One thing parents absolutely must have done before labor begins is their baby's nursery. Life for both parents will be immensely easier if the nursery is stocked and ready to go at least a month before the baby is due. If everything is ready early, the new parents won't have to worry about running out for last minute items, and they will also be prepared if the baby comes earlier than expected.
- The first thing you should do is to choose the nursery furniture. The basic pieces for a nursery are a crib, dresser, nightstand, changing table, and a rocking chair. You can buy matching sets or look for individual pieces. Check for recalls before shopping, and remember to make sure all items are sturdy and safe. If you choose to use older furniture, check for any defects, and clean thoroughly. If you suspect lead paint has been used, discard the item.
- Next, purchase a supply of linens for the crib. Crib sheets should fit tightly and firmly. You should have at least five to ten of these. Babies tend to spit up or wet through their diapers, so you may find yourself changing the sheet very often. You also want to have an assortment of light blankets. If it is cold, have a few heavier ones as well. If you have a rocker, get rocking chair pads for your comfort.
- Once you have the basic furniture chosen, make sure you have enough clothing for your newborn. Infants can go through a lot of clothes, and you don't want to have to do laundry every single day because you didn't buy enough. You should have, at a minimum, 100 disposable or 40 cloth diapers, seven to fourteen outfits (weather appropriate), seven to fourteen one piece undergarments, fourteen pairs of socks, and fourteen bibs. You also want to have burping pads.
- Don't forget about bath time and diapering supplies. You should have at least seven towels designed for baby's sensitive skin, fourteen washcloths, and a very soft robe or wrap for after the bath. Don't forget to have at least two of each of the following: baby shampoo, baby oil, baby powder, diaper rash cream, baby moist wipes, and baby wash. Don't forget a diaper pail.
- Other items are needed as well, mostly for safety reasons. Make sure you purchase enough nightlights and replacement bulbs so that you can see where you are going for nighttime feedings and changes. There should be a soft light lamp in the nursery, as well thick curtains to keep out unwanted sunlight. You should have safety covers for all outlets, and of course, a good set of baby monitors.
- Lastly, don't forget to have weather appropriate jackets or coats, warm shoes, hats, and mittens for winter months. You should also have a supply of baby cotton swabs, cotton balls, tweezers, a thermometer, and a pair of nail scissors or clippers. You can also add a CD player for lullaby music if you wish.
- When you have everything you need, make sure you plan your nursery layout so that everything is easily accessible. You may spend a lot of time in this room, and you want to make it as comfortable as possible. Place the changing table near the crib so you can move about easily, and make sure there is nothing is placed in a way that you might trip on in the middle of the night. Think of the best ways to organize the room so everything is easy to find, and easy to navigate. You may even want to turn out the lights, turn on a nightlight, and make a few trial runs before the show begins!