ANSWER: Top 5 ‘Must-Haves’ for Your Baby’s Room
Magazines and websites abound with numerous lists of things to get for your baby’s room, all touted as important or essential. But are they really? Over the last 8 months of my baby’s life, I’ve found the following to be the most essential for you to have ready when baby arrives (in order of priority!):
1) Baby’s crib: I don’t think this needs explaining!
2) A good comfy breastfeeding chair (or just a comfy chair as you’ll be spending lots of time in it holding baby, especially those first few months…burping, feeding, rocking, soothing…need I say more?). These don’t have to be expensive. We got a standard chair at IKEA for about $50 [Pello Chair (Holmby Natural) chair] and assembled it ourselves. It even rocks a little!
3) Blackout curtains: these will come in handy as you start to help our baby differentiate between day and night (and helps especially when you are helping baby to get over jetlag, or on long summer days when you want to establish/maintain an early bedtime!). These don’t have to be expensive–you can just get a piece or two of plain black cloth from a craft or fabric store and use clothes pegs to secure it to the window.
4) Tabletop space: This can be a dresser, table or standing cupboard. You just need some space next to the crib to put cotton balls, diapers, water, diaper cream, changing supplies etc. There is no need for a specific changing table, as in the first 6-7 months you can get by with just changing the baby in the crib.
5) Room thermometer: Absolutely essential! We got one that tells humidity as well. Every day it is important to check that day’s temperature and forecast for the night/next day, as well as keep tabs on the temperature in the room. This will help you to dress the baby enough but not overdress (overheat baby) or underdress.
Other items that we end up using daily are a dimmable light in the room (again useful at bedtime to establish cues for night-time), and an ipod/speaker for white noise at night.