There is a reason we’re pregnant for 9 months – and it’s not just so our babies can cook (well, its mostly for that) – but it’s also to give us time to prepare for baby mentally and physically! You may notice around 5 months that you go into full on nesting mode. I actually woke up one day compelled to get organized – I woke my husband up at 6am on a Saturday with the words “we need to get to Target right now.” There is an urgency that comes with pregnancy to get your space ready for the new arrival, so I am dedicating this post to the nursery essentials to get your started! I’m not talking about baby clothes and plush toys – I’m talking about the nursery essentials to help satisfy your nesting needs.
THE BASSINET: This is far more a nursery essential that a crib for the first 3 months. The first 3 months of life your baby will most likely be in your room with you (for both convenience and the health and safety of your new little on), so a bassinet (or moses basket) you can put next to your bed and easily take with you from room to room is a must have. Babies sleep A LOT in the beginning so the bassinet is where they will be spending the bulk of their time.
THE CHANGING TABLE. You will be changing A LOT of diapers – more than you ever though possible so a changing table or dresser or at the very least the countered changing pad is essential. I have 2 of the changing pads – one for in the nursery and one that I keep in the bathroom for bath time – but is easy to take from room to room is need be. If you’re limited for space a great dresser can double as a changing table while also giving you storage for all those cute baby clothes!
BREAST FEEDING ESSENTIALS: Breast feeding, for me, was the hardest part of the whole newborn process – but totally worth it and for those that are struggling keep at it, find a pump station and don’t be afraid to ask for help from a lactation consultant… Nothing is better than breast milk for babies (if you can do it) for those who struggle with latching issues pumping is always a great option. My son was 9 pound 5 ounces when he was born, so I had to start pumping while at the hospital to try to increase my milk production. Pumping (and my daily oatmeal) helped me become an over producer, which was great because I was able to pump enough to keep him on rest milk 4 months after I stopped breast feeding. Just make sure you have the proper tools to make your life as easy as possible during this time! Also – get comfortable – have a great chair (check out my post from a couple weeks ago on gliders and rockers ) the more relaxed you aren the more relaxed baby is and the easier the whole process.
SWADDLE BLANKETS: Swaddling is a must do for baby – it keeps them warm, safe and secure almost replicating the tight security from being in the womb. I read Dr. Karp’s The Happiest Baby on the Block about a week after having Max and it was a game changer. Once I figured out how to swaddle (shush, sway etc) I felt like I finally had some sort of grasp of the whole parenting thing… So having great swaddle blankets are serious nursery essential!
BOUNCERS, ROCKERS & SWINGS: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, my fisher price monkey chair and snuggabunny were my life savers during the first 9 months of Max’s life. Unbelievable how these little chairs can instantly soothe our little ones and allow us some hands free time to do other things like cook or even use the bathroom. One night, after hours of middle of night screaming, I got on the computer and ordered the monkey chair (which a friend of mine had and swore by) and when it arrived my whole life became 10 times easier. I buy one of these chairs for all of my expectant friends knowing they’ll truly understand it’s value soon enough…
BABY MONITORS: As I mentioned, your baby will sleep A LOT in the first couple of months (although not always when you want them to) so having a great baby monitor is essential. Being able to see, hear and even talk to your baby when they’re in the next room can give you peace of mind to do the things you need to (like nap) while they sleep. Technology is so amazing that you can even get monitors with wi-fi which will allow you to connect through an app on your mobile device so you can monitor your child even when you’re not at home! Another great monitor, for those particular nervous about SIDS, are pads you can put under them which will alert you to any sudden changes in their breathing.
CAR SEAT: The first thing you need when you leave the hospital after baby is a car seat to get your little one home! There are plenty of great infant car seats – just make sure to never buy a second hand car seat (this is a big no-no) and to get it properly installed (there are places that have professional car seat installers – even a fire station or highway patrol will help install it correctly). Remember to keep your babies rear facing until 2. Some people like to turn their little ones around sooner but there is absolutely no question that before the age of 2, if you get in an accident with little one in the car they are far safer when they are rear facing. The great thing about these infant car seats is that they are also carriers so take into restaurants or to snap into a stroller frame without having to wake your sleeping angel.