10 Essentials for Your Newbie’s Nursery

By Published On: March 31st, 2023

These gotta-have-thems will ensure baby’s space is primed and ready for their awaited arrival.

Like penning a well-rounded registry, planning the nursery involves ensuring all the most important items are present and accounted for. While your little one’s wardrobe, toys and books, and themed decor items make their room unique and special, the necessities like a crib, mattress, and glider make it a functional space for transitioning from the womb to the world

In our opinion (after quite a few babies), these are the top-of-the-list nursery essentials.

Convertible Crib

Once your kiddo outgrows their bassinet, they will graduate to a larger, roomier sleep spot. Like this new Liberty 3-in-1 design from Namesake, a convertible crib grows with your child, transforming from a standard crib to a toddler bed and eventually to a daybed. Inspired by antique spindles, the Liberty offers vintage charm and versatility in four attractive colors, though we are especially drawn to the forest green fashion pictured here.

Breathable Mattress

No crash pad is complete without a safe place to land. The Newton Baby Original Crib Mattress features a Wovenaire core made of 90% air and 10% food-grade polymer that’s firm enough for newborns and is still comfortable for toddlers. The mattress core and removable quilted cover are 100% breathable, increasing airflow and reducing the risk of suffocation. To top it off, the Newton Baby mattress and cover are fully washable (yes, the mattress, too!) for a cleaner, more hypoallergenic sleep experience.

Swivel Glider

Sure, you could sit on the floor together, but the early weeks are for bonding and getting acquainted with your new baby. A glider or rocker offers a welcoming spot to cozy up for feeding sessions, reading stories, and resting and recovering from birth. Delta Children’s Blair Slim Nursery Glider provides a 360-degree swivel for hours of gentle rocking or gliding at a fair price.

Video Monitor

For keeping a watchful eye on your little one during naps and bedtime, your best bet is a video monitor with night vision. The Pixsee Smart Video Baby Monitor comes with an HD camera that streams quality footage around the clock, as well as cry detection, temperature and humidity sensors, two-way talk, and secure WiFi for use with its phone app. Another key feature is the Smart Capture option that automatically snaps share-worthy photos of your baby, so you don’t miss memorable moments while in another room. For more information on this product, check out our real-parent review.

Changing Dresser

You can indeed change your baby anywhere (and you totally will), but a central place for a diaper swap and a clean outfit is certainly helpful, especially when your changing table comes with storage for stashing diapers, wipes, creams, and anything else needed to keep baby fresh. We love the Scoot 3-Drawer Changer Dresser from Babyletto because its changing tray is removable, so you can keep this stylish piece around well past the baby years.

Cool-Mist Humidifier

Speaking from experience, the first time your wee one gets a cough or some sniffles, you’ll call the pediatrician, and they’ll likely ask if you have a cool-mist humidifier to moisten the air in their room. These devices are different from warm-mist humidifiers, which research has found to be less effective at treating cold symptoms. The Frida Baby 3-in-1 Humidifier provides hydrating mist for up to 12 hours and also acts as a diffuser and a night-light for all baby’s bedtime needs.

Diaper Pail

Poop smells, and babies make a lot of it. Unlike a standard trash can, a diaper pail helps to seal in odors and keep them locked up. This is helpful for the days where the chore of taking out the trash (and relining it—meh) is simply too much; with a diaper pail, waiting a few extra days won’t matter. Even better, this Ubbi Steel Diaper Pail doesn’t require a special bag (whatever kitchen bags you already use at home will work), so there’s one less thing to think about.

White Noise Machine

If there’s one product that is absolutely essential for life with a newborn, it’s a white noise machine. These sent-from-above contraptions create a calming, womb-like environment that encourages infant relaxation while drowning out surrounding noise that can be disturbing during sleep. The new SNOObie Smart Soother by Happiest Baby, founded by nationally recognized and trusted pediatrician Dr. Harvey Karp, combines a white noise machine, night-light, sleep trainer, and more to help babies snooze more soundly and get into a sleep routine with fewer tears.

Blackout Shades

In addition to white noise, a blacked-out room will help facilitate better sleep for your baby. Even with shades or thick curtains, sunlight can still peek through, but with these temporary, sunlight-blocking window covers by Blackout EZ, your kiddo’s room will stay dark no matter the time of day (and without compromising your nursery aesthetic). Each customizable cover attaches to the window frame without affecting the window and is easily removed when needed. What’s more, installation only takes a few minutes and doesn’t require any tools.

Laundry Hamper

Trust us when we say there will be copious amounts of laundry to come, mostly comprised of sleepers, bodysuits, bibs, and burp clothes covered in spit-up (plus plenty of your own T-shirts). Instead of letting dirty duds collect in a pile in the corner, have a hamper ready to stash away what needs to be cleaned. A catchall that doubles as decor, like this super cute Crate&kids Cactus Hamper, can be used for clothes, toys, or even eye candy; though, I’m sorry to say, a lack of laundry is not foreseeable in your future.

Putting together a room that’s ready for baby can feel overwhelming, but by scratching these staples off your list, you’ll have what you need to welcome your newbie to a space of their own.

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