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4 ways to get the nursery ready for baby’s arrival

Nursery Design with Stamford Set
A calm, cosy and fun nursery design using the Stamford Classic Sleigh Cot Bed in Taupe Grey by Obaby.

 

Getting a nursery ready for baby is quite simple really…. they need somewhere to sleep after the first 6 months, somewhere to store their clothes and accoutrement, somewhere to have their nappy changed and somewhere to put their toys and books. Think about if you’ll be getting up to feed baby or bringing baby into bed with you, if you’ll be changing baby in their room or the bathroom, if you want them to share with a sibling…

The nursery is probably more for mum than baby so you will also need to consider a feeding chair, maybe even a bed for those nights where you just can’t leave the little one, some artwork and a colour scheme to foster happy nesting time when you are in the nursery. Make it a place you are happy to spend time as you undoubtedly will be.

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Blush pink nursery with bookshelf for toy and book storage and a chest of drawers for clothes, muslins and bedding. A handy ladder acts as great storage space for extra blankets.

1- Somewhere To Sleep

For the first 6 months of life baby will be in a Moses basket or cot-side bed in their parents’ room so this is not an immediate need, but setting up a cot in baby’s room before their arrival is advised as those first few months fly by.

There are different types of cot available, some of which can last until your child is around 10 years old. A cot bed’s sides, for instance, can be removed and turned into a toddler bed which allows you to use it for longer than a cot. A cot, on the other hand, is smaller and could allow space for a cosy feeding chair and footstool in the nursery.

Consider colour choice carefully as too vibrant a colour, such as a whole yellow wall, can impede sleep while other colours can soothe and calm.

You’ll need a firm mattress, with a waterproof mattress protector, fitted mattress sheets, flat sheets, cellular blankets, baby sleeping bags, a night light, baby monitor and black out blind or curtain becomes invaluable in the summer months and during day time naps.

2- Somewhere To Store Their Clothes And Accoutrement

Getting a wardrobe that can grow with your child is a great idea, one that fits adult sized hangers and has adjustable shelves would be ideal. I found that I could store nappies and muslins and bibs etc in the wardrobe and bedding, baby grows and vests in a chest of drawers. Both pieces of furniture can stay with your child until they leave for university if you choose wisely!

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A changing mat could easily be placed onto of this chest of drawers to make a cosy changing table.

3- Somewhere To Have Their Nappy Changed

There is a huge array of baby changing stations available. I would always recommend getting one where the changing tray can be removed and the furniture takes on a new life after baby is toilet trained. for example my son’s bookshelves were his changing table, they came with an extended shelf for changing baby which could be removed when no longer needed. he now still has the same bookcase 6 years on. over the cot changers are useful if space is tight, equally over a chest of drawers changers are useful longterm. it may be that you would prefer to change baby in the bathroom in which case a small, open changer would be the most practical.

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This bookcase offers plenty of storage for books and toys. The baskets provide ideal toy storage which little ones will be able to reach.

4- Somewhere To Put Their Toys And Books

Believe it or not your baby will accumulate toys and books even before it is born! you will be showered with gifts and it is always good to have somewhere to put them all. I find storage boxes on shelves to be the most adaptable storage solution, especially for little ones. start your soft toy collection in one, your noisy developmental toys in another basket and your wooden tethers in another and you will be tidy and organised for baby’s arrival.

Once you have met these four requirements for your baby’s immediate needs everything extra is a bonus, but don’t stress your little one’s nursery should be an oasis of calm (or as soothing as possible for those 2am feeds!).

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How to declutter your child’s room after Santa’s visit

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Use simple boxes and baskets to keep like with like.

The key to having a clear-out of a child’s room is to get them to help make the decisions about what comes and goes. It’ll help them feel empowered and learn how to make decisions and stick to them. You can get rid of things in a variety of ways including fixing/mending, recycling, charity shop donations and selling on. Are you really going to fix or mend it? If not, throw it out. Remember to clean  surfaces and toys as you go around the room.

At the heart of this process is teaching your kids how to care and respect their belongings so that they want to look after them and keep them in good condition.

Start out by throwing out items that are broken or unusable or have pieces missing. I like to start at one side of the room and work my way up from the floor and around the room. This way you get to see progress quite quickly as the floor is cleared and your little ones can experience the clean up quicker too since they are small and spend a lot of time playing on the floor. Then get a bag for toys and books that your children have outgrown that could be sold or sent to the charity shop.

After this clear out you should find that the toys you do have might fit into storage units and boxes in better ways now that there is more space. This is where boxes and drawers come into their own as very versatile storage options. New toys from Santa might fit into existing storage solutions or you may need to giggle things around a bit or go all out and get more storage!Decide what to keep. Include your child in the process but have the power of veto.

Find a space for everything that you are keeping. Put what you have kept away –  everything should have it’s place. Be sure to leave or create space for the new arrivals! Remember it is easiest to store like with like.

