There are literally millions of nursery must-have lists on the internet. As a new parent, it can be incredibly overwhelming. There are tons of things you might need for your baby, but if you come right down to it, babies needs are fairly simple. They want to be fed, soothed and held. All the other things are to make your life as a parent easier. So if we go from that standpoint, here are 10 nursery must-haves that will make your life easier.
A place to change nappies
This doesn’t have to be a fancy compactum or purpose built for babies. But it should be a comfortable height, so you don’t break your back over the millions of nappy changes. Try not to change nappies in bed — you never know when there’ll be a blowout — and the height is back breaking.
A safe place to sleep
This could be a co-sleeper, a Moses basket, a camp cot, or a crib, it really depends on your (and your baby’s) preference. But, wherever your baby sleeps, it should be safe. That means no loose sheets, duvets or blankets until after 1 year old. Mattresses should be fitted and flat, with no gaps around the edges for the baby to roll into and get stuck.
First aid kit
Now, you might be the carefree person who’s never used a first aid kit, or maybe you’re prepared for anything? Well, once you have a tiny baby it can be extremely helpful to have some basic first aid items. You’ll need a thermometer, infant paracetamol (check with your doctor what’s safe from which age), medicated cream for bad nappy rash and whatever items your hospital asks you to take with you when you have your baby.
This could be top of the range or the cheapest on the shelves, cloth or disposable, but babies need nappies. In the first weeks and months, babies poop many times a day and frequent wet nappies are a good sign that your baby is feeding well. Expect to need a lot of these, but be wary of stocking up in any one size. Babies can suddenly grow out of a size, and if you’ve stocked up, you could be left with a lot you can’t use.
OK, this isn’t strictly a nursery item, but it’s still necessary. Depending on your lifestyle, this could mean a safe car seat — a non-negotiable if your baby will travel by car — or it could be a pram or baby carrier. Or more than one of those. But carrying a baby around in your arms is both tiring and cumbersome. Plan for something hands-free and above all, safe.
Nice To Haves
Look, there are things you don’t need but they’re nice to have and can give you many things, from free hands to get dinner ready or peace of mind. Here are our top nice to haves for your nursery.
A baby monitor
Especially useful in the first three months but also great until the toddler years. A baby monitor — video, sound or a breathing monitor — helps to give you peace of mind when you aren’t with your baby. A video or audio monitor can alert you when your baby cries, which is especially useful if your baby sleeps in another room. A breathing monitor can alert you when your baby can’t cry because they have stopped breathing. This is even more useful, as babies do stop breathing sometimes and if you don’t know, you can’t help.
This isn’t a must-have, because not every person or every baby likes it, but white noise can be a lifesaver. Think of is as an aural swaddling blanket, deadening all the startling sounds that could potentially rouse a sleeping baby. You could get a fancy white noise machine, use an app on a tablet or your phone, or just use a cheap radio and find a decent static station. It’s also one of the easiest sleep aids to wean off of — just gradually reduce the volume until it’s off — and travels well.
A baby carrier
Maybe your baby carrier is your safe transport, but even if you transport your baby by car, we still think a baby carrier is the best. Babies like to be held close to the body, but busy parents don’t always have the freedom to sit around holding their baby. A stretchy wrap or soft structured carrier can be a lifesaver right up until the toddler years. Just remember to use it safely, so that your baby can’t slip out and their hips, back and neck are properly supported. Read up online for safe carriers, or join one of the many baby wearing Facebook groups for advice.
Now, this could be a dummy, a swaddling blanket, or a soft toy — or all three — but finding something that soothes your baby is a lifesaver. There are loads of opinions and studies out there, but no matter what you decide to use, do your research and listen to your gut.
Baby rocker, bouncer or recliner
When babies are young, they mostly eat and sleep. But pretty soon, they’re awake for longer periods but not able to do much. Sure, there’s tummy time and laying them on the floor, but it can be handy to have somewhere to put them that’s not the floor or their bed. A rocker/bouncer/recliner can be really helpful when you’re alone at home and need to get something done. Your baby has a slightly elevated position so they can see more, and you don’t have to be holding them. Helpful for going to the loo and eating lunch without dropping crumbs on their head.
Obviously, your baby will also need clothes to wear, bibs, burp cloths and more, but we feel like these items are either non-negotiable, or so incredibly useful they’re worth mentioning. Not your first rodeo? What were your absolute must-haves for your baby’s nursery? Let us know in the comments.
- The 10 must-haves for baby and the 10 you really don’t need: https://www.livingandloving.co.za/baby-blog/10-must-haves-baby-10-really-dont-need
- Nova’s Nursery – On A Budget: https://www.caffeineandfairydust.com/novas-nursery-on-a-budget/
- 10 basic things you MUST have for your baby: https://liamandcoletheblog.co.za/2017/10/25/ten-basic-items-you-must-have-for-your-baby/
- The Baby Shopping Guide for Newborn Sleep products: https://www.youbabyandi.com/newborn-sleep-essentials/
- 15 Products First Time Moms Should Have: https://www.youbabyandi.com/15-products-first-time-moms-should-have/