Setting up the baby’s nursery can be a lot of fun, and one of the most exciting things to do before your little one arrives – but with sooo many different products that can go into it, it can get overwhelming when you’re making a start.
Here’s our checklist of 9 must haves for the nursery – sure there’s other things that are nice to have but these must haves serve as a great starting point, and as long as you get these sorted you’ll be in a great position.
You need to have somewhere to change the baby that is at the right height to make it easier and comfortable for you. Yes that could be a stand-alone changing table, but it’s definitely not the only option.
If you have a dresser in the nursery that is the right height and width, it can double as the changing table with the addition of a changing pad on the top. You can then also use the changing pad anywhere in the house if you don’t want to go back to the nursery each time you need to do a change.
Purpose built changing tables do have their use if you don’t have a suitable dresser and want to have just the right spaces to store all the changing essentials though.
Whether for feeding or just rocking your bub to sleep, a comfortable chair in the nursery is an absolute must – it’ll not only be comfortable for you, but the back and forth motion is soothing for baby.
A nice plump glider with an ottoman to rest your feet is an excellent option. While wooden rocking chairs can look great, they’re often not all that comfortable.
Some parents start off with a bassinet or cradle, some start with the crib straight away. Either way, you’re going to need one at some point.
If you’re buying a brand new crib, you’ll be happy to know that the government has a set of strict rules for the safety of cribs. If you’re buying an older second hand crib, make sure it meets all the current safety requirements that include:
- The gap in between the slats must be no more than 2 3/8 inches
- The corner posts can be no more than 1/16 of an inch above the frame
- There can be no cutouts in the footboard or headboard
- The top rails must be at least 26 inches above the mattress
Yep, just like when you buy a bed, when you buy a crib it doesn’t normally come with a mattress. The mattress needs to be firm (soft ones are a suffocation hazard) and fit very well in the crib so that the space in between the mattress and the side of the crib is so small that less than two fingers will fit.
5. Crib bedding
All you really need is a few fitted sheets and a waterproof mattress pad. Anything else in the crib can present a suffocation hazard and many of the soft items that you can have in the crib have also been strongly linked to SIDS.
Rather than blankets in the crib, you can use pyjamas with feet or a SleepSack to keep your little one warm.
This one’s more for you for those night time feeds and check-ins so you don’t need to turn on the full light – the dim light from a night light or lamp will keep the mood mellow.
If you don’t want to have a nightlight on all night, you can opt for a dim lamp that is in an easy to reach location that you can switch on when you need it.
A dresser will not only provide the storage you need for baby’s clothes and all the other small essentials, but if you have one the right size it can double as a change table too with a changing pad on the top of it.
8. A diaper pail
A purpose designed diaper pail such as the Diaper Genie or Diaper Dekor can make change time a lot easier. They’re designed to be easy to chuck the diapers in, and best of all to trap the smell. Without one of these, you’ll find yourself taking diapers out to the bin A LOT so that you don’t have the smell in the house, and who has time for that with a baby?
9. A rug or playmat on the floor
When it comes to play time with baby, that often means time on the floor together. Look for a rug or play mat that is comfortable and easy to clean/wash.
One last item that many first time mom’s think of for the nursery is a baby monitor. It’s not listed here as a must have because some mom’s say they couldn’t go without it while others do just fine without one. Check out our post Do you really need a baby monitor? to help decide if you should add it to your list of must have nursery items.