9 Surprising Nursery Essentials to Add to Your Registry
Chances are, a crib and diaper pail are already high on your list of nursery essentials to buy before Baby arrives. But there are a few other nursery essentials you’ll need to turn your baby’s room into a space you’ll both love! Here are a few overlooked nursery essentials to add to your registry…stat!
Psst—don't forget to check out the Happiest Baby Registry! It allows you to register for SNOO, select group gifting so loved ones can chip in on big-ticket items, and add gifts from other favorite stores!)
Nursery Essentials to Add to Your Registry
Okay, okay, maybe crib bedding is as much of a nursery no-brainer as is a crib…but the key is having enough of it! When you encounter your first middle-of-the-night mess, you’ll probably regret only registering for one or two fitted sheets. The fact is, accidents happen, so you’ll want to make sure you have several spare fitted sheets, as well as a waterproof mattress protector (or two!). Get more baby bedding tips here.
White Noise Machine
White noise is a powerful sleep-promoting tool for babies. In the womb, babies get used to constant sound, so once they’re born, they have a hard time snoozing if it’s pin-drop quiet. A good white noise machine helps babies drift off by recreating that low, rumbly womb-like sound...and Dr. Harvey Karp-designed SNOObie and SNOObear both offer that soothing white noise. While SNOObie is combo white noise machine, nightlight, an OK-to-wake sleep trainer (and more), SNOObear is a cuddly lovey, puppet, and a white noise machine that plays for 30 to 60 minutes. Then, SNOObear continues to “pay attention” for three hours, so that it can respond to new cries with another dose of calming white noise.
When you first start thinking about your nursery, it’s easy to get swept up in the aesthetic aspects. Should you go for a black-and-white nursery design scheme or a lush green jungle theme? Paint or wallpaper? But in addition to looking great, it’s essential that your nursery is a functional space. And, while your lovebug’s teeny-tiny clothes and accessories don’t take up much room now, don’t be surprised if you’re overrun with adorable onesies, stuffed animals, toys, and board books by the time your due date arrives. That’s why sensible storage is such a crucial nursery essential. Whether you’re a bin, basket, or bookshelf kinda parent, try to get your system in place now…before you’re too busy with baby (and let’s be honest, too tired). Here are a few nursery storage ideas—and some adorable nursery book displays!
Nursery Activity Mat
Babies’ lives seem pretty simple…eat, sleep, repeat. However, while you’ve probably given a lot of thought to where your baby will sleep and what they’ll eat—have you thought about the time in-between? Activity mats are a nursery essential because they give you a safe—and mentally stimulating—place to set your baby when they’re not snoozing or guzzling down milk. It’s a soft spot for them to practice tummy time, work on grasping, develop their visual skills, and start to pick up some spatial awareness. Bonus: If your little one spits up, this nursery essential tends to be easier to clean than carpet!
The AAP recommends babies sleep in their parents’ rooms for the first six months. Having them at arm’s length away makes it easy to check on them…or simply watch them sweetly snoozing. Once you move your little one to their own room, you’ll probably quickly realize what a luxury it is to peek on them at all hours of the night. Fortunately, a video monitor will let you keep an eye on your kiddo without having to barge into their room!
…However, when you do have to sneak into your little one’s bedroom, you’ll be glad that you have a nightlight to guide your way without rousing your babe. And, if your kiddo wakes up in the middle of the night, they’ll be able to see familiar surroundings…not just pitch-black darkness. A light with a dimmer switch works as well! (Psst: Happiest Baby's SNOObie white noise machine is also a fully customizable nightlight!)
Nursery Blackout Curtains
Speaking of light…to turn your baby’s nursery into a sleep sanctuary, it’s important to block out any light that may sneak in through the window. Even a beam from a streetlamp outside could potentially penetrate your little one’s closed eyelids, disturbing their precious zzz’s.
Comfy Rocker or Glider
When it comes to nursery essentials, we all tend to be baby-focused, because…duh! But don’t neglect your own needs. Parents deserve a comfy spot designated for baby snuggles that’s not in their own bedroom. This allows one partner to wake up to hold and feed the baby while the other stays asleep. A rocker or glider gives makes it easy to soothe your tot with gentle motion. Plus, having a designated spot to breastfeed at night that’s not your bed will also make it less likely that you’ll doze off while nursing…which can be dangerous. When you pick out a chair for your nursery, you may want to keep in mind that you’ll want one that lends itself to nursing and rocking during the newborn days…but is roomy enough for you and your toddler to curl up in with bedtime stories down the road.
Nursery Essentials to Leave Off Your List
Though there's lots to buy right now, are a few nursery 'essentials' your baby may not need...at least not right away:
Pillows, top sheet, blankets: Babies should sleep alone until at least a year—so there's no need to deck out the crib with blankets, sheets, and pillows.
Crib bumpers: Crib bumpers are a suffocation risk so they are not safe to use in the crib—keep 'em out of your nursery.
Changing table: If you're already short on nursery space, one way to consolidate is to ditch the dedicated changing table, and instead, use a changing pad that you can place on a dresser. A dresser will grow with your child, while a changing table can only be used while your tot is in diapers.
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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.