When it comes to setting up a nursery for the impending birth of your newborn, you probably have a fair notion of what needs to be done. You’ll no doubt want to renovate a room in preparation, replacing carpeting and painting the walls an appropriate color. And if you happen to be concerned about environmental issues, as well as the effects of chemicals on your baby, you’ll be happy to hear that there are options for non-VOC paint and organic fiber carpeting. Further, you’ve likely got a handle on essential furnishings like a crib and changing table, as well as accessories like linens (curtains and bedding), lamps, and more. But in your push to feather the nest before your baby arrives, you may have overlooked a few must-have items. Here are some essential baby products that no new parent should have to do without.
- Rocking chair. I know what you’re thinking: this is hardly something you can’t live without. And yet, when you add one to your nursery, you’ll wonder how you ever got by without one. The comfort and convenience that this simple furnishing brings to your nursery is nothing short of miraculous. As any parent that has had to conduct midnight feedings in the living room can attest, moving all over the house in the middle of the night with a screaming baby can be a real hassle. And if you wake the baby on the trip back to the nursery, you’ll wish you had gone ahead and gotten the rocker. Plus, the gentle motion of a rocker helps to calm your baby, lulling him into a sound sleep before you place him in the nearby crib. In short, this simple piece of furniture is something of a godsend.
- Baby monitor. Whether you put your baby in the nursery at night from the get-go or you start by having him in bed with you and then slowly introduce him to his own crib, you’re going to want to make sure that you can hear every mumble, sigh, and hitch in his breath when he’s out of your sight. As a new parent, you’re bound to worry, and a simple baby monitor can give you peace of mind, not to mention early warning.
- Night light. There’s nothing worse than stumbling through the house in pitch blackness in the middle of the night while your baby wails. If you want to avoid panic, not to mention sprains, strains, and other bodily harm as you make your way to the nursery, simply plug in an inexpensive nightlight. It will help you get to your baby faster and it will relieve you of the need to turn on a bright, overhead light that could bring your baby fully awake and make it hard to get him back to sleep.
- Storage. You might think that the storage space provided by the changing table and a small dresser will be enough to house essentials like clothing and diapers, but the truth is that your baby is bound to accumulate quite a collection of toys and books before he’s even born thanks to overzealous grandparents and other family and friends. For this reason it’s a good idea to outfit your nursery with a bookshelf and a toy chest or cubbies that can accommodate both.
- Nursing essentials. Since most feedings will likely occur in the nursery, you’ll want to include useful items like a nursing pillow, breast pads, and burping towels, at the very least. Having these items in easy reach can only help to make the process of feeding your newborn less stressful.