Updated: Nov 5, 2019
Even before bubs to here , the thrill of doing the nursery is one of the best things you can do to get in the mood, mindset. Start off getting a wee thing here and there, then when the day approaches you need to think of the bigger picture ( the one thats in your head ! We all have that perfect look ) If you have been lucky enough to have a had a baby shower or asked about a baby register then you can start putting items in their place. I was lucky enough and Im sure you will all find this , as the news went out about impending parenthood, all the other parents took the opportunity to empty their lofts and basements and garages of all the preloved baby items that just kinda get put there. So you will find no shortage of items!
Apart from clothes which are all a personal preference I thought I would give you the list of items that I have found over the years useful. I have over 15 years of setting up and stocking nurseries through my career. It is nice to get all the gear, but some items are a want verses a need
Cot , obviously , but there are so many to choose from. You need to look at your space and budget. Ideally they will be in with you for up to 6 months so maybe beg steal or borrow a mosses basket or smaller crib for the early days, something that fits in with your room. You can get some great side sleepers where they nestle in next to your bed and you can feed bottle of breast with ease. Or get a forever cot , one that is large, bubs will be dwarfed by it to begin with , but the side goes down for feeding, then when they are bigger it gets transferred to their room, sides up, then both sides come off and it becomes a first bed.
Dressing table that doubles as a change table. Most handy piece of furniture and if bought wisely can last a life time. Make sure the top is at waist height for you , as bending down hurts your back after numerous botty changes. It needs to be long enough and wide enough to accommodate the change mat , the basket of nappies , wipes, lotions and potions that baby needs. My advice is to have drawers, instead of open shelves etc as you can keep spares of all the above in them, bubs can't climb up the drawers and pull things down on themselves when crawling and curiosity starts and it can be transformed in to a chest of drawers for when they are older.
Rocking chair or comfy chair , those lazy nights when you get to rock them to sleep, its good to have a comfortable supportive chair for you or your partner to slouch in. Foot rest optional
Laundry Hamper - zillion clothes changes !
Nappy bucket - if doing cloth this is invaluable, get one with a net laundry insert for ease of washing , if doing disposables, you have two options, rubbish bin or nappy genie
Monitor - there are some fancy ones out there, with movable screens , connection to your phone and with speakers to talk to baby or listen in and even play music ! Which ever you get , just get one as they take the guess work out of nap times and night times.
Change stations - you will need two of everything as you will end up changing them in their rooms, mornings and nights but in the living room during the day no matter how regimented you think you will be. So two change mats, two baskets to keep all the lotions and potions, wipes and nappies.
flannels for faces, nail clippers, thermometer, snot sucker ( plastic tube that helps to clear blocked noses invaluable , trust me !) oils for baby massage, your chosen brand of bottom cream, little or large basket to keep all these things together
Bath rooms items
Fluffy hooded towels
Bath toys , be it rubber ducks of foam letters, lots of fun
Bath insert, I use a flannel on thats on a metal frame, personal preference, there are plastic versions, whole baths that fit inside conventional baths , new fan dangled bath buckets or old fashioned in the bathroom sink on a submerged towel or kitchen sink ?
Lotions and Potions for keep baby soft skin soft. special soaps and shampoos , hair brushed and combs
Now here is the optionals
Book case , you will get given lots of keep sakes and trinkets as well as books for now and as they grow so if you can fit a book case in , it's an investment. storage for now, library for later
Night light, they come in all shapes and sizes, in toy form, with music, soft fazing dimmer options and or home made, ( I did cider jar and fairy lights ) They can calm the room and best all stop you stubbing your toe on the way in and out of a late night.
Plants , alway good to have something living in with bubs , it cleanses the air, gives a nice touch to the room.
Wardrobe, They will need one eventually but its one of those items that can be left out of nursery for now
Feeding Pillow, I do swear by these, little crescent shaped wrap around pillows but they are not a need, more like a want. Bubs no matter how small they are to begin with get bigger and heavier esp in a night feed, you can use the pillows to support them , your arm or balance a bottle on. They are great for tummy time later , sitting them up practise for much later.
Wall freezers or pictures, bubs love pictures, so block colours and simple pictures and shapes to begin with , its been proven they respond best to B&W from birth. They you can fill their room with your chosen theme be it a colour scheme or Disney to Winnie the Pooh or jungle animals . have some fun on their walls
Storage Bins for toys and bits and pieces to bath things and towels and cot sheets and sleep bags, multitudes of muslins, blankets
Outside of nursery must haves
Pushchair, as there are so many options , I will leave it up to you , I have gone with a Mc Claren with bassinet insert. It will grow with my baby's needs and age. But you can go high end like buggaboo or economical from either local baby store or 2nd hand charity shop. Nothing wrong with preloved. Make sure it fits your own needs, be it , being able to carry a coffee or multiple shopping bags. Or be foldable with one hand to get in to car easily. Just make sure it has ample storage underneath or behind , a rain cover, comparable with a cosy for winter. Space for a buggy board if wanted later , is adjustable to you or partners height, lockable and unlock-able wheels , good breaks, a hood to keep the sun off and is easy to put in to flat mode.
And PRACTISE before bubs, putting it up and down several times , in and out of the house, make sure you have all the bits pushed in and down so it doesn't collapse on bubs and or you can collapse it in a hurry if you need to !
Car Seat unless you don't drive and thats fine , see blog on getting lost on foot in your neighbourhood you will need one. And luckily they are not expensive these days and there is a variety of options. You can ones that literally take you from new born to 6 years old, they grow and change from tiny to booster seats. Ones that swivel on their bases to allow side access in to the car, very helpful! Ones that transfer with easy from car to pushchair. You have a choice of seatbelt held and isofix which clips in to your car. My advice is get advise from friends family and the shop assistants , get them to help you fit it correctly. Also get mirror that you can put on the back of the front seats so you can see what wee one is up to while they are back facing.
Play-mats As much as you can never not give enough cuddles, there are times that you will want to and need to pop baby down for a minute , even if it is so you can go to the loo! And a soft interactive play-mat is the best place. There are so many on the market with all the bells and whistles that I won't influence you in any way. Except to say get one that has a hanging bar that has interactive toys on it, soft and furry , a mirror , something for them to coo too and reach for. Make sure its machine washable and the toys are able to come off as some will have electronics in their tummy and when added to water malfunction. Ive seen mums with hammers smashing small toys as it 'wont turn off in a demented horror way' after it went through the wash . And trust me your wee one will throw up and leak all over their play-mat .
Slings and or front packs As I said you can't give enough cuddles and time having them close to you but you will need hands free options too and a front pack and or a sling is a great way to achieve this. Most communities have a sling/front pack library when you can try them out , get to grips with putting on, what can feel like a bondage harness sometimes or trying to tie baby origami. I am of a small frame so front packs are too long in the body for me and I end up with bubs around my navel and sore shoulders as the weight distribution is all wrong. I wear a sling which can be tied in so many ways and I can have baby sideways or upright, facing in and or out, right up to snuggly supporting a toddle sitting on my hip. So please try before you buy .
I hope this has been helpful and I know there is a lot of think about and get and consider and they aren't even born yet. But you got this x