Spoiler alert: From birth to college graduation, providing for your kid is going to be a bit on the pricey side. In a perfect world, you could let the line between “need” and “want” get blurry, but in the real world, you’re going to make a distinction between three-carat diamond pacifiers and nursery furniture.
Here are four items for your new baby’s bedroom:
Crib. Find out if the crib you purchased meets the most up-to-date safety guidelines here. You may also want to think ahead to see if you want to invest in a crib that converts into a toddler bed for when your little man or woman no longer needs to spend time behind bars.
Changing table. Along with sleeping and eating, baby’s greatest skill is getting that diaper dirty. A sturdy changing table makes those messy situations a little easier to handle. Make sure yours has a safety strap to keep your baby firmly in place. Always keep your diapers, ointments, and baby wipes within reaching distance for quick changes. Your baby doesn’t know to hold it in, so sometimes speed is your best defense against accidents and projectiles.
Bonus tip: If you don't have the space – or budget – for an entire changing table, a great changing pad can do the trick.
Crib mobile or soother. Sometimes, your baby will need a little extra comfort at bedtime. In related news, sometimes you’ll run out of the energy for lullabies. A crib-attaching soother with gentle sounds or music is the perfect addition to the nursery at times like these. They attach directly to the crib, have several settings, and will have baby drifting off into sleepy-land in no time.
Books. What nursery would be complete without a little entertainment? Pack that baby's room full of colorful books and read to them every night before they nod off. They'll thank you for it when they’re killing it on the SATs. A mandatory starter kit should include Margaret Wise Brown’s “Goodnight Moon,” Eric Carle’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” and Dorothy Kunhardt’s “Pat the Bunny.” Many classics from “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See” to “Where the Wild Things Are” will be sure to follow. If you don’t have the copies that accompanied you through childhood handy, drop subtle hints that a bookstore gift card would be a perfect baby shower gift.
Our parenting advice is given as suggestions only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, and urge you to contact them immediately if your question is urgent or about a medical condition.