Preparing your baby’s nursery is one of the most exciting things you can do pre-birth. If you’re a new parent, however, you may not know your pacifiers from your pack and plays – which can prove difficult when preparing your home for the new arrival. Of course, you don’t need to splash out on expensive baby clothes and toys if you don’t want to, but some items are non-negotiable. To help you figure out where your money will be best spent, here are four essential items every nursery must have.
You may not know what kind of birth to expect or which gender your baby will be, but one thing’s for sure – you’ll need diapers, and lots of them. Birthing units don’t tend to supply these (except in emergency situations) so you’ll need to pack diapers for after the birth and keep a good supply at home. Some parents choose cloth diapers they can wash, though this is completely your choice. Reusable diapers save money and are kinder on the environment than the disposable kind. You can find cute, disposable nappies from top brands on The Green Nursery website.
Your baby also needs somewhere to sleep. Bear in minds that there are safe-sleeping guidelines you’ll need to follow to minimize the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). This means you need to choose your cot or Moses basket carefully. Buy from a top supplier, and steer clear of second-hand mattresses, as these could have been exposed to dust mites or mold. When it comes to sleepwear, stick to a baby sleeping bag and avoid lose blankets.
A changing unit is optional, and in most cases, a changing mat on the floor or bed will do. One thing you will need, however, is a robust diaper bag you can take everywhere. This can be stored in your nursery for easy access and strapped to your stroller when you go for walks. It’s a good idea to pack your diaper bag before the baby arrives so you can bring it to the hospital. In it, you should have diapers, a selection of clean clothes, baby wipes, nappy bags and a soothing cream or ointment. Some also have an insulated pocket for bottles of breast milk or formula.
Babies do a lot of sleeping and feeding in the early days, but they also need somewhere safe to kick, roll and learn to play. A soft play mat with a sensory toy bar is perfect for entertaining your child when you need to load the washing machine or take a shower – though babies should never be left unattended unless they’re in a cot. One solution is to buy a “pack and play” or travel cot with enclosed sides so your child can play without being able to escape once they start crawling.
While there is an endless list of items you could buy for your new baby, there’s only so much you actually need. Whether you’re on a budget or you have limited space, you may not want to splash out on expensive nursery accessories, and that’s okay. Babies need very little to live safely and comfortably, so there’s no need to break the bank.