Shopping for a baby nursery will be an experience- where you will feel you need everything in the store. But honestly, babies need only a few basic things right, and everything else is not required, but nice to have perhaps. Or nice to have because you like that stuff. That’s why we’d want you to focus on nursery essentials first before you end up bringing the entire store home!
15 Must Have Nursery Essentials
When you are planning your baby’s nursery, there are so many things to take care of, from the nursery décor to the essentials. Even the tiniest detail matters. This will be the room where you nurse and care for your baby. Hence it is important know the nursery essentials before you bring your baby home from the hospital.
Bringing a little life into this world carries a lot of responsibilities. Parents plan for their baby’s birth from the time they hear the good news. When you go shopping for your baby’s nursery, everything will seem indispensable, but is mostly avoidable. Babies only need a few basics things, and that’s a fact.
As for aesthetics, having a gender-neutral nursery with pastel colour walls is the trend most parents follow nowadays. You may also paint animals or cartoons on the walls to bring more colour into the nursery. As for must have nursery items, here is a nursery essentials list that all parents should abide by:
1. Cribs and bassinets
The first thing that comes to mind is your baby’s bedding. For your baby’s sleeping needs, both cribs and bassinets are good options. Cribs and bassinets are the most important piece of furniture that your baby will need. They create a safe environment for your baby to sleep in. Cribs, also known as cradles are bigger in size and can be used by your baby till 3 years of age.
Bassinets, on the other hand, are good for your baby for the first few months. The best thing about them is that they are portable. You can take your baby to other rooms and keep them close to you. Bassinets are also ideal for smaller rooms.
2. Nursery essentials -crib sheets
Crib sheets are a bedding essential for the nursery. Crib sheets come in light and breathable fabrics that keep the baby’s body cool. They also prevent any dust or allergens from penetrating your baby’s skin. In cases of any leakage from diapers, it is easy to clean by just removing the sheet. Crib sheets help in creating a clean and hygienic environment for your baby.
Grab a few crib sheets so that they can be washed and reused without much fuss. Opt for soft, breathable fabric and no add-on decorations. Go for the ones that are machine-washable.
3. Waterproof mattress protector
Placed under crib sheets, a waterproof mattress protector is the added layer of protection that your mattress needs. While your baby would be on diaper, you’d also be giving some diaper free time to your baby. And that’s when the baby tends to enjoy taking a leak in fresh air and on a clean bedding.
Having a wet mattress after every spillage isn’t what you would want for your baby. A waterproof mattress protector, also known as a mattress pad, prevents any liquid from transferring onto your mattress, which also helps in extending the longevity of the mattress.
4. Diaper changing table
When you need to change your baby’s diaper, you need fresh diapers, wipes, cream, powder and what not. An average baby uses 8-12 diapers per day, making diaper changing a frequent chore for parents. A diaper changing table gives you space to place your baby and change his diapers without any hassle.
You need to carry all the stuff with you when changing a baby diaper, a diaper changing table helps in storing all your diaper supplies at one place. So you save time having to look for them all over the place. Some diaper changing tables come with three-four sets of drawers for extra storage. Well, any storage is less storage with a baby!
5. Changing pad
If you are buying a changing table, you’ll need a changing pad too. The surface of changing tables is smooth and you don’t want your baby sliding away when you are changing his diaper. Hence, having a changing pad or a changing mat will furnish a comfortable surface for your baby while you are changing its diaper.
Look for the ones that have better grip and won’t slip or fall or roll. Some of them come with safety straps as an added safety measure.
6. Baby monitor
As much as you may want to be around your baby, it may not be always possible. A baby monitor watches over your baby for you. When your baby wakes up or cries, the baby monitor will alert you so that you will be there whenever your baby needs you. There are many baby monitors, also known as baby cams which have a video streaming facility. Some of them come with two-way communication feature as well.
You can watch over your child on the screen from time to time while you are finishing up other chores in the house. Keep a watch on them when they are sleeping or just having baby-time in the nursery and you are working on something else.
