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Nursery Designing for the future: trends we need to consider now

As if having children wasn’t enough of a gigantic leap into uncertainty, for many homeowners the thought of potentially ‘devaluing’ a room by converting it into a nursery can be as horrific a concept as pushing out a placenta.

But a beautiful nursery can be a style statement, and arguably the design trends here move just as quickly as those for kitchens and bathrooms. We take a moment to consider the developments current making waves and which we think will remain buoyant in the future.

Think big in a small space: aside from the proverbial ‘powder room’, it is fair to say that a nursery is normally the designation of the smallest space. But yet, there can be a lot of ‘boxy’ items to cram into that space (cot, changing table, chest of drawers etc). Whilst iconic nursery brands such as Silver Cross have recently introduced more compact versions of their furniture, we love the idea of making a big style statement and then custom building the essentials of the room around it. How wonderful would Cots of Distinctions’ Seven Seas rocking baby cot (above) look with some subtle nautical touches such as aden+anais ‘high seas’ dream blanket  or a minimalist paper boat shelf from JojoMamanBebe?

Grey is the new neutral: gone are the days when magnolia or yellow were the wall-hue staples of indecisive parents. Grey has become the perfectly pitched neutral and partners beautifully with pastels so that ‘pink for girls and blue for boys’ no longer needs to be represented by gaudy hues of Barbie of Chelsea FC. We adore Earthborn’s subtle pink ‘Maybe Maggie’ paint, or Frenchic’s ‘Moody Blue’ – both of which pair delightfully with grey.  Accessorise with a grey ball pit – like MadeByNori’s one or maybe Mokee’s ‘rainy day’ mobile?  (incidentally, if you are still sitting on the yellow fence, a touch of Daffodil brightness looks the bees-knees when paired with grey…)

Tech is your friend: Philips Avent recently launched their ‘UGrow’ Smart baby monitor, which creates a constant audio and visual connection with your baby. The monitor is unobtrusive and chic so why not integrate it with your nursery design? You might be currently baulking at the idea of a flat screen TV in the nursery, but roll on three years and having them watch Peppa Pig in their own space will be a godsend to the rest of the house. Install one early and play Baby Einstein or Mozart in HD quality.

Push Scandi further: Oh those Ikea-fiends and their clean lines. Simplicity and lack of corners in nursery design not only is the current height of vogue but has the added practical bonus that when bubba begins to toddle there are fewer sharp corners to impale themselves upon. Forget plywood curvature though; how about a real forest, complete with wild beasts? We love this hairy rocker from Scandiborn (above) or this chic wooden wall art from Etsy. 

Upcycle: why bring more unnecessary plastic tat into your home when other people’s junk can be the basis of beautiful eco-friendly furniture? Maggie and Rose’s new homeware collection includes a doll’s house made from reclaimed wood and shabby chic chairs – but why not try your hand at DIY as, let’s face it, if it goes wrong it was somebody’s trash anyhow…

Go organic: if the mention of bamboo has you thinking about Dick Van Dyke (and how he never has a bother with it) then check out brands like MORI and Piglet who are creating marvellously snuggly children’s bedding from bamboo and organic cotton.

image: The Sun

Letters play: we love the word art trend (as exemplified when Jools and Jamie Oliver announced their latest arrival, River) – but creating inspirational bon mots on a lightbox is a lovely way to bring subtle lighting into the space occupied by the new light of your life. A Little Lovely Company’s lightboxes can be customised with your own message and are available from MeandBuddy.

Who knows, your future nursery might become the stylish focal point of your home, regardless of the sleep-sapping squawker who resides in it.

This blog post is a part of Design Blogger Competition organised by CGTrader

Clever Clogs Products: The Philips Avent UGrow Smart Baby Monitor

Once upon a dark age (not so long ago really) you kept tabs on your sleeping child by keeping the door open and listening hard. Grandmothers may have tales of ‘we tied a little bell to the blankie, so we’d hear when baby woke up…’

When electronic baby monitors first came out they either meant tuning in to a crackly hiss of white noise (with a sleeping baby masquerading somewhere in the frequency) or some sort of motion setting off a beeping audio so loud that it woke up the next three streets (not to mention the baby).

Thankfully, the Philips Avent UGrow Smart Baby Monitor is nothing like any of these –  it is a high definition monitor  which uses connected technology to monitor sleep and environment, automatically capturing variables such as room temperature and humidity. The uGrow Smart Baby Monitor is app controlled from any Android or iOS device, moving seamlessly between networks to maintain a continuous connection, which gives complete peace of mind to new parents. Its dedicated, user-friendly app also lets you share a video stream with up to ten family members or friends.

