Guest post: 4. Flexible furniture
Invest in a good cot that has a drop down side and adjustable height base. When baby is ready to move onto the next bed it can be a normal single sized bed with bumpers to prevent falls. As shown in this image, from House to Home, you can get some very nice pieces of furniture that grow with your child, some even morph from cot to first bed and they are a good idea. They will give you peace of mind because the bed base is low to the ground. However, I suggest avoiding luxury nursery items such as moses baskets and rocking cots; they look lovely but last just a matter of weeks.
Nursing mothers need somewhere comfortable to sit in baby’s room. A rocking chair or lounge chair that is not too low helps relaxation but it must be easy to get in and out of with babe in arms. You can do a test: hold your handbag, or something baby-sized, in your arms (as if it were baby) and then sit down and get up out of the chair without dropping the ‘baby’. If this seems easy try again with a heavier bag!
A changing station that is the right height for you is essential as your back will ache at the best of times. Ideally find a chest of drawers and use the top of it for changing baby. Have a high shelf nearby so you can grab what you need without leaving baby unattended. To gauge the right height here’s another test: start by standing up tall and straight, then bring your hands out in front of you as if you are about to play the piano. Get someone to measure from the floor to your hands and this is the height for baby changing. It’s often higher than you think! Remember this is a short term place for this task and very soon you will need to be changing at ground level as baby starts wriggling around. Then the best thing is to put a changing mat on the floor – it’s the safest. To protect floor coverings use one of the low cost plastic covered changing mats, which are easy to wipe down, light to move around and cheap enough to replace if necessary. Or use a soft washable bathmat with non slip backing (you’ll need a small supply of these so you can refresh everyday or more often).
Yasmin Chopin is an interior designer based in the UK. She designs interiors, writes about interiors, teaches interior design and speaks about interiors. She has an active presence internationally on social media and her website blog, www.YasminChopin.com, displays the ‘Blog with Integrity’ badge. To download this series of posts in pdf format and for lots more interiors ideas join her mailing list.