Baby Nursery Checklist – Must Have Nursery Items

As an expecting parent, you’re often faced with a multitude of options for each segment of your little one’s new experience with life. And when it comes to the nursery, there are so many products and companies out there to choose from. How do you make such a decision without having done this before?

On top of that, having to make these decisions in just about 9 months makes the selection process that much more daunting. That’s why having a baby nursery checklist is an inevitable part of your planning, which will make the whole process go by so much smoother.

Baby Nursery Checklist

Starting this list of items is not the easiest and we moms often procrastinate because we’re so overwhelmed with other aspects of pregnancy. Am I right? Below is a comprehensive list of some basic must have items to make your nursery a dream come through. Again, this is as basic as it gets but of course there are more items that could be added if you want to go the extra mile. To go even further, having these items will save you a ton of headache as convenience is the key to making it through a busy day of diaper changes and spit ups. While some of these items might seem like a luxury to many, there are still come basic things that will make your life much easier, and I don’t say that lightly.

Keep in mind that the items listed are just for the nursery.

  1. Bedding
  2. Furniture
  3. Storage
  4. Decor
  5. Miscellaneous

The Perfect Bedding Combination

As adults, we like to snuggle up under our blankets and comforters when sleeping. This is how we feel safe and relaxed. However, for our little newborns, this same experience might be detrimental to them. It is recommended that babies sleep with just the sheet on the crib mattress, nothing else. No stuffed animals, no big comforters and definitely no pillows. Of course, each parent will do what they feel is best for their child but these are the basic requirements as laid out by pediatric organizations. Plus, I was way too paranoid to go against their recommendations.

Baby Bedding

Your little one should be dressed in warm, comfy clothes, and the temperature of the room should be optimal – this negates the need for extra blankets and bedding. Below is a list of some must have bedding items in your baby nursery:

  • Crib sheet
  • Newborn mattress (firm on at least one side for newborns)
  • Bed sheet set – optional, but usually includes more than just the bedding

And that’s it, believe it or not. Those are the main things you will need in terms of bedding. You can always add more luxury items later.

Furniture – Dark Or Light

Baby FurnitureIt is widely known that furniture is the centerpiece of any room. Better yet, people often choose their furniture items first, then choose decor and accessories to go with that furniture. One of the first pieces of the puzzle when it comes to nursery furniture is choosing a color.

Do I want to go with dark furniture and light colored decor or vice versa? Do I want hand-me-downs or brand new? And how long can the furniture possibly last for? Here are a few must have baby furniture items that will make your baby nursery checklist a little less stressful:

  • Crib
  • Bassinet
  • Dresser
  • Change table
  • Rocking chair – I can’t stress this enough, this was a life saver for me!

Find cheap baby furniture from this selected list of Amazon favorites.

Again, these are basic items. You don’t want to spend an arm and a leg, especially if you’re on a budget. Your baby will be just fine with these items. A place to sleep is what’s most important, remember that!

Closet/Storage That Makes Sense

Now this area of the nursery can be quite tricky, as there are lots of options to choose from. You can go with a dresser for the clothes or you could hang them under the closet. You could also use storage bins or storage chests and label them accordingly. I used a little of each of them. I had a dresser as it was convenient but I also used the closet for more dressy outfits that I didn’t want to get squished in the drawers. So here are the basic storage items:

  • Dresser
  • Storage bins/chest
  • Closet space
  • Change Table – this can work if you get a smaller chest of drawer that can double up as a change table and can also be used for storing clothes and other items.
  • All-in-one storage area – the ones with multiple storage bins that are attached, which makes it very easy to organize.

Your Ultimate Decor Fantasy

And we get to the meat of the matter, the final touches that will add that extra finesse to any room. This is where what you choose can make the nursery either sparkle or just look mediocre. Getting an interior designer would make this task so much easier! But for many average moms, like myself, that’s just not in the budget. So we are faced with choosing colors, accents, designs and wall art all by ourselves.Baby Decor

But not to worry, this big endeavor is not as monstrous as it seems. I will be providing some simple, yet effective ways to make your baby nursery the one you’ve always dreamed of. Some of these options will seem like duplicates but there are more than options for a specific idea; ex. wall art versus wallpaper – 2 different concepts but either can be used to cover the wall.

