Building, decorating, and organizing your nursery can be exhilarating. There’s a certain point in pregnancy when the “nesting” phenomenon hits, and your sole focus will be on the nursery.
As you buy items and receive gifts from baby showers, you might be left with a huge pile of stuff. While it’s a great start, it is important to have everything organized and easy to access. Once baby arrives, you’ll be very sleep-deprived, and having things easily accessible will help you more than you know. It’s also important to be organized to keep baby safe and healthy too. Here are a few baby nursery essentials and ideas to help you set up and organize your nursery!
A Safe Place to Rest Their Head
One of the most important things is to designate a safe place for sleep. It’s important to have a sturdy crib with a firm mattress. Don’t include pillows, stuffed animals, blankets, or crib bumpers. All of these things could be potentially dangerous to a new baby.
Make sure you buy 2-4 sets of baby crib sheets for baby’s bed. The sheets should fit snugly on the crib mattress. Having a few more than 1-2 sheets is also important because babies can have blowouts and spit up can get all over the sheets. Having clean sheets is important to keep a baby safe and healthy. Make sure you’re changing the sheets weekly, at a minimum.
If you want to make sure baby is warm while they are sleeping, don’t use a blanket. Opt for long sleeves and long pants pajamas for them. You can buy the pajamas, in fleece cotton, and terry cloth for varying amounts of warmth. You can also get baby a wearable blanket that zips up.
Also, keep in mind as baby grows you will need to adjust the crib height to keep them from being able to jump out.
Diaper Changing Station
The next big thing is to set up a diaper changing station. Some people swear by a changing table while others opt to just change baby on the floor. If you want a changing table, consider getting one that has drawers on the underside, or a place to put bins or baskets. You’ll want a place to keep extra diapers and wipes. There is nothing worse than trying to change a baby and not having the basic necessities handy. Also keep a small container (in a drawer or bin) that has things like baby powder, diaper cream, lotion, a spare thermometer, etc. That way, you will have all the needed tools within reach. Just make sure they are out of your baby’s reach at all times.
If you prefer to change diapers on the floor, set up a changing bin. You can even have multiple changing bins. Keep one in the nursery, one in the family room, one in the car, etc. Get a bin that can hold a blanket (to change baby on), wipes, diaper cream, lotion, and anything else you might need to change the baby. By having multiple bins or baskets, you’ll have supplies within reach as soon as you need them.
Speaking of changing stations, it’s important to always be prepared with extra supplies. Always have an extra box of diapers and wipes on hand. That way, you always have a box, “on deck.” Once you open the spare box, take a minute to order a new box or put it on your shopping list. There is nothing worse than trying to find a diaper when you don’t have a new one on hand.
While you’re at it, consider keeping a few pairs of PJs and socks a size up, an extra can of formula, baby shampoo, baby detergent, etc. on hand. That way, if you’re in a pinch, you’ll have a little more time to get supplies.
Set Up A Place to Feed Baby
There are so many different ways and accessories that you can get to set up baby’s feeding area. Let’s start with the basics, though. Whether you’re bottle or breastfeeding, make sure you have a comfortable place (like a rocking chair to sit). You want to be able to support baby’s head while they eat and stay comfortable yourself. Keep a baby swaddle blanket handy to wrap the baby up, or use as a burp rag. If you’re breastfeeding, keep a water bottle nearby for you and maybe some reading material.
If you’re bottle-feeding, you’ll also need space in your kitchen for bottles and supplies. Get a designated bottle drying rack and a bottle brush. You’ll also need a place to store bottles and formula. As mentioned above, always have a spare can of formula “on deck” so you never run out. Make sure you always replace your backup formula as soon as you open it. You can also get bottle warmers and other accessories, but they aren’t always necessary.
Keep it Clean
As you’re putting together your nursery, you’ll start to notice that you have a lot of little items that don’t necessarily have a place with bigger items like diapers or sheets. So, organize smaller items with baskets and bins. Get soft baskets to keep blankets and stuffed animals in. If the nursery storage baskets are soft and light, your baby might even be able to incorporate them into imaginative play!
Don’t forget to pick up small organizing boxes for drawers. Having defined space for smaller items like socks, hats, pacifiers and more will help you keep drawers organized so you can find things much more quickly. In addition, make sure you dust, sanitize, and vacuum your baby’s room frequently. Having the room be organized is great, but cleanliness is also important to keeping baby healthy and happy!
If you can manage it, consider getting multi-use furniture. If you can find a crib that has a drawer under it, it’s worth its weight in gold! Then the crib can be used for sleeping and the drawers under it can be used for sheets, towels, sleep sacks, and more. Another great way to store items is getting a changing table with drawers or room for baskets or bins under it. You’ll be able to store changing supplies, clothes, blankets, and more. You can also take it a step further and get cube storage that you can keep in baby’s closet. This will help you keep books and toys more organized than they would be. As baby gets older, you can also teach them to put toys away more easily in cube storage (since the cubes are soft and easy for little hands to use).
With all nursery furniture and storage options, always make sure you buy safety kits and bolt items to the wall so they can’t fall on baby.
A Bin on Deck
Babies grow out of clothes very quickly. So, keep a large plastic bin (out of the reach of your kids) where you can put clothing they have grown out of. It’s no fun when you go to your baby’s closet only to realize that they have outgrown the vast majority of items hanging in their closet. If you clean as you go, it’ll make it easier to know how many clothing items baby has and how much you need to buy. Once the bin is full, pull out 2-5 special outfits or items from each size to keep for the future. Donate unneeded items and use the bin to store what you want to keep for future babies. Don’t forget to label the bin with the size range!
There are a few other things that aren’t necessary, but can be really helpful for your nursery. Consider purchasing a humidifier and a nosefrida for when baby gets their first cold. Make sure these are both stored out of their reach, but having these on hand can help you during a late-night panic. Another thing that some moms swear by is wipe warmers. When baby wakes in the night and needs a quick change, there’s almost nothing that makes them more uncomfortable than cold wipes. So, getting a wipe warmer can make changes more peaceful and comfortable for the baby.
Another thing that people either love or hate is diaper pails. While they can help keep the smell of diapers from permeating your house, they can be bulky and expensive. If you don’t want to get a diaper pail, consider getting some diaper discard bags to keep at your changing station and in your diaper bag. They keep the stinky smells and leaks contained so you can put them in any trash bin without much fuss.
No matter what you decide to put in your nursery, as long as the baby is safe and well taken care of, that’s what’s most important. While it can be nice to have all the latest gadgets, just do what you can, and add on to your nursery as you see needs.