Nursery Must Haves
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15 Baby Nursery Must-Haves – The Ultimate Checklist

After picking out a nursery theme, setting up your baby’s nursery will be one of the first things you do when preparing for their arrival. While getting the nursery ready can be so exciting and fun, it can also feel a little overwhelming – especially when you want it to be perfect for your little one. That’s why it’s beneficial to learn about what nursery must-haves you’ll need!

When planning out your nursery, you might find it easy to get carried away and purchase too many baby things that aren’t necessary. With this list of nursery must-haves, you’ll find out what items are essential, allowing you to leave out the fluff. This is especially crucial when having a baby on a budget!

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1. Crib

Delta Children Emery 4-in-1 Convertible Baby Crib - Nursery Must-Haves

Picking a crib for your baby is a nursery essential, whether you have your baby start out sleeping in a bassinet or not. Your child will eventually outgrow their bassinet, and it’s beneficial to have their larger sleeping place ready to go.

When choosing a crib, there are many options out there. From mini cribs to convertible cribs, there is always a perfect option for your needs.

I wanted an option that could grow with my child, so I chose a convertible crib. Not only is the height of the mattress adjustable, but it converts into a toddler bed and then into a full-sized bed.

Keep in mind that if you choose a convertible crib, you will have to buy extra parts for the frame to convert it into a full-sized bed. They’re not too expensive, but I didn’t know that initially, so I want to make sure you do!

And, the way I see it, spending a little extra for the full-size frame parts is much cheaper in the long run than buying a whole new different frame.

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2. Crib Mattress

Sealy Baby 2-Stage Dual Firmness Waterproof Standard Toddler & Baby Crib Mattress - Nursery Must-Haves

Undoubtedly, you know that you’ll need a mattress for your baby’s crib. Like the crib itself, there are many options for crib mattresses. Make sure you do some searching for the right one; your kiddo will use it for quite a while!

I chose a two-sided mattress for our baby’s crib. It has a more firm side for your baby’s first year, which helps promote safe sleep. Then, the other side is a little softer for when your baby gets a little older.

Other great things to look for in crib mattresses are that they are made without harsh chemicals, non-toxic, and tested for safety.

3. Crib Bedding

Burt's Bees Baby Fitted Crib Sheet, 100% Cotton

Crib bedding is the next on the list of nursery must-haves, but probably not the bedding you may be thinking of. When picking out crib bedding for your baby, try not to buy any bedding sets that have pillows, bumpers, and comforters. Your baby won’t use them!

Instead, opt for fitted crib sheets and waterproof mattress protectors. You will want at least two of each, but you can buy more if you think you’ll need them.

Also, sticking to 100% cotton sheets is ideal. Not only are they soft, but cotton is a breathable fabric that is great for keeping your baby cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

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4. Dresser

Delta Children 6 Drawer Dresser - Nursery Must-Haves

A dresser is another widely known nursery essential, but you want to make sure you choose a dresser that can have multiple purposes. Mainly, you will want a dresser that you can also use as a diaper changing area.

Using the top of a dresser instead of a changing table not only saves you money, but it saves you space in the nursery. But, you will want to ensure that the dresser you buy isn’t too tall or too short.

This dresser is perfect for a nursery because it’s a great height, has plenty of drawer space, and can fit a dedicated and removable changing top. The changing top is handy because it helps to keep the changing pad securely and safely on top of the dresser.

Plus, you can remove the topper when your child is finished with diapers, and the dresser will look back to normal.

You’ll also love: How Many Baby Clothes Do I Actually Need?

Nursery Must Haves Pin Image

5. Changing Pad With Covers

Contoured Changing Pad with Security Strap

When using a dresser as a changing table, you’ll need a changing pad that sits on top. Changing pads will not only help to keep your child comfortable but also safe.

Most changing pads come with a strap attached that you can buckle after laying your baby down. This is meant to help prevent falls. But, keep in mind that you should never walk away from your baby while they are on a changing table, whether buckled or not.

I used this changing pad on top of my son’s dresser, and it certainly did its job. But I have to mention that you will want to get a cover for the changing pad – most are pretty plain and certainly not the cutest. These ones are so soft while being functional.

PRO MAMA TIP: Use these changing pad liners on top of the cover when changing your baby! The liners are waterproof, and they make cleaning up after messy diaper changes a breeze since you won’t have to remove the whole cover.

6. Glider

DaVinci Upholstered Recliner and Swivel Glider in Dark Grey - Nursery Must-Haves

When you think of a baby’s nursery, you probably picture a sweet rocking chair in the corner. It’s worthwhile to know that having a comfy chair in the nursery isn’t only for looks!

Keeping a comfortable chair in the nursery is especially great for doing night feedings and calming down your baby when they get fussy. But when it comes to cozy nursery chairs, we recommend getting a glider instead of a traditional rocking chair.

Gliders are preferred over rocking chairs because the movement is much more smooth. Rocking chairs move back and forth, and the motion can be dramatic with little effort. On the other hand, a glider is fixed on tracks that only go back and forth.

When choosing a glider for your nursery, look for one like this one with lower arms (which makes feedings easier and more comfortable) and also reclines. There’s a good chance that your baby will take some naps on you, and being able to recline is ideal.

7. Baby Monitor

VTech Audio Baby Monitor

A baby monitor is one of the nursery must-haves that will give you peace of mind. You can put your baby down for their nap and go to do other things while still being able to hear if your baby wakes up.

The hard part of choosing a baby monitor is picking which kind to buy. With the choices being between an audio-only baby monitor or a video baby monitor, it can be hard to decide.

