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Essentials to Have in Any Baby Nursery

There are some things you can never prepare for as a parent. Luckily, there are also some things you can totally prepare for: One of those is making sure your baby — and you! — have a nursery that’s comfortable and functional. Here are all the things you may want to consider putting in any nursery.

Crib – For the most part, any baby crib will do, so long as you like it. There’s just one type to avoid: drop-side cribs, a design where one side slides down. Steering clear of those should be easy since this formerly popular design is now banned in the United States for safety concerns.

Crib Mattress – These mattresses should be lightweight to make changing the bedsheets easy, and firm because of safety. You should never use soft bedding like cushy pillows inside the baby’s crib because they can lead to suffocation, and this golden rule extends to the mattress itself. Firm is just fine. Getting a washable vinyl cover is a good idea, too.

Bedding – Don’t put anything soft and fluffy like comforters or pillows in the crib for the reasons mentioned above. Experts agree that babies should sleep in sleepers or infant sacks. They’ll be plenty warm and likewise safer that way.

Bassinet – It might seem redundant to have a bassinet when you already have a crib. But that’s not the case, because while the crib is your baby’s regular bed, you can think of the bassinet as a mobile bed. These can be particularly handy to place in your bedroom for late-night breastfeeding sessions or fussy nights when a baby needs constant attention.

Baby Monitor – Baby monitors are an indispensable tool for checking in on your baby at night. It’ll save you from accidentally waking up your baby when you’re just trying to check up on them, and allow you to peek in whenever you want, just to make sure everything’s okay. Or to get another glimpse at those adorable puffy cheeks.

Rocking Chair or Glider – You are going to spend many long hours rocking or gliding, so get one of these that everyone’s comfortable with. Wise parents will stock the corner around the chair with charging cords, snacks, podcasts and anything else to keep them cozy and happy while the baby dozes off.

Changing Table or Dresser – You don’t necessarily need a separate changing table so long as you have somewhere, like the top of a dresser, to change diapers. It’s a bonus if it has built-in drawers stocked with onesies and pajamas.

Fan – This one might not be an obvious choice. But a fan, aside from providing circulating air without the need to open a window, can give off just enough white noise to drown out bothersome noises and encourage sleep. It’s worth a try.

Diaper Pail – These can be handy, though aren’t necessarily imperative, particularly in your baby’s first few months when, not to be indelicate, baby poop doesn’t smell much. Later on, or if you’d prefer an odor-sealing device, you can get a diaper pail that will lock in smells.

Mobile – These give your baby something to gaze at and they give you a break from needing to constantly shake a rattle or make silly faces.

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Chase Scheinbaum
Chase Scheinbaum

Chase Scheinbaum is a journalist and uncle four times over who's written for Businessweek, Village Voice, AJ+, Men's Journal, Fatherly and other publications.