by: Matthew Efseaff
Preparing the baby nursery is an important job that requires both time and effort. There are so many tasks to accomplish when preparing for a new baby that it can become overwhelming and more stressful than anything else. Granted that preparing the baby nursery is a large task, it might be the thing that heightens the anticipation more than anything else. There are many things to shop for and once they start accumulating and the room starts taking shape, the whole idea of having a baby becomes very real. This article provides a list of what nursery items you will need and what to look for in each of those products.
Crib: The crib can be one of the most expensive things you will need for your baby. It is also one of the better items to buy second hand. Either way, for safety reasons make sure that the slats are no more than 2 3/8 inches wide. Make sure that the crib has at least two heights for the mattress and has drop down sides. People with back issues or women who have had c-sections will have major issues if they don’t have these options.
If you are buying new, go with a convertible crib. They are solid wood and generally very sturdy. They are a one-time purchase and you will never have to buy your child another bed. They look great and will last. Although solid wood can be re-finished if needed, there are crib rail covers available that are waterproof and machine washable. They are an inexpensive way to keep the crib looking good.
If you are buying second-hand, make sure that the crib is not more than 2-3 years old. Safety standards on cribs are always changing and it is a good idea to keep up with them.
Changing Table: Choose a change table that is about waist height. The best choice is a change table with a drawer. It keeps everything within easy reach, prevents the parent from bending over and keeps the table looking tidy. The change tables with two open shelves are not practical, especially when your little one starts getting into things.
Some people decide to put a changing pad on a dresser, counter or table top. The pad should have a waist strap and have curved sides so the baby can’t roll off. There should be shelves installed on the wall above the changing area to safely store changing necessities.
Clothes Storage: Have somewhere to store your baby clothes, baby blankets and other paraphernalia. You will need some hanging and some shelf space. This can be a proper dresser, shelving installed in the closet or even plastic drawer storage will do the trick. Try to keep your babies clothes organized as best as possible. A great way is to hang all of the clothes that are too big in order of size. This way you will always know what you have on hand for the next size of clothing. It is easy to lose track of what fits and what doesn’t, especially in the early months.
Crib Mattress: A crib mattress should fit snugly in the crib. There should be no more than two fingers width between the mattress and the edge of the crib. A mattress should also be waterproof and firm. It is safest for infants to lay on their back on a firm surface.
Mattress Protector: Purchase at least one mattress protector. This softens the plastic waterproof mattress and also makes it easier to clean up messes.
Ensure that the protector fits snugly and will not slip off the mattress and become a suffocation hazard.
Crib Sheets: Choose crib sheets that are made to fit your crib mattress. Make sure they are fitted sheets so they don’t slip off the mattress. Have at least three crib sheets on hand in case of messes in the middle of the night.
Crib Bedding Sets: Most people decide on the crib bedding set first and then decorate accordingly.
Choose a quality set that will be able to withstand the washing it requires. Most bedding sets include a crib sheet, bumper pads, a crib skirt and a comforter. It is a nice idea to choose something that will grow with the baby and leave room for flexibility. For example, decorating with teddy bears is cute for the infant stage but might not suit a one year old boy that loves trucks.
Nursery Accessories: The size of your baby nursery will determine how many accessories you will be able to use. Almost every crib bedding set will have a wide range of nursery accessories including picture frames, toy boxes, kiddie-size chairs, fabric storage boxes and more. The more traditional accessories are mobiles, toy bags and valances.
If you are limited with space or a budget, choose accessories that have a practical purpose as well as adding decor to the room. Some great ones are the laundry hampers, diaper stackers or the frames.
Window Coverings: Window covering are an important part of the nursery. Hopefully there will be many daytime naps so it is important that they block the sunlight. Many people choose to use blinds as well as curtains. It is very important to keep the cords for the blinds well out of reach. This can be a very serious strangulation hazard.
Enjoy creating your newborn baby’s first bedroom. This is where they will spend much of their time. As parents, you will be spending a lot of time in your baby’s room as well so make sure that it is set up and decorated how you like. Obviously, the most important thing is that it is a safe place for your baby to rest.
About The Author
I am the father of a one year old, a loving husband, a grad student and owner of Baby Bedding and Bags.