How to set up a safe nursery

There's no reason to worry if your baby's new room isn't quite ready when they first arrive home from the hospital. It's recommended that new-borns spend the first six months in the same room as their parents and sleep in a crib or Moses basket. This is the best way to make sure your new little bundle of joy has the best possible start to life, and gives you plenty of time to make sure their nursery is perfect for them when they are ready to move in.

Tesco have put together a nursery safety guide to make sure that your home's new nursery is up to scratch and safe for your child. Once your baby is old enough to be sleeping in the nursery on their own, make sure you follow this safety advice before you put them down to sleep.

Basic nursery safety

Take care when positioning the crib or cot. It is important to ensure that it is nowhere near a radiator or other heat source. Also make sure that the radiators are turned down to their lowest level, and make sure there the windows are draught free. This includes areas in the room that get direct sunlight. This can be done by adding shade in the room, for when they are napping during the day.

When looking for furniture for your nursery, try to avoid older antique furniture. This is because older furniture was often painted with lead-based paint that can be harmful when inhaled or ingested.

It is also important to make sure that the any dangling cords from the blinds in the room are out of reach of your baby's hands, as they can easily get tangled up in them which can cause a hazard.

Ensure that there are no heavy objects in the room that could topple over, such as ornaments or items of furniture. Wardrobes and cupboards should ideally be fastened to the wall when possible.

Any baby bed or mattress that you buy should conform to the latest BS safety standard. To check, visit the British Standards Institute and search for the product before you buy.

Safety gates

A crucial part of making any home child proof is to take advantage of child safety gates. These can prevent tumbles down the stairs as well as seal off any room that it out of bounds for a wandering toddler. They can also secure their nursery to prevent them walking or crawling round the house on their own.

Plug protectors

Plug protectors are an important safety feature for any nursery. They are placed over the wall socket preventing an inquisitive toddler from sticking anything in them. Also make sure that there are no power cables in reach of your little one, and use cord shorteners if possible.

Baby cots

One of the most cost-effective beds for your child is a cot bed. This is a cot that converts into a toddler bed. Whatever you choose, make sure your baby's mattress is brand new and fits your baby's bed snugly without gaps that could cause suffocation.

If you've bought a cot, buy a detachable side rail for when your baby is ready to use the bed. Read our guide on cots and cotbeds to find out more about the best sleeping solutions for your child.

Also keep your baby's crib fairly minimal. While it may be tempting to stuff it full of cosy soft toys and cushions, in reality extra items beyond a mattress and blanket can pose a suffocation hazard to a newborn baby.

Baby bedding

Baby bedding should ideally be made from natural fabrics such as 100% cotton. These offer a kinder fabric for your little one's skin as the natural materials tend to be much more breathable than synthetic materials. Take a read over Tesco's baby bedding guide to find out more.

Baby room thermometer

The perfect temperature for a nursery is between 16-20°C. This may seem a little on the cool side, but babies are far safer being slightly cool than being at the risk of overheating. To make sure you keep the temperature at the correct level you can by a special nursery thermometer to keep tabs on the heat in the room.

Carbon monoxide detector

A carbon monoxide detector is a cheap and potentially-life saving investment. If your home has any gas appliances or oil-powered central heating a carbon monoxide detector can detect this colourless and odourless gas before it becomes it becomes a deadly hazard. They are similar in size and appearance to smoke alarms, and similarly need to have their batteries regularly checked and replaced.

Baby changing unit

A baby changing unit in your child's nursery is a non-essential item that can help make your life easier. It lets you easily change your child's nappies without having to bend into an awkward position.

Baby changing units come in a variety of models from cot top changers that are affixed to the baby's crib, or counter top changers that tend to be placed upon chests of drawers. They also come in free standing models. Make sure your baby changing unit has a lip at the front, and never leave your child unattended when you are changing them.

Nappy disposal unit

This lets you dispose of your baby's used nappies quickly and hygienically. Nappy disposal units can hold around 20 or so nappies before they need to be emptied.

Feeding chair

After the first six months when you're baby is living in your room, a great purchase for their new nursery is a comfortable chair to sit in while feeding them. A particularly popular choice for this is a rocking chair, as it is soothing for both you and your baby.

Blackout blinds

Blackout blinds or blackout curtains are a great addition to any nursery as they block out the sun's rays letting your baby enjoy an uninterrupted nap. Make sure that when installing curtains and blind in your child's nursery that they are securely fastened to the stud wall and that all cords are out of reach of little hands.