There are two events in a woman’s life where she goes above and beyond a rational budget: her wedding and her baby’s arrival, when men around the world watch in awe as there once entirely sane partner turns into a stressed spending machine.
Since any woman can remember, their wedding day has been an ever changing fixation of the mind, planning the wedding dress, the location, the ambiance, her shoes – all the details, in her mind, on her Pinterest and in her dreams over and over again. However once that day is over – or when, if plans take a turn from the conventional, she begins daydreaming about her baby. From the gender, to the name, to the nursery, and the outfits that will be hanging in the nursery’s closet even before the baby is born.
It’s not uncommon for expecting mothers to go through a process called “nesting”, nesting is an urge mums-to-be get to clean, organise and redecorate the house during pregnancy. Mothers do it to ‘protect and prepare’ for their unborn baby. It may seem like an irrational need but it’s totally natural. The nursery becomes a manifestation of that, once the basic decorating is done it’s time to fill the room with everything and anything that makes their hearts say aww.
While it’s possible to save money on both your wedding and newborn baby costs, nurseries can become very expensive as you begin to learn more and more about what the baby needs and what gadgets are available to make things a little easier. Feeling both anxious and excited, expecting mothers often want to make sure their baby has two of everything that stores suggest should be in the nursery. Purchases often become more emotional than logical, and retailers feed into that, making everything they sell seem absolutely necessary.
A new addition to the family is a fantastic cause for celebration, however the nursery itself isn’t a celebration, but a practical room to be occupied by the child. While it is to be a hugely important room in your home it will only last a few years so spending huge amounts isn’t always necessary. All that occupies the nursery is temporary. The nursery is really for the mother because each item in the room is meant for the comfort of that individual either physically, mentally, or emotionally.
So what should you buy for your nursery? Which items are unnecessary expenses?
Essential Baby Nursery Items
Let’s begin by going down the list of what a nursery should have and why:
A crib before all else must be safe. This should be obvious, but a crib is where a newborn will spend most of their time, if not at first in a moses basket. Newborns can sleep 16-17 hours a day (67% of their day), so a good crib is basically the most important feature in a nursery.
In this world of technology, the first thing you must remember about buying the crib is the accessibility. Most new parents opt for a baby camera to be on at all times but are quick to realise that it can be hard to place the camera where the baby was always visible if you haven’t planned ahead. You can buy the absolute best of everything but if all your products don’t work well together then you’re wasting money. More than half the cribs available today have whole sides that are closed off. However if you make sure you choose one that is barred and visible on all four sides – you won’t have to go to the nursery every five minutes to make sure the baby is well. You can just check your baby monitor.
Organic versus foam versus waterproof seems to be a big debate when it comes to mattresses. However, there are plenty of great mattresses for around only £40 – £90 that fall in all three categories. Whichever category that your personal opinion lands on that you think is best for your child there are plenty of reasonably priced mattress’ available.
3. Waterproof Mattress Cover
Not only does the crib need a waterproof mattress cover, but your bed probably does as well if your baby spends any time on it. There are countless inevitable spit-ups and messes with infants. To save yourself time in the wee hours of the night, cover your mattress with a waterproof cover so that all you have to do is change the mattress cover, instead of having to change and wash the mattress itself.
4. Nursing Chair and Pillow
A nursing chair can be any chair that allows you to sit down and feed your baby comfortably. Ideally, you’ll want a chair that allows you to lean, rock, swivel, and put your feet up. A newborn will feed every hour, if not more, so make sure your seat is as agreeable as possible.
Many new mothers don’t think this is an important feature as it’s not directly for their baby. Mums often forget their own needs when planning things for their soon to arrive baby. While this is one of the reasons we applaud new mums – we’re here to remind you that your comfort matters too! And while you’re most likely to be spending the foreseeable future living in that chair – you should make sure it’s not only comfortable, but sturdy (and maybe even a recliner?).
There are many nursing chairs available from £150 to £800. Most are great, but can only be used for nursing. Before the birth you’ll laugh and think well of course i’ll only use my nursing chair for nursing, but then your baby arrives and suddenly they need comforting, they need to take medicine or they fall asleep with a bad chest and suddenly you’ve not left that chair all night. So thinking in advance and getting something that focus’ on comfort instead of function will be much better suited.
We recommend this FoxHunter leather armchair with both swivel and rocking functions. It also features massage and heating pads all alongside a handy cup holder big enough for any standard baby bottle. Although not the conventional nursing chair – it’s certainly the most appreciated option.
