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A Parent’s Guide to Newborn Essentials

The perfect baby nursery is a calm, structured environment that’s just for your baby. It’s a cozy place where your little one can take naps, play with toys, and get his diaper changed without being disturbed.

If you’re a soon-to-be parent, it’s never too early to start working on your baby nursery. Ideally, your nursery should be completely finished a month before your baby is due. That way, any fumes from the paint or new furniture will have time to dissipate before your little bundle of joy arrives.

No matter what kind of budget you have, you can wind up with a great baby nursery. The key is to shop wisely.

So, what do you need to fill up your baby nursery?

1: Baby Cribs

This is, obviously, the most important part of your baby nursery. After all, your little one will spend more time in his crib than he does anywhere else!

And, as you might expect, your crib will be the most expensive thing in your nursery. However, if you’re looking to save some money, look for “convertible” cribs that can transform into a toddler’s bed. That way, your investment will last for years!

When it comes to baby crib décor, the sky is the limit. There are traditional cribs, modern cribs, and eco-friendly cribs! No matter what kind of color scheme and décor you’re going for, you can find a crib that works.

But looks aren’t the only important feature; your baby’s crib also has to be safe!

What safety feature you should look for?

  1. Look for a sturdy crib. Traditionally, cribs are made out of maple or oak because those are two of the most durable woods. And, either one can easily be painted or stained to achieve the perfect look.
  2. Look for the crib’s slats. They should be no more than 2 3/8″ apart; otherwise, your little one can get stuck. If you see warped slats, don’t bother and find another crib.
  3. Look for the crib’s hardware. You want to make sure it’s strong enough to stay tightly secured – so that it won’t collapse while your baby is inside!

Above all else, make sure that your baby crib is certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers’ Association – and that it gets a thumbs-up from the Consumer Products Safety Commission.

Handy Links >> Safest Cribs on The Market

2: Baby Mattresses

You can’t have a crib without a baby mattress. Luckily – with most costing around $100 – even “fancier” baby mattresses are affordable!

But how do you know which one is right for you?

  1. Start by getting one that’s firm. Remember, infants can’t roll over on their own, so they need the extra support. Plus, if your baby mattress is too soft, your little one’s face can sink into it – making it tough for him to breathe.
  2. Then, make sure the baby mattress is the right size. You shouldn’t be able to fit more than two fingers between the mattress and the crib. If you can, get another mattress.
  3. Whether you buy a foam baby mattress or one with coils is up to you. The foam mattresses are usually cheaper, and experts say they are just as safe as their coiled counterparts. Foam baby mattresses are also lighter – which makes it easier to pick them up when you need to change the sheets.

You can also get baby mattresses with “extras” like anti-microbial layers and special allergen-eliminating covers. Just remember, all of those “extras” will result in extra costs! So, plan your budget wisely.

>> Check out Amazon for best selling baby mattresses

3: Changing Tables

These are also an incredibly important feature since you will – literally – change thousands of diapers! There are as many different changing tables as the day is long, but…

What criteria should you look for?

  1. Above all else, you need to make sure that yours has barriers on all 4 sides and a safety belt. That way, you don’t have to worry about a squirming baby sliding off!
  2. The best changing tables are tall enough so that you can reach it without having to lean over. If you’re struggling to reach the baby, changing diapers will be a miserable experience for both of you!
  3. To get the most out of your changing table, get one that has both closed drawers and open shelves. That way, you can have easy access to things like diapers and wipes – while your baby’s clothes are tucked safely inside!

If you’re on a tight budget, you can get a changing pad that attaches to the top of a dresser. That way, you’ll have a handy piece of furniture even after your baby is potty trained.

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4: Chests and Dressers

If you have a spacious changing table, these aren’t a necessity. However, a good chest or dresser is an investment that can last for years and years!

If you’re planning on having your little one use his dresser all through elementary school, get a short one. That way, he will be able to get dressed all by himself.

And, make sure that your chest or dresser complements your other nursery furniture. The last thing you want is a baby “hodge-podge”!

No matter what kind of chest or dresser you pick, be sure to get safety latches for the drawers so that little one can’t pull them out and hurt themselves.

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5: Nursery Decor

Just like the rest of your home, your baby nursery needs all of those “extras” that tie everything together. You can pick anything you want – from a rocking chair so that you have a comfy place to read stories, to soft stuffed animals to cuddle up with, to pictures that invite your baby’s creativity and add flair to the room.

>> Cheap nursery decor on

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