Monday, September 12, 2016

The BabyWise Mom Ultimate Nursery Checklist

This post may contain affiliate links.
Babies cost a lot of money. I mean, it cost a lot of money just to deliver the baby, much less to feed and clothe the baby. With all of these expenses, you might find yourself looking around Babies R Us and wondering what is really needed.

I am a very frugal person, but when it comes to baby stuff, I am a big sucker. I find it all adorable and want to buy everything. Everything doesn't fit in my house, and everything costs a lot of money. So unfortunately, everything can't be purchased. Or fortunately. I have shared my list of necessary newborn items. I also shared everything we actually used in my fourth child's first and second months of life.

When we brought our first-born home from the hospital, we lived in a very small apartment. It was fewer than 300 square feet. He had no nursery. He didn't even have a bed set up when we walked in the door. A few days later, we moved out, lived with our parents for two weeks, and then moved into what seemed like a mansion--a whopping 600 square feet. We doubled our living space. It had no usable bedrooms, though (it was a house we were remodeling). We lived on the main floor that was all open concept. So again, no nursery. We lived there until Brayden was one. When he was almost 13 months old, we moved into a home that was 2000 square feet! And he finally had a bedroom.

I share that with you to assure you that a baby actually needs very little. Most things in the nursery are there for your convenience, and that is okay! It is perfectly fine for things to be set up to make your life a little easier and more comfortable. What I don't want you to do is make decisions that drive you beyond your financial means in an effort to make things perfect for your child. Your baby just will not notice or care. Ready for the list? This post contains affiliate links.

Your baby will need a place to sleep. Initially, babies can be quite flexible and sleep in small locations. A bassinet is large enough for a newborn. A pack and play can work. You might prefer a crib. You might use all three of those. At some point, your baby will need a crib to sleep in for best sleep. A crib will be more comfortable than a pack and play as your baby gets bigger.

In choosing your crib, you might wonder if you should get one that is just a crib or one that converts to a toddler bed. It is up to you. If you are having another baby someday, it might make the most sense to do a crib and just buy this baby a toddler bed or go straight to a twin when the time comes to move out of the crib since the next baby will also need a crib. Most cribs do seem to be convertible now, though. In the end, just get the crib you like in your price range.

You will need:

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Whether you are breast feeding or bottle feeding a baby, you will find it very helpful to have a place in the nursery to feed the baby. This is not necessary. If you cannot afford this, you can skip it. You can take baby to a couch or different chair in your home to sit and feed baby. If you can afford it, it will make your life so much easier and will be an investment worth your money. You will find this to especially be true in the middle of the night. 

In choosing your chair, think long-term. If you plan to have many children, you might invest in a chair that is made just for a nursery and has the look of a nursery. If you do not plan to have many children, you might want to purchase a chair that can either work in that room even when your child is not a baby or can work in a different location in your home once the chair is no longer needed for feeding babies. I do highly recommend this chair be a rocking chair. You can always check classifieds to get a deal on a chair designed for nurseries, and/or you can sell such a chair on classifieds once you are done with it. 

Another consideration for feeding at night is a lamp or light dimmer switch. You will need a way to see at night. Another idea is a night light. I don't leave a night light on in my baby's room. Light can disrupt sleep. I either just use a lamp or dimmer switch for when I am doing the night feed or I put a night light in the hall outside the bedroom so when I go into the room, there is enough light to see by.

You will need:
  • Chair
  • Lamp, nightlight, or light dimmer switch
  • Burp rags (not all babies spit up when burping, but they are handy for wiping up spilled or leaked milk or milk dribble off of baby's chin. By the way, cloth diapers make great burp rags)
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For you, a changing mat on the floor might be a good enough place to change a diaper. All you need is somewhere clean and on something so if (when. It's really when) baby pees or poops while the diaper change is happening, you can clean that something easily. 

So what you choose to get is again based on your own preference and desires for convenience. You will change a lot of diapers over the next couple of years and you might really like having a place where you can change baby's diaper without having to bend over. I personally loved our changing table. It had the top where I put a changing bad, then it had two shelves. One had baskets. I used one basket for dirty laundry. The other had diapers, wipes, diaper cream, nail clippers, etc. I also kept a clean set of pajamas there so if (when. Again it is a when) baby leaked through the diaper and on to clothes, I could change baby without having to carry a naked or dirty baby to the closet to get more clothes. 
The bottom shelf had toys. 

You will need:

You need a place for both the dirty and the clean clothes your baby has. You will want a dresser and/or a closet for clothing. You will also need a place for dirty clothes. A hamper in the baby's room is very convenient and worth it. You can, of course, just move the dirty clothes out of the room each time and into a family hamper somewhere. In all actuality, my four year old doesn't have a hamper in her room right now. She did as a baby (with the changing table). She will as she gets older. For now, I just take her dirty clothes each night and each morning and put them in a hamper. The reason I like it for a baby is convenience. Babies go through a lot more clothes than a four year old each day. They leak through diapers, they spit up, and they get baby food on them. 

You might also find you will like some organizers. You might like closet organizers or drawer organizers. Baby clothes are small, so drawer organizers can be a great way to keep those little things separated. 

You will need:


If your baby's room is in a location where you won't be able to hear baby for sure, you will want a monitor so you can hear baby. You might also really like a video monitor. The video monitor is not necessary. I didn't get one until my third baby. I LOVED it and would absolutely get a video monitor if I were to do it again.

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  • Monitor
  • Video monitor (I like using a Foscam camera. I can view my child on an app on my phone anywhere I have internet connection). 
As your baby grows, books and toys will enter the house. You might decide to keep some or all of the toys in the nursery. You can store toys under the crib, in a dresser drawer, in the closet, or on shelves. You might put them in bins or totes. You can get a book case or a toy storage set-up. 

You will need:
Decorations are of course entirely optional. You might like curtains, frames, pictures, phrases, mirrors, letters, or a whole slew of other decorations to make the space what you want it to be. 

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