As your due date rapidly (or not so rapidly) approaches, you have a whole list of things to do. One of the most stressful but probably the most fun is furnishing the nursery. There’s so much to do and while it’s definitely exciting, it can often be an overwhelming task to the exhausted mommy to be. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered, with everything you need in a simple format to make the whole process stress, hassle and worry free.
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Nursery Furniture Guide
The Baby Crib
First we’ll start off with the obvious. The crib! The baby has to sleep somewhere right? Picking a baby crib is something you’d think is SUPER easy. Wasurasalso . It can be! You just need an idea of what you want.
Dark wood or light wood crib?
Simplistic or traditional style baby crib?
Modern or antique looking?
This will be a recurring theme in your nursery so think ahead.
You can also buy convertible cribs (our recommendation), they change to a toddler bed and a regular bed to grow as your child grows (so not a bad investment, indeed). Some baby beds come with an attached changing table or dresser too.
Read our article for more details on the best baby cribs.
*TIP* If you’re in to vintage furniture, make sure you aren’t buying something that has been recalled or made illegal. Drop side cribs are dangerous and should not be used for a reason. Perhaps you could find one that is still used, but a newer style and find a way to give it a more vintage look. Safety before style, always.
Something to consider that isn’t really one specific item is matching baby nursery room furniture. While buying all the nursery furniture set might not seem to be important at first, once you have it all laid out, you’ll see that having it all go together looks SO much nicer than random colors and styles scattered about.
Trust me, my husband was actually the first one to suggest to buy all the baby room furniture with my first child and I resisted a little because I felt overwhelmed with the cost of everything.
You will soon learn that there isn’t enough space in the nursery and you need as many drawers and shelves and bench space as possible.
Buy ahead, otherwise you will think of us after and regret not buying it altogether.
Not to mention that most the nursery furniture set that you will buy (if not all of it, depending if the crib converts etc) will be with your child for many years. The great thing is that the baby furniture will be there for many years to come. As they grow and they change the “theme” in their room, the nursery furniture should match to make decorating and redecorating a breeze. You won’t need a way to distract from that pure white shelf that’s next to the antique white crib frame. (Yikes! That gave me a headache just thinking about it).
The great news is that because love nursery decor and nursery design ideas, we have plenty of nursery inspiration for you. You can get our help from our inspiration section or browse our top baby room furniture collections to find something for you without much effort!
Now that you’ve decided a furniture color scheme for the nursery and decided on a crib, you can look at a dresser to match! Sometimes it’s difficult to find an exact match in the wood if you are looking for a dresser only so it comes back to my advice, buy everything together and you might even save on costs (current specials show that you can save up to 40% buying all the baby room furniture together & get free shipping also).
Now the question of dresser vs chest comes up. Some people choose chests of drawers because they want to save space in the room. However, if you still prefer a dresser and want to save space, you can use the top of the dresser as the changing station (and with some unique baby brands such as Babyletto, the changing pad on top is pretty handy as is fixed for safety on top of the dresser but can be easily removed once your child grows and used as a normal dresser).
Put a changing pad on it and maybe use the top drawers for the diaper changing needs or have a hanging shelf nearby. For the Babyletto dresser, read here.
Speaking of diaper stations or changing tables, you can find many changing tables that match the dresser and crib sets. These might be something you’re interested in, especially if you have plenty of space in the nursery.
Again, buying a matching changing table to the rest of the nursery furniture really makes your nursery complete.
Some changing tables come with wheels, which appeals to many (including me) where I like to be able to move the changing table into my bedroom or into the living room if need be.
Other choices with changing tables come with sturdy legs (so no wheels) and also corner changing tables which are great if you are low on space. To view all changing tables recommended by parents, click here.
The rocking chair, glider or just a simple comfy recliner as a nursery chair is next on the list, it is called a nursery after all and mom needs a place to comfortably nurse the baby.
You can find tons of different gliders with different features including ottoman foot rests, padded arm rests and locking mechanisms on the rocker itself to protect little fingers when the little ones become mobile.
Having a comfortable nursing chair or glider is going to be a super important for you and baby as well. You’re going to spend a lot of time sitting in it and baby will spend a lot of time in your arms being rocked and nursed.
Another great thing about them is that you can find them in so many different color schemes so that it can match everything else. Both Anna and myself both have nursery chairs and we believe that every parent should. We have summarized the best brands in recliners, rockers and gliders, these chairs are the best selling and highest rated by all parents. If you intend on having more than one child, investing in a good quality one where the cushions wont sag and the material won’t rip is a major factor.
*TIP* Many people are undivided on whether they should purchase a nursery chair. If you speak to most parents that have a nursery chair, they will tell you that it’s the best piece of nursery furniture they ever spent money on. Those parents that didn’t buy a nursery chair will tell you they wished they did. Take our advice, you are enviably going to have lots of sleepless nights, lots of nights cradling a baby to sleep or feeding in the middle of the night. When you start imagining the moments in life when you want a comfortable chair to sit – think of a nursery chair.
An often overlooked, yet equally important piece is lighting. Does your room come with ceiling lights already? If not you need to find something, you don’t want to be fumbling around in a pitch black room post bath with a chilly babe who is ready for their pajamas!
Even if your room has lighting, maybe you’d like to find a cute ceiling fan to go with the room’s décor. Most ceiling fans are simple to install and come with a light, giving you air circulation and the ability to see!
Another option for lighting is a lamp. There are floor lamps and basic standard lamps to sit on a dresser. Sometimes you can plug the lamp in to an outlet that is controlled by a light switch in the room, making it just as convenient as a ceiling light. A fun thing about lamps is that they come in so many different styles that can be both functional and decorative.
Floor coverings provide decoration and comfort all in one. An area rug can serve as a comfy place for baby to play and can also tie the room together so that it doesn’t look like everything is floating in space.
Research different types of rugs and their materials to find one that is right for you and your baby. Some parents prefer natural fibers while others like the stain resistant synthetic fibers, it’s all about preference.
Sheep skin rugs are often preferred in nurseries as they are soft and offer a cozy place for baby to relax and play, and they are also a better choice for those who have allergies. They are hypoallergenic and repels bacteria, hence why they seem to be so popular. It’s also very gentle against the skin and is temperature regulated, to be warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
While you might not need it right away, you’ll need one before you know it; a toy box or storage chest will definitely be needed at some point.
Babies grow up so fast and the accumulation of toys will quickly overtake their room. Having a place to store them when it isn’t play time will keep the room neat and save your feet from unwanted pains or squeaks in the middle of the night.
Window coverings are important to remember. Keeping the light and heat out during the summer and offering privacy of course are two main reasons to have some kind of covering, but also… curtains are cute!
You can match them to your nursery décor and theme. If you don’t want to have curtains, be sure to have at least a blind of some sort up. Babies sleep best in dimmer light, the sun will make them think it is time to be up and playing, not laying down resting.
There are black out curtains that are actually very energy efficient.
They block out the sun and heat and help to keep the air cool.
Lastly, something I briefly mentioned earlier but deserves some more elaboration… shelves. You can find some that are hanging shelves for the walls so that they aren’t on the floor, but there are some nice ones that you can have that do sit on the floor. These can be used for books, diapers, stuffed animals, anything really! Having a place to put these things that is creative and cute is something that will definitely make you smile.
*TIP* Always anchor down your furniture. Dressers and shelves can sometimes tip when a curious baby starts to pull on them, the best way to ensure their safety is to anchor them down or screw them in to the wall.
With this guide in mind, you’re ready to go shopping! Grab your purse and your computer, get nice and comfy and shop away mama!