Please welcome Charlie from John Lewis's nursery department, as she guest blogs on The Big Sleep Blog to share her thoughts on the best way to set up a nursery... 
"Working in John Lewis’s Nursery department means I have the pleasure of talking to expectant parents, helping them plan for their new arrival! It is so much fun getting to know them and what plans they have. 
Often new parents can feel overwhelmed, so I’ve compiled my top tips for starting to plan your nursery. 
First things first, it’s a good idea to take stock of your space in what will be your baby’s nursery. Allowing for storage is going to be key; who knew babies need so much stuff? 
You’re also going to want the space set up to be as practical as possible. A fellow Nursery Advisor recommends marking out where furniture will go with masking tape on the floor, making sure you accommodate for drawers and cupboards doors opening which, I think, is a genius idea!  
When shopping for nursery furniture you’ll notice that ranges will have dedicated spaces for changing your baby, either on top of dressers or a standalone changing table. All options will have storage that enables you to keep all those changing essentials within arm’s reach. 
When considering sleeping arrangements; bedside cribs are very popular and offer a safe alternative to co-sleeping. They are designed to go alongside or attach to your bed making it easy to feed and comfort your baby during the night with their easy access, drop down sides. 
Cots and cot-beds are suitable from birth. However, many parentschoose to move their baby into one once they’ve outgrown their bedside crib. Roughly, that’ll be around the six-month milestone. They have a number of positions for the base making it easier for you to lift them in and out, with the highest one in use until your baby can confidently pull themselves up.  
Cots generally last until your baby is two years old while a cot-bed will last until three or four years old as they are slightly bigger, and you can convert them into a toddler bed.  
Cot-beds are the perfect choice for the parents wanting longevity out of their purchases! 
I recommend going for a spring mattress if you’re purchasing a cot bed; foam compresses over time so is more suitable for occasional use. 
Although the spring mattresses are more expensive, they will last you the same amount of time as your cot-bed and offer more support for your little one’s back in the long run. 
A waterproof mattress protector is always a must buy! To dress the bed all you need is a fitted sheet as we like to recommend parents use sleeping bags to keep their baby snug. They come in a range of togs just like duvets, so they allow you to layer them up in a vest, and sleepsuit in a sleeping bag, during those colder winter months or for those chillier nursery rooms. 
After you’ve organised somewhere for your baby to sleep, store all their bits and bobs and how to dress them and the bed to sleep, what else might you need for the nursery? 
Monitor: I spend a lot of time talking about the types of monitors available with expectant parents from the all singing, all dancing Nanits and Owlets systems to the audio only monitors. Deciding what to purchase is going to be purely up to what is going to make you feel comfortable and put your mind at ease. All parents are different and on this occasion, asking friends for recommendations and reading reviews is going to really help! 
Chair: If you have the room in your nursery then a chair could be invaluable for bedtime stories, feeds and those all-important cuddles. 
Blackout blinds: Keeping your nursery as dark as possible can help establish a good sleep routine so blackout blinds are a good idea for daytime naps and the summer months. 
Night light: These are great for creating a calming environment during night-time feeds and for checking on them. 
Sleep aids: Babies often enjoy some background noise after spending 9 months in the womb. Sleep aids can often attach to the rim of the cot and come in lots of cute characters and colours. They will play a variety of nature sounds or white noise. Some will have sensors that activate and turn on when your baby cries! White noise is a wonderful imitation of the womb, with pink and brown noise variants suitable for children over 6 months. The sleep environment should be clear of all loose toys and bedding, so ensure your choice of noise machine can either be securely attached to the outer crib or resting on a nearby shelf. 
Room thermometer: The nursery should be kept cool, ideally between 16-20 degrees. Having a room thermometer allows you to keep an eye on the temperature and some double up as night lights. How handy! 
Nursery Advice - All Things Baby 
We offer an impartial, free advice service either in-store or virtually where we can help with selecting the right products for your needs. Click HERE to find out more about the different types of appointments we offer." 
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