When I was pregnant and picking out all of my newborn’s essentials, I struggled with justifying the price of a video baby monitor. The more exceptional quality video monitors can get expensive! In the end, we chose to invest in an audio baby monitor, and I’m glad we did.

We haven’t regretted our decision in our 2+ years of using this audio baby monitor. The monitor works well – we can bring the receivers all around the house with no problem. And we have never felt like we needed to see our child while he’s sleeping.

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8. Humidifier

Pure Enrichment Cool Mist Humidifier - Nursery Must-Haves

Using a cool-mist humidifier in your baby’s nursery is crucial, especially if you live in a cold or dry climate. Humidifiers help prevent your baby’s skin from getting dry, and they also help relieve congestion.

Using a humidifier that produces a cool-mist is essential because it reduces the risk of a child getting too close to hot steam and getting a burn. Plus, warm-mist and cool-mist humidifiers are equally efficient at adding moisture into the air.

We love this humidifier because it holds a perfect amount of water, has a cool mist, a night light, plus a guaranteed 5-year warranty!

PRO MAMA TIP: Make sure to empty and dry your humidifier every day to keep it clean and reduce any calcium buildup.

9. Oscillating Fan For Summertime

Honeywell Whole Room Tower Fan

Keeping your baby cool during the summer months is vital, especially while sleeping. If you don’t have a ceiling fan in your baby’s nursery, it’s a terrific idea to snag an oscillating fan for their room before the heat hits.

We purchased this fan right before we transitioned our son to his crib and it’s still perfect a couple of years later. I love that this fan doesn’t take up much room, it’s quiet and has multiple fan speed settings.

Nursery Must Haves Pin Image

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10. Blackout Curtains

Navy Star Blackout Curtains for Kid's Bedroom

When your baby is born, they don’t know the concept of day and night – it’s something that we have to help them learn! That’s why having blackout curtains is so beneficial.

When teaching your baby the difference between day and night, you will want to make the two obvious. During the day, let a lot of light in from outside. Then, at night, try to keep the lights dim until bedtime and make the room as dark as possible for sleeping.

Blackout curtains help to keep your baby’s room consistently dark. It won’t matter when there is a time change, and it stays light outside later; your baby’s room will always be dark at their bedtime.

Plus, when you pair a dark room with a bedtime routine, you’ll be setting yourself up for bedtime success!

11. Sound Machine

Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine, Night Light and Time-to-Rise - Nursery Must-Haves

Speaking of bedtime, a sound machine is one of my favorite nursery must-haves. Using white noise from a sound machine can help to tone down any jarring noises while your baby is sleeping, like a dog barking, for example.

Plus, using a sound machine isn’t something that you’ll need to wean your baby from using. Many adults use a sound machine or need white noise to sleep.

For instance, many people like sleeping with a fan because the fan’s noise is soothing. That’s equivalent to using a sound machine.

We have used this sound machine for over two years, and it’s been amazing! There are many different sounds to choose from, and it can also be used as a night light.

What’s also great is that you can control everything from your phone. You can adjust the light and noise levels, set a timer, and even change the night light’s color. Also, you can make favorite presets to switch to quickly.

12. Diaper Pail

Playtex Diaper Genie Complete Diaper Pail with Odor Lock Technology

A diaper pail is essential whether you use a Diaper Genie or a regular garbage bin. When you’re organizing your nursery, you’ll want to put the diaper pail next to your changing area. This will ensure that you won’t have to step away from your baby to throw the diaper away.

I recommend using a Diaper Genie simply because of how many diapers they hold, plus they hide the smell! In addition, if you buy the refills in a larger quantity like this box, it makes them a little cheaper in the long run.

13. Clothes Hamper

22" Rolling Slim Laundry Basket -  Nursery Must-Haves

A clothes hamper might seem like one of the obvious nursery must-haves, but I had to include it in this checklist because I almost forgot to get one before my son was born!

When it comes down to it, you don’t need anything fancy for your baby’s clothes hamper. We chose this one because it’s a great size to store behind my son’s door, out of sight.

14. Cart For Storing Supplies

SimpleHouseware Heavy Duty 3-Tier Metal Utility Rolling Cart, Silver

Having an organized nursery with plenty of storage is ideal, but not everyone has the space for enough storage. That’s certainly true in my case, which is why I bought one of these 3-tier carts.

I had this 3-tier cart between my son’s dresser/changing area and his glider. I used the top tier to store diaper caddy essentials, the middle tier to keep many of my breastfeeding essentials, and the bottom tier to store extra burp cloths and swaddles.

This setup was perfect for us in the small space, but you can use the cart to store anything you need! After my son got older and stopped breastfeeding and using diapers, we started using the cart to store his arts and crafts supplies.

15. Cube Organizer

ClosetMaid 9 Cube Storage Organizer

Last on this list of nursery must-haves is my favorite way to store books and toys: a cube organizer.

I prefer cube organizers because they can hold books and use fabric bins to store things like toys. That saves me a lot of space because I don’t need a bookshelf AND a toy box. Plus, using the fabric bins to store toys has helped start a toy rotation.

Nursery Must Haves Pin Image

I hope this nursery must-haves checklist has helped you feel more prepared to set up your baby’s nursery! You and your baby will spend quite a bit of time in this room, so take the time you need to make it just right.

Before you go, check out these related articles:

What’s your favorite on this list of nursery must-haves? I would love to know in the comments below!

Rachel Sig 3

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  1. These are such great things to have in the nursery. My favourite in mind was my glider! It has made life so much easier and at 2 and a half I still use it to get my son to sleep.

  2. 100% agree with this list! I love that you have the blackout curtains, sound machine, and fan on the list – all are so important for creating a soothing, comfortable sleep environment for our little ones!

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