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I’ve never been tempted to find out whether we’re expecting a little girl or a little boy.

Probably largely because my siblings and I were all raised without the expectations that seem to have become the norm. Regardless of our sex we all played in the mud, we all played with dolls, we all loved camping, swimming in rivers, building dens, putting on plays and pushing the dogs around in prams (in fact one of our favourite games was Dog Hospital, our bullmastiff would be tucked into bed with a bandaged head and as the doctor on duty I would rush in, use my stethoscope and tell my little brother (the attending nurse) that “I need 50ccs of TLC, STAT!” and we’d cuddle the dog until he got better, much to his bemused delight). There was never a case of not being allowed to do something because my sister and I were girls, and no-one would blink an eye at one of my brothers carefully bottle feeding a doll. We were encouraged to be equally brave, equally gentle and for that I will always be grateful to my wonderful parents.

It’s something I hope to emulate in my own parenting and just one of the reasons I don’t need to know who we’re expecting, I just hope that they’ll be happy.

People find this quite odd. Everyone, and I mean everyone from baristas to shop assistants to strangers in supermarket to old friends, all want to know “what are you having, a boy or a girl?” and are quite flabbergasted when I reply “a surprise! Hopefully a baby…” Their main concern seems to be shopping, how can we possibly prepare for the arrival without knowing whether to buy pink or blue things? How can we decorate the nursery without knowing? Some even insist it’s rude because our friends and family won’t know what gifts to buy.

But as a girl who loves blue, I can’t say that I mind!

“Gender neutral” doesn’t need to mean grey, it could mean all the colours of the rainbow, it could even mean…*pause for effect*… pink! Or blue!

You get to make up the rules as you go along. And I can’t tell you how much fun I’m having setting up our little one’s new nest.

Classic nursery tour

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It’s still very much a work in progress as we’re waiting for a few bits and bobs to arrive (and it doesn’t matter how many amazon packages arrive, I still think of other things I’ve forgotten every day!)

But it seems to be coming together into the most delightfully calming space.

Classically neutral nursery

Cream upholstered cot (which converts into a bed as baby grows up) – US version here

Cot skirt // Mattress // Bedding

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Upholstered crib in a cream and white nursery

Mum was adamant that I stick to tradition and trim the cot with my wedding veil, but I didn’t want to risk it getting damaged and dropping beads.

So found the most delicious alternative by Monique Lhullier, complete with Grecian crown. (US version here.)

Monique Lhullier nursery

I was tempted to go wild with chinoiserie wallpaper, but refrained and opted for classic illustrations from the V&A archives, as removable decals that we can switch up and change as our little one grows and finds their own interests.

The Moses basket is a place holder for a woven changing mat coming from Ghana.

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Resting on the most fabulous chest of draws & changing table. Stuffed full of nappies, creams, ointments, muslin cloths & everything else we could feasibly need! (My full list is here, if you missed it.)

I’ve gone rather mad stocking up on muslins for swaddling, blankets, burping, etc. and have been particularly taken with how thick and sumptuously soft these bamboo ones are, and they feed my citrus craving beautifully!

The cloud shelves keep the probiotic baby products handy for me but out of reach of little paws.

And work to hang “onesie du jour” from when dressing in the morning.

And I do love a good onesie!

I’ve stocked up on lots of simple “newborn” ones and then a few more fun ones in varying sizes. Combined with mum’s furious knitting production, this baby isn’t going to be short of things to wear!

Oh, and there are a lot of stripes!

I’m particularly enjoying putting together a little library of bed time stories.

Nursing chair (US version)

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Pillow // Side table

Sensory books for baby to grab and some old classics…

…that are as much for our benefit as theirs!

Bunny side lamp // Bunny lamp shade

It’s already become my favourite place in the house to sit and relax.

Rocking away and wondering who will be with us when the daffodils bloom in Hyde Park…

Whoever it is, I have no doubt they’re going to rock our world!

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