Baby Nursery: Needs, Wants & More
Getting your baby’s nursery together can be quite an arduous affair, for there may be many things that appeal to you as a new parent! Of course, there is no harm in buying lots of nice stuff, but first, let’s take a look at some absolute must-haves for a functional nursery.
A cot or crib will be your baby’s bed until he is two or three years of age. It should be strong and sturdy with no cracks, broken slats or jagged edges. If you are buying a new cot, ensure that it is deep enough to be safe and that the bars are the correct distance apart.
Baby cots should not feature any fancy cut-outs. Neither should they have steps. Regardless if it’s a new or second-hand one, make sure that the distance between each bar is no less than one inch or no more than two and a half inches apart. Tip: You should not be able to fit a soft-drink can between the slats. This prevents your baby’s head from squeezing or slipping through the bars.
Most cots have drop sides and an adjustable base height to make it easier to lift babies in and out as they grow. It is always a good idea to lower the base when babies are old enough to pull themselves up. This will prevent them from trying to climb out. Look out too for models that feature a teething rail, which is a protective plastic coating around the edges, to prevent chances of splinters from chewing.
Crib Mattress and bedding
A mattress should not only be comfortable, but it should also support your child’s growing body and promote good, restful sleep.
Ensure that the crib mattress you choose is specifically made for babies. – It should not be too soft or it may pose a suffocation risk. Additionally, ensure that the mattress is well-fitted for the crib. You should not even be able to fit two fingers between the mattress and the sides of the crib.
You will also need a waterproof mattress pad for it’s cooler and more comfortable than plastic or rubber covers. This is, of course, to protect the mattress from bed-wetting. Cover the pad with cotton fitted sheets and make sure that the sheets fit snugly around the mattress and will not come loose while your child is sleeping.
Nice to have – Changing Table
You will be changing a whole lot of diapers before your baby’s first birthday. Some parents don’t mind doing it on the floor or anywhere else. Others may find that a changing table in the nursery is a good investment. Many changing tables come with their own storage space or shelves.
There are many practical and attractive choices available in the market and you’re sure to find one that suits your needs or lifestyle. Many parents use changing tables well into their child’s second year. If you buy a convertible changing table, it can be transformed into a dresser, etc, and your child can still use it for even longer. Note: Ensure there are protective guardrails at least two inches high on all sides and guarantee that the table is sturdy – try shaking it with your hands.
If you purchase a changing table, it will give you ample storage space for diapering supplies. Stock up on either cloth or disposable diapers and have at least a dozen at an arm’s reach so you’ll never have to take your eyes off baby at anytime while changing those diapers. Other supplies would include nappy rash cream, wet wipes, cotton balls, etc.
Breast pads, breast pumps, nursing pillows and nursing covers are all the essential breastfeeding gear you need when nursing. Keep all these things in the nursery as you will find yourself constantly returning to feed your baby a few times a day. Keep them all in one place for easy access!
A baby monitor is an invaluable addition to your nursery as you will be able to keep tabs on your little one even if you are not in the same room. The baby monitor has the ability to transmit sound and sometimes video, from one room to another. These monitors have two parts – a transmitter and receiver – and are useful for parents who sleep in separate rooms to wake up at night for feeding, changing or comforting.
Most monitors work best from about ten feet from your baby’s crib so that parents can pick up every sigh, gurgle and wail. parents can carry the receiver around the house or leave it plugged by their bed.
Baby closet or cupboard
As a parent, you will be flabbergasted at how many clothes your growing child can go through throughout their childhood. A closet or cupboard is a must-have addition to any nursery and if you choose your item well, it will serve its purpose for years to come.
Storage baskets and hampers
As your child grows, so will his collection of toys and baby-related knick knacks. If you don’t want them all lying around in a mess, then a good storage plan will come in handy.
You’ll find that storage baskets, hampers or containers with lids and labels will come in handy. Use as many as you need to keep the nursery clean, comfortable and neat and reduce the chances of accidents from tripping or stepping on a toy.
