If you’d asked me 3 years ago what ‘nesting’ was I’d probably have pointed you in Bill Oddie’s direction. Ask me today, having been through the process twice and you’ll find I have an understanding of this mysterious phenomenon that is only shared by pregnant women and a few ancient holy men of the Himalayas.

In essence, ‘nesting’ is the process of preparing your home for the arrival of a baby but with less twigs and saliva than if you were building an actual nest. To help you find where you sit on this paint stained and splinter ridden journey I’ve broken nesting down into 2 levels:

Level 1
Mostly occupied by seasoned pros, Level 1 is the ‘got the t-shirt’ zone when it comes to nesting. These guys already have all the gear from babies gone by and bear the battle scars of building 12 IKEA Kallax units at 1am on a Sunday. These guys have nothing to prove and they don’t intend to. Dig out the old sterliser, grab box of Mamia nappies, job done.

Level 2
If your other half is going through Level 2 of nesting you’ll know about it. You know that spare time you used to have? Remember watching the mid-day kick off? Yeah, you can forget that, you’ll be swapping your local for the paint matching corner in B&Q. Basically, during Level 3 there is a chemical change that happens in a pregnant woman’s brain where no matter how many years you’ve spent creating your perfect home, in her eyes it immediately turns into a complete dump. 

Unfortunately there’s only 2 levels, it’s all or nothing with this lark.

nursery progress
Stripes. Don’t do it unless you have the patience of Marge Simpson

Regardless of whether or not you’ve recreated the Sistine Chapel on your nursery ceiling there’s a safety aspect to all this nesting malarkey. By making a few relatively inexpensive (bet you’ve not heard that word since finding out you were having a baby) adjustments to your home you can drastically reduce the likelihood of spending four hours in A&E three times a week for the next few years. Here are my top 5 baby/toddler proofing essentials:

Stair Gates
We’ve all seen Prison Break right? Well unless you want a mini Schofield (Michael not Phil) drawing the blueprints to your house across their 2 year old frame with a chunky blue Crayola and breaking out in the middle of the night you’d better invest in a few decent stair gates. We have them at the top and bottom of the stairs to stop Fenh from nipping out to the local Texaco in the middle of the night for a strawberry Yazoo. We also have one on the outside of his bedroom door too stop him from creeping into our room at night. Kate has some pretty sharp reflexes so it’s best no to risk her mistaking him for a burglar. Joking aside, picking the right stair gate is more important than you’d think. You’re going to use it several times a day so if you get one that’s a bit awkward and annoying it’s going to drive you nuts. We’ve had a few and have found the Safety 1st Flat Step Metal Gate to be the best. Easy to fit, very secure and the flat step at the bottom means you won’t stub your toe on the bottom bar and wake the whole house up when creeping up to bed after Match of the Day.

Scofield and T-Bag had no chance of escape this time.

Safety 1st Securtech Flat Step Metal Gate

Foam door stoppers
If, like me, the thought of a toddler trapping their fingers in a door makes you wince so hard you give yourself another permanent wrinkle (I’m now officially a collector) then door stoppers are a must. There are so many different types to choose from but we found the foam ones that fit over the top of the door to be the best. They’re super quick to put on and take off, just stick it over the top of the door and you’re done. The bonus with them being on top of the door means that little hands can’t keep pulling them off.
Foam Door Stoppers

Corner protectors
Another one of those heart in your mouth moments that’s up there with watching your 2 year old trying to juggle with your digital camera, phone and watch is seeing them hurtle towards the corner of the coffee table with their trousers round their ankles. We bought these little rubber covers that stick over the corners of, well, anything with corners and they seem to do the job as long as your kid doesn’t become obsessed with taking them off. It was either these or some sort of foam strip along every piece of wooden furniture in the house and as much as I love watching Total Wipeout, there’s no need to turn the living room into a shrine to it.
Corner Protectors

Plug Socket Protectors
I’m not really sure how you can go wrong here but feel free to educate me. We bought these, they were cheap, they work.
Plug Socket Protectors

Cupboard Child Locks
Now this is a tricky one. To this day I’ve not found a decent cupboard child lock that didn’t make me swear like Malcolm Tucker. There seems to be something infuriating about every single one of them as far as I can tell. At one point we had to resort to using gaffer tape to stop Fenh getting in to the condiment cupboard. For the avoidance of doubt, we gaffer taped the cupboard, not Fenh. So if anyone can let me know of some decent cupboard child locks before Rory starts toddling about I would be very grateful. Otherwise it’s back to having a kitchen that looks like a cross between the Hacienda and an episode of ‘How to Eat Well for Less’. Some fetching Greg Wallace/Factory Records inspired gaffer tape for your perusal below.


Greg Wallace Gaffer Tape

One final piece of advice. If you’re asked to paint stripes in the nursery… Just say no.

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