Nursery Checklist: Essentials and More For 2023

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 that 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:

  • Crib
  • Mattress
  • Dresser
  • At least 2 pairs of sheets 
  • Blankets
  • Hanging Bookshelf
  • Baby swing

 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. 


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

Mini Vaccum

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. 

Final Thoughts

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. 

Nursery Checklist: Essentials and More For 2023


  1. My baby is 12 and so many great products have been launched since he was born. I didn’t buy a bunch of stuff for my son. A crib, pack n play which had a bassinet for newborn phase, swing, bouncer, glider or rocking chair, clothes, swaddle blankets, burp rags, bottles and binkis. I breastfed him and used a pump while I was working.

  2. vidya says:

    this essentials list is great.. definitely recall that these were all so important when my kids (now 20 and 17) were little..

  3. I don’t think I was this organized when my baby was born. It is so important to have all these basics ready to go!

  4. Chelsea says:

    That is so great to have a nursery checklist for essentials!

  5. Rosey says:

    Aw yes, to the books. I remember reading to each of my littles. they enjoyed it and I did too.

  6. It’s amazing the technology/improvements available today compared to ten years ago!

  7. It is so fun picking out all the accessories for a nursery. Thanks for sharing these tips with us.

  8. Having a play mat has proven to be a valuable essential with nursery rooms, they’re typically something educational, soft, and fun!!!

  9. Monica says:

    A mini vacuum is genius! I never had one but man I could’ve used it.

  10. Amber Myers says:

    You have a great list here! I remember these days.

  11. Terri Steffes says:

    My daughter is expecting her first in December! I’ll share this with her. We are creating a set up at our house, too, so they don’t have to haul everything to us when they visit.

  12. Catalina says:

    This checklist will help a lot. These items are essential and must have! Everything will be easier with this!

    1. Catalina says:

      My sister used your list and it was so helpful for her!

      1. Victoria H says:


        I am so glad to hear that.

  13. Monica Simpson says:

    This is a great list. I love that mini vacuum! I can’t believe it can fit in a diaper bag.

  14. Chrissy says:

    I had most of these things for my nursery. But I opted for an actual recliner instead of a glider.

  15. Gervin Khan says:

    I agree every item is very essential for our nursery. I would love to have that mini vacuum as this looks very handy and useful at this time!

  16. Richelle Milar says:

    This is so perfect I’m gonna share this with my sister who has a baby! Thanks for sharing this with us!

  17. Lisa Charleston says:

    This is a great checklist! I just bought a sound machine for my best friend’s baby shower. This list would truly be helpful to any new mom & dad!

  18. sara smith says:

    I shared this post with my good friend who is having her first baby this fall. I know this will be helpful!

  19. Tara Pittman says:

    I so enjoyed decorating the nursery. It was fun to pick out all the items.

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