I’d started out with the first column of this list titled “Need”, but then decided that that was a very loose use of that word. I mean, really, we don’t need almost anything to take care of and raise a baby. I think our culture and the marketing industry does a stellar job of making us feel like we truly must have all of the best things in order for our children to have happy, healthy lives, but the large majority of what we purchase when we have a baby is fluff. Nice fluff. Very convenient fluff. But still… fluff. That being said, our family also has PLENTY of it. This post, and the following posts, are in no way casting judgement on what parents choose to purchase/register for for their kiddos. It is merely my personal point of view on which items you should get, which ones are nice to have but not necessary, and which ones you can definitely live without. After doing endless research pre-baby, thinking I’d found all the best and most necessary items, I still found that we ended up with a lot of things that were barely/not used and a lot of things we ended up wishing we’d had on hand.
The posts will be separated by category and stretched over the next two weeks. I compiled the items I am using in these categories from the registry suggestions at Babies R’ Us and Amazon. Stick around & let us know what YOU think about these baby items. What was useful to you? What sat in the closet for months?
First: The Nursery. I think this is a great starting place because I know this is something so many moms (and some dads) dream about, even before their little ones are growing in their bellies. It is SO easy to get caught up in needing every last item to complete that Pinterest nursery. So, here’s what I think:
Nice to Have
|Crib Mattress||Hangers||Night stand|
|Window Treatments||Lighting||Diaper stacker|
|Storage baskets/bins||Closet organization|
I list crib & crib mattress in this column because that is the usual place parents choose for their baby to sleep, but a pack & play would also work fine here. Cribs come in a pretty broad price range, anywhere from $100-$1,000+, if you buy them new. You can also check local consignment shops, craigslist, or even with your family for a cost-friendly, gently used crib. Wren’s crib is borrowed from family and is where my cousins slept many years ago!
A dresser is a pretty basic part of any bedroom. It’s a great place for their clothes, diapering items, accessories, etc. Again, there is a huge range in what you’ll spend here. You could even get a great dresser second-hand and refinish it to match your nursery theme. We are lucky enough to have the furniture that my grandparents bought for me when I was born. It’s awesome that it came from our family with so much love.
Hampers are just an easy way to keep the dirty clothes out of sight. We are using a cute canvas storage bin from Target that we got for $9.
A few months ago, I would have probably put window treatments in the “nice to have” section, but since Wren has gotten a little bit older… I’d have to highly recommend some room darkening curtains. As soon as she passed that sleepy-new-baby stage, having so much sunshine in her room during nap time made it very difficult for her to settle down and go to sleep. She was just so curious! These made a huge difference for us. We got some cute apple green ones (Eclipse brand) for about $15/panel.
With the amount of small, miscellaneous items you’ll have with a baby, storage baskets are an irreplaceable tool in my opinion. They can be used for diapering needs, clothes organization, toys, etc.
NICE TO HAVE
I don’t think it’s really necessary to go into much detail for this category. These are things that we found nice and helpful, but also feel that we could easily survive without.
I’ve actually always felt that changing tables were kind of a waste of money. I do think a changing station is very helpful, but you can easily put that on top of your dresser and make much better use of the space.
I’m just not really sure I see any use for a night stand in a babies room. They’re not going to wake up at 2am and need to check their phone or have a drink of water. While it looks nice to have a little table with a lamp on it… your child will probably end up tipping the whole thing over once they start to practice standing.
Bassinets are cute. If you’re baby will be sleeping in your room for a while, I think a pack and play is a much better and more multifunctional use of your money. The bassinet phase is so short, it just doesn’t seem worth it.
I suppose an armoire could be useful if your child’s room has no closet and you feel adamantly that you must hang your babies clothes. It mostly just seems like an unnecessary huge piece of furniture without much valuable use.
Diaper stacker… why do you need a special item to stack your diapers? They’ll stack just fine in a drawer or bin or cart or shelf…
So, there ya have it. What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with my breakdown of these idems?
Next… BEDDING. Yes, it gets it’s whole own category.