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How to Set Up a Baby Nursery

7 min read | 03 November 2022

When preparing for your baby’s arrival, one of the most enjoyable aspects is setting up the nursery.

You will often have a picture in your mind of what you want your nursery to look like, what furniture you will have, and how you will decorate the walls. However, what many don’t consider is, whether this space will provide an optimal sleep environment for their baby.

There are a few things you can do in order to ensure your baby’s room is set up for optimal sleep. You can have a beautiful space for your baby that also gives them the best chance of a good night’s sleep. Here are our tips on setting up a baby nursery:

1. Start with the basics

Before getting into the details of wallpaper, block-out blinds, toys and changing supplies, getting the basics of the nursery should be your top priority. We recommend starting with:

  • Cot

  • Changing table

  • Storage (e.g. a chest of drawers)

  • Comfortable chair

  • Reading light (like a lamp)

Once you’ve got the basics, then it’s time to customise to your liking. When choosing what to buy for your nursery, keep the core goal of the room in mind for your newborn—to provide them with a comfortable area to sleep and relax. While the room still needs to meet your needs as a parent, it needs to be conducive to their sleep.

2. Keep your baby’s room simple

During your baby’s first year, they should be exposed to as little stimulation as possible. If the room is too crowded and there are lots of decorative pieces, it can distract them and make it difficult for them to fall asleep. Avoid placing toys or hanging mobiles in and above the cot or bassinet, as these can easily overstimulate your little one.

Sticking to a palette of muted colours, such as pastels or a soft white, will instantly make the room feel serene. Likewise for decor and ornaments, keep it simple. Simple designs on the walls or a few framed pictures are all you need to create a calming space for them to relax and sleep in.

3. Ensure you have block-out blinds on your windows

Ideally, your baby’s room should be completely dark for both daytime and nighttime sleeps. Sunlight may cause them to stay awake or have difficulty falling asleep. Artificial light can also distract babies, such as the little red light on the baby monitor. Make sure this little light is not in your baby’s line of vision.

Block-out blinds easily solve the problem of outside light coming in and will help baby get to sleep faster. If block-out blinds aren’t an option for your nursery, then ensure that the curtains or other blinds you choose stop as much light as possible entering the room.

4. Avoid any hanging mobiles over your baby’s cot

This will definitely over-stimulate your baby and prevent them from falling asleep. The same applies to toys in their cot. We recommend no toys in the cot until 4 months of age, which is when we suggest introducing a comforter. A comforter at this age will give them the security they need to enable them to become an independent sleeper and settle on their own.

5. Use white noise

Particularly in the fourth trimester of a baby's life (their first three months), this offers them much comfort. The humming sounds are reminiscent of the sounds they are used to hearing in the womb. White noise will also help to drown out any other sounds that may wake them up.

While it may be tempting to use a fan in place of a white noise machine, having the fan on may make the room too cold for baby or the moving air may distract them and keep them up for longer. In particular as a newborn, it’s more difficult for them to regulate their body temperature, so stick to a noise-generating machine only until they grow older.

6. Swaddle up

Ensure you purchase some good swaddles. We strongly recommend swaddling from day one, as it will make your baby feel safe and comforted, as it reminds them of being in the womb. When swaddled, your baby’s arms are tucked in which helps prevent their startle reflex from waking them up.

Swaddling can also help settle your baby down when they are over-stimulated. Once your baby is old enough to start putting their fingers in their mouth, or they are breaking out of the swaddle and also starting to roll, it's important to transition them into a sleeping bag. Depending on the current climate there are different ones for winter and summer.

7. Keep the room temperature as even as possible

If possible, place the cot away from the door or any windows as draughts may wake your little one prematurely. During the winter, stand-alone radiator heaters work well as they regulate themselves and provide a consistent heat without dehydrating your baby.

The key to achieving an optimal sleep environment is to keep things simple. There is plenty of time to add beautiful pieces to your baby’s room as they grow up and once they have already mastered independent sleep and settling patterns. Discover the full range of baby sleep accessories at Purebaby now.

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