One of the most exciting parts of being pregnant for me has been designing my little Rabbit’s nursery! I took to Pinterest pretty much as soon as I found out that we were expecting and was overwhelmed by the unique and crafty ways to create a gorgeous nursery for your little one!
I’ve been DIY-ing a lot of little accessories and decorations, however when it comes to the staple pieces like the furniture, I’m going to be buying! It’s not that I have no faith in my DIY skills; it’s just that for a number of reasons such as safety, effort and appearance, it’s probably best that I leave the nursery furniture to the professionals!
That’s not to say that I won’t consider a bit of painting or embellishing, it’s just that a 32-week pregnant lady with a saw and a hammer probably isn’t the best idea!
Too many decisions – I need a cuppa!
I don’t know how easy other parents to be have found finding their nursery furniture, but I personally am finding it pretty difficult! There are so many stores, brands and offers out there that it really makes my head spin. On top of that you have to consider so many variables such as space, budget and safety … it really is enough make you need a slice of cake and a cuppa!
After a lot of deliberations, confusions and ‘ooh I didn’t think about that’s, here is my guide to choosing nursery furniture that I think has helped me to make my decisions a little bit easier.
New vs. Second Hand
Now I’ve never been a second hand snob. I love upcycling and used to practically live in charity shops, but the decision to go for new or second hand for Rabbit wasn’t a straightforward one for me.
If you choose to go for second hand then you can barter, bid and bargain at places like gum tree, ebay, free cycle and car boot sales… just remember to look at the quality of the product first, you don’t want to get stuck with woodworm or mould in your little ones room.
Charity shops are also really great to look in and some are dedicated to just furniture. Many have a policy that the item has to be of good quality and you’ll feel better for donating to a good cause too!
However the benefits of going for something new are that not only do you know the furnitures history, i.e you know that it hasn’t been broken and fixed, or taken a tumble down the stairs and painted over, but you also get a warranty. This is a great selling point for parents who want to know that if something goes wrong they can send it back without a problem.
The furniture can also be delivered straight to your door and often set up for you. Buying new does give you much more peace of mind that your getting what you’ve paid for.
Individual vs. Nursery Sets
The majority of deals that I’ve seen are on nursery sets rather than individual items. They usually consist of a crib, wardrobe and a chest of drawers or changing station. The prices are definitely better when you buy as a set but you need to decide whether or not you actually need all of the items? Will your baby require a wardrobe AND a chest of drawers? Do they really have that many clothes? Are you planning to use a changing station or will you simply use a changing matt on the floor?
Going separate has it’s benefits. It means that you can pick and choose your items which is great if you love to mix and match or if say you already have a storage unit for clothes and just need a crib.
Every muma to be wants to have the perfect little nursery for their tiny tot when they arrive but is it really worth breaking the bank for? I have seen some absolutely ridiculous prices for nursery furniture; I’m talking thousands! If Rabbit was going to be in a crib until the age of 20 then okay, that’s an investment, but for the small amount of time that he will be using it, I think that there should be limits!
Realistically a crib bed will last until the child is 4 years old, 5 at a push. The changing station will only be used until the baby can sit up and would then be at risk of falling off. Think of how much use the items will get used and set yourself a budget, you’ll feel much better when the time comes to upgrade to new pieces.
Some places do offer payment plans but again is it worth being in dept just to have the latest items of furniture?
If you’re lucky enough to have a room dedicated to being the nursery then that’s fab! If not then you need to think about where these items are going to go. Don’t go for an oversized crib or full sized wardrobe if it means that you will no longer be able to walk around your bed or sofa!
If your little one will be sharing with older siblings could they share storage units to save space? Could their clothes go in your wardrobe if there isn’t space for their own?
If your nursery area is quite small, consider stackable storage boxes and shelves. I’ve seen some great storage ideas on Pinterest for toys and accessories that will really make use of the space that you’ve got!
We’re lucky enough to have a good double sized room for Rabbit so could easily fit a crib, wardrobe and either changing station or chest of drawers. I’m also considering a nursing chair but I’d like the space to be as open and clear as possible so we’ll see.
Let’s be practical here. Cots are a place to sleep, wardrobes and chests of drawers are a place to store things and changing stations are a place to change nappies! Is there really any point in going for these OTT jazzy items? You want something that does its job.
Go for plain and simple. It may impress your friends to have a rotating crib on a platform (OK unrealistic I know but you get my point) but bambino just needs somewhere to sleep and keep their things.
Another very important factor to consider is safety! You want a crib that abides by all of the safety regulations e.g.
- The distance between the top of the mattress and the top of the crib sides should be at least 50cm
- The bars should be vertical and no more than 6.5cm apart
- You shouldn’t be able to put more than two fingers between the edge of the mattress and the crib sides
- If you go for a second hand crib, make sure that it’s not been painted with lead paint. If you’re unsure, completely strip it down and repaint it.
It is easier to know that safety regulations have been followed when buying brand new but you can still follow these steps when buying second hand.
As quickly as you decide you want a princess themed nursery, your tiny tot will be telling you they now want Peppa pig. Make sure that whatever furniture you go for, it can be easily adapted to any new room, theme or age of your child. You don’t want to go for bright pink furniture only for your little lady to turn around and love Thomas the Tank Engine later do you?
Equally, if you move house you need to think that the next room may be a different colour so having neutral furniture is the best way to go. Exposed wood, white, cream or grey those are very versatile for a nursery!
If you think the furniture looks a little plain why not do some stencilling or add some vinyl’s. If you got a good price on the items then you won’t feel bad about having to do some extras on it and a few flowers or animals here and there can make bog standard furniture look really unique!
If you go for a cot bed you’re looking at 4-5 years of use. A changing station, well could be a matter of months, but a wardrobe and chest of drawers could go on until adulthood if not too babyish. Go for something that will last and won’t break or wear too easily. Think ahead at if you will want to sell on or reuse the items when you don’t need them in the nursery anymore and make sure that the items will last.
My friend Paige reminded me that when she moved house a lot of her furniture became weaker each time, so investing in good quality is really important!
I personally love solid oak as I know that it lasts and lasts so I will be looking for this when I get my furniture. However I know that there are some other great materials that are just as durable so it will be a case of looking around.
Overall I’m going for practicality and price. As I love to get crafty I’m looking for a nursery set that is plain and something I can blend into my woodland theme. I’m definitely going to buy a set rather than individual and will be going for new rather than second hand as it’ll be more convenient for me now that I’m 32 weeks. I’ve seen some gorgeous cribs from M&P’s and East Coast over at Argos that match what I want so now it’s just a case of narrowing it down!
How did you guys choose your nursery furniture?
Thanks for reading 🙂
*In Association with Argos