12 Essential Things Your Baby’s Room Needs

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Setting up your baby’s nursery is a great way to spend the last weeks of pregnancy. It gives you the chance to make sure that everything needed to care for your baby is ready when your precious arrival finally comes home.

Photo courtesy of BabySuperMall

Photo courtesy of BabySuperMall

However, if you’re a first-time mother, you may not know what items are needed. Below are 12 nursery essentials to help make your nursery safe, comfortable and welcoming:

  1. Rocking chair — A rocking chair may sound old fashioned, but there’s a reason that new mothers are often shown cuddling their babies in one. It’s simple: the gentle, back-and-forth sway of a rocking chair is irresistibly soothing to babies of all ages.
  2. Brightly colored, moving mobile  — Babies are very curious, literally from the moment they’re born. According to the American Optometric Association, they’re particularly drawn to “highly contrasted” shapes and colors. A brightly colored mobile suspended securely over the crib — and safely out of reach — will draw your baby’s attention and give her a chance to learn about colors, shapes and motion.
  3. A diaper disposal system  — Whether you plan to use cloth diapers or disposable ones, it’s important to have a hygienic place to put them after use. A good disposal system will be easy to open with one hand, and will close securely to trap odors and keep the baby out.
  4. Nightlight  — A gentle, nighttime glow in the nursery is a godsend during late-night feeds or diaper changes. You’ll be able to see without turning on a bright room light, which could overstimulate your baby, making it harder for her to get back to sleep.
  5. Music box   — Shaped like an old-fashioned carousel, or tucked inside an adorable stuffed penguin, a music box may seem like an unlikely nursery essential, but music works wonders. Gentle music can soothe a crying baby, and the familiar notes of a favorite musical toy can easily become part of a cherished bedtime routine.
  6. Changing table   — Babies need lots of diaper changes as they grow. A changing table provides a safe place for your baby and keeps all diapering essentials accessible.
  7. Toy box   — Babies need toys. It’s how they learn in those precious, early months. A toy box in the nursery makes it easy to keep all those toys off the floor. For safety reasons, HealthyChildren.org recommends choosing one with no top or a lightweight removable lid.
  8. Shelves with bins  — When your baby arrives home, bins will provide places to store all of her items: receiving blankets, onesies, tiny t-shirts and clothes. As she grows, the storage space can be used for dolls, building sets, color books and crayons.
  9. Baby-wipe warmer  — Newborns are hypersensitive to changing sensations. Baby wipes warmed to room temperature will make diaper changes less jarring.
  10. Hamper — A hamper in the nursery makes clean up a breeze. Your baby’s clothing will be kept separate from family laundry, as well, making it easier to give her clothes the extra care and gentle cleaning they will need.
  11. Baby monitor — Most new mothers are highly attuned to their babies and can hear even the faintest whimper. However, if you’re worried about not hearing your newborn, a baby monitor is the perfect solution.
  12. Convertible crib — Babies need lots of equipment, clothes and furniture, most of which they outgrow — sometimes in a matter of months. A convertible crib is an ingenious piece of furniture engineering that starts as a crib for a newborn, then converts to a toddler bed, and then to a child’s twin-sized bed and dresser. What could be more convenient? One furniture purchase and your child’s room will be furnished with lovely, functional furniture for several years to come.

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