If you are pregnant right now you have probably spent the last few weeks/months surfing Pinterest and Instagram looking at all the wonderful ways you can prepare for your new arrival. But what do you actually need? And what should you certainly not bother with?
You are probably feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of items that are presented in front of you when you search ‘baby nursery’ or the like.
You may have even ventured into a few baby stores to get a feel for this whole baby thing.
I remember my first trip to a baby specialist store. I was 12 weeks pregnant and with my mum. We walked in and the sales rep for a particular brand of stroller sniffed us out like a trained Beagle.
I must have looked like a deer in headlights, at least that’s how I felt!
We were promptly asked what we were looking for…. “everything” mum responded. Rookie mistake! We were then chewed up and spit out by the enthusiastic rep while she paraded us through the different departments from prams to car seats to highchairs and cots.
We walked out more stuck than when we entered. That’s saying a lot as I have 3 siblings and mum fancies herself as somewhat of an expert in the field of babies. Of course it has been 27 years since her last babe was born (shout out little brother!) so she is a bit rusty… which the rep took full advantage of!
I went home and jumped online and started researching. Even with the number of forums I visited on all things baby there was much to be learned in the field of baby preparation.
This along with different conversations with industry professionals and coaches I have come up with a neat and tidy guide for preparing the nursery for baby.
Disclaimer: Some links provided in this blog are affiliate links. I may be paid a small commission if you use these links to make a purchase (at no cost to you). However, I am not paid a commission to recommend products to my readers.
Nursery Decor Do’s
Think multi-purpose. A dresser which you can add a change table topper to is perfect as you can then remove the topper once you no longer require nappy changes and keep the dresser for your toddler/school age children.
Regular change tables are great but once you no longer require them, they are only useful as a dust collector.
Aim for a dresser which is about hip height. This will be ideal so you don’t strain your back.
We have a small bathroom so we used our dresser for the first couple of months to sit the baby bath on top of so we could bath baby without bending over into the bath.
Once bubs gets a bit more active (and discovers splashing) you will want to move this to the bathroom.
Another great investment is the convertible cot. This one converts from infant cot into a toddler bed. This makes it a worthy investment for sure.
If you are planning to paint the walls bright blue with clouds on the ceiling put the paint brush down!!
Opt instead for neutral colours and add a few nice decals that you can replace and change as your child matures.
This is MUCH more affordable (and quicker) than repainting the nursery a different colour every few years.
Added bonus is that it is much easier to patch paint a white wall than a custom shade of turquoise. You know, when bubs learns how to uncap a sharpie!
Light & Bright/Dark & Demure
You want to be able to change the mood in your nursery.
When baby is first born, they don’t know the difference between day and night. This is something you will have to work to establish.
One way to do this is to ensure the room is bright during the day and dark (or at least dimmed) during the bedtime routine and nap/night time.
Skip the pretty curtains and opt for block out curtains instead.
Another way to control this is with a dimmer switch on your lights OR a dimmer lamp. My hubby has installed these light globes which allow us to control the lights in the house with our mobile phones and Google Home Mini (something similar here).
You can totally settle for a simple lamp like this or a salt lamp too. It all depends on how techy you are (or how techy your hubby is!).
Nursery Decor Don’t Bother’s
Your baby wont be able to see very far at all when they’re first born. And even then your face is probably the only thing that they will be interested in at first. Its not until about the 10-12 week mark that bubs will want to start grabbing onto things and they really don’t care what they are grabbing onto so don’t spend too much money on toys!
And if I can be real for a second – You will need to save all the money you can for when they are actually asking for toys… expensive toys!
NOT EVERYTHING IN A BABY STORE IS THERE TO HELP YOU!! There! I said it! About 30% of items in baby stores are designed purely to take your money.
Hanging mobile? Don’t need it – this will just stimulate baby in the one place you don’t want them to be stimulated… bed.
Diaper pail? Don’t need it – use these odor neutralizing nappy bags instead – they are great!
Canopy? Don’t need it – these can actually cause SIDS if they fall down in the middle of the night or baby grabs onto it and pulls it down – it likely wouldn’t make any noise either – just don’t do it.
Crib bumpers? Don’t need it – again these are a SIDS risk.
Scared baby will hit their head on the rungs of the crib?
Babies are pretty resilient, and how else are they going to learn the consequences of their actions (a vital developmental skill) if you pad their environment?
Not to mention baby needs to practice grabbing – the rungs of the bassinet are great for this. Jaxon falls asleep holding onto the sides of his cot almost every night.
Wipe warmer? Don’t need it at all! If the wipes are a little chilly just warm them in your hands. No big deal.
Fancy Furniture/Expensive Basics
The difference between a $300 cot and a $1500 cot is not much difference. And if there is (or the sales rep tells you there is) you can bet that baby will not notice.
Aim for a firm, well fitting mattress in a regular cot. This will be the best option for your baby.
If you have some money to burn at the baby store focus on buying blankets, face washers and nappies instead. These items are what you cant go wrong with, in fact throw in the baby wipes for good measure! Lord knows you going to be using those until bubs moves out at 25!
Maybe even put some dosh towards a better pram so you can go for walks etc.
I really wish I would have stumbled upon a list like this when I was preparing Jaxon’s nursery. Unfortunately, I didn’t and I own most of the items in the latter list. And I can tell you, I really wish I didn’t bother!
Just remember that not everything in baby stores is there to help mamas. A lot of it is purely there to spend your money!
Hopefully this list will save you some cash in the expensive venture that is ‘preparing for baby’ and you can use it towards a few massages before your bundle of joy arrives or a kickass baby shower!
And don’t forget to PIN this for later!