Top 20 Nursery Must-Haves
Yes, preparing for your dream nursery can be such a stressful affair. Parents would like to provide a stunning, awe-inspiring baby room but often times, budget and lack of funds will not permit. Although it is tempting to buy hundreds of products your baby may not even need, parents are encouraged to stick to only the must-haves while maintaining personal standards and tastes. If you are flabbergasted and cannot figure out what the essentials are, here are some suggestions on what makes a perfectly functioning nursery.
Baby Crib/ Cot
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 which is no less than one inch or no more than two and a half inches apart. Think about it this way, 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 your baby in and out as he or she grows. It is always a good idea to lower the base when babies are old enough to pull themselves up, so they stay secure. Lastly, many cots come with a teething rail, which is a protective plastic coating around the edges, to prevent chewing and chances of splinters.
A mattress not only makes sleep and naptime cosier, it also supports your child’s growing bones and keeps him or her safe. Make sure that you choose crib mattresses specifically made for babies because sleeping surfaces for adults and older children may be too soft and may result in suffocation hazards. Additionally, ensure that the mattress fits tightly in the crib. In fact, you should not even be able to fit two fingers between the mattress and the sides of the crib. Apart from that, other things to consider when buying a mattress include – cost, comfort and durability.
You will need a flannel-backed, waterproof mattress pad which is safer, cooler and more comfortable than plastic or rubber covers. This is, of course, to protect the mattress from bed-wetting that will happen when your child graduates from diapers. 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. Although it is tempting to purchase warm-looking blankets, it is a suffocation hazard and strongly linked to sudden infant death syndrome. If you do decide to use a blanket, choose a thin one and tuck it securely around the foot and sides of the mattress, reaching only to your baby’s chest. Also, tuck the blanket under your infant’s arms, not the chin.
You will be changing hundreds of diapers by your baby’s first birthday, so why would you cheap out and change your baby on the floor? If you have the cash and space in your nursery for a changing table, it will be a solid investment as there are many well-designed, practical and attractive choices available. In fact, many parents use changing tables well into their child’s second year, and if you buy a combination dresser and changing table, you can use it in the nursery for years. Ensure there are protective guardrails at least two inches high on all sides and to guarantee that the table is sturdy – try shaking it with your hands. Next, you will appreciate tables with storage space for diapers, wipes and creams and opt for those where you should not have to bend or take your eyes off your baby when accessing these items. Lastly, opt for versatility when buying a changing table. With combination dressers, it can be used to store clothes, bedding and toys long after your child has graduated from diapers.
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 arm’s reach. This way, you need not walk about seeking diapering supplies as well. In fact, why not keep an extra lot of creams, powders and wet wipes in your changing table’s pigeon holes too?
A breastfeeding chair is designed to provide a comfortable place to feed your infant. Most recline into different positions to support your back with others having a rocking feature to help soothe your baby. Although it can be pricey, many mothers have proclaimed that it may be one of the comfiest chairs that help relieve backaches and induce well-needed naps. Babies will also appreciate nursing chairs because little ones associate the chair with feeding, cuddling and bonding before bedtime. If mums would rather not purchase this piece of furniture, any chair will be a great addition to your nursery as long as it is comfortable and easy to nurse on.
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. 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. For best results, place monitors within ten feet of your baby’s crib so you can pick up every sigh, gurgle and wail. You can carry the receiver around the house or leave it plugged by your bed.
Baby closet or cupboard
As a parent, you will be flabbergasted at how many clothes your growing child can go through throughout their little lives. In fact, especially if parents are fashionistas who love to dress up their children. 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
Like your child’s many clothes, you will have tons of toys and baby-related bibs and bobs lying around the house. As your child grows older, more stuff accumulates and you will find it difficult to put things away without storage baskets. Try to keep the nursery clean, comfortable and neat with enough baskets because it will be less of an eye soar and of course, reduce the chances of accidents.
Diaper pail with lid
Just like a rubbish bin in your kitchen, picking a large diaper pail will be extremely convenient– considering that babies will go through dozens of of diapers a day. Go for those with a lid to keep those stinky smells intact and not wafting through your home. Apart from that, going for larger sized bins will offer the convenience of only emptying the pail once a day.
Yes, this is a definite must-have in any nursery because babies can dirty clothes just like they dirty diapers. With spit-ups, vomit, pee, poop and spilled food, you will see yourself regularly changing his or her garments multiple times a day. With a laundry basket, you can conveniently chuck those soiled outfits into the hamper and think about it later if you are too busy to do a load of laundry.
Curtains or blinds
Your infant’s skin and eyes are very sensitive to sunlight. Although a little bit of sunlight is good, it is best to reduce direct beams as it could lead to heat rash or sunburn. Having curtains and blinds will also help your child sleep or nap better and, of course, improve the ambiance of any room.
A baby mobile is a hanging structure that supports toys and objects that can stimulate your little one. Because infants will spend most of their time on their backs, having a baby mobile will definitely be more entertaining than staring at a blank ceiling. Choose mobiles that have the ability to move, sway and jiggle to increase fun levels. Along with that, baby mobiles come in hundreds of designs and colours so choose a mobile that your child will not be bored of – one that plays music could be awesome too. Hang that mobile over your child’s crib or bassinet and he or she can be entertained and stimulated for a long time.
A baby gym is usually a wooden or plastic arch with small toys suspended from it like baby mobiles. The arch will be criss-crossed and tend to have different colours, textures and sounds to stimulate your little one. Many play gyms come with a play mat, which gives your baby somewhere comfortable to lie down. When baby get older, it will be a great place for tummy time as little ones will get to explore different textures or toys that parents place in front of them. Most baby gyms are suitable from birth and as sight develops, colours and toys will become more vivid and by six months, your baby will be able to focus on all the toys in the play gym.
Bassinet or cradle
A bassinet or cradle can be a comfortable and convenient sleeping place during the first few months of infancy. Although a crib is fine, your baby may feel more at ease sleeping in a place that is smaller or snugger. Along with that, bassinets are portable which makes it easier for mum or dad to keep an eye on their baby. At night, you will be able to put the cradle right next to your bed for convenient midnight feeding or changing. Babies will probably outgrow their bassinets by four to five months, so try a playpen with a removable bassinet to get two useful baby must-haves in one.
Baby burp cloths
This is something that mums or dads would like to keep in their pockets at all times – let alone the nursery. Your child will be spitting up, vomiting and after playing with his or her food. The reason this handy necessity is on the list is because you will need lots of cloths to catch, wipe and mop up all the goo. In fact, you will probably need baby burp wipers morning, noon and night so buy a stack of them and keep these invaluable handkerchiefs nearby.
Children have been proven to experience more nightmares and can scare easily. Keeping a night light in the nursery will provide children 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 as you groggily prepare for midnight feeding or changing.
Bouncer seats or rockers
Bouncer seats are a versatile and relatively inexpensive piece of baby equipment. It is especially helpful during early infancy as a safe place to lay your newborn near you while you sit down for a while. The bouncer is also a fun stimulator because it has the ability to respond to your baby’s kicks with a springy up-and-down motion. Bouncers could have a calming effect as well – perhaps singing to your baby as you bounce him or her could put your little one right to sleep.
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. Try to keep a double of everything because nursing must-haves can get easily soiled.
In reality, parents are not by their children’s side 24 hours a day, so keep little ones entertained with music and nursery rhymes. Apart from entertainment, sounds will make your child feel more at ease and aid in sleep as comforting songs lull your child to dreamland.