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If you have a baby on the way, you'll probably have been bombarded with advice about what you do and don't need. And while you can spend a fortune kitting out a nursery if you really want to, it needn't cost thousands of euro. Here are our nursery essentials.

Nursery — SOLGUL cot — IKEA interior inspiration
Nursery — SOLGUL cot — IKEA interior inspiration

Have you seen those long baby checklists? A word of reassurance: You will often only discover the true must-haves once your baby has arrived. But you can make life easier by starting off with some smart essentials. In the spotlight today: the nursery.

You don't necessarily need to paint or wallpaper the walls. You can also create a clear colour scheme or theme using accessories, coloured wall cabinets and posters".

Dream bed

One thing you will really need is a cot or a crib with a mattress. A crib can only be used for the first few months, while a cot will last a couple of years.

A safe crib should be 30 cm deep, 45 cm wide and 80 cm long. If you're using a cot, the distance between the bars must be between 4.5 and 6.5 centimetres, and the cot must have a ventilated bottom and side panels.

Large soft toys, pillows and mobiles should be placed and hung out of the reach of your baby. Check the size of the mattress carefully too.

It must be no more than 2 cm larger or smaller than the cot or crib. Short on space? Choose a bed with drawers. Handy!

You'll need plenty of storage space for all those soft blankets, sheets and muslin cloths. No space for a storage unit? Choose a changing table or cot with built-in drawers.

Baby-proof bedding

Put your baby to bed under a sheet with a blanket. Position the sheet and blanket as low and tight as possible so that your child does not suddenly slip completely under the blanket. A sleeping bag is also an option, but these can be a bit too big for the first few months. The right size is the length of your child plus 10 centimetres.

Changing station

Babies get through quite a few nappies: During the first few months, you'll easily change around eight each day. So a changing table with a changing mat is a must. Tight on space in your nursery? Then choose a changing table with drawers that you can store baby clothes in. Along with that huge pile of muslin cloths. Make things easy for yourself by using small baskets to organise everything.

Tip: Make use of the height of the room and hang a few wall cabinets. This will provide additional useful storage. A shelf is also a convenient place for a night light.

Sort baby clothing by size 

If your nursery is more spacious, you can also add a wardrobe. The advantage of this is that you can also hang up clothes, which makes it easier to see what outfits you've got for your little one. Only keep clothing that is the right size within easy reach. You can place the rest in the bottom of the wardrobe or in storage boxes, sorted by size.

A comfy seat

As you'll also need to feed your baby at night, it's a good idea to put a chair in the nursery. Place a throw over the chair so you don't get too cold during night-time feeds. And since we're talking about temperature, a thermometer is also a useful addition to the nursery. This allows you to keep an eye on the temperature in the room. Lots of baby monitors have a built-in thermometer.