The Nursery Checklist
Researchers have found that babies will breathe in time to music they enjoy—and they can remember and prefer music heard before birth over a year later! While some studies tout the benefits of classical music, any soothing songs will do. You can buy a lullaby CD or just turn the radio to a soft rock or easy listening station.
|Glider or rocker
If Mom is relaxed, chances are Baby will calm down as well. Gliders and rockers offer fussy little ones two of their favorite activities: rocking and snuggling with a loved one. Turn off the lights, place your baby on your chest, and rock until you’re both drowsy and happy.
|Room thermometer||Infants, especially preemies, have a difficult time regulating their body temperatures, becoming chilly or overheated quickly. An inexpensive room thermometer may help you clue in to why your baby is fussy.|
|Mobile||While colored butterflies circling overhead nearly hypnotize some babies into sleep, all that color and movement can stimulate others. Try a mobile and see how your baby responds. There’s no need for stark black and white mobiles to make your baby smarter. Get something you think is cute and your baby will love it, too.|
|Wipe warmer||This little device is helpful for parents living in colder climates, but wipes are cold no matter what. Be aware that most warmers will dry out the bottom third of a stack of wipes, so the wipes may require remoistening.|
|Books||Educators recommend reading to babies from the minute you bring them home. Newborns are indifferent to the topic, but older babies love touch-and-feel books, bright colors, and anything having to do with farm animals!|
|Toys||Newborns can’t really play with them yet, but rocking horses, wagons, and other time-tested toys not only look cute in the nursery but will provide hours of fun before you know it. If it makes Dad feel good to buy a baseball glove, go ahead! It will look great on the dresser.|
|Baby swing||Newer swings not only move in a front-to-back motion, but also a side-to-side motion to mimic the motion of Mama’s tummy. If your baby will only sleep in a swing, you’ll want one with batteries for continual motion rather than the hand-cranking version. There are several portable models for on-the-go parents, too.|
|Bouncy seat||Sometimes babies get positional fatigue, meaning that they’re tired of being in a fixed position. If your baby has been lying down or held in a front carrier for a while, try putting her in a bouncy seat for a change of scenery. Many come with a vibrating function that infants love, but avoiding turning on the annoying plinky music or flashing lights since they could cause overstimulation and exacerbate fussiness.|
||It used to be that families used this handy bit of gear as a travel bed or playpen, but newer play yards include changing stations, mobiles, net or shaded canopies, and more.|
|Wall art||Nothing makes a baby’s room look sweeter or more complete than accessories and wall art. Inexpensive solutions include hanging a quilt, using foam letters to spell baby’s name on the wall, or even framing the beautifully illustrated pages of your favorite children’s book such as The Velveteen Rabbit or Winnie the Pooh.|
|Closet organizers||Adjustable closet organizers are available at home improvement stores nationwide. Debbie Wiener, designer and owner of Designing Solutions, LLC, advises parents to “position shelving [in the closet] to suit your height and needs, and as your baby grows more independent, you can position shelving so that he or she can reach clothes and toys.” You can also rotate seasonal clothes, large blankets, and extra toys in the closet so that there’s less clutter in your child’s room.|
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