Did you know? There will be more than four million babies born in the United States alone this year! Their parents will spend hours agonizing over the perfect name and getting the best medical care. But they should also find time to gather the following essentials for the perfect nursery.
A Great Baby Bed for Newborn Naps
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Newborns sleep for an average of 16 hours every day, so it’s vital that they have a comfortable place to do it. That makes a crib or bassinet one of the most important nursery choices you’ll make. With such a range of styles and prices available, this selection can also be one of the most difficult. Look for sturdy baby beds made from quality materials that support your little one while they sleep.
The bedding is what will give your chosen baby bed real personality. Pillows, sheets, and light blankets for cool weather are all important, while crib skirts can give your bed some real style. Bumper pads are also popular, but it’s worth noting that the American Academy of Pediatrics warns they can increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. This group claims there’s no evidence bumpers prevent injury as they’re meant to, but they can cause suffocation, entrapment, and strangulation.
The Right Night Light for Evening Feeds
Many parents get a night-light because they worry their little one will be scared of sleeping in the dark. However, this phobia won’t develop for another year — if it ever does. A night-light is actually more important for helping parents make their way through the dark without stubbed toes and bruised knees for evening feeds.
A night-light is a better choice than a bright overhead bulb, which will confuse babies into thinking it’s time for action. Choose one with a mellow bluish light instead of the more stimulating yellow and white varieties.
If you’re not a fan of night lights, a dimmer on the overhead light is a good alternative.
A Changing Station for Easy Diaper Disposal
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Many newborns have around eight wet diapers and ten stinky ones every day, so a good changing station is essential for dealing with the diaper deluge. A good changing table is the heart of any change station. There are many styles available, but the one you pick should be stationary with a comfortable pad for your baby. If you can stretch your budget, choosing one with organizational shelves for clean diapers, wipes, and ointments will also make your life easier.
A diaper pail can also save countless trash or washer machine runs. If you’re using disposables, look for a diaper pail that seals off odors to keep your nursery smelling sweet. Unfortunately, these tend to have small openings that aren’t suitable for cloth diapers, so if you prefer the reusable kind you’ll need to choose a more open design. Use them in conjunction with a waterproof lined bag to make sure waste doesn’t leak through.
A Well Organized Dresser for Emergency Outfit Changes
Adults typically get dressed in the morning and are good to go for the rest of the day. That’s not the case with drooly, spit-uppity, poopy babies who often have three to four outfit changes each day. To cope with the demand, your nursery needs a well-organized dresser. Make sure yours has at least three drawers and features compartments so you can always find a fresh onesie, a clean bib, and a pair of socks.
You may also like to streamline your laundry with an additional clothes hamper in the nursery. Many stores offer hampers that match baby bedding for a more cohesive look.
A Parent Zone Keeps Moms and Dads Relaxed
Most new parents spend so much time thinking about making their nursery comfortable for their newborn that they forget about all the time they’ll spend there. Taking the time to set up a parent zone will make the space much more comfortable for night feeds and daytime cuddles.
A relaxing nursery for parents and babies should feature a comfortable chair, such as a rocker or glider, with a side table in easy reach. Stash this with healthy snacks, bottled water, magazines, and an MP3 player to make feeding time a bit more fun.
If you’re expecting a new baby this year, make sure purchasing these nursery essentials is on your to-do list.