I remember about 4 years ago when I decided to think about planning Jessica's nursery. Jessica was our first successful pregnancy, I remember not wanting to get too excited about her arrival (just in case we wouldn't get to meet her) but at the same time I remember being absolutely bamboozled by what I needed to buy - or in fact knowing what the bare essentials were.
During the next month we're going to share with you lots of information about the products you may or may not want in your nursery but if you're just starting out here's 10 things to start thinking about ...
1. What do you really need?
You'll have seen lots and lots of different nurseries on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest and then there's all the websites selling different products and ranges - so what do you choose and what do you need?
Did we need them all? Yes (we did, you might not) but there was always an alternative option.. so for example the Changing Station could have been a Cot Top Changer which would have sat over the Cot and gave us more space. The Wardrobe didn't need to be in there - but it matched everything else ;)!
2. What age is your baby likely to go in their own room?
You'll find that the general advice is that your Bambino sleeps with you for the first few weeks / months - so why do we all rush to get that nursery ready?
What it might mean is that you need to think about what they'll sleep in if they're sleeping in your room. You might want them to sleep in a Swinging Crib or a Moses Basket or a Next 2 You Crib. Whatever you chose as long as it's safe for you and your baby then choose what's right for you.
Both of our bambino's were in their own room fairly quickly.
3. What's your theme?
Do you even have a theme in mind yet? I remember fairly early on in pregnancy that I wanted Elephants and guess what 4 years ago Elephants were not the 'in thing' - in fact they arrived a year after Jessica arrived - so trying to find everything elephant themed was a bit of a struggle.
However, today there seems to be so much more choice.. from plain colour schemes such as coloured cots (grey being the 'in-colour') to Disney themed cots (Winnie the Pooh being high on the list) and motivational phrases.
Do you always need to have a theme - absolutely not, does it really matter whether you have a theme for your little one's nursery - no your little one is unlikely to remember it but it's about what you want - not what everyone else around you tells you what you should and shouldn't do.
4. Do you need any additional storage?
Dependent on what furniture you decide on, you might also need some additional storage for Nappies and Toys or Bedding and Blankets. You might also find that you have plenty of storage from what you have already.
5. What bedding do you need?
We'd always suggest some sort of bedding from Flat Sheets on the Cot Mattress (or Moses Basket) - we had plenty so we could swap them quickly if our little ones were sick or their nappy leaked.
What we found is that Nursery Bedding Sets are great when creating your theme - but our little ones slept in Sleeping Bags most of the time that we didn't use the cot quilt until they became too big for the Sleeping Bags.
6. What Mattress should you buy?
We ended up with a Pocket Sprung one in the end and they both lasted until they were well over 2 / 3 years old.
One of the bits of advise that has stayed with me throughout both of my babies is to never share a mattress or purchase a second hand one.. something which I've held close to my heart ever since.
7. What additional decor might you want to add?
I remember having chosen Jessica's name fairly early on in our pregnancy but didn't want anyone else to know - it was fun getting personalised items and then hiding them so no one saw her name before she arrived.
8. What Cot Toys should I have?
It might be their favourite comforter, or you might want a toy that helps them to sleep. We're not advocates of cluttering the cot with lots of toys but a little bear or comforting toy might help your little one to sleep easier - meaning you 'might' get a good nights sleep too.
9. Where will I feed baby when they want a night feed?
As you can see from the picture above, we didn't really have space for a Feeding Chair although I so wanted one. The thought of rocking back and forth (and sleeping) while feeding was just idyllic - unfortunately that wasn't the reality.
I'd wake up to do the night feed, sweep the little one up in my arms, creep downstairs and feed on the sofa then come back up to bed.
10. How do I avoid waking baby up when I just want to watch them sleep?
We all love to do it, just sit there and watch you little one sleeping - but try and do that without waking them or making eye contact can be a little hard.
Whilst you could use a Baby Monitor with a video to watch - we used a simple Night Light that gave the Nursery a little glow so I could just peep my head around the corner.
....And as I write this list, lots of things keep popping into my head - but I'll save those for later. Right now I think you'll have enough to think about.