 

Try and make everything accessible at child height so that your children can pull things out and, more importantly, put things back themselves.

 

Give them a space for their “treasures” (or clutter) my son has an old empty printer’s box with all the divisions for the different letter blocks which he uses for displaying and then playing with his treasures, including kinder egg models, things he’s found or made. Each one has a story and is special to him and he can easily get them down to play with them. If it doesn’t fit in the shelf though it has to be put away so that we keep a lid on clutter in his room.

 

You could also do some toy rotation by putting away some older toys and some new gifts and then bringing them out again in a few months time. This helps keep kids interested and also means they don’t have to have all their stuff in their room at once, helping it stay tidier.

To maintain this neater more clutter-free, tidy room you need to encourage your child to tidy up for themselves. Make it a game.. who can put the most cars into the right box? do a countdown or somehow engage them in the process. Make your children responsible for tidying up after themselves. Start young, say when they are 12 months old and help them with sorting and tidying, then by the age of three they should be independent enough to tidy their room or what they have been playing with by themselves with a bit of guidance from you. Have regular clearing out sessions so that your children get used to letting go of items they no longer need.

By applying these simple methods to your child’s space you should not feel overwhelmed by a sea of toys and kid-clutter after the onslaught of Christmas. Give your child space to thrive.

 

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How to make your child’s room cosy for Winter

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Cosy floor cushions, a fluffy rug and slippers within reach…

Here are some tips on creating that cosy oasis of calm in your child’s room ready for snuggling through the winter months!

 

Encourage that snuggly feeling

Layering soft furnishings in a reading nook and on the bed is a great way to soften a child’s room. Think beyond this by adding a fluffy, warm rug next to their bed for when they get out of bed first thing on a cold, dark winter’s morning. Think window seats lined with cosy cushions,  floor cushions, a lamb’s skin rug on a desk chair too soften it . The layering of texture is also a great sensory trigger for children and will help them relax and get the idea of calming down and cosying up.

 

Keep them Warm

Make sure duvet is the correct tog and that they are wearing the correct pjs and/or vest.

Make sure to use a tog rating suitable for the season, taking into account the warmth of your child’s bedroom. My son’s room is on the colder side and he runs hot generally so in the winter he sleeps in a vest, pjs and under a 13.5 tog duvet ( we have one that is made of a 9.0 and a 4.5 tog part so that you can use it all year round). Remember babies under 12 months should not be using a duvet. Over 12months they should use a 4.5 tog or less until pre school age when a cosy warm 10 – 13.5 tog can be used until the age of 10.

By the way I thought that I’d sneak in the “vest wearing” seems a little controversial and old school of me but vests really do help to keep anyone of any age warm. There is science backing me up here, by keep your core warm blood flows more freely to your extremities and keeps those warm too. So yes, in the winter (and spring and autumn if I’m honest) my 6 year old son wears a vest.

Cotton bedding could also be swapped for warmer brushed cotton sheets, cotton flannel or jersey knit.

Hang their dressing gown within reach for first thing in the morning and have slippers by their bed.

Consider hanging thicker curtains in a warm colour to keep out drafts, keep the heat in and make the room look warmer. My son has thermal blackout lined curtains all year round and they really do keep out a draft in the winter and keep the glare of the very early morning sun out in the summer.

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A warm cosy blanket and lots of cushions to enhance the feeling of cosy-ness.

Books

Well stocked book shelves will serve you well in the winter months especially. There’s nothing quite like snuggling up with a good book and this is an important thing to let your children appreciate. You can help them by making books and a cosy spot accessible to them and you never they may surprise you! I’ve frequently caught my then 5, now 6 year old reading to himself in bed first thing in the morning. I planted this notion in his head buy placing an Ikea spice rack made into a book shelf just over his bed which he can reach and choose his books from.

 

Have some Rainy Day Activities Ready

A stock of good indoor fun for rainy days is essential to keeping the little and not so little ones busy when the weather is just too grim. Admittedly we dress for the weather and get on with our plans regardless as we live in Edinburgh and we’d be housebound for the whole winter if we didn’t! But we also have science experiments, board games, marble runs, electricity sets, martian sand, digging for dinosaurs, junk modelling and all sorts at hand in a special shelf under the window in my little one’s room for that Sunday when you really just can’t face the weather.

 

Accent with Warm Colours

Accent with warm colours be it in the form of decorations or soft furnishings or seasonal artwork  this will jolly up the place during the darker winter months.

 

Lighting

Make sure you have adequate lighting for getting dressed in the morning and for story time at bedtime. A mixture of warm ambient lights and white task lighting will help banish the darkness and suit both morning and evening moods.

 

Scents

Try warming scents like cinnamon, orange, nutmeg and pine throughout the house to help get cosy for winter.

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I hope all these tips help you to make your child’s room cosy for winter so that you can enjoy the season together. I’d love to see how you’ve made your child’s room more cosy for winter and hear any thoughts, so please do comment.

