers, Women’s Hour or A Good Read saw me through many a dark night. Get someone to treat you to a decent little radio.

What are your nursery must-haves?

This is a collaborative post but all words and thoughts are my own..

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