Monday, October 03, 2005

The Essentials of the Baby Nursery

When you are planning your baby's nursery, it is easy to get caught up in the hype. "I have to buy that. Everyone has one." Moms and Dads are convinced through excellent marketing campaigns and the peer pressure of suburbia that they absolutely must give their children everything made for babies to give them the best head start possible. What do you really need when designing your nursery, however?

First, you need the basics: a crib, a rocker, and a changing table. The crib should be the first piece you buy because it will be the foundation for the rest of the design. Once you have a crib picked out, then you can look for matching, or at least complementary, changing tables.

While some parents do not use changing tables, and you can certainly get by without one, it is a nice piece of furniture to have, especially if you end up with a wiggle worm for a baby. You can strap the little one onto the changing table, making the whole diaper and clothes-changing process much smoother. Today's changing tables are far more useful than those of yesteryears, too. They typically convert into a dresser, bookshelf, or other piece of furniture once you are done with using them for baby. That makes the investment in them seem like a much better buy.

Definitely get a rocking chair or other soft-backed chair for your nursery. There will be times that although baby is awake, you are about to pass out. You will appreciate the rocker then because you can help soothe baby and still get a little relaxation yourself.

Next, consider getting some type of diaper center. You can even make one yourself with a bit of sewing or design acumen. You will want a place where you can find diapers easily and where you can keep diaper pins (if you use cloth), diaper rash cream, wipes, powder, and other items you may need while diapering. You should find a place to put this portable diaper center near where you will change baby.

While you should not get caught up in everything you, that does not mean that you should not purchase anything to stimulate baby's development. A simple mobile hanging over the crib is an excellent idea to help your baby focus his or her eyes during the first few months.

You also may want to start a little toy center or a little book area for your baby. While he or she will not play with toys for the first few months, and will not be able to understand any appreciation for books for a while after that, plan ahead when you are designing your nursery. A little bookshelf that you can fill up or a basket with toys baby can access will provide places for your baby's stimulation in the nursery.

Look around to see what is available for you to put in your little one's nursery and remember that you will not like everything on the market. Some parents love diaper pails; others hate them. Give yourself the chance to see what you like and make the best decisions for you and baby.

By Julia Mercer

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