In short: if you are at work or you want to check in on the baby sitter you can not only see your child at 720p HD resolution (and if need be change the temperature or lighting), but you can also interact with him. All from your phone or tablet.

“We’re excited to be making such meaningful strides in digital innovation and supporting parents to give their babies the best start in life, setting the stage for healthy futures,” explains Maylis Galeano Do Amaral, Avent Marketing Manager, Philips UK & Ireland.

The Philips Avent uGrow Smart Baby Monitor is available now from Amazon, priced at RRP £180.

SM tests…Philips Avent Grown Up Cup

This unique design not only aids ‘grown up drinking’ but is approved by orthodontists. We tested…

SM tester writes: when these cups arrived my one-and-a-half year old didn’t need telling twice. In fact, he’d already decided he liked the red one best and his four year old brother (who obviously can drink from a normal glass) could have the green one – then he realised there was a picture of a rabbit on both (my son adores rabbits) and he wanted the green one back. 

This was all way before a drink went into them… But lo and behold – not only do these clever cups allow for easy. ‘soft’ sipping on demand but they are COMPLETELY and utterly spill proof. 

Yep – it’s even safe to fill them with milk and let the kids sit on the sofa, or take up to bed without fear of leaks or puddles. And unlike some sippy cups which your toddler might have figured out how to make ‘pour’, honestly, these can even survive being taken on a trampoline (not that we advocate drinking and bouncing at the same time). 

Super easy to clean – just lob in the dishwasher – no tricky little filter parts or bends to clean ’round and there’s a lid if you want to take them on trips (although you actually don’t need it if the cup is upright – I can happily balance one on the dashboard of the car!) 

RRP £8. Buy online here.

Tips for combi feeding from Vicki Scott and Philips Avent

For all those out there who think combi feeding isn’t an option, trust us; it totally is. As seasoned old-timers will tell you, babies and bodies just have a way of figuring it all out – we don’t just feeding choices at all but sometimes it’s nice to give Daddy the bottle…

one of our Dad writers demos his bottle skills...
one of our Dad writers shows his bottle skills…

We’ve always said in our office that there’s not enough decent advice about bottle feeding available, so were pleased when Philips Avent sent through their tips, as created together with midwife and parenting expert Vicki Scott.

  • If you have problems with low milk supply, or have twins then it can be difficult to meet your baby’s demands. Seek help from a breastfeeding advisor to help get your milk supply up, but as an alternative supplementing your baby’s breastfeeds may be necessary. Using some formula milk does not mean the end of breastfeeding, it is quite possible to do both and continue to give baby the benefits of your milk.
  1. In the early months it is a good idea, and sometimes necessary, to express milk at the same time you are giving your baby a bottle. This is to prevent engorgement and to protect your milk supply.
  1. Having all of your feeding equipment ready in advance makes things much easier. Breast pumps, milk storage containers and bottles can all be sterilized in advance, assembled and ready to go for up to 24 hours before being sterilized again for the next use.
  1. It is important to correctly sterilize all your baby’s milk feeding equipment to reduce the risk of milk bacteria related tummy bugs or gastroenteritis. Before each use wash all pieces separately using a separate brush, rinse in clean water and sterilize. Steam sterilization is easy and efficient.
  1. Your breastmilk can be frozen, which makes having a supply of milk ready to use much easier. Express straight into a breastmilk storage container and once the milk has cooled it can then be frozen and stored for up to 3 months in your home freezer.
  1. Always keep breastmilk chilled until your baby is ready to feed, then warm it to body temperature by using a bottle warmer or standing the container in warm water. Take a small flask of warm water if you are out & about and carry milk in a ThermaBag to keep it cool.
  1. Be sure to use the correct teat size for your baby’s needs. If the teat is too slow your baby may become bored or frustrated during his feeds. A teat which is too fast may mean your baby struggles to keep up with the flow of milk, taking in a lot of air as he gulps. The flow should be steady and your baby relaxed during the feed.
  1. If your baby is having a bottle feed then it is a lovely opportunity for dad, or another family member to be involved. Of course bonding happens in many ways but feeding is a very nurturing and special way to interact with baby.
  1. When bottle feeding, hold your baby close in a more upright position than you might for a breastfeed. Hold the bottle at an angle which keeps the teat full of milk, and your baby’s head in a slightly backward tilt so that he can feed comfortably. He will be looking at you intently as you feed him so enjoy this special nurturing time.
  1. When taking a bottle some babies are good at knowing when they need to burp and will push the bottle away with their tongue, or with their hands if they are older! Other babies keep drinking and then are sick so you may need to stop your baby at times during the feed to sit up for a burp.