As well as a comfortable chair, a nursing pillow is also just as important. When nursing your baby, their head needs to be propped up in order to avoid indigestion and gas. Trying to support the baby in this position for a prolonged period of time throughout their infant years without a pillow can lead to carpal tunnel.
We recommend this nursing pillow from Cuddles Collection at Amazon. This pillow can be used not only for nursing but also tummy time exercises, when the time comes. The Cuddles Collection nursing pillow can be used as a seat rest to help babies to sit up as well.
6. Drawers and Dressers
Babies, although small, have a lot of clothing because they require changing about three times a day (if you’re having a good day). This means that storage space is necessary. I suggest getting a drawer or dresser for your baby which will house all the clothes, washcloths, bibs, socks, mittens, and hats that they will need. You may be thinking to yourself that your little nursery cannot fit an entire dresser in it alongside the crib, the chair, the sensory toys and changing table. A good idea to remember is that drawer or dresser can also be used as a surface for a suitable changing pad, so there’s no need for a separate changing table.
7. Baby Monitor
The reasoning behind the baby monitor is to make mums life easier. If you’re home alone with the little one sleeping, having a baby monitor with a camera attached takes away any need to run upstairs and check the baby every 30 seconds. This is no exaggeration, this is what new mothers do – it’s natural instinct to constantly want to see how your baby is doing. It is however a sure fire way to make yourself very tired physically and mentally, and ensure that nothing else (like showering and eating) happens while you’re alone.
The camera baby monitor means you can constantly stare at your little one while you do whatever needs doing. While a lot of older generations think that this kind of technology is unnecessary – it’s important to note that although they didn’t have access to these sorts of things, if they could have, we’re pretty sure they would have.
This baby monitor really does have all the bells and whistles – and it falls at a fantastic price! This 2.4 inch wireless monitor features a two-way intercom, meaning if you see baby stirring, you can soothe them without even leaving the room you’re in. It also features night vision – so you can see your little one clear as day even in the dead of the night. The monitor also double as a nursery night light which also plays soothing lullabies to help get baby back off to sleep remotely.
Items to Avoid Buying
You shouldn’t purchase everything that stores tell you to buy. Sometimes the people working in the shops are just that – working. Not everything someone tells you to buy is something you need to buy. If you’re a savvy shopper, then these are the things that are either unnecessary or easier and less expensive to be purchased later on.
1. Blankets, Bumpers, and Dolls
According to NPR, the number of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) rose due to hazardous materials in the crib such as blankets, bumpers, and dolls. Just because retailers sell them does not mean that they are safe. If you have them – and remember you will get gifted a ton, then keep them on a shelf or in a box that baby can have access to when old enough. Keep the crib as empty as possible.
2. Changing Tables
As noted above, it is unnecessary to purchase a separate changing table. Simply purchase a changing pad kit and place it on top of a drawer or dresser. You’ll only be grateful for one less thing to bump into when 3am zombie mum comes into the nursery for a feed.
3. Mobiles and White Noise Makers
Some babies may require this to soothe themselves. However, most new mothers find that their babies never needed them. They simply collect dust. Babies tend to be soothed from motion like rocking and swinging and if noise is what soothes them then chances are it’s only mum or dads voice that will soothe them. You should hold off until you think they are necessary.
When it comes to toys, more isn’t better. In fact, the less they have, the more focused they are on each toy. Babies and toddlers get bored of the same toy rather quickly, so you can rotate their toys by storing half. When your child seems to no longer be interested in the items in front of them (about two weeks), rotate them with new ones. In the beginning, there is no need to possess enough toys to rotate. It will just be clutter for the person who has to clean the nursery. Only have a couple of stimulating items around for the newborn. Once you begin accumulating more (whether from your own purchases or gifts), begin to swap so the toys are fresh in your baby’s eyes. If like me you’re from a big family, hold off on all purchasing of toys until all the family has been to see the baby, as you’re more than likely to end up with enough to last until your baby is 18.
There are plenty of items to be purchased once a baby is born, and it all begins with the maternity bag that you’re taking to the hospital when your water breaks. But keep in mind that there are more dispensable items than not. The money saved from making extraneous purchases can be better spent on things to help the new mom like baby nurses, cleaning, and food delivery services. Plus, there are still plenty of baby items worth splurging on.
What are the essential items in your nursery? What are some baby purchases that you regret making?