Creating a nursery is a wonderful experience and as you lovingly create a serene and co-ordinated space for your baby to sleep in, it is all too easy to get carried away buying things that literally only last a few months and you might even look back and wonder why you bought them.
Before you start planning the nursery, it is worth looking around at all of the different options available and finding out how many of the essential pieces of nursery furniture can grow with your child and last that little bit longer. Children certainly don’t come cheap and any money that you can save along the way is a real help.
Nursery essential number one is of course a cot. You might think about investing in a moses basket for the first few weeks, but eventually baby will move into a cot to give them space and security.
Advice varies as to the best age to move into a bed and of course only you can decide what is best for your child, but the general consensus is between two and three years old and many opt for a smaller junior bed to make the transition from cot to bed quicker and easier.
Why not then invest in a cot bed? A cot bed is a slightly larger cot, which can be transformed into a small bed when the time is right. Once transformed into a bed, cot beds are lower and smaller and make it easier for younger children to get in and out.
Generally more expensive that a cot, it would still work out cheaper than buying both a cot and a bed and you have the added advantage that it will be familiar to your child, hopefully making the change slightly easier when the time comes.
Little Acorns Classic Cot Bed – a convertible cot with a 3-position base. W144 × D77 × H91 cm. £124.99 from very.co.uk
Stamford Mini Cot Bed – a curvy cot with a height-adjustable base and drawer in the base. W134 × D66 × H90 cm. £249.99 from very.co.uk
Alex Cotbed – a pine cot which converts into a bed by removing the side rails. W144 × D75 × H93 cm. £120 from johnlewis.com
A changing table might not seem like an essential but it really can be a useful piece of furniture to have which also saves you hours of bending down as you can change and dress your baby at a natural level whilst standing up.
Usually having shelving space below, a changing table can also provide you with the perfect space to keep all of your baby toiletry essentials, spare nappies, toys or even clothes. Once the changing table is surplus to requirements, you can simply continue to use if for storage with its deep shelves, you will be able to fit lots on and they make great bookcases too.
Shop around, there are even changing tables that can transform into a desk which would be very useful as your child get older.
Open Changing Unit – a simple table with 2 shelves, available in 5 colours. W80 × D50 × H86 cm. £79.99 from very.co.uk
John Lewis Changing Table – a white-painted table with 2 storage shelves. W79 × D50 × H93 cm. £59 from johnlewis.com
If you want to invest a little more, invest in a dresser style changing unit, without a changing mat, you wouldn’t even know that this was a piece of nursery furniture and many of them would fit into most rooms in the house.
You may not consider a glider chair or rocking chair as an essential but if you do have the space, these chairs can be the perfect place to nurse and relax with your little one and as they often come with a matching footstool so you can even put your feet up and totally relax.
With a gentle rocking action that can help you relax and sooth your baby, this chair could become a family favourite, as your child gets bigger.
Some can be transformed into proper armchairs but most of them could easily be accessorised with a few cushions or even a throw and give your family years of relaxation. If it takes up to much space in your child’s room, this is a piece of furniture, which would work well in a bedroom or even the living room.
Kub Haywood Glider Nursing Chair and Footstool – a natural wood chair and footstool with cream coloured fabric cushions. Chair dimensions: W69 × D71 × H96 cm. £199 from johnlewis.com
Ireland Glider and Footrest – an oak frame chair and footstool with grey fabric cushions. Chair dimensions: W56 × D73 × H102 cm. £229.99 from wayfair.co.uk
These are three pieces of furniture that can grow with your child but other key pieces of furniture such as a chest of drawers, a wardrobe or shelving unit can be neutral and more ‘grown up’ to add longevity to the room.
When you are nursery shopping, it is worthwhile thinking about your long-term plans for the room and considering how you envisage the room when your child grows into a toddler. Can you see the furniture fitting in? How much space is it going to take up? Does it add something to the room?
It might even be worth keeping a minimalist approach to the nursery to give you a bigger space and budget when the time comes to upgrade it.