Make like Meghan and Harry and create a gender-neutral nursery for your new arrival, with sustainable, eco-friendly furniture and plenty of opportunity for imaginative play.
Move over plain walls: bold wallpaper is back. Ariane Goldman, founder of New York- and LA-based pregnancy-apparel brand Hatch, says ‘fun wallpapers’ are being installed in the chicest US nurseries. In the UK, two new brands – Wild Hearts Wonder (wildheartswonder.com) and Bear & Beau (bearandbeau.com) – were both started by mothers and feature whimsical prints. The latter’s Little Bunny wallpaper was inspired by founder Corinne Caddy-Townshend’s daughter telling her, ‘Rabbits make me happy.’ Cute. Or you could try decal stickers. ‘They are removable for when your “threenager” announces their favourite colour’s changed from blue to yellow,’ jokes Nicola Friend of Happy Decs (£19.99 a set, happydecs.co.uk).
Setting up camp
If anything can tempt a toddler who refuses to go to bed upstairs, it’s the thought of setting up a camp. According to Pinterest, searches for house-frame beds are up 90 per cent. This one [pictured] will be available at ooh-noo.com later this year; or try a frame, from £150, and cover, £95, from minimaison.co.uk. Then you can dress it in style, with organic cotton bedding featuring wild woodland themes from The Little Green Sheep (from £24.95, thelittlegreensheep.co.uk), which donates 25p for each item sold from its Wild Cotton range to The Woodland Trust. The charity-supporting Duchess would be pleased.
You don’t need a castle to create a nursery fit for royalty – you just need some ingenuity. Slides, swings, indoor tricycles and woolly-mammoth rocking ‘horses’ all feature in the most inventive playrooms. ‘The slide is all about fun, while also contributing to your little one’s coordination, balance and gross motor skills development – albeit in a stylish way,’ says Grace Tindall, founder of Scandibørn. Rumour has it that Prince George already has this slide in gold.
It has been reported that the Duchess of Sussex has ordered paint from vegan brand Auro for the interiors at Frogmore Cottage. Given her chic Californian style, it’s likely that she’ll be looking for natural finishes throughout.
Rattan furniture, which is highly sustainable and eco-friendly, is also light and portable – as well as being a major interiors trend in the adult world – so it’s the perfect choice for mini-me furniture (bench, £142, Bonton, en.smallable.com; for similar a chair and table, try maisonsdu monde.com).
Parents who practise meditation (including the Duchess) often want their children to feel the benefits, too. Yulia Kovaleva, co-founder of Re:Mind meditation studio, London, says, ‘Being outside and taking part in imaginative play are probably the most meditative activities. You can also set up a calm space at home.’ She soothes her own pre-schooler with salt lamps, pillow sprays and reiki. Set up your own tranquil teepee, then chill out…
New parents will do almost anything for a bit more shut-eye. A recent study in Current Biology found that adults, just like children, slept longer and deeper when rocked to sleep. Sadly just for little ones, the award-winning Leander cradle replicates movement inside the womb. Its designers say that as the baby becomes aware of how to make it rock, they will learn about body development. Once the child has grown out of the cradle, the frame converts into a tepee.