What do you need for a nursery? An essentials checklist

Medically reviewed June 2022
Baby nursery essentials Naytal

When you find out you're pregnant, it's completely normal to feel excited but overwhelmed at the thought of all the things you need to prepare and purchase. But, picking the items for your baby's nursery and deciding how you will decorate the room are some of the most fun parts of getting ready for their arrival.

If you are sitting there thinking ‘but what do I need for a baby nursery?’ then we are here to help! Here at Naytal, we've put together a handy nursery setup checklist that includes the must-have gadgets and essential nursery furniture that you’ll need before your baby arrives.

Cot

Cots are suitable for use from birth and often come equipped with a moveable base which you can lower as your baby grows and becomes more mobile. They provide a flat, firm surface for your baby to sleep on and should be free from cuddly toys, blankets, or pillows.

If you want to plan ahead, you could opt for a cot bed instead that is larger but converts into a toddler bed for when your child is older.

Mattress

You’ll also need a mattress for the cot. Whilst some cots will come with a mattress, not all do, so be sure to check. The mattress should be firm and have a snug fit with no gaps around the edge. It’s also handy to pick up a waterproof mattress protector which you can pop in the wash to help keep the mattress clean from accidents.

Speak to a baby sleep expert online

Cot bedding

To finish off the cot setup, you'll need some cot sheets. We recommend purchasing several so that they can be easily changed in case of nappy leaks or spit-up. There should be no duvet in your baby's cot until they are 12 months old, and you should avoid using a cot bumper or any other additions.

Changing table

Young babies can need changing up to 10-12 times a day, so you’ll want somewhere safe to change them. Top the table with a wipe-down padded mat to ensure your baby is comfortable. Most changing tables come with drawers or shelves which are great for storing nappies, wipes, and other essentials.

Baby monitor

For the first months of your baby’s life, it's recommended they sleep in the same room as you at night. However, during nap times, or once they get a little older and are sleeping in a different room, a baby monitor is necessary for alerting you to their movements or cries.

You don’t have to get a video monitor, but many parents choose to for that extra peace of mind. Check out our recommendations in our guide to the best pregnancy gadgets.

Storage furniture

Babies need a lot of stuff including clothes, nappies, and toys. Investing in clever storage solutions can help keep the nursery organised and safe. A wardrobe is a great idea for hanging up outfits while caddies are handy for filling with changing essentials so you can grab them easily at any time.

Many places offer nursery furniture sets so it’s a good idea to shop around to find out what options are available and will fit the space you have the best.

Feeding chair

Whether breast or bottle, you will be spending a lot of time feeding your baby, so having a chair in the nursery that's comfortable for you both is important. You can opt for a nursing chair complete with footstool, a rocking chair to help soothe your baby to sleep, or a normal chair with the addition of a feeding pillow.

Blackout curtains

A dark room can be calming for a baby and help them to drift off to sleep without distractions. Blackout curtains are an easy way to block out natural light and prevent your little one from being woken up by the sun during daytime naps. If you don't want permanent window fixings, you could also try a removable velcro blind or window film. Get more tips for making your baby’s room darker.

Night light

During the first year of your baby’s life, you’ll be in and out of the nursery multiple times a night to feed and change them. Having a night light in the nursery will allow you to check on your baby and carry out nighttime feeds without needing to turn on the main light and cause too much disruption.

Room thermometer

Newborn babies are unable to regulate their own body temperature so being aware of the warmth of the nursery is important. Ideally, you should keep the nursery between 16-20°C and a room thermometer will tell you if the nursery is too hot or too cold. You can buy room thermometers that have a coloured light that shows you at a glance if the room temperature is optimal. You can even get ones that also work in the bath meaning that's one less item you need to buy!

We hope you’ve found this list of nursery essentials helpful. If there's not long to go before your little one's arrival and you'd like to get prepared, why not book an appointment with us for some postnatal support? You can pick a time that’s convenient for you and speak to one of our experienced and friendly professionals.

Team Naytal

Hello, we're Naytal. We're on a mission to improve women’s lives by revolutionising women’s health.

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