Preparing a nursery is exciting but it can also be overwhelming. This guide makes the process easier by summarizing the nursery room essentials and baby furniture you need to help you make the best buying decision for you and your new arrival.
There are many things to consider as you put your nursery together and your baby furniture selections are at the top of the list. Start by doing some research and creating a budget. Your budget is an important part of the equation but so are functionality and style, however, the safety of your little one should be the paramount concern.
1. A Baby Crib
Your baby’s safety is your number one priority and there is no single piece of furniture more important to your little one’s health and safety than a crib. Newborns spend most of their time sleeping so you will want to make sure their crib is a safe place. This means a firm breathable mattress that fits snugly into the crib with no gaps, and a tightly fitting breathable mattress cover and sheets.
Avoid putting bumpers, stuffed animals, and blankets in the crib. Choose your crib carefully as it is the centerpiece of your nursery’s design aesthetic. Thankfully, there are numerous options to choose from and many of these options are convertible meaning they can be transformed into different kinds of beds.
2. A dresser and Changing Table
A dresser is a perfect place to store your baby’s clothes. You’ll also need a place to stow diapers, wipes, and creams as well as cloths, bibs, blankets, toys, and swaddles. These items can be stored in the dresser or in drawers and shelves underneath the changing table. You may also want to consider nursery furniture that merges the changing table and the dresser in 2-in-1 combinations.
3. A Rocking Chair or Glider
A newborn baby feeds 8 to 10 times a day, so you will want to have a chair near the crib to nurse your baby. You’ll be spending a lot of time in this chair so it should be comfortable and easy to clean. To maximize your comfort a footstool or ottoman is also a good idea. A rocking chair or a glider is the perfect addition because the soothing motion will help your little one drift off to sleep.
4. Storage Furniture
It is easy to stay organized when everything has been neatly arranged and placed in a clearly designated place. Make a space for all your baby’s gear by organizing the nursery closet (if you don’t have a closet, consider an armoire). You can sort and store your baby’s belongings in baskets, bins, drawers, and cubbies. Organizers are a great storage tool that can help to eliminate clutter.
Storage baskets or cubes are an inexpensive organizational option that is particularly useful for smaller items. Whether that is diapers, clothes, or toys, baskets and cubes can be strategically positioned next to where they are needed. You can use transparent storage vessels so that you can see what is inside or you can label them to keep everything in its proper place.
Shelves are another inexpensive and useful storage option that both organizes and adds charm to your nursery. They are a great place to display pictures, books, keepsakes, and memorabilia.
A hanging closet organizer or an over-the-door organizer is a space-efficient storage option. Those with see-through pockets allow you to easily find what you are looking for. Hangers are another way to store your baby’s belongings (when hanging clothes make sure to use the same hangers and clips for a cohesive look). Because baby clothes don’t require much vertical space, you can double or even triple your closet space by adding additional hanging rods. You can also mount rods to the wall to hang clothes or a bag full of toys.
Baby Furniture for Small Rooms
Even if you are working with limited space, you can still have a cozy nursery with the help of smart storage solutions. To take advantage of every inch of your small space, prioritize essential nursery furnishings and carefully plot the positioning of each piece. One of the simplest ways to save space is by getting a mini crib instead of a full-size crib. You can also take advantage of nursery furniture that combines functions.
You can use the space underneath a crib as storage or get an ottoman with a storage compartment. You can install curtains instead of doors which is both space efficient and decorative. You can also put up a peg board with little shelves or wall-mounted baskets. Other tips for a small room include choosing a small nursing chair instead of a big one and using a ceiling or table lamp instead of a floor lamp. You can create the illusion of more space by adding a rug and painting or wallpapering with light colors.
Nice to Haves
In addition to the furniture essentials reviewed above here are some other items you may want to consider for your nursery. This includes a bassinet, diaper bin, clothes hamper, humidifier or vaporizer, baby monitor, mobile, curtains, a nightlight, area rug, wall art, receiving & swaddling blankets, a baby seat and toys. You do not need a walker or a jumper, nor do you need crib baby blankets for newborns and infants.
When to set up the Nursery
While you can start planning during the first trimester, from the expectant mother’s perspective, the second trimester may be the best time to start buying and setting up the nursery. Even though the baby is likely to remain close to mom and dad in the first few months you want the nursery to be ready well ahead of the baby’s arrival. Make sure to leave enough time for your furniture to be delivered and assembled. It can be stressful if you are still setting up close to the delivery date and this detracts from what should be a fun and exciting time.
Planning Your Baby’s Room
Before buying anything or creating a baby registry, make a plan. Planning can be a highly enjoyable process that will help you to realize your vision for your nursery while saving both time and money. The first step involves taking measurements of your nursery so that you know how much space you have to work with, this will determine the dimensions of the furniture you will buy.
Once you’ve done this you can start exploring design aesthetics (look at pictures of nurseries online or in magazines to get ideas). You want a nursery that is calming for your new baby as well as enjoyable for you because you will be spending a lot of time in this space. Then visualize what you want your nursery to look like, this includes the color scheme and theme (note: painting or wallpapering should be done before you start moving furniture into the room).
Nursery Room Safety
Always put safety first, this is the one area where there is no room for compromise. All cords should be kept out of your little one’s reach, and you should install a smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector. Make sure you cover the outlets in the nursery, and devices that need to be plugged in should be as far away from the crib as possible.
Never leave your baby alone on the changing table. If you use a changing table with a soft pad on top, secure the baby with safety straps and make sure the pad is strapped to the dresser. All furniture should be bolted to the wall so that as your baby grows, he or she does not risk having furniture topple over on them. You may want to install cabinet latches, drawer latches, furniture anchors, and corner guards for low tables. Inform yourself about current furniture safety standards.
Now that you know what to look for, we hope you have fun picking out all of the pieces that will make up your perfect nursery for you and your baby.