Having your first baby is such an exciting time. You have dreamed about what you want the nursery to be like. You have imagined bring baby home and into your life. Now what will you really need to make it all perfect? There are so many products out there, and you want to buy it all, but let’s get down to the important stuff first.
1. Crib- This is definitely the most important purchase you will make. The baby’s crib will be in use for several years and depending on the type you buy it may last even longer. There are two types of cribs available. First is the traditional style that we are all familiar with and your baby will probably sleep in for 2-3 years. The second type is a convertible crib. The convertible crib has removable sections that will convert it to a full size bed and some styles even convert it to a toddler bed. Buying a convertible crib will give you a bed that will last your child for as long as you want.
2. Crib Mattress- Selecting a good crib mattress is a very important decision, as important as the crib. In the early stages your baby will sleep as much as 18-20 hours a day. You can select from a dense foam or an innerspring mattress, but you want to be sure it is a quality mattress. Shop at a store that displays mattresses that show the insides of the mattresses, show you can see what they are made of. It is important to make sure the mattress fits the crib snugly and is very firm. If it feels comfortable to you, it is probably too soft. It is a good idea to buy a waterproof mattress to be make clean ups easier.
3. Baby Bedding- This is probably the most fun part about shopping for baby. You get to chose the colors and styles that you love and really express your dreams for your babies room. Usually, crib bedding sets include the crib bumper, a sheet, a comforter or quilt and often a crib skirt or dust ruffle. You will definitely want to get at least 3 crib sheets to allow plenty of room for laundering. A mattress pad is often used for babies comfort.
4.Dresser/ Changing Table- Sometimes these are combined into one unit, but some people prefer two separate pieces. It is important to consider how much storage you will need, as well as a place to change baby at a comfortable height, so you are not bending over for those numerous diaper changes.
5. Bassinet/Cradle/Moses Basket- In the early months it is really nice to have a smaller, cozier place for baby to sleep. With a Cradle or Bassinet or Moses Basket, you have the ability to move your newborns bed to your room or wherever you want. Portability and closeness make these options very desirable in the early stages. A moses basket is probably the most portable and can be used with a stand or placed on top of other furniture, but is the smallest and baby will outgrow this at about 15-28 pounds. None of these smaller sleeping quarters should be used after baby can pull up.
6. Infant or Convertible Car seat- Since baby will be on the go with you, you must have a car seat that will accommodate baby on car rides. There are infant car seats that fit into a base in the car and are easy to get in and out of the car. These are nice to sit baby in at other times to protect and sooth baby with a rocking motion. They usually fit babies up to a year, but have weight and height restrictions that vary by brand. There are also convertible car seats that will grow with baby to several years old. Be sure to check out consumer and safety reviews on whatever brands you are considering.
7. Swing or Bouncy Seat- Often times it is very helpful to have a safe place to place baby during waking hours and either of these two suggestions will help sooth fussy babies.
8. Layette- Clothing of course! For the first few months, baby will sleep most of the time. Sleep sacks or nightgowns are very convenient for diaper changing ease, but soft cotton sleepers are also nice to have on hand. Be sure to include body suits or undershirts as babies need to stay warm, and layering is a great way to accomplish that. Booties or socks are great for keeping those little feet warm, and don’t forget newborn stocking caps for their little heads. Obviously, you will want a few cute little outfits to show baby off to your family and friends, but don’t buy too many since they will outgrow them so fast.
9. Diapers- Maybe this should be #1 on the list, but you need to decide whether you will use cloth or disposable diapers. Disposable diapers are the most convenient, of course, but cloth is often considered better for their skin. Many parents today are considering the economical aspect of cloth diapers today as well as the environmental concerns of disposables. Be sure to include wipes or washcloths in this decision as part of the diapering routine. I am also going to include a diaper bag in this section. A good diaper bag will help keep you organized for all of babies needs when you are on the go.
10. Stroller- There are so many types of strollers today. Umbrella strollers, the most affordable option, are very easy to fit in the car and quick to setup, but not very comfortable for small babies. Strollers that work with the infant car seat are convertible to a toddler stroller when baby gets bigger and provide more support. Jogging strollers, with special cushioned suspension, are great for the mom who wants to get back to running.
As you can see there are some important needs to make sure that you have when baby arrives, but the most important thing to remember is to enjoy your time of preparation and not feel like you must buy every product available.