By Kathryn Trudeau
Nesting [ˈnestiNG] VERB: The art of getting ready for a baby; preparing for the arrival of a newborn
Pregnancy is a journey filled with many exciting milestones: seeing your baby on that first ultrasound, hearing your baby’s heartbeat, feeling those first few kicks, and learning whether your little one is a boy or girl. Somewhere along the journey, you’ll start stocking the nursey with essentials for your baby. Planning the nursery can be super exciting or super overwhelming, and if you’ve peeked inside a baby essentials store, you know that there are many, many products when it comes to baby gear. So what’s the bare-bottom basics? What does a nursery really need? If you’re in the nursery-planning phase, use this guide to make sure your bases are covered.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, newborns up the age of three months need 14-19 hours of sleep per day. That is a lot of snoozin’! So it makes sense that when you plan a nursery, you put a lot of focus on where your baby actually sleeps.
- A place to sleep: Whether you purchase a crib, a co-sleeper, a bassinet, or a rocking cradle, invest in the highest quality that you can afford. You may also want to invest in a place for baby to nap during the day such as a portable rocker. You can keep this near you during the day and reserve sleeping in the crib for at nighttime.
- Bedding: While you won’t need a flat sheet or a comforter, you’ll still need a crib sheet for baby. Experts advise against pillows and blankets until baby is older – about one to two years old.
- Night light: A night light isn’t really for your baby; it’s to help you see when you go into the nursery for middle of the night feedings and/or diaper changes. Choose an amber light as the amber lights do not disrupt the circadian cycle the way blue/bright white lights do.
- Sound machine : A sound machine is one of the best tools a parent can have. Not only do sound machines (or white noise machines) help keep your baby to sleep, but they also drown out all of those inconsistent sounds. It may even help drown out the racket your toddler makes when he’s trying to avoid bath time.
- Curtains: Curtains may not seem like a necessary nursery item, but the right kind of curtains are. Look for curtains that will help block the sunlight, which just might buy you a few extra minutes of sleep each morning.
- Pacifier: Not all parents choose to give pacifiers, and that’s A-Okay. However, if you do choose to use a pacifier and your baby loves them, you’ll want to buy several extras and stash them in the nursery in the event that one is misplaced. You can also clip them to baby during awake time.
Did you get a lot of clothes at your baby shower? That’s okay; babies go through a lot of outfits on any given day. From spit up to diaper explosions to soggy collars from teething, there is no shortage of reasons why you need extra outfits.
- A place to keep clothing : You’ll need a place to keep baby’s clothes, but it doesn’t need to be a closet. Dressers or armoires work just as fine.
- Clothing obviously
- A hamper: It makes life easier to have a hamper in the nursery since you’ll be tossing clothes into so often, but here’s a hot tip: keep a mesh lingerie bag handy. When it’s time to wash baby’s clothes, put all of his socks in the lingerie mesh bag and voila! No missing socks!
A new baby won’t need any toys, but she’ll be ready for tummy time soon. In addition to the play mat, you’ll need some sort of storage solution for the toys she’ll be getting eventually. A good old fashioned toy box works, but so do bins and baskets.
- Play mat
Of course, you’ll need diapers, and a well-stocked nursery can meet all of your diaper needs. Include the following items, and you’ll be good to go.
- A place to change diapers: Even if you don’t buy a changing table, you’ll still need a place to change baby. If you don’t have room for a whole changing table, you can get foldable changing pads that wipe down easily in case of messes.
- Diapers: Disposables or cloth – whatever method you choose! Just be sure to load up.
Babies are experts in two things: eating and sleeping. When it comes to eating, it’s pretty simple. Either you breastfeed or you formula feed. If you nurse, you might need a pump and some bottles, but that’s it. If you’re formula feeding, you’ll need to add formula to that list, but it’s pretty simple (especially compared to our grocery lists!)
For Mama (or Daddy)
Although 95% of the items in a nursery are for the actual baby, there are some things in a nursery that are for the Mom or Dad. Specifically, these things make life easier for the mom or dad.
- Rocking chair: Rocking chairs make for a very soothing way to get baby to sleep.
- Baby scrap books: Keeping this handy helps to make sure you can easily write down milestones and special memories.
- Wrap / carrier: It doesn’t matter which brand or version or type you buy. When you need two hands, a carrier can give you the ability to use two hands. Whether you are folding laundry or walking around the block, babywearing helps baby stay calm.
What about you? What items do you have in your nursery?
Kathryn is a self-proclaimed book nerd who has a passion for natural parenting and writing. As a homeschooling mother of two, Kathryn understands the dynamics of a busy family life. She is the founder of the Cor Domum movement, a mission that guides families through life so that they can parent with joy. Read more at www.katietrudeau.com
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