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When your baby arrives, you will be the centre of their universe. And that universe will be largely centred around the nursery. You are both going to spend a lot of time here, especially when you first bring your baby home, so it's important to make it a calm, comfortable place for both of you.

The Right Environment

Your baby's nursery — whether it's in your bedroom or in a separate room — should be a quiet area where there is subdued lighting and little traffic. Remember, your baby will spend most of the time here looking up, so make sure there are no bright overhead lights. It should be a peaceful place, designed for ease of use and comfort for you and for your baby. Arrange the furniture and items in a way you think makes the most sense logically, but realise that you may need to rearrange things a little once you figure out what works best for both of you.

Baby's First Bed

Your newborn's needs are simple: a firm, flat mattress and a safe enclosure where they will feel protected and secure. In the first months of infancy, you may prefer a bassinet. These portable baby beds can be carried from room to room so you can keep a close watch on your sleeping baby.

A bassinet is not a necessity. And because most bassinets will not support the weight of an older baby, they're useful only for the first 4 or 5 months, which makes them a bit of a luxury item.

New cots purchased in Australia must meet the ACCC mandatory standard bassed on AS/NZS 2172:2003. The ACCC’s Keeping Baby Safe Booklet provides some easy steps you can take to ensure your baby remains safe in your home, and is available here.

The booklet shows you what to look for when purchasing infant and nursery products and safe habits to consider when using such products.

Sleep Safety

  • To reduce the risk of Sudden Baby Death Syndrome (SIDS), your baby should be placed on their back when it's time to sleep Remember the phrase "Back to Sleep," and be sure that everyone who cares for your child follows this rule, even at naptime
  • The sleeping surface must be firm and flat
  • Fluffy pillows, crib bumpers, blankets and toys should never be placed in the crib with a sleeping baby

Changing Table

You can buy a changing table specifically designed for baby nappy changing or just use any other flat surface covered with a changing pad or towel. Be sure the table is sturdy. If possible, secure the table to a wall.

Never leave your baby alone on the table; always keep one hand on your baby when using the changing table. Keep all the changing supplies you need within your reach but out of your baby's reach.

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Besides the nursery, you’ll want to take steps to make the rest of your home safe for your baby. Visit BabyCenter to learn what to do both before your baby arrives and as they grow.

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