  • Wall art
  • Wallpaper
  • Chandelier – optional, as these can be quite expensive
  • Ceiling fan
  • Rug/Carpet
  • Blinds
  • Curtains

These are just some basic decor items but there are tons of other options if you can spend a little more. The decor is chosen in accordance with the furniture, so ensure that the colors go together and don’t overdo it. Simple is best!

Miscellaneous Must-have Items

There are numerous other nursery items that don’t fit into any of the categories mentioned above. We will cover those here.

  1. Changing Station Area
    1. Diaper pail – check out my Comparison Review between the Diaper Genie Complete and the Diaper Genie Expressions here.
    2. Change pad
    3. Wipes warmer – so much more comfortable for the little ones to have warmth on their bum 🙂
    4. Container for pampers/changing essentials like oil, diaper cream.
  2. Bed Area
    1. Mattress cover – preferably waterproof
    2. Crib bumpers – this is a controversial one as many pediatric organization recommend against using them to prevent suffocation. But there are some breathable mesh ones that some parents are comfortable with. I’ve tried the breathable ones and they worked well – didn’t use it for long as it didn’t quite fit my crib well.
  3. For tabletop/dresser
    1. Night light
    2. Baby monitor – another life saver!
    3. Soothing music machine – optional, but can work great for babies
  4. Humidifier
  5. Baby Monitor – this right here is a gift from heaven! Check out my personal review of the Summer Infant Panorama Digital Video Baby Monitor.

Bringing It All Together

So there you have it. The basic baby nursery checklist that will make you feel more at ease with nursery planning. There will be other posts focusing on each area more specifically. But if you focus on each of the above mentioned items, your nursery will be off to a great start! There are some options that are more cost effective than others, so make your list, then find which option works best for you and your family.

Remember, the key is simplicity. There is no wrong choice, just the choice that you deem best. Choose color schemes and furniture that go well together and compliment each other. And always be reminded that you are the best parent you can be, because you want to make the best space so your baby can feel comfortable and at home.

What are some basic baby nursery items that you can think of not listed here? Whether it’s cheap or expensive, leave your thoughts below. Thanks for reading 🙂






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6 thoughts on “Baby Nursery Checklist – Must Have Nursery Items

  1. Claudette May 2, 2018 at 3:49 am

    Oh wow, I can’t wait for my first grandchild so I can experience a nursery with the decor fantasy. This article would have helped me a lot when I had my son. I was not only overwhelmed but lost with all the preparation. As a result, I missed the hoopla of having a nursery with my son many many years ago. I had a room but not a “nursery”. I would encourage mothers to go all out with nursery and follow a checklist like this one to relieve the stress. Thanks for sharing.

    • Shantaye May 2, 2018 at 2:31 pm

      Thanks so much for reading! I know the stresses I had to go through so just want to help other new moms by paying it forward 🙂

  2. Chris May 3, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    Hi Shantaye,

    Thanks for this comprehensive guide / checklist. Being a dad myself (our son is 3 years old) I still remember very well how the preparation for our son’s birth went. Having such a checklist is super helpful! And I didn’t really miss anything; maybe one thing: How about a stroller? Having that prepared and ready when your kid arrives can be pretty helpful. I like that you included the humidifier, though! Many people forget how important that can be, depending on where you live…

    Thanks again!

    • Shantaye May 4, 2018 at 12:05 am

      Thanks so much for your feedback, really appreciate it. The stroller is kind of a must have as well but I was focusing more on the nursery itself for this specific post. I’ll probably do another post with essential items outside of the actual nursery, so thanks for that suggestion 🙂

  3. Stefan July 3, 2018 at 3:49 am

    what a great list, I have to mark this post as a reminder.

    forgetting some important nursery items happens too fast and once the baby is here there is no time to go shopping.
    I think some of the items are also great gift ideas 🙂

    • Shantaye July 16, 2018 at 3:47 pm

      You’re right Stefan. Having a checklist beforehand makes all the difference. And for sure many of these items would make excellent gift ideas!

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