Diaper pail with lid
When choosing a diaper pail, remember that your baby will go through quite a number of dirty diapers, so a generously sized pail would be good. Going for larger sized bins will offer the convenience of only emptying the pail only once a day, but do choose one with a lid to keep those unwanted odours from wafting through your home.
Another must-have in any nursery because babies can dirty their clothes as they do their diapers. With spit-ups, vomit, pee, poop and spilled food, you might find yourself changing those tiny garments multiple times a day. With a laundry basket, you can conveniently chuck those soiled outfits into the hamper to be dealt with later.
The reason this handy necessity is on the list is because your baby will be spitting up, vomiting and playing with his or her food nearly every day and you will need these to catch, wipe and mop up all the goo. In fact, you will probably need them morning, noon and night so buy a stack of them and keep these invaluable handkerchiefs nearby.
A night light in the nursery will provide babies and even toddlers the comfort of being able to understand where they are. On the other hand, night lights could also be great for parents as it reduces the chances of tripping on stuff while preparing midnight feeds or while changing their baby’s diaper.
Parents can’t possibly be by their little one’s side all day long, so keep little ones entertained with a little music. Apart from entertainment, sounds will make your child feel more at ease and aid in sleep as comforting songs lull your child to dreamland.
A little Babynomics
There are so many expensive baby items that are sold in department stores but if you take the time to look closer, many of these are not even necessary. There are people in many parts of the world who were able to raise their baby well without the use things like walkers – which are not advised by pediatricians, baby bouncers, and many others. In other words, think carefully about what you really need before making a purchase.
Hand-me-downs and pre-loved items
If saving money is your priority, consider going for hand-me-downs or pre-loved baby items. You can start the ball rolling by informing your friends and relatives that you would appreciate some hand-me-down items if they have any to give or loan to you. Don’t be surprised if you start receiving lots of stuff. Remember, there are a lot of baby stuff that don’t really wear out because they don’t have the opportunity to. Babies tend to grow at a quick pace, and they outgrow their clothes, cribs, etc, really fast. However, there are baby items that have been recalled from the market because these products have been found out to be a potential hazard for the baby. So make sure to check if these items have been categorized as one of those. You can browse the internet and get a list of recalled baby items.
One exception in accepting hand-me-downs is a child’s car seat. Always make sure to buy new ones to avoid future accidents. Otherwise, for other items, consider shopping at thrift stores, online auctions and consignment shops.
Some mothers would prefer hand-me-downs rather than buying new baby clothes since most baby clothes these days are chemically treated. The chemical used on these clothes might be absorbed into the baby’s sensitive skin, and besides we don’t have any idea how this would affect our little ones.
For your consideration: Nursing Chair
A nursing chair may be deemed a luxury item to some, but the fact is, it will make feeding an infant a whole lot more comfortable. Many models available are able to recline into different positions to support a nursing mom’s back with others having a rocking feature to help soothe a nursing baby.
Curtains or blinds
Having curtains and blinds will also help your child sleep or nap better by blocking out any daylight. Of course, they also work wonders to improve the ambiance of your baby’s nursery.
Because infants will spend most of their time on their backs, having a baby mobile will be quite entertaining for a little one. Choose mobiles that have the ability to move, sway and jiggle to catch baby’s attention. Baby mobiles come in hundreds of designs and colours and some even play soothing music.
A baby playgym is a small playmat with an arch or two above it. There are usually small toys suspended from it like baby mobiles. These playgyms come in different colours, textures and sounds to stimulate your little one.
As infants get older, it will be a great place for tummy time as they will get to explore different textures or toys that parents place in front of them. Most baby gyms are suitable to be used from birth.
When it comes to toys, make sure to get the simple ones that stimulate the baby imagination. More often than not, these kinds of toys are the ones that are least expensive. If you have old toys back when you were still a kid, you may bring them out, clean it and give it to your baby. Toys don’t have to be flashy or high end, sometimes all you need is a few good toys and some space where the baby can get entertained with his or her surroundings