When it comes to setting up a nursery, there are must-have items (like a crib and smoke detector). Once you’ve checked those off your list, it’s time to focus on things that will make caring for your baby more comfortable and convenient. Here’s what experts recommend:
A changing table is functional and can prevent or minimize back pain. But if you’re tight on space or want to keep things super simple, plenty of parents say a portable changing mat you can use around the house does the trick!
If you decide to go for a changing table:
- Be sure it meets current safety standards.
- Secure it to the wall (along with any other furniture that could tip over).
- Consider a table-top design that can be attached to a dresser and then removed when you don’t need it anymore.
- Keep diapers, wipes, diaper cream, hand sanitizer, and anything else you might need close enough to the changing table that you can grab them while keeping one hand on your baby. Diapering supplies need to be close, but still out of your baby’s reach.
It’s nice to have a comfy, convenient spot to feed, cuddle, and read to your baby. Here are a few things to consider about choosing a chair:
- Wider is better – to accommodate you, your baby, and a pillow for feeding.
- Chairs that rock or glide can be soothing and relaxing for your baby (and you).
- If you can, sit in chairs before you choose one to asses fit, comfort, and back support.
- Consider an ottoman or stool for your feet, and a small table next to the chair.
It’s easy enough to bag diapers and toss them in the trash, but having a diaper pail in the nursery is convenient (especially when your baby starts eating solid food and his poops get smellier). When choosing a diaper pail, consider size and capacity, and read reviews about how well they keep odor in.
Thinking about using cloth diapers? You can read all about the pros and cons here.
Overheating during sleep may increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and being too chilly can cause unnecessary wake-ups. Experts say the sleep temperature sweet spot is 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. A simple room thermometer in the nursery can give peace of mind that the temperature is just right.
A nightlight can help you maneuver your way around nighttime feedings and diaper changes without having to introduce new, disruptive sources of light.
Audio or Video Monitor
If your home is small you may not need an audio or video monitor, but many parents like using them to listen to or see baby while he’s asleep. Skip the new “smart” baby monitors that keep track of baby’s vitals, though; the American Academy of Pediatrics says they’re unnecessary for healthy babies, and may cause undue stress because of the high number of false alarms.
These are a favorite of baby sleep experts, who say they can help your little one snooze better during naps, or when bedtime falls before the sun goes down.
White Noise Machine
A white noise machine may also help your baby sleep, especially if he has older siblings who are awake or you live in a small space where noise travels easily.
Crib Rail Covers
These can save your crib from bite marks when your teething tot starts gnawing on everything in sight!
As you decide which recommended items to include in the nursery, remember that you may be able to find many items used but still in great shape. Just be sure everything meets current safety standards.