a well-organized nursery awaits a baby's arrival

Preparing for a Baby: Nursery Essentials

With so many baby products on the market, it can be hard to tell the difference between the wants and the essentials. Wipe warmers are fantastic in theory, but haven’t people been cleaning their babies without them for centuries? Stick to the basics and you and your baby will be just fine. So what exactly are the baby basics?


A baby’s crib is easily the most important thing in a nursery. It’s best to purchase a brand new crib, as safety standards change pretty frequently. Also important to keep in mind: buy at least two pairs of sheets because babies are messy. For sleeping, you’ll need:

  • Crib
  • Mattress
  • Bedding and blankets
  • Mobile
  • Baby monitor


Once again, babies are messy, so it’s important to have plenty of diapers on hand at all times. Even more importantly, invest in a diaper disposal system to dispose of the dirtiest of diapers and their smells. For changing, you’ll need:

  • Changing table
  • Diapers
  • Diaper disposal system
  • Wet wipes
  • Rash cream
  • Baby powder


While you may not have to worry about splurging on baby clothes thanks to baby shower gifts, you still need to make sure you have a place to store everything. For dressing, you’ll need:

  • Dresser
  • Socks
  • Short-sleeve onesies
  • Long-sleeve onesies


Now that we’ve covered the bare necessities, there are a few more things you need to consider investing in:

  • Night-lights not only provide light for your baby, they also provide light for you so you don’t stumble around in the dark when you’re checking on your baby at 3 a.m.
  • A rocking chair will come in handy for feedings, to read a book to your baby, or to rock your baby to sleep.
  • A book shelf will come in handy as you start building your child's book collection. It's never too early to start reading to your baby.
  • Storage baskets are absolutely necessary for organizing all the toys your baby will receive (there will be plenty from friends and family members alone).
  • A boxed or oscillating fan is not only great for keeping your baby cool on those hot summer nights; it also provides white noise, which lulls babies to sleep while blocking out other noises like doorbells and barking dogs.
  • A journal is a great way to keep track of your baby’s feeding and sleeping schedules. It’s also a great way to document every first your baby has.
  • Hand sanitizer because, let's be honest, you’re going to need it.
Last Updated: August 11, 2014