Planning the nursery can be challenging, especially for first-time parents. There are endless choices out there when it comes to colours and themes, not to mention the umpteen options when it comes to furniture and accessories. All parents know they need the basics, but how do they pull them all together and create that special look they want?
Coordinate, create a Pinterest page and maybe even a scrap book to keep all nursery ideas together. Once expecting parents get out shopping, they may find that something they thought they loved, they actually don't need or don't like. With time ticking by before the little one makes their debut, they'll feel pressure to get it done.
New parents want the necessities, a few niceties, and they don't want anything that is unnecessary and will take up valuable space. When parents plan wisely, spend wisely, they'll be amazed at what they can pull off! So here are 15 things expecting parents need in their nursery before the baby comes.
15 Convertible Crib
There are a lot of things to buy when you're expecting, and one of the bigger purchases will be the crib. Many of today's cribs can often be converted into a toddler bed later on, and even into a standard twin-sized bed when they are old enough. Look for a crib that has these options so you can really extend the life of your crib well into childhood.
Best of all, these cribs come in a variety of colors and materials. You can even find some with rounded shapes if you're not stuck on the convertible thing, but if you are, think about what you have in mind down the road once you child leaves toddlerhood behind. In this case, durability will become important to you as well.
14 Changing Pad
Forget buying an actual changing table, because you will only be able to use it the first year or two. Instead, opt for a changing pad that fits comfortably on top of a dresser - that way, you can continue to use the dresser after your child has grown out of needing a changing table.
Look for one that has a removable changing pad cover to make cleanup easier (and maybe register for a spare cover in times of dirty necessity). You will also want one that has a safety belt on it (most of them do) to ensure that your little one doesn't roll off of the changing area.
Another idea is to use it on the floor and keep it in the closet until you need it. That way, no matter what age your baby is, you know they'll be safe from rolling off the dresser top or change table.
It may seem like a nicety, but a mobile can help soothe a cranky baby to sleep or back to sleep if he or she wakes up. There are tons of options when it comes to mobiles, from ones that spin and play music to those that have lights, emit calming nature sounds, or even those that project white noise.
There are also lots of creative homemade mobile ideas on sites like Pinterest (which can be especially useful if you have a really unique nursery theme). Some of these are so easy, that even if you don't think you have a creative bone in your body, you should be able to pull these off with ease.
There's nothing worse than fumbling around in the middle of the night in a darkened nursery, so ensure that you have some light options in there. This could be as simple as a fixture on a dimmer, a small side lamp, or even a not-too-bright nightlight. Make sure it has an LED bulb so that you can always keep it on (without paying a crazy electric bill).
Look for a whimsical luminary that matches the theme of the nursery. Online you can find an abundant supply of nightlight covers and cute lamps. Once you make your purchase try to place them in the room where they will offer ample light in the darkness, but won't be so near to the crib that they interfere with your baby's ability to get to sleep or go back to sleep.
11 Rocking Chair
You are going to spend a lot of time putting your baby to sleep, calming baby, feeding baby, etc, and you will want a great chair to do all those things in. Look for a comfortable chair that rocks and even has an ottoman - some moms and dads like standard wood rocking chairs, while others lean more toward traditional arm chairs.
This is something that can grow with the child, and can be moved into a living area after it has done its time in the nursery. One of the greatest things about getting a rocking chair that will eventually move out of the abby's room, means that you will be able to choose one that's not only comfortable to sit in, but also looks great.
Make an effort to try out each rocking chair you like, that way you can sort the ones that don't meet all your standards from the ones that do. Afterward you'll have one tough choice to make, but you know you'll like the chair regardless of what one you actually buy.
10 Blackout Curtains or Shades
While you'll want to be able to let the light into your child's nursery, you will also want to be able to keep the light out, and the best way to do that is by using blackout curtains or window shades. Some babies are very sensitive to light, meaning it could affect their sleep and overall mood. Think about how much light plays a role in wakefulness, and you'll see how essential these are.
Many companies have a wide selection of blackout curtains, but if you have your eye on some curtains that don't have the blackout feature, you can always pair your curtains with shades and use both to keep the light out when you're putting your baby down for sleep int heir room. You'll be grateful that you installed these in your nursery.
9 Bins or Baskets
Yes, you'll want lots (and lots) of bins and baskets to make organizing your nursery all the easier. Babies have a lot of stuff, from teeny tiny socks and washcloths to toiletries, diapers, toys, and more. If you have several clearly-labelled bins, baskets and containers, it will make accessing and cleaning up these items all the easier (and, as a new parent, you want "easy" as much as possible!)
If you go on Pinterest and see the level of closet game some new parents have, you'll be inspired to recreate these masterpieces in your own home. Many of these organized parents use baskets and bins to keep items they use the most at their fingertips, but neatly contained in a bin so it's easy to pull out and easy to put away. And it always looks nice and clean, now who doesn't want that?
