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Planning and setting up a nursery to welcome your newborn baby is an exciting time. With such a wide range of furniture options available, it’s no wonder so many of us get carried away with our spending especially when we find a theme we love. Often, the furniture becomes the centrepiece of the nursery so naturally we spend a lot of time choosing these items. Although keeping to the theme creates aesthetically pleasing results, bear in mind that bub’s safety is the number one priority. Focus on creating a comfortable and safe space for you and bub when choosing your nursery furniture.
When you’re setting up your baby’s room, remember it’s an important room for you as well as bub.
Equipment and ‘stuff’ that you need for changing the baby, cleaning up afterwards, dressing and feeding baby – all these need to be in arm’s reach (for you, but not baby!) so that you never have a reason to leave a squirming child unattended on a change table.
Kidsafe NSW reports that falls from nursery furniture are one of the most common causes of injury in children under two – and very often, those falls are from a change table. Try to set up the nursery so that you can keep one hand on your baby at all times while changing their nappy or dressing them.
Get a couple of shelves installed within arm’s reach of the change table – but well out of baby’s reach – to hold nappies, wipes, creams, cloths, and a bin for wet and dirty nappies.
Try to arrange the nursery so that everything you will need on a daily basis is easy and convenient to get to.
Organise a comfortable, low chair in the nursery for night feeds; ask a friend who has breastfed a baby to test it for you! You want to be able to get up easily while carrying a sleeping baby but still have good back support.
A dim night-light or lamp is great when making short visits at night. Make sure there are no power cords stretching across or around the room. If power points are in short supply, try a battery-operated night light – a couple of small cheap portable LED lights are much safer than extension cords.
by Fran Molloy, journalist and mum of four
In the first year your bub will spend most of its time in the cot, so it’s important to choose a suitable quality item. Check with the retailer that the cot complies with the Australian Safety Standard (AS/NZS 2172). See the following checklist as a guide when choosing a cot:
Some parents prefer to invest in a cot bed. These are usually larger than cots with the advantage of being able to convert into a toddler bed. Although these generally cost more, such bedding systems are designed to accommodate a growing child and can be a good investment as it will last your child after they have outgrown the cot.
As long as you have somewhere that is safe and comfortable for changing your baby, having a change table or not is a personal preference. Many mothers choose to use cushioned, waterproof change mats which can be used on top of the change table or used in other areas of the house. For those who suffer from back pains, having a change table will help minimise strain on your back as you will be changing bubs quite frequently. See the following checklist as a guide:
Some changing units can be adapted into useful chests of drawers by simply removing the guard rail on the top of the unit – and so forth to prolong its life through your child’s early years.
Setting up a baby’s nursery can be an expensive exercise. Consider how long you will really use the nursery furniture and accessories. If you think they’ll be in storage in a few years that may help you cut pricier items from your list of must-haves.
For more information on the safety aspects of your baby’s nursery visit: