AD | Creating a Calming Nursery (for Babies and for Mums!)
[This post is sponsored by Very.co.uk]
Because my pregnancy was filled with so much anxiety, I found the process of setting up Max’s nursery really quite stressful. I wanted it to be perfect, of course, but I also worried constantly about safety, and wanted to create a calm, peaceful environment that would be soothing for him – and, let’s face it, also for me.
If you’re a fellow anxious mum (Or dad!), or mum-to-be, here are some of the baby and nursery essentials I’d recommend to help keep things calm, and start introducing routine, all available from Very.co.uk, whose baby and toddler section features everything you could possibly need for your nursery…
The Gro Egg was one of our very first baby purchases, and we bought it on the recommendation of a friend, having never previously even considered a room thermometer as a potential nursery essential. (I should probably clarify here that, when I was pregnant and someone suggested we should buy something that would make our baby safer, we would basically just go and buy it immediately, regardless of what it was: because that was how clueless – and also how scared – we were.)
Once Max was born, though, I quickly discovered that the Gro Egg had, indeed, been a good call, because one of my main sources of anxiety about Max revolved around temperature: I worried constantly about whether he was too hot or too cold, what he should be wearing, and whether he really needed that blanket or not, and there was only so many times I could wake Terry in the night to say, “DO YOU THINK HE’S TOO WARM, THOUGH?”, so it was fortunate for all of us that I had a Gro Egg to ask instead.
What IS it, though? Well, I’m sorry to say that it’s NOT an egg that grows before your very eyes (Which was what I thought when our friend first suggested it…), but a room thermometer which changes colour to let you know what temperature your baby’s room is, and whether you need to adjust it (The colours run from blue for too cold to bright red for too warm: your goal is to keep it somewhere between the two…), and it also comes with a handy guide to what your baby should be wearing to bed in different temperatures. This is the Gro Egg2, which is an upgrade from the one we had (Things move quickly in the world of nursery essentials, apparently!), and is powered by USB, which makes it something you can easily take on holiday, too. I’d have loved to have had this version with us on holidays, when I was even more worried about Max’s temperature!
We somehow managed to end up with two of these, which was fine, actually, because one is always getting lost (HOW, THOUGH?) and we use the other one every single day, so I guess it’s good to have backup, right? This is another thing I didn’t even know I needed when we were shopping for our nursery essentials, because I grew up watching my mum awkwardly dip her elbow into my bath every night in order to test the temperature of the water (And, I mean, how old must I have been that I can remember that, seriously?), so I guess I just assumed that was how it was done?
Well, as it turns out, that’s NOT how it’s done – or not any more, anyway. Because, these days we have the Tommee Tippee Bath and Room Thermometer, which sounds an alarm when the water is either too hot or too cold. As I said, we still use this every day, even now that Max is a toddler, so we’ve definitely had our money’s worth out of it.
This is actually one from the ‘We didn’t buy it, but should have,’ files, and it’s a room humidifier which increases the moisture in the air, making it easier for your baby to breathe, especially if they have a cough or cold. Although he’s no longer a baby, I think Max would probably have benefited from one of these last winter, when he started nursery, and began bringing home every bug out there. We had quite a few disturbed nights because he just could’t get comfortable, poor soul, so I’ll be adding the Crane Elephant Humidifier to my wish list for this year: although, as it’s in the shape of a cute animal, it’s very possible Max would stay awake just to chat to it…
We really didn’t think we’d need a rocker. We’d see photos of them in other people’s houses, and just be all, “Nah, that’ll just take up space and never get used: we’ll be fine without one!” Fast-forward to about two weeks into our parenting journey, and there we were, frantically scouring Gumtree for a rocker – ANY rocker – that was available to pick up, like, NOW. As we quickly discovered, the rocker was basically the only way we could get a few minutes to ourselves, without Max wanting to be held – and, as much as we both loved holding and cuddling him, sometimes you have to eat, you know?
We’ve long since passed our baby rocker on to some other exhausted new parent, but I really like the look of the Fisher Price Deluxe Infant-to-Toddler Rocker, which converts into a toddler-sized seat, once your child’s too old for the rocker part. There’s a toy arch to keep your baby entertained, and the seat vibrates gently to calm them down and help them sleep. Do they make these in adult sizes, I wonder? Asking for a friend…
For the first few months of his life, Max slept in our room, in a Chicco Next-to-Me crib, with one of these nightlights attached to it, by the same brand. Baby Max was fascinated by the stars it projects onto the ceiling (It also plays lullabies, too, although we’d normally have those switched off, so Terry and I weren’t forced to listen to them…), and I actually really wish we’d held onto it now (It didn’t fit onto his ‘big cot’ properly, so we gave it to the person who bought the crib…), because I reckon toddler Max would’ve thought it was pretty cool, too.
Max has just reached a stage where he’s occasionally asked me to leave a light on for him at night: so far, he’s always forgotten that request a few minutes later, but we do have a few other nightlights scattered around his room, and would leave one switched on when we first moved him into his ‘big boy’ bed, just so he could see where he was going if he decided to get out of bed in the night for some reason. None of his existing nightlights play music, or project stars onto the ceiling, though, which is why I’m filing this one under, “Things We Should Have Kept, TERRY.”
(Having said that, the First Dreams Baby Bear Night Projector is also verrrry cute…)
OK, this one really falls under the banner of bathtime essentials, as opposed to nursery essentials, but I want to recommend it anyway, as the person who took a ten full days to pluck up the courage to bathe her newborn (Don’t worry, we did wash him in that time!), because she was so worried he’d drown (And also so TIRED that bathing him seemed like an insurmountable task, really…). Get yourself a bath support, folks: it’ll allow you to bath your baby without the crippling anxiety that comes from constantly worrying he’ll slip under the water, and you can’t really put a price on that, can you?
You can find all of these and more at the Very.co.uk baby and toddler shop. Which products would you class as nursery essentials?