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Emelia Jackson’s top picks for the baby's nursery

As a first-time mum, 2020 Masterchef winner Emelia Jackson knows how daunting it can be to deck out a new nursery and get everything ready for bub’s arrival. We asked her about the must-have items she couldn’t live without, as well as gift ideas and tips on styling her nursery into a safe and functional space.

As a new mum, what are the top items that you couldn't live without?

A bassinet next to my bed – I ummed and ahhhed about needing one, thinking the bub could just go into the cot. But not having to get up and go far in the middle of the night to feed her was a lifesaver.

I also love layering a playmat and sheepskin for her to play on and have her tummy time on. It’s important to me that she’s comfortable, especially during tummy time, which she naturally hates.

What is the most important thing you look for when selecting products for Addie and yourself?

For Addie, I am always looking for products that will last – they grow so quickly so I try to buy things that she can use for a few years. The playmat, for example, will be with her for a long time – we may have even used it for picnics once or twice ourselves!

I am also really into natural fibres and things that won't overwhelm her senses, like high contrast toys hanging from a simple play gym for her to focus on.

Do you have any tips to create a well-styled but safe and functional space?

Simple is best for the nursery. Babies are really easily overstimulated, so I like to keep the room quite neutral – a beautiful, plush sheepskin, a natural linen playmat with jungle gym and her little rocking horse for a little flair (something for her to look forward to playing with!)

Do you have any tips for incorporating the overall style of the house into the nursery?

It can be difficult; my house is quite art deco in features and Addie’s room came with quite a bold wallpaper, so I was conscious of not adding in too much contrasting colour and keeping the styling quite neutral. The cot ties in with the wardrobes and chest of drawers and I think it works well with the forest-themed wallpaper.

Now that you've had Addie, what would you say the perfect gift is for a new or expecting mum, and young baby?

I have a few opinions on this! Don’t buy newborn-sized clothes for a new mama – she’ll already have loads and babies grow so fast. Always go for a bigger size, and think of the season that will match the baby's age when buying. This one is controversial, but skip the flowers! Although I absolutely adore flowers, I got SO many when I had Addie that I ran out of space (and vases) to put them all.

I've just discovered The Baby Focus rattle which would make a wonderful gift, as it attaches to your phone and helps you capture special memories with your new bub. And finally, my number one top tip: never visit a new Mumma without bringing a meal – frozen lasagna, soup or just a loaf of bread is so appreciated in those delicate first few weeks.

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