Baby schedules are all over the place. Buy blackout curtains for both your room and the nursery so you can get to sleep when the baby does. Both of my newborns got their nights and days mixed up for awhile, so until we got them back on track it was nice to be able to sleep — even it was in the middle of the day.
I have several of these, all different brands, and I like them all. They make it comfortable to keep your baby close to you while you feed them, whether you are nursing or bottle feeding.
Find your absolute favorite rocking chair and buy it for your nursery. You are going to be spending a lot of time in it, so get something that's comfortable for you. For our first baby I had a glider and I didn't love it. I have found I just love a plain ol' wooden rocking chair. It's what works for me and my littles.
Bed with a tight-fitting sheet
A crib should be a safe place to lay your baby. Keep it free from all unnecessary ornaments. In our house that means a tight-fitting sheet and nothing else. We dress the baby warmly when necessary or swaddle them to keep blankets away from the face. Bumpers are now considered a suffocation hazard and should be avoided.
Spare Pacifiers (and a consistent place to store them)
I know not every baby or mom wants/needs these, but they are my saving grace. Both of my girls have been binky babies and I have honestly been grateful for it. I keep this cute little stroller full of spare pacifiers because you never know when one is going to fall on the floor or get lost.
Our first apartment was so teeny tiny that I didn't need a baby monitor. Seriously, that apartment was so small the oven couldn't even fit a cookie sheet in it. With our second baby, I soon realized that a baby monitor was a lifeline. I could go all over my house, or even lay down for a nap, knowing that I would hear the little one when she woke.
Night light or small lamp
You are going to be in your baby's room at all hours of the night. You want to be able to see without having to flip on the big overhead light and wake them up more than necessary. Low light night lights are especially valuable because they provide just enough light to move around without accidentally stepping on something, but not so much that it's hard for baby to fall or stay asleep.
Basket of reading material/small activities
I spend so much time in my rocking chair when my babies are little that I started keeping my reading book by it. It gave me something quiet to do while I was trying to rock the baby back to sleep.
My babies both LOVED to be swaddled. It keeps them warm and cozy and helps me not stress about their face getting accidentally covered by a free blanket.
CD Player/White Noise Machine
From the second my little ones are born, I play music while they sleep. I think it helps them not be quite so sensitive to noises later on.
If you are nursing, there are a few things that I find helpful to have close by: nipple cream for the soreness, nursing brings, nursing pads, and a pump with pump bra. I didn't buy a pumping bra, I cut small slits into a sports bra and it worked great!
Diaper Changing Station
This can be whatever you want it to be. Some people LOVE having a changing table, I have never been willing to give up that much space in my nursery. I love having a box that has everything I need in it so I can move it to wherever I want to change the baby. This one with a handle is my favorite. I keep diapers, wipes, baby powder and diaper rash cream all in one place for easy access. I keep this basket on a shelf with lotion, a nasal aspirator, a comb and brush, as well as nipple cream, nursing pads and my breast pump.
A Diaper Genie
I am always amazed at how fast the smell of diapers takes over an entire room. I love having a Diaper Genie to contain that smell so I don't have to run out to the outside trash can 12 times a day. I found my Diaper Genie and large refill packs at Target. I love the Diaper Genie refills because I feel like I get the most bang for my buck with the way their refills work. My favorite part of the Diaper Genie system versus the other systems is that I can use it one handed. I don't want to have to put my baby down just to throw a diaper away. Their bags are seven layers to keep germs and odors inside and the pail holds up to 34 newborn diapers at a time. Which, with a newborn needing SO many diaper changes, is really nice.
Be sure to take advantage of the Diaper Genie “Mommy Time” Rewards Program! Earn points to use towards great rewards for yourself every time you buy or register for Diaper Genie products. All you have to do is buy participating Diaper Genie products, take a photo of your receipt with your phone and upload to your profile at MyMommyTimeRewards.com
What is one of your nursery essentials?