top 10 must have nursery items
Louise Broadbridge
Louise Broadbridge


It has been a long time since I welcomed my new additions into the world but, having been to my fair share of Baby Shows in recent years, I am all too aware of what a minefield it must be.  Working out what you do and don’t need when you find out you are welcoming your own new addition must be a little overwhelming.

That’s why I jumped at the chance to go on a “Virtual” shopping trip with Ickle Bubba in a bid to ascertain what I think are the top ten items that really are a “must have” if I were to relive my earlier years (God forbid).  I then went off piste to see what other little bits and bobs that I just may purchase.  Guess I will have to wait for Grandchildren - it was a fun exercise nevertheless!

Number 1 - A comfortable feeding chair

First place for me will always be a good feeding chair. When I purchased mine I really thought it was a luxury item. However, it proved to be something that I would have really struggled without. What I loved about mine was that like the Ickle Bubba Eden Deluxe Chair it came with a matching footstool which really helped to make me feel stable and supported. I was also always really worried that I would fall asleep during night feeds if I stayed in bed. Having my feeding chair gave me somewhere comfortable that I could sit during night feeds and I felt that it was a much safer place to feed my babies.

TOP-TIP: I also purchased a nice warm blanket and draped that over the back - just in case I got cold in the night. Some feeding chairs have pocketed sides but if not you could get a caddy organiser to sit by the side. That way you can have muslins, nappies, blankets, TV remote all to hand!

Number 2 - Bedside Crib

I remember when Mr Keithy put our cot bed together thinking how small it was. I was amazed a few weeks later when I actually placed my tiny son in his cot just how big it must have felt to him. Having a smaller sleeping space for him really helped him to settle. I actually used a Moses basket but, that was over 20 years ago and bedside cribs are a much more popular choice nowadays. The Bubba & Me Bedside Crib allows you to be close enough that you can reach over and touch your baby whilst still providing them with their own safe sleeping environment. This particular bedside crib has 7 different positions so that you can ensure it is adjusted to the correct height for your baby.

Number 3 - Cot Bed

Knowing that I wanted to have more than one baby, I knew that buying a standard cot which is smaller and not convertible to a bed would be a false economy. Therefore a “Cot Bed” was a more practical option for me as it can convert into your toddler’s first bed when the time comes. I absolutely love the Snowdon Classic Cot Bed, namely because of the drawer underneath. I like things to be tidy so the integrated under-bed drawer is an added bonus.

Number 4 - Mattress

Sadly, cots rarely come with mattresses as part of the package so you will need to decide what type of mattress you want to go for. Anyone that attends my antenatal classes will know that I am all for saving a buck or two and not spending money on things you will regret. That said, safe and comfortable sleep is the one thing that I would never scrimp on. Therefore I would advise you to buy the best (not necessarily most expensive) mattress you can buy.

The Ickle Bubba All Seasons Pocket Sprung Mattress provides different options for each season and is also pocket sprung but surrounded by dent resistant foam which will help the mattress to retain its shape during the four years your baby / toddler will be using it! Anything that helps your baby to be comfortable and sleep well is a definite “must have!). Another benefit with this particular mattress, is that at £89 it is less likely to break the bank.

Number 5 - Cot bed sheets

You are definitely going to need a few more than one of these in your drawers. Babies are messy little things that seem to make everything wet or dirty, one way or another. Check out Ickle Bubba’s 2 Pack Cot Bed Sheets. Fitted is the all-important element when thinking about the bedding you are using for your baby. You want to avoid sheets that can come loose and pose a risk that baby could get tangled. These are perfect to accompany your cod bed mattress. I would personally make sure I had four cot bed sheets: one for on the mattress, 1-2 spare and clean ready to go and one in the wash!

Number 6 - Sleep Monitor

So all this shopping had me looking for EVERYTHING I may need and, whilst Ickle Bubba have lots of lovely things, I do know that I would want to buy a sleep monitor. It is really important to note that the presence of a sleep monitor is not a substitute for following safe sleep guidelines however, I do think that they can offer some peace of mind to parents and know that I would want one! I would want to have a monitor that included a camera so that I could see my baby easily if I wasn’t in the room. The Owlet is a great piece of kit which sends a message straight to your phone to notify you if baby needs checking for any reason. The Camera can be used with or without the smart sock which tracks baby's heart and oxygen. So, if you are looking for a comprehensive sleep monitor system this one is definitely worth considering.

Number 7 - Changing Board / Table

It only took a few times of trying to change Jack’s nappy on the bed that I realised I needed somewhere a bit more practical. Not just because he always seemed to squirm more after a “poonami” resulting in my having to change my bed as well as his bottom. We were short on space in our little house so settled with a changing board that fit neatly on to the top of his cot bed. Just like the Ickle Bubba Cot Top Changer, my board enabled us to change bottoms at a comfortable height and it was also really easy to store away when the cot was in use.

Had I had more space available, I would have bought a unit like the Snowdon Changing Unit. Like I said, I like things to be organised and this unit would have allowed me to have nappies, wipes, vest, baby grows and all the other paraphernalia that I needed right there when I needed it. I also like this from a safety point of view as it stopped you having to stretch away from baby to grab things that are just a little out of reach!

Whichever of these you buy you will also need a mat to slot on top. Check out the Ickle Bubba range here.

Number 8 - Nursing Pillow

The first few days getting to know your baby and work out the best position can be a little tricky (and uncomfortable). I had both my babies by Caesarean section so found it quite uncomfortable having them laying directly on my tummy. One kick could really take my breath away in those first couple of weeks. I had the pleasure of propping the bed pillows all around me but, this did make me hot and sweaty. I actually have a Bbhug me pregnancy pillow on my bed and love it. I can only imagine that their smaller nursing pillow is just as lovely. The cover is easily removable and you can also purchase an additional cover for when the other is in the wash!

Number 9 - Night light / noise machine

I have to be honest, I’m not a fan of toys or teddies that attach to sides of cots but do recognise that babies respond well to certain types of noise. So I absolutely love this fab product that literally covers all bases! The Crane Drop 4-in-1 Humidifier not only works hard to keep the air in your home at a healthy humidity level helping to give instant relief from cold and flu symptoms but it works as a night light AND sound machine! An additional bonus is the aroma tray which you can add soothing essential oils to.

Number 10 Teething Rails

It is amazing how quickly those pesky toothy pegs appear, and just how much damage they can do to your lovely cot bed. The money you spend on teething rails will pay you back in the long run if you ever come to see your lovely cot bed because you can remove the rails and sell in perfect condition. A definite one that would have been on my wish list! You can get these on Amazon!

All products featured in this The Honest Midwife article have been independently selected by The Honest Midwife, Louise, herself. There is no affiliate payment made with any purchase that you make when clicking through to the brands included. However, for the purpose of this article the products were gifted to Let’s Talk Birth and Baby for prior approval.

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