8 Outlet Covers
True, a newborn is not going to play with electrical outlets or won't be able to close his or her hands in a door... yet. Buy a safety combo pack that includes various kid-proofing products (outlet covers, door knob covers, toilet lock, and so on) and put them in place from the get-go. It will be one less thing to worry about as your child gets older and becomes mobile.
It's easy to lose track of doing these important things once you get home with the baby and try to find some stable way of being a family of 3 or more. If you already have safety measures in place, it doesn't hurt to look up and see if the safety measures you have in place are good enough.
These little items also make great items for your baby registry.
7 Stuffed Animal Hammock
Your little one will likely receive a number of stuffed animals, either at your baby shower, in the hospital, or at home as visitors come with gifts in tow. And where do you put all those stuffies? No, not in the crib, as they are extremely dangerous to newborns. You'll want to hang a stuffed animal hammock so that you have a neat and orderly place to display all of their new friends.
A hammock would nicely complement a room that is decorated in a jungle theme or ocean theme. If you don't like the look of a stuffed animal hammock, IKEA sells hammocks that hang in the closet and have multiple places to hold a variety of different sized stuffed animals.
6 Baby Hangers
This might seem like a silly thing, but it's not to be overlooked when buying things for your nursery. It can sometimes be easier to hang your infant's clothes rather than pile (and lose) tiny items in a drawer, but standard hangers won't fit into mini clothes. So stock up on some smaller, scaled-down baby hangers. You can usually find these everywhere, including the dollar store.
Some stores will sell the hanger with the clothes you purchase on them. So if you're asked if you want the hangers at the store, just say yes, you can always recycle them when you're done using them. Even if you don't think you'll need them, pick up one pack and see how much you're using them. If you see you're using them a lot, pick up more, if you're not really using them, then you've only got one pack.
5 Video Monitor
Yes, they are pricier than the audio monitors, but trust us, you want to invest in this handy gadget so that you can see your baby too. It eliminates the need to stealthily creep into your infant's nursery to check on them, and down the line, when you are sleep training or (worse yet), your child is trying to play Houdini and escape from their crib, you'll be grateful you have a video monitor. It's a worthwhile investment.
If you don't want to invest too much, you might be able to find a camera that you can wirelessly hook up to your cell phone through an app. Through the app you can check your phone at any time, from anywhere. So if you go on a date night, you can check on your baby while you're out.
4 Extras (blankets, washcloths, and burpees)
New moms and dad need lots (and we mean lots) of extras, from blankets and washcloths to burpees, sheets, onesies, and even socks. It's amazing how quickly you will go through these items on a daily basis, especially in those first few months. So stock up! Register for lots of these snuggly necessities.
And if you feel a little overwhelmed at the thought of needing so much, just remember, you've got baskets and bins to put all your extras in, but realistically, they'll mostly spend the majority of their time in the dirty laundry pile.
These are more items that you can list on your registry, because you know that you'll need a lot of them.
Time flies when you're raising an infant, and weeks turn into months in the blink of an eye. So make sure that you have a few keepsake items, such as a handprint/footprint frame, baby book, and other mementos so you'll always be able to remember how sweet and tiny they were.
You'll want to write things down soon after they happen because as time goes on, you might find it hard to remember everything that has gone on. Once you become a parent, time flies so fast that you'll find it hard to keep up with what you're baby is doing.
Even after you've recorded all the precious moments, you might find that you have a favorite outfit or shoes that you plan to set aside and keep for when your little one once they grow up.
2 Garbage Can/Diaper Pail
A minor oversight, but extremely important to have on-hand, you will definitely want a garbage can or diaper pail in your nursery. Stinky diapers should not be thrown into the regular garbage (you'll understand why in about a day's time), so you'll want something that's easy to get to (and easy to dispose of).
Breastfed babies' poop smells less than that of formula fed babies, but regardless, dirty diapers stink and you'll definitely want them out of your house. Diaper Genie is a type of pail that comes with special bags that seals the dirty diapers and coils them for easy disposal.
For cloth diapers, it's best to have a pail full of soapy water ready to receive your dirty diapers. Once you've got a pail full, throw them into your laundry tub and wash away. What ever you choose to do, make sure you've got your diaper pail ready.
1 Laundry Hamper
Again, accessibility is key in a nursery, so have a laundry basket just for your little one's dirty clothes. You will likely want to wash your baby's laundry separately than the rest of the household, and it will be much easier to handle and organize when it's separate.
Not to mention, you'll maybe even want to buy the special laundry soap for your baby's clothes. The special brand of soap is delicate enough for your baby and won't irritate their skin.
You might feel like all you do is clean clothes at the beginning, but it slows down and starts getting hectic again once your baby learns how to eat solids. Then those messy clothes become stained, unless you have killer stain removal game, then it probably won't be so bad.