I’ve spent the last decade of my life having babies and one thing that has consistently surprised me with each new arrival is the plethora of new baby products that are always rampantly available. I like to think of myself as a minimalist of sorts and as such, pride myself on not just saving my wallet, but also the environment by reusing whatever items I can.
But, how does a mom, especially a first time mom, navigate the overwhelming baby store aisles and the magnitude of online shopping, where gadgets are exorbitant and trends are plentiful? Well, you would ask a seasoned mom friend or hunt down reviews online.
If you’re heading into this exciting stage of life, I thought it would be informative to share my top 5 baby nursery essentials:
Baby Crib - I consistently forego the bassinets and bedside sleepers and settle for a crib which will last longer and grows with the baby. The height can be moved up for newborns, making it easier for mom and dad to get the baby and it can be adjusted lower to prevent escapees as baby grows. Later, most cribs provide the function to convert to a toddler bed so this piece of furniture can last quite a few years. According to doctors, newborns sleep between 16-20 hours every day so ensure you have a good mattress to accompany the crib.
Swaddles - all moms need sleep. I have found that swaddling babies help them to sleep longer. Research attributes it to a sense of security and comfort derived from keeping the baby as cozy as possible. There are many different kinds to choose from, each providing something special whether its ease of use in the form of Velcro tabs or longer leg space. Swaddle sacks and blankets are options in this category that you can choose from as well. If this for whatever reason is not accessible then Muslin blankets are a great alternative. These are very versatile and be can be used as a swaddle, a nursing cover, shade for baby or even a burp cloth due to its great absorbency.
White Noise / Sound Machine - White noise is soothing and comforting to infants and parents alike. It helps babies to sleep longer by creating an environment which drowns out exterior noise; whether it’s the neighbor’s dog or older siblings. There are many options, from physical sound machines, to apps, to downloadable white noise sleep sounds for babies.
An Electric Swing - Be sure to purchase a swing that can be plugged into an electrical outlet, lest you expend too much trying to maintain batteries for this machine. If your baby enjoys the swing, then you will want to personally thank the inventor. The swing doesn’t have to be the most expensive in the market, it has to simply be able to provide adequate function.
Supportive Rocker - Sometimes a swing will not suffice because mom’s warmth and scent are absent. I have found that a great rocker is essential for putting baby to sleep, rocking them, and reading to them, interacting with them, snuggling older kids, etc. I strongly suggest getting a neutral rocker that can transition to other parts of the home once it is no longer needed in the nursery.
Parents, remember that there will be lots of items to splurge on as the baby grows!
Needless to say, keep it minimum and essential. Utilize remaining funds to hire help if and when needed, or to simply pamper yourself before your cup empties.
Naimah Shaw is the mother of five beautiful children and the owner/content creator of the parenting blog, This Beautiful Life. There you can find product reviews, articles and conversations about food, homeschooling and motherhood. We are pleased to have her as a regular contributor to Fade Away Sleep Sounds.