A well-designed nursery does more than just provide a comfortable space for an infant to grow up in, it should be a place that grown-ups enjoy spending time in, too. That is why it is important to know what kinds of décor items are essential to a functional-yet-stylish nursery.
To help, we put together a list of pretty but practical décor pieces for your baby’s nursery. From basket-style bassinets to sleek storage solutions and more, here are twelve furnishings that every nursery should have.
A crib or bassinet. A quality crib or bassinet, composed of a durable material like hardwood or dense fiberboard, is the most important piece of furniture in any style of nursery. Fortunately, there is no shortage of sophisticated and user-friendly baby beds on the market to choose from. Whether you opt for a basket-inspired bassinet or a spindle-style crib, just remember that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends a bed with slats no more than 2 3/8 inches apart (about the width of a soda can) so that your baby can’t wiggle through them.
Eco-friendly bedding. Not only is superior bedding essential to the comfort of your little one, it is an easy way to experiment with prints and patterns when decorating a nursery. But before you get carried away with all the cute crib sheets, pillows, and blankets on the market, take care to ensure you are buying ones composed of eco-friendly, nontoxic materials, like organic cotton, that won’t release any harmful chemicals into the environment of your home, so you can all breathe easier at night.
Nursery rugs. All nurseries need a soft place for your baby to crawl around and stretch out on. Pick out a plush rug made of natural materials, like 100 percent wool or cotton, so that you and your baby can play on the floor in comfort. And feel free to layer up on rugs to incorporate a mix of textures and styles into a nursery.
A changing table. Never underestimate the impact of a good changing table in a nursery. Not only does a quality changing table provide a secure place to change your baby’s diapers on the fly, most offer built-in storage drawers, so you can keep all your infant’s wipes, ointments and diaper changing accessories handy and organized.
A rocking chair or glider. Make no mistake about it: A comfortable rocking chair or glider is a necessity in any size or style of nursery. Along with offering up a snug place for parents to sit while feeding and rocking their baby to sleep, studies show that babies find the motion of rocking chairs and gliders incredibly soothing, so having one in your nursery will help keep everyone relaxed and calm.
An interesting mobile. Hanging a mobile above a crib can provide more than just entertainment for your baby. Along with offering visual stimulation, and in some cases, sound and light, research suggests that mobiles can help babies develop their motor skills and help them learn different colors and shapes— since babies only see in black and white until they are three to four months old — so they are more than just decorative, they are educational.
Blackout curtains. Believe it or not, the window treatments in your nursery can make or break the quality of sleep your baby is getting. Made with a denser lining than traditional drapes, blackout curtains are designed to help shut out unwanted sunlight — so dressing your nursery windows with them will ensure that your baby sleeps more soundly. Take care to pick out childproof ones with safety locks, so you can safely anchor the pulls away from tiny, curious hands.
A sound machine. When all else fails, you can always count on a sound machine to help get your baby to sleep. Look for a model that you can control from your smartphone so you can customize everything from the volume levels to the type of noise it makes, from a distance (and with ease).
Smart storage solutions. Whether you are corralling toys, blankets, or burp cloths, an assortment of solid storage solutions is essential in a streamlined nursery. Consider stylish, open storage baskets for organizing stuffed toys or wall-mounted floating shelves for easy access to burp cloths, blankets, and other go-to nursery accessories.
A baby monitor. Separation anxiety is a very real thing for parents. Luckily, the web is brimming with state-of-the-art baby monitors to help you keep tabs on your little one while you are away — or in the next room. Invest in a monitor that allows for both visual and audio contact (aka one with a live stream video and sound), so you can see and hear what your baby is doing no matter where you are.
A humidifier. Humidifiers are a simple and easy way to protect your baby from dry air, especially during the cold weather season. Since babies are much more susceptible to congestion, humidifiers help by releasing much-needed moisture into the air to create better breathing conditions in your nursery, which in turn, will also help loosen up your baby’s mucus and prevent dry, irritated skin, too. Even better, invest in a humidifier with a combined air purifier, like ultrasonic humidifier and air purifier bybblüv, so that you can keep the air in your baby’s nursey free of bacteria and allergens, too.
A diaper pail. Last but certainly not least, don’t forget the importance of having a diaper pail handy in your nursery. Along with sealing off scents to prevent your baby’s room from smelling like, well, poopy diapers, most diaper pails have either a squeegee device (to push the dirty diapers through) or a trap door or a hole for goof-proof disposal.