Setting Up A Nursery

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alis_a_list_newborn_baby_sleeping_on_back_istock_000011750927small_jfairone-615x414Before you start to think about decorating a baby’s room or baby room designs, you should initially be thinking about the safety aspect of setting up a nursery.  This guide has been created so that all the vital information you need is here in one place.

Basic Nursery Safety

As is paramount throughout my site, baby safety is precedent, for obvious reasons.  As mentioned before in my article Baby Sleeping Tips, it is best to keep your baby in the same room as you for the first six months.  This, of course, gives you that little bit of extra time so that you may set up your nursery the way you and your baby will get the maximum benefit.

Below are some of the basic safety tips you should follow for when your baby sleeps on their own:

  • Keep your baby away from draughts. This means checking that your windows and doors are draught free.  Also check to make sure that the windows are lockable. Basic internal locks are cheap and easily fitted to secure windows.
  • Keep your baby away from direct sunlight. If your nursery does not provide this, then ensure that you provide adequate shading for when your baby is in the room.
  • Keep your baby away from direct heat sources, such as radiators. Your baby may be able to reach out and burn themselves, so it is also very good practice to ensure that radiators are turned down to a very low or the lowest setting.
  • Keep your baby away from anything that they may grasp and could fall onto them. Placing a baby under shelving or close to cupboards could be a risk. This also includes chords from curtains, blinds, night lights etc., as they could pose strangulation hazard.
  • Second hand furniture is always an economical option, especially when certain antique items are passed down from one generation to another.Antique Cot
    If you receive any items that are over a certain age (typically from 1900s – 1960/70s), these may be painted with lead-based paint, and this is very toxic.  Ensure that all furniture has had the paint removed by a specialist to make it safe for your precious one.  Also ensure that the items are in a good state of repair and are safe – see Baby Safety.
  • Make sure that your baby’s mattress conforms to the regulatory safety standards for your country. This should be easily identified on the safety tag attached to the mattress.

Nursery Furniture

Choosing nursery furniture can be a difficult decision to make as there are so many to choose from.  Below are some items of furniture to consider and some other essential pieces of equipment that will give you peace of mind when setting up a nursery.

Cots or Cot Beds?

My preference to this, which I strongly advise, is to choose a cot bed.  It is a cot that turns into a bed.  These are far more versatile than just an ordinary cot or crib, and will last throughout many stages of your baby’s development and is therefore much more cost effective.  You can see a short video on these benefits here.


This is a crucial part of any purchase, and having the correct mattress is very important.  It must be firm enough and conform to your country’s regulatory safety standards.  More detailed information can be found here.

Baby Bedding

It is always recommended that you buy 100% cotton for your baby as natural fibres are lighter and more breathable than man-made fabrics, therefore keeping your baby safer.  You can also choose a special baby sleeping bag which is designed to keep your baby safe whilst sleeping.  As mentioned before on my site, always avoid using duvets.

Baby Changing Units

Many cot beds will come with integrated changing units, but for those that don’t, these are a really good way of keeping all your changing equipment and supplies together.  This means that when it comes time for your baby’s nappy change or bath, everything is at hand so you can keep a safe eye on your precious one.

Nappy Bin or Disposal Unit

This is quite a good way to get rid of the nasty little packages yor little one will deliver to you throughout their pre-potty time.  The advantage of these units is that you pop the nappy in, turn a lever or whatever mechanism it uses and the nappy is wrapped and sealed hygienically without mess.  Brilliant.

Feeding Chairs and Rocking Chairs

A new mum or dad will be spending a great deal of time sat in a chair feeding, winding or getting the baby off to sleep.  Why not do it in comfort with a rocking chair or feeding chair?  These come with extra padding for support and optional foot stools too.  It isn’t just the baby’s comfort you need to consider.

Monitoring EquipmentBaby Monitor

To keep your baby ultra-safe, specialist monitoring equipment is available and is a must have, relatively inexpensive way to keep your and your family that extra security and safety you need.


Keeping the room at a steady temperature can be done easily by installing a thermometer.  These can be quite inexpensive and come in a variety of styles to suit everyone.

Smoke Detectors

Faulty boilers and fire risk are dangerous to all, especially babies.  Having smoke alarms fitted to your house and tested regularly will provide you with added safety.  They can be fitted and tested for free.  For more information go here for the UK and here for the US.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detectors

There ae many horror stories around regarding deaths from faulty boilers or blocked flues from open fires in a house.  The best way to prevent this from happening is from having a CO Detector which will give an alert when there is a dangerous level detected.  As Carbon Monoxide is odourless, this will give you plenty of warning before things get too serious.  It is also very important that all gas appliances be regularly serviced and inspected by a qualified engineer.

