Baby Nursery: The Essentials
What you'll need for a well-stocked baby's room
Booties, Onesies, and Such
Those adorable ruffled dresses and handsome sweater vest ensembles are great for special occasions and visits from relatives but they can be complicated to put on a wriggling tot. Any experienced mother will tell you the one-piece outfit is a divine gift! These T-shirts that snap at the crotch are often all you’ll need in warm weather and they serve as an extra layer of warmth for cooler weather. For you mamas with a passion for fashion, you don’t have to stick to a plain white T. Many come with cute patterns and hip designs.
And you’ve gotta wash those adorable clothes! There will be days your little one will go though more wardrobe changes than a host at the Oscars. Having a good laundry hamper near the changing table will make your life easier and help keep the nursery tidy. There’s no need to get too fancy (a traditional plastic basket is safe and works great). If the growing number of gifts and toys is making space a hot commodity, hanging a laundry bag on the wall is a great alternative.
Dressers and bookshelves are great extra storage for your itty bitty socks, onesies, pajamas, and any other items you want out of sight. Use baskets to help sort and keep shelves organized, and just be sure to secure bookshelves, dressers, and changing tables to the wall. It won’t be long before Baby is trying to scale these pieces like Mt. Everest. If you’re a thrifty mama (and many of us are these days) there is nothing wrong with buying the furniture used and refinishing it to match your nursery.
And Mom, we know when Baby is sick you feel just as terrible. Here are some good items to keep on hand (a basket works well for this too!) for minor ailments: ear thermometer, diaper rash cream, an aspirator bulb, infant pain reliever, rubbing alcohol (works great for cleaning the umbilical cord) teething gel, infant nail clippers, and petroleum jelly. Keep some disinfecting soap nearby to prevent the spread of yucky germs and a book of medical advice for times when you can’t reach your pediatrician right away.
The Fun Stuff
If your nursery has bookshelves you gotta have books! Research shows that reading is an important part of Baby’s learning and development, even in her earliest days. Stock your shelves with books full of bright colors, illustrations, and thick pages to keep her attention. To increase the size of your library, encourage friends and family to send books rather than greeting cards. The sender can sign the inside of the book just like a greeting card. You and Baby will have hours of entertainment along with treasured mementos of Baby’s first years.
Your baby will be spending a lot of time in the crib during the first few months of his life (if only we could spend that much time in bed!). Mobiles are great for keeping your baby’s mind stimulated and entertained. There are many types of mobiles on the market at various price points but it is important to find one that is visually interesting. Shapes, colors, and patterns are important because a baby’s vision doesn’t fully develop for several months. As with all décor, be sure mobiles are hung securely and are well out of your baby’s reach.
As we’ve said before, you don’t need a lot of money to decorate your nursery walls! All it takes is some colorful posters with inexpensive frames and you’ve got affordable art. Where can you find these items? We’re glad you asked. A gem of a resource is your local teacher’s supply store. They contain loads of educational and visual aids and a lot of their posters are laminated you won’t even need a frame. Some other fun options for wall décor are kites, bright clocks, flags, and mirrors.
OK Mom, now that we’ve given you the essentials the most important thing to remember when decorating your nursery is to have FUN with it. Be creative! This project shouldn’t stress you and your partner out. Don’t get hung up on one idea—stay focused on the bigger picture. It’s completely fine if some of the furniture is mismatched, or your “brilliant” idea of painting a DIY mural on one of the walls proved too challenging. Your baby will be none the wiser. In fact, all she will know is how much she is loved and how excited she is to see you enter the nursery for that 3 AM feeding (even if you are looking like a Mombie). The most lavish nursery in the world could never top that.
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