7. Night light
A night light is one of the nursery essentials, especially for your baby’s sleeping needs. Babies take some time to be lulled off to sleep. However, if they are in a room with regular lights, it may take longer as the brightness of the lights can irritate their eyes.
Dim lights create an appeasing environment for your baby to sleep. Night lights also help in easily putting your baby back to sleep when they get up in the middle of the night.
8. Storage hampers
Apart from clothes, your baby is going to need a ton of other things including, burp cloths, towels, diapers, sheets, socks, etc. Though little, babies need a lot, lot more things than an adult and their clothes and accessories can take up a lot of your space.
Having a separate storage hamper to store these things can be really helpful. You can keep all things in a sorted way. Each time you need another burping cloth or a sheet, you know where to go. Look for ones that have lots of small spaces and take lesser space in your nursery.
9. Nursery essentials – rocking chair
A nursery is incomplete without a rocking chair for the parents- an absolute nursery essential. During the times when you are putting your baby to sleep, a rocking chair will set the perfect motion that will calm your baby and lull him to sleep.
You may also use the rocking chair when you are breastfeeding your baby or having some alone time to connect with him. It offers a good snuggling time! Whatever be the case, a nursery is incomplete without a rocking chair for the parent.
10. Book shelves
New-borns are attracted to sounds. They smile cheerfully when their parent talks to them. It is said that reading to babies is one of the best ways to help them develop communication skills. From patterns to touch and feel and fold-outs there are many, many types of books to spark your baby;s interest in them.
Reading to them regularly can also help them form words and start talking at an earlier age. Having a reader as a child is perhaps one of the best things. Having book shelves for storing all the books and more is a must have nursery essential.
If you are living in a place with dry climate, you may need a humidifier. During winters, babies are more prone to having dry skin. This is because of lack of humidity. Air conditioning too, can dry the humidity of the room leaving your baby to wake up hungrier and thirstier than usual.
A humidifier classifies as being a nursery essential because it goes a long way in keeping your baby happy and healthy. You can opt for warm-mist humidifiers or cool-mist ones depending on your preference.
12. Nursery rugs
You will need nursery rugs from both an aesthetic and a functional point of view. Nursery rugs will pull the entire décor of your nursery together. It’s just the thing you need to make those small details evolve in the room. From a functional point of view, when your baby starts crawling, having a rug would prevent your baby’s knees from getting grazed.
13. Noise machine
Babies are attracted to light and pleasing sounds. A good noise machine will act as a boon when you have too many chores to do. A noise machine will phase out the outdoor sounds like traffic jams, construction, etc. and will give your baby a sounder sleep.
By incorporating a noise machine in your baby’s sleep routine, you can also help your baby sleep for longer and uninterrupted hours. However, do note that pediatricians recommend that any white noise machines should be placed at least 7 feet away (200 cm) from your baby’s crib.
Imagine your baby sleeping during the day, only to wake up after a few minutes because of the reflection from the windows. Curtains help in keeping the heat and sunlight out of the room so that your baby can sleep peacefully.
Opt for blackout curtains in bright colours and interesting patterns that will attract your little one’s attention. Babies tend to sleep a lot during the initial days, so block out all the light that can disrupt your little one’s sleep.
15. Toy storage box(es)
When you bring your baby home, your friends and relatives are going to gift you toys more than anything else. You will have toys everywhere, literally. As your baby grows older, you will find yourself picking up toys from everywhere. It only makes sense to have some toy boxes or toy storage chests so that they can be all put in one place.
Keeping your baby’s toys on the here and there, on the floor or bed can unnecessarily cause accidents like tripping. It is better to store them in a toy box so that it’s easier to take out when needed. Try having ones that can be easily accessed by your baby once he starts to navigate and walk.
While choosing nursery essentials for your baby, it is important to make sure that the products are of good quality. Synthetic products aren’t baby friendly and hence you must ensure that whatever you purchase, is non-toxic and consists of a breathable fabric. With parenting, there will always be a lot of decisions to make. Don’t panic or overthink. Go with what you feel is the best for your baby.