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5 tips in Modern Kids Room Decor

Scandi kids room with teepee
Scandi kids room with teepee.

I thought I’d give you a few tips on how to easily modernise your children’s room.

 

1- Start with White Walls

To achieve the bare scandi look, it’ll also help make the room look bigger. White provides a very clean backdrop for any colour you choose and works beautifully with wooden finishes.

 

2- Choose a Statement

This could be an amazing piece of furniture or bold colour or both. My son’s shelf of Ninjago Lego hits you as you walk in (not literally obviously as that would be very bad design indeed!) and provides a great statement of bold colours with an Asian theme. In the photo above the statement is the banana wallpaper and accents.

 

3-Curate Toys on Display

Let the items on display tell a story, this could be through a theme like action toys or a tea party or through a colour, like all red or rainbow coloured. Let your child help  in the decision and you will see a sense of pride blossom as they take pride in their belongings. My 6 year old Lego fiend only has Lego on display in his room, all built sets and mini figures, all his own creations are all on dedicated shelves. The rule is it can’t overspill once we have tidied up for the day. All his other toys are put away in their boxes and drawers ready to be played with. Above there is teddy having tea and a selection of wooden toys on display in the house shaped shelf.

 

4- Accent with Nature

Add varnished wood for that clean organised bringing-the-inside-in vibe. Add plants too to enhance this effect and to help your child connect with nature. Incidentally they can look after their plants and thereby gain a tad of responsibility and in turn the plants can help improve air quality which is especially important in towns and cities. Wooden toys are great for so many reasons but especially for that tactile quality. I=In the photo above you see banana leaves used as decoration.

 

5- Display Meaningful Art

Posters of your child’s favourite things or old family photos or your child’s masterpieces. Creating a memory wall of photos of friends and family you rarely see can also provoke thought in your child. Or even an ever changing memory board of photos from holidays or days out provide a lovely focal point and a great way to start conversations with your young child.

These tips should help you to create that Scandi feel and hopefully you will try them out and let me know how you get on!

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6 Easy Ways to add style to your child’s room

shutterstock_1049222219 scandi/sherbert room

As a former nursery practitioner and mum to a 6 year old I know a few tricks to keep the toys at bay and to make  your kids rooms more stylish. Believe it or not “a place for everything and everything in it’s place” really does help children to relax and grow more confident. Here are a few easy tips to help you to easily  inject some style into your child’s room. We shall keep tackling the clutter later….

 

1- Choose a palette

Deciding on a colour scheme can come from all sorts of inspiration, like your child’s favourite tv show or ice cream or an interest like space or horses. Choose a family of colours that go well together and a background colour and punchy highlight colour. Controversial as this may be I don’t hold with monochrome rooms for little ones, sure lead with black and white but add  punchy yellow or turquoise or orange accent.

 

2- Accents

Find or make accents in your chosen colour palette. These could include storage baskets, curtains, bed linens, toys… they will help to give your palette definition. They also make it easier to transform your room later (or even seasonally) by changing your soft furnishings.

 

3- Lighting

Often an afterthought, lighting is very important. Have a couple of different light sources in your child’s room for different moods and activities. Task lighting at a desk or bedside table,   night lights and main pendants all have a role to play in a child’s world too. remember to choose fittings that suit your feel and colour scheme for the room.

 

4- Plants

Bring the outside in. Children can benefit from plants in their rooms for so many reasons. They can help filter the air in a city environment, can encourage children to be responsible by looking after them and help keep children in touch with nature. Put plants at child height (from when your child is at least 3 years old) and up high to give them extra sensory stimulus from the touch and smell of house plants.

 

5- Displays of treasures/ vignettes

Get your child involved in displaying their treasures and favourite bits and bobs. This encourages their sense of self by providing physical reminders of past doings and helps them to forge connections with their surroundings while taking pride in their room. Help curate collections so that they don’t take over and try to suggest sorting using different criteria such as colour or a theme. But remember it is their room! In my son’s room he has an old printer’s tray which he uses to display all his Kinder Egg toys and anything special like rocks and shells he has collected. From time to time it does need a tidy but it generally survives as a rotating curation of what is special to him. I might even start taking regular photos of it to chart its evolution.

 

6-  Art

Kids aren’t too young for art on their walls. Together, you and your child could make some family art or choose a picture or design. I find that a little whimsy goes a long way for children’s bedroom art. I frame all my son’s certificates and display them along with a colour-in map of the world in which we follow his uncle’s travels.

So take another look at the photo above. Notice how the accent pieces tie the scheme together? How the art adds a touch of whimsy to the space? How wood is used throughout? How pink and yellow are featured in a black and white background scheme? How the plants are part of the room? How the lighting is industrial and coloured to fit the scheme? You can do this too. Hopefully you have gleaned a few easy tips for creating a stylish room for your children without spending too much time or money.