At first, it can seem pretty simple; how much does a new baby need outside of love, warmth and nourishment? Well, if you’ve been loading up your baby shower registry (or staring at it like a deer in the headlights wondering where to start), odds are you’ve noticed there is a seemingly infinite supply of gadgets and gizmos advertisers want you to believe you need.
Separate the Wants From the Needs: Start With These 7 Nursery Necessities
In truth, you won’t know which items you really want or need until you have more of a sense of who your baby is and what your lifestyle together will consist of. You may want to hold off on accumulating a lot of baby accoutrement until after the baby is born.
These 7 essentials will make life with your newborn a little easier:
- A Crib. Even if you plan on using a co-sleeper to have your baby closer to you, we still recommend a crib. Once your baby is older, you’ll appreciate the security a crib brings for those times that baby is napping or sleeping on his own. Worst case scenario is that it becomes a convenient space to store diapers, blankets, toys and other essentials you want to have readily at hand.
- A dresser. Forget the whole changing table thing. Seriously. They are usually a waste of money. Convert an old dresser (or buy a new one) into a changing table using a changing table pad. You’ll have plenty of storage, extra surface space for baby’s toiletries and diapering essentials, and – when the diaper phase is over (HOORAY!) – you have a functional piece of furniture.
- A baby monitor. They are golden and come in handy long after the baby years. Our advice: use the monitor sparingly. Many of baby’s grunts, gurgles, quick whines and other sounds of discontent resolve themselves pretty quickly, but they can leave sleep-deprived mamas even more sleep deprived because mothers wake up when they don’t need to. Turn the monitor off when you’re napping. We promise you’ll hear baby if she really needs you.
- Portable changing stations. Convert an old milk crate, a pretty basket or a recycled box into a portable changing station for the area(s) of the house where you spend the most time. It can be tucked underneath an end table or in a corner. You may want to make a few of these – wipes, diapers, a toy or two and diaper cream are all you need. This cuts down the back-and-forth trips to the nursery.
- Glider or rocking chair. If you don’t own one yet, start sampling. Find one that you are 100% comfortable in. Nursing, comforting, reading, napping – all will take place in “your chair” on a daily basis for many years to come.
- Dark blinds or shades. Your baby emerged from the womb and, other than a hint of very filtered light, it was pretty dark in there. This can make it harder for a newborn to nap during the daytime. Get black-out shades or dark blinds to keep the sun at bay when baby is napping or to trick him into sleeping a little longer in the morning.
- Breast pump. Breastfeeding is one of the healthiest things you can do for your baby. Have a breast pump on hand so you can have a backup supply of milk in the freezer (breast milk can keep in the freezer for up to six months). Even mothers who never want their babies to drink from a bottle can end up ill, hospitalized or otherwise incapacitated – preventing them from being able to breastfeed. Your pump and a nice supply of backup milk ensures your baby will still have access to Mother Nature’s best baby food.
Overlake OB/GYN wishes you and your new baby and happy and healthy home coming. Have questions regarding pre- or post-natal care? Give us a call at (425) 454-3366 to make an appointment.
We know that this is the very beginning of what you may envision your perfect nursery to be. Let our readers know what your favorite nursery items are in the comments section below.