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Painting, decorating and filling your nursery is one of the most exciting parts of preparing for the arrival of your baby.
However, if this is your first baby, it’s likely to also be one of the most daunting, as you’ll probably be inundated with contradictory advice from friends and family about which products are paramount to invest in.
Speaking on Yahoo UK’s parenting series, The Baby Bump with Lauren Pope, infant sleep and nurture expert, Hannah McDade, spoke about the safest ways to put your baby to sleep and the products that can help you do so.
To ensure that kitting out the nursery is a straight-forward process that adds to your confidence as parents, we spoke to McDade, otherwise known as The Nurture Consultant, to get all her top picks.
For those who are unaware, the safest place for a baby to sleep for the first six months is in the same room as their parents. Therefore, this list includes products that can be used in the parents’ bedroom during the newborn stage and those for use in the nursery later on.
Buy it: The Gro Company Swaddle Sleep Bag | £20.99 from Amazon
McDade suggests purchasing a swaddle sleep bag as it’s one of the safer ways to swaddle a baby.
“This is because there are no loose bits of material as it is securely fastened in one place, unlike a swaddle blanket which could become untucked and pose as a safety hazard.”
Buy it: The Gro Company Blackout Blind | £34.99 from Amazon
A blackout blind is a must-have for any nursery, McDade explains this is because “the external light can play a factor in your baby's sleep cycle and by having a blackout blind you are preventing any light from creeping through.”
She adds: “They are also a useful tool to help you help your baby start to distinguish the difference between day and night.”
Buy it: Room Thermometer And Gentle Night Light | £29.99 from Amazon
McDade recommends having a room thermometer, so that you can keep an eye on the temperature, this particular product doubles up as a night light too.
She explains: “A baby's sleep space (parent's room for first six months and then their nursery) should be between 16-20 degrees celsius.”
Buy it: Ewan Deluxe Baby Shushing Sleep Sheep| £39.99 from Sweet Dreamers
Why does your baby need a white noise toy, you ask?
The sleep expert reveals “I'd recommend having white noise for your baby to help them feel safe and secure in the early days because this in turn will help them to be soothed and fall asleep.
“Babies can find it hard when transitioning from womb to world and this particular period is called the fourth trimester. They miss the security of being inside mum and the familiar noises they've been hearing for nine months. Products like Ewan The Dream Sheep imitate sounds heard in the womb.”
Buy it: Nursery Spray And Pillow Mist | £15 from Tiddley Pom
Scents such as lavender oil are widely known for their calming, soothing and sleep-inducing benefits for all ages.
“Babies are sensitive to smell as it is one of their most developed senses from birth” McDade explains.
Therefore, she’d recommend this spray “because it has been professionally blended by aromatherapists to help create an atmosphere of calm and peace within your baby's nursery”.
Buy it: Kub Haywood Reclining Glider Nursing Chair and Footstool | £200 from John Lewis
McDade recommends having a nursing/ feeding chair in your baby’s nursery for numerous reasons, the most obvious being the numerous late-night feeds.
“You will naturally be feeling sleep-deprived, so having somewhere comfortable and safe to feed is a must” she explains.
“If the chair has movement this can be a great tool to help soothe baby without putting a strain on the parent.
“This particular piece of furniture can come in handy as your child grows by becoming somewhere you can share bedtime stories together.”
Buy it: Motorola MBP50 Digital Video Baby Monitor | £149.99 from John Lewis
Once your baby is old enough to be spending time sleeping in their nursery, the sleep expert recommends investing in a video baby monitor.
The fact that you can see and hear if your baby is sleeping safely “instantly makes you feel at ease whilst being temporarily separated”.
Buy it: Chicco Next 2 Me Air Bedside Crib | £189 from John Lewis
If you are thinking of co-sleeping with your baby McDade recommends looking into an alternative like using one of these bedside cribs, because it is a much safer way of sleeping with your new arrival.
“It is much easier to create a safe sleep space for a baby within a cot/crib or Moses basket. A clear cot is a safe cot” she explains.
Buy it: Baby Muslin Sleeping Bag | £22 from Jojo Maman Bebe
McDade recommends a sleeping bag like this one because it is a safe way of providing bedding for your baby.
“With sleeping bags your baby requires no extra bedding, as sleeping bags come in a variety of togs making it easy for parents to make sure their baby is not too hot and not too cold,” she explains.
Buy it: Penguin 2-in-1 Portable Night Light | £34.99 from John Lewis
“A warm light is ideal for your baby's nursery, to help you see your way during the night for night feeds or nappy changes without needing to turn on the main light, which is likely to be far too bright,” McDade explains.
“I'd recommend this product because the level of lighting it is emitting is dimmable and the light itself is portable, which makes it the perfect solution for a suitable light for nighttimes in your baby's nursery.”