Decorating your baby’s nursery should be enjoyable. However, for first-time parents, it can also be a little intimidating or overwhelming especially if you are trying to create a nursery on a budget.
I’ve taken the stress of wondering what essentials should go on your nursery checklist and even threw in some specific items that my baby loves or I find to be incredibly useful.
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Furniture & Bedding
The main items you want to have on your nursery checklist are crib furniture and bedding.
For example at the bare minimum you’ll want to have the following items:
- At least 2 pairs of sheets
- Hanging Bookshelf
In my case, for the large furniture items, we were able to find some grandparents who were selling barely used baby furniture at a steal on NextDoor. The only higher ticket item we had to invest in was a new mattress.
Bedding wise I do recommend starting off with at least 2 pairs of sheets in case the baby has an accident. You’ll be able to quickly change bedding and then throw the other one in the wash.
When it comes to bedding I recommend Comfy Cubs. Their crib sheets allow you to pamper your baby while they sleep without the high price tag. The sheets are not only soft so they’re gentle on newborn’s sensitive skin, but they also are made with durable, organic materials so they can last throughout the entire crib stage.
The bookshelf is another nursery essential because if you’re anything like me storytime is very important and one of your favorite parts of the day. Baby’s book collection will add up quickly and a hanging bookshelf can be purchased for less than $30 and take up much less space than a traditional bookshelf while keeping books out of reach in the beginning so pages aren’t torn.
A glider falls under the more category.
However, it is the nursery item that I never knew I needed until I tried it.
I didn’t have one with any of the boys, however, it sure would have made things a lot easier if I would have.
It can be used when nursing, doing storytime, or even rocking to sleep.
It’s not technically a nursery essential, however, if you come across one that fits within your budget it’s definitely a nursery item that you’ll put to good use.
Sound Machine or Alexa
Once you start transitioning to the crib, a sound machine will help the baby sleep through the night.
While my daughter does have a Snoobear that we used nightly during her newborn days, I found putting an Alexa Echo Show in her room to be a better investment than a sound machine.
Alexa not only functions as a sound machine, but it can also eliminate the need for a baby monitor.
You can drop in at any time while baby is sleeping without disturbing them, avoid numerous trips to their room while they’re sleeping, AND it is cheaper than most sound machines and baby monitors combined.
Plus, as they get older you’ll be able to use even more of Alexa’s features such as playing their favorite movies, tv shows, and music.
During the newborn stages when the baby isn’t mobile, you’re going to spend a lot of time reading and as the baby gets older they’ll look forward to naptime and bedtime stories.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to get started on their book collection early (if possible).
Initially, I started out with a bedtime stories book that contains about 50 stories and now we get books monthly.
Reading stories is a great bonding activity and it gives both mom and baby time to relax and unwind.
Hullabaloo Book Co. is a great way to build your child’s library early on. Subscriptions start at $19.95 per month + shipping.
Year’s Worth of Clothes
The first year just seems to fly by and clothing sizes really do seem to change overnight.
Ideally, you’d get 2 weeks’ worth of clothes for each baby stage – starting with 0-3 months.
This way you don’t have to worry at all during the first year about what your baby is going to wear and 2 weeks’ worth of clothes also makes it so you will be able to stick to a weekly laundry schedule AND not feel like you’re overwhelmed with baby clothes.
As each stage comes you can always add on more items if you want.
My two weeks’ worth of clothes for each stage consisted of onesies and zippered PJs and all of her actual outfits were purchased throughout the year, as needed.
Also, while on the topic of PJs, if possible go for the zipper ones that feature two-way zippers such as the ones available at Willow + Co. By doing this you’ll make diaper changes a lot quicker and easier for you both.
Read Also: Baby Girl Spring & Summer Fashion Must-Haves
While on the topic of clothes also don’t forget about adding in some hooded towels, wash cloths, and receiving blankets.
It’s common to see receiving blankets left out of nursery checklists these days, but I think they are essential as they can be used for many purposes from utilizing when changing diapers or even as a burp cloth.
Bamboo Little is a great place to get your baby bathtime essentials from. They even have essentials for bedtime, naptime, and tummy time too!
Playmat or Rug
You’re also going to need a nice comfortable place to play with the baby so a playmat or rug should be on your nursery checklist – especially if the nursery has hardwood floors.
For my daughter’s nursery, we have a soft, fluffy rug.
However, in the living room, we have a playmat.
In the beginning, we started with a small playmat when she wasn’t very mobile, but recently we’ve upgraded to this large ABC Foam Playmat.
A mini vacuum is another nursery checklist item that falls under the more category.
However, it’s something that you’ll need and I even consider it to be a diaper bag essential.
Whether it’s crumbs from late-night nursing snacks or a baby pouring out a container of puffs, the Ayla & Co mini vacuum makes clean-up easier.
It looks similar to a water bottle and is lightweight and cordless.
Speaking of cleaning up snacks, don’t forget to get some snack cups, such as these ones from Brave Justice Kids Co, to try to contain messes a bit.
Setting up a nursery is supposed to be fun. With this nursery checklist, you can take the stress out of knowing what essentials you should buy and even have some fun extras you can throw in.