Preparing a nursery is one of the most fun parts of getting ready for a new baby, whether it’s your first one or not. While you might think some things that you’ll need are a no-brainer, it’s easy to overlook some essentials. Blame “baby brain”! Keep reading for a checklist of what your nursery needs to welcome your little one. You may find some things you didn’t think of yet!
A crib is a key piece of furniture for your baby’s nursery. Cribs can be really versatile these days, with pieces that convert to a toddler bed and then a “big kid” bed. Make sure that whichever crib you use meets current safety standards. Think long-term when making this purchase: If you’re going to be looking at it as your child’s bedroom furniture for 15 or 20 years, you want to really, really like it.
An important part of your baby’s nursery is a special spot for you to sit while doing feedings and cuddling before bed. You’ll want a comfortable place to sit. Consider a rocker; it can be soothing for both of you. Choose a rocker with comfortable cushions. Some chairs have runners, while other wooden rocking chairs have plush padding. Gliders are also a popular choice. Think about washability of the fabric. The height of the armrests can also make a big difference in your comfort. Also, make sure the height of the chair is appropriate for your height: It will be uncomfortable for you if you can’t rest your feet on the ground.
A nightlight can give you just enough light to take care of middle-of-the-night diaper changes and feedings. Dim light will also help keep your baby from waking up too fully, making it hard for them to go back to sleep. You can choose a small lamp with a weak bulb, but I like tiny plug-in nightlights, myself.
In my book, a baby monitor isn’t an essential; however, it can make a huge difference to your peace of mind. Personally, I would prefer to hear what’s going on with my child when I’m in another room, especially if I have other children, too: It’s so easy for little ones to get into mischief, even when they’re just wanting to help. I remember the time my sister climbed back into the crib with my newborn brother when we were all kids… imagine if my mom had had a baby monitor back in the day!
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
They might not be cute or your first thought when getting a baby’s nursery ready, but smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can save your child’s life. In some communities, installing these important safety devices is the law. Check with your municipality to determine what laws apply; in my town, the law dictates that homes must have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and each bedroom must have a smoke detector. A good rule of thumb is to change the batteries on smoke and carbon monoxide detectors when you turn the clocks forward or back each spring or fall.
I always think a diaper pail comes in handy in the middle of the night most of all. Who wants to stumble around finding the garbage can in the dark? Who wants to leave soiled diapers sitting around until sunrise? Stash a small wastebasket next to your changing table or pad, and toss those dirty diapers right away. If you’re concerned about odor, choose a sealed diaper disposal system. Either way, make it easy on yourself at night: Both you and baby need your sleep!