Getting Ready for Baby - Nursery Furniture
Planning your new baby’s nursery? Check out our nursery furniture tips to help you make the best decision.
As first time parents, everything about having a baby can seem overwhelming - especially when you are getting advice from friends, siblings, parents, even the cashier at the grocery store seems to be an expert on babies when she sees your baby bump. Here is a comprehensive list of everything you should need for fitting out your new baby's nursery. Some of the items are necessities, while others are simply luxuries.
Crib. This is the most functional piece of nursery furniture you will need for several years. When choosing a crib, get the most for your money by picking a convertible crib, which will convert from a crib to a toddler bed, and then can be used as a headboard for a full or queen bed. It is important to ensure the manufacturer followed the strict safety guidelines and that the crib slats are no more than 5cm apart. The next important task is choosing a firm crib mattress that fits snugly in the crib - you should be able to fit no more than two of your fingers between the mattress and the crib.
Crib bumpers. These can be wonderful for keeping baby's precious little head from bumping into the hard crib slats as they toss and turn all night long. They can also prevent their little arms and legs from getting stuck between the slats. The American Pediatric Association now advises against using crib bumpers, due to the increased risk of SIDS from suffocation and strangulation. With that being said, there are new alternatives to crib bumpers that may be safer. They now make thin, mesh bumpers that weave in and out of the crib slats. They are typically fastened with large strips of velcro, eliminating the need for straps. The breathable material is thought to be safe since the baby could still breathe with their face pushed up against the bumper - unlike the older versions made of thick, padded cotton which could cause baby to suffocate in their early months when they can't freely move themselves away from the bumper. There is also now an industry regulation that all ties must be six inches or less, which makes it impossible for a baby to get it wrapped around their neck. These new safety regulations and new bumpers can help you make your decision on whether to use a bumper on your crib.
Crib mobiles and toys. These can be great for your baby, both as learning tools and as a great way to keep them occupied in their cribs while you get an extra ten minutes of sleep, or while you put away their laundry and re-stock their changing table. Bold, primary colors are best since babies' vision takes several months to come in fully. Black and white colors provide excellent contrast to help your baby's eyes develop. Red is the first color babies can see in their otherwise black and white world, so bright red makes a wonderful nursery color for your baby.
Changing tables. This is a necessity in a nursery. Some cribs come with a changing table attached, however, be warned that little climbers find these easy to scale and you may be transitioning your toddler to a bed long before you are ready for them to be out of a crib. Freestanding changing tables can help avoid this. Some have baby laying sideways to change them, and others fit into the corner of a room and have baby facing you. The corner version can make it easier to dress and change the baby. They also have the added convenience of shelves nearby which are handy for setting diaper warmers, lotion, and diaper rash cream. Bottom shelves are great for storing boxes of diapers and wipes - or stacked cloth diapers and cloth wipes, if that is the route you choose.
Storage. Clothing storage is important during the first few months. While you may be excited to organize your little one's closet with all of their adorable little outfits, it is much more practical to have their clothes as near as possible to the changing table. You'll find that your baby will wet themselves during and immediately following a diaper change, quite frequently. The last thing you want to do is have to cross the room to the closet while the wet baby is kicking around on the changing table. Keeping everything you need within your reach can make life a lot easier on you in the beginning. Especially for those diaper changes in the middle of the night when it's dark and you are still half asleep. Sometimes an armoire or wardrobe can be the best piece of furniture, since they allow for hanging items, as well as folded clothes, socks, booties, and blankets, and they can be scooted right next to the changing table.
Rocking Chair. A rocking chair may be considered a necessity to some, and a luxury to others. It is nice to sit in a comfortable rocker for feedings in the middle of the night. It keeps you in the nursery to lull them back to sleep, and you have less ground to cover to get them back in their crib. Many wonderful mommy and baby bonding moments are created while rocking in the nursery. Ikea have a model which won't break the bank.
Baby Monitor. Some parents choose to have a baby monitor in the nursery, while others forego them if their bedroom is near the baby's room. For bedrooms on opposite ends of the house, or opposite floors, they are a necessity so you can hear when your baby wakes up. You should keep them turned down quite low during the night though, so you are not waking up every time your baby shifts around or sighs in their sleep. When they are truly awake and want attention, trust me, they'll let you know loud and clear. Baby monitors have come a long way over the years - you can now purchase a baby monitor that comes with a video camera so you can always see a picture of your precious sleeping baby in their crib.
You will soon find after baby is born that each parent has different preferences for items they find useful. Some parents like the high tech gadgets and the full matching nursery sets. Others are more practical and keep things pretty basic. You'll discover quickly what works and what doesn't and can make the necessary adjustments accordingly.
To help you get head start of on preparing for your little one's arrival, check out our handy print-out-and-keep checklist mursery and baby essentials. You won't want to go shopping without it.