Over the holiday break at the end of 2020, we swapped the girl’s rooms moving Chloe into the old nursery turned kid’s room and transitioning Indie from her crib to the ‘house bed’ in Chloe’s old room. After four years, we no longer have a nursery or crib in the house! It felt strange at first but we’re getting used to it. In this blog, I want to share with you some of our ‘nursery essentials’.
So for anyone expecting (congratulations!) and are feeling overwhelmed with setting up your new nursery, I hope this list will come in handy as you prepare for your new bundle 🙂
This post contains some affiliate links and I may earn a small commission if you use the link to purchase items at no additional cost to you. This helps to support me in creating content for you.
This isn’t exactly for the nursery room, BUT it was essential for us. During the first few months, our girls slept in a bassinet next to my bedside. So neither of our babies slept in the nursery until months later.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the best place for babies to sleep is in their parents’ bedroom in their own crib or bassinet at least their first 6 months of life, if not first year. Studies have shown that when babies are close by, it can help reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS. Source: Room sharing with your baby may help prevent SIDS—but it means everyone gets less sleep
Having a newborn and worrying about SIDS is nerve wracking to say the least but I found it soothing to be able to hear baby snoozing next to me. I was also breastfeeding so it was much easier to reach over and breastfeed her in bed without having to get up and go to the nursery. Those overnight nursing sessions are draining so anything that helps make it easier is worth it.
The bassinet that we used with our last baby was the Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper. We got ours second hand in gently used condition. It’s sturdy and I really appreciated the swivel and rotate feature and flexible side for ease of use. The lullaby songs and white noise features were also handy.
Halo Bassinest: https://amzn.to/2KKFAN1
2. MOSES BASKET
This falls in the same vain as the bassinet but I also wanted a portable option. With my second child, our set up was the Halo in the bedroom and a moses basket for everywhere’s else. It was really useful for when I just want to put baby down after she had a feeding in the living room or if I needed to move her from room to room without waking her up. You could also use it for baby to nap in outside of your home if you’re visiting others. Not to mention, it’s also really cute for photos! The basket has also been multipurpose for us, and is now serving as the toy basket in the living room.
We got ours from Plum + Sparrow. They are beautifully crafted by African artisans and are fair trade.
African Moses baskets – Plum + Sparrow: https://plumandsparrow.com/
This is the first thing you need in a nursery (obviously!). We got our crib second hand in gently used condition. It was a stunning Baby Caché Heritage crib. These cribs are highly rated for durability, quality and style, and you can certainly feel how solid they are when assembled. The model we had was a convertible crib meaning it could be transformed into a toddler bed but we never bothered because we didn’t have the attachment. I really liked that the mattress height could be adjusted for higher or lower as baby grows, it will save your back every time you have to put them down or lift them out.
Overall, it was a solid crib and lasted two babies with us with no issues. They retail for $500+ but we got ours for $120 and we sold it back out for $85. So overall, an excellent investment.
The model we had is no longer available, but this one is similar: https://tinyurl.com/yyg8plch
4. CRIB MATTRESS
It was really important for me to invest in a great crib mattress so baby can get quality sleep.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, newborns should get 14–17 hours of sleep over a 24-hour period. So it was important for me to get a good quality crib mattress that is both safe and helps baby sleep. Trust me, don’t skimp on anything that helps baby sleep! This is an item that gets used daily, so consider cost per use. The more sleep baby gets, the more sleep you can get.
After much research on best crib mattress, I chose the Colgate Eco Classica III Dual Firmness Foam Crib Mattress. It offers dual firmness with one side for infants and the other side for toddlers, and provides protection from dust mites and bedbugs. The mattress is non-toxic and CPSIA or CPSC compliant, which makes it safe to use for children. The mattress is eco-friendly and has minimal impact on the environment.
Both our babies were fantastic sleepers and slept through the night (with a few exceptions) when they transitioned from bassinet to crib, and I couldn’t be happier.
Colgate crib mattress: https://amzn.to/3sRt8fB
5. CHANGing table
You will be changing lots and lots of diapers so get yourself a changing table that will work for you and the space in your nursery.
I opted for a dresser that I had bought second hand and re-finished. I wanted something multipurpose, and the nice thing about having a dresser is it can be used beyond just a change table to store clothes, etc. I liked that it was wider than your traditional change tables and had enough surface space for the change pad and diaper changing stuff. You will want to set up your diaper change station so that everything you need is right there or within arm’s reach. This is for baby’s safety and your sanity.
6. CHANGING PAD
A changing pad will be essential. I opted for the Keekeroo changing pad. I had seen it at Room2Remember Kidz, a local baby store downtown, and really liked the design. I love that it‘s so easy to clean because it has a solid surface so all I need is to wipe it down. No need for additional pad covers, however, I do advise using receiving blankets to lay on top because it can get cold for baby’s skin against the solid surface which is really the only downside of it. No big deal, because it helps keep the pad clean and if things get dirty, I just throw the receiving blanket in the wash. I also love that it’s quite durable and the raised sides are firm unlike traditional changing pads. It’s also water resistant and fluids cannot penetrate into the pad, stopping mold or deterioration.
We’ve been using it since day one and still using it with our really tall two year old.
Keekaroo Peanut Changer: https://amzn.to/2Y8yp43
7. SHELVES + STORAGE
You will accumulate a number of baby items and for your sanity, getting proper storage for these items will just help you manage your home.
Get yourself a basket/bin for a diaper caddy. We have ours filled with diapers, cloth wipes, and hand sanitizer and keep it on top of the changing dresser next to the changing pad. Makes for easy, quick changing.