Baby Monitors

When your little one is out of sight it is always a nervous time for a parent.  Baby monitors are relatively inexpensive these days and have a fantastic range so that your little one can be monitored all over the house and even in the garden, giving you that much needed peace of mind.

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24 Comments on "Setting Up A Nursery"

  1. This is great advice on how to set up a nursery. Thank you for providing such a well planned out list of things to consider when setting up the room. I would never have thought of these on my own. Very well done.

  2. Some really good tips you have here. I live in a mosquito prone area and it’s always a priority to set up mosquito netting in nursery rooms. Mosquito borne diseases is becoming rampant due to environmental changes and we see more and more babies becoming sick each year as a result of that.

    • Hi Cathy, you raise a very valid point. I shall do some research and include an article with advice. Thank you for your input, I’m sure this will be of benefit to many – Martyn

  3. This is the perfect site for things one would need to know when having a family. After reading this I can see how vital it is to make sure that you have all the right choices when you prepare to have a child.

    I had no idea that there was this much planning involved! I have several people who can benefit from this site.

  4. This is excellent. I have 3 daughters and we used all of this equipment when they were babies… all essential stuff I’d say. I found your site doing some research on behalf of some friends who are expecting their first child and I wanted to find a one stop site with the essential info – and I’ve found it! Thanks so much – I will pass your link onto them 🙂

  5. Hi Martyn,
    I am so thankful I stumbled upon your website! I am soon to be a grandmother, and let’s face it, It’s been a long time since I have set up a nursery. 🙂 I have also referred my daughter to this site, because you have some excellent tips! Thank you!

    • You are most welcome Stacey. Congratulations to you on becoming a grandmother soon, and to your daughter also. I wish you lots of happiness with your new addition – Martyn

  6. Great website. Some brilliant tips that I can use when my niece comes to stay. It’s important for people to have this information – like the economical option about lead paints. I would never even have thought about that. Thanks 🙂

  7. This is a really informative post Martyn – and website! I love the background image and your banner is really cool too 🙂
    I don’t have kids myself, and I’m sure half of what you’ve written here wouldn’t have occurred to me.
    I love the idea of the cot bed as opposed to a cot. Babies grow up very quickly and having to cough up for a bed in a year or so is an extra expense many people just
    don’t need. Great post, well done! 🙂

  8. I love the calm serenity of the site. It is almost perfect.

    Just one thing i think Carson may advise u to remove the header as one has to scroll down too early in the
    game to read the information.

    Kind regards

    • Hi Mary, thank you for the feedback. I shall be looking at redesigning many aspects of the site as it is an ongoing process, so decent critique is always welcome – Martyn

  9. What a delightful website! I don’t have children yet but when I do, I’ll come back here to get your wise and smart tips! Your website is bookmarked! =) Thanks!
    Best wishes

  10. Great information. I like the recommendation about the CO Detectors. Very important to keep the little one safe. Is there a brand of CO Detcetors that you recommend over the others?

    • Hi Valerie,
      There are a variety of popular CO detectors available. I will start reviewing more of them over time but the one that I would go for at the moment is the Kidde 5CO Carbon Monoxide Alarm. It is recommended by FireService UK and is highly rated as are all Kidde products. Kidde are used widely in homes and businesses around the UK so are very trustworthy. I hope this helps – Martyn

  11. This is a very useful website for new parents and expectant parents. I enjoyed reading through your blog post. Keeping the little ones safe is always a priority. Are there government regulated safety standards for infant furniture? I thought there were codes that furniture needed to abide by in today’s world?

    Thank you again for all your useful information.

    Happy parenting!

    • Hi Stephanie,

      There are many safety standards in the UK which arise from the European Directive. There is a publication which highlights the standards here and from there you can find the publications relating to the specific criteria. Unfortunately this doesn’t apply to second-hand goods sold through adverts in papers etc. so the more information people can get, the safer the environment for our babies.

      Thank you for your comment – Martyn

  12. hi!
    what wonderful tips to set up a nursery! Lots of things I would not have thought about like a CO detector or a thermometer. Good thing I do not have a baby yet! But it is right that the mattress is an important part of the nursery, as baby’s comfort should be priority. And hopefully the bed can grow with baby. Love how you separate each point and made it so clear!

    • Hi Emily,

      Thank you for your kind comment and I agree whole-heartedly that a good mattress is very important, after all, we, as adults, wouldn’t want to sleep on something uncomfortable would we? I wish you the best of luck for when you decide to start your family – Martyn

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