For all the baby books, blankets, etc find shelving and storage bins that will work for the items you’ll have and for the space. We bought the Ikea Kallax shelf to help store some of these items. We didn’t want anything too ‘baby themed’ because it was important for these items to grow with baby.
Ikea Kallax Bookcase: https://amzn.to/39ZFOsa
Baskets and diaper caddy were purchased from Winners and Walmart.
8. Ubbi diaper pail
We had decided to cloth diaper with both babies so it was essential that we had something to properly store the dirty diapers and cloth wipes. I got the Ubbi diaper pail for this and it’s served us well. In fact, we’re still using it for cloth wipes and receiving blankets used on the changing pad!
I like that it’s made of powder coated steel because plastic eventually retains odour in my opinion. You use a wet bag in the pail and once the pail is filled, you remove the wet bag with the soiled items and wash it. It’s eco-friendly and easy to use.
Ubbi diaper pail: https://amzn.to/3oh4iCh
Planet Wise diaper pail liner (these fit perfectly in the Ubbi): https://tinyurl.com/yyl4jofg
9. Cloth wipes & Flannels
I noticed while in the hospital after both births, all the nurses used a cotton cloth and water for wiping baby for nappy changes. I just continued that habit at home.
I got a few different cloth wipes for use for nappy changes. After wiping, I simply throw into the Ubbi pail along with the cloth diaper. I have a small bowl on the dresser, and before every nappy change I would fill it with warm water to use. This was great because newborn skin is so sensitive and by using less chemicals it was one way to prevent any irritations. When baby starts solid food, we incorporated disposable wipes (for poo) and cloth wipes/water (for pee).
You’ll also want cloth wipes to have around for wiping baby down. They’ll get eye boogies in the mornings, the sweat from the creases of their necks, behind their knees, arm rolls… keep those areas clean and dry to prevent unwanted skin irritations/chafing.
AppleCheeks Bamboo Wipes: https://tinyurl.com/y2jl8c8u
Bumkins Reusable Flannel Wipes: https://amzn.to/3amfsAy
Seventh Generation wipes: https://tinyurl.com/y5v7vzw8
A cheaper alternative is to cut up old receiving blankets, which we have also done!
10. RECEIVING BLANKETS
Get a bunch of these. They are really useful for all the spit ups, drools, etc. In my experience, as you’ve already read, they’re very multipurpose and you’ll want to keep some in the nursery, around the house, in the car, in the diaper bag on outings… it’s just super handy to have!
We got some gifted, some from Carter’s or Winners, and some second hand.
Carter’s receiving blankets: https://tinyurl.com/yxkwjq5u
11. BLANKETS (SWADDLING)
You should have seen my face when the nurse swaddled Chloe for the first time in hospital. We asked her to show us cause neither of us had ever swaddled a baby before. It’s an art form.
Don’t worry, if you’ve never done it before, you’ll have lots of time to practise! The hospitals will have blankets on hand for baby, but getting some swaddling blankets of your own will also be really handy because babies just love being swaddled in the newborn stage. Being swaddled mimics the feeling of being in the womb and it not only keeps them warm but also keeps them feeling secured. I often will swaddle with one blanket and use another for extra warmth if needed to lay over baby.
Carter’s organic cotton swaddling blankets: https://tinyurl.com/yxzqkjb6
Lulujo bamboo swaddling blanket: https://amzn.to/3tdzZjJ
Woolino merino wool blanket (One of my FAVE): https://amzn.to/3sVAkam
12. sleep sack
With our first baby, we went through so many different kinds of sleep sacks as we were figuring it out. In the end, I really loved the Woolino 4-season sleep sack and wished we had just used these from the start, would’ve saved us time and money.
These were simply the best on the market. I loved that they fit from 2 months to 2 years thanks to the snaps designed under the arms so there’s no need to keep buying another sleep sack as baby grows and because it’s a natural material like merino wool, it’s naturally breathable and keeps baby warm and works through all 4 seasons. No need to try to figure out tog value with sleep sacks. They are pricey and initially I was hesitant to spend so much on a sleep sack but again, this is an item that is used daily and anything that helps baby sleep is worth investing in. Plus, you’ll save money in the long run with not having to buy multiple sleep sacks as baby grows or with seasons. We loved it so much, we got the sleep sack in their 2-4 years size as well. Indie is still sleeping in that one and she’s a tall toddler (she measures in the 90th percentile).
Woolino Baby Merino Wool Sleep Sacks (2 months – 2 years): https://amzn.to/3cbIHc3
Woolino Toddler Merino Wool Sleep Sacks (2-4 years): https://amzn.to/2MCsGkP
Again, both my babies slept through the night and I think creating the conditions for a good night’s sleep all contributed to it (or I simply may have been really lucky!).
13. Video Baby monitor
For when baby is finally sleeping in her crib in the nursery, you’ll probably want to sneak a peek to make sure all is well. A video baby monitor is incredibly useful and will put your mind at ease for when you are not in the room with baby.
Randy got our baby monitor on clearance from Toys R Us. It’s the Motorola Wireless Digital Video Baby Monitor (Model: MBP41). We really like it, the monitor is wireless so if I’m out on the deck or backyard, I can still keep tabs on baby with the monitor. The camera attaches easily on the wall and can easily be moved to get the perfect angle on your little one. We secured ours at the top corner next to the crib.
Motorola Wireless Digital Video Baby Monitor with Video 2.8 Inch Color Screen, Infrared Night Vision, with Camera Pan, Tilt, and Zoom (Model: MBP41): https://amzn.to/3plBytn
It’s not something I had thought of when I was first putting together our nursery, but it was something that was absolutely essential. This is useful for when baby gets congested from a cold and we’ve even used it for winter time when the air is more dry to help with eczema flare-ups.
Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier: https://amzn.to/3owXxML