Nursery Furniture Guide: How to Pick out the Best for Baby
Michaela Koehler | On April 7, 2016
When it comes to buying for baby, the options can be overwhelming and the pressure of each choice can be stressful for expecting parents. Color, theme, size, shape, stability, reliability and safety – all factors that need to be weighed in deciding on products for your baby. But don’t fear, this run-down list on the various options for your new (or renewed) nursery is here to help you find the best options for you and your little one.
The benefits of using a bassinet are positive for both baby and mom. Bassinets are generally more portable than a standard crib, often featuring casters for easy transportation and a higher base than a standard crib reducing the amount of bending over needing to be done by mom or dad. Once the child can roll over on their own, you should upgrade to a regular crib to prevent a tip-over accident.
Standard cribs fit the industry standard size mattress and all side panels are the same height. They’re often the most cost effective option among the other styles because they’re just that – standard. No bells and whistles means you get the savings.
Cribs can also come in a portable version. Portable cribs are the happy marriage between the portability of a bassinet and the size/shape of a standard crib. Casters on the legs make the crib easy to move and the deep-set mattress makes sure baby can’t escape or fall out.
An added crib function is the ability to grow with your child, changing into toddler beds, daybeds, single beds or even double beds when needed. A convertible crib is great if you don’t want the hassle of buying a new bed each time your child grows out of it, which is about every 3 years, but there are some drawbacks to consider. First, teething babies often like to relieve their pain by chewing on the edges of their crib so the finish may not be in great shape by the time you’re wanting to convert it to a toddler bed. Second, if you’re planning on having a second child in the next few years there’s a high possibility you’ll have two babies both in cribs and it would be more cost effective to purchase two standard cribs. Third, unless you buy your convertible crib as part of a nursery set, it may be harder to match to other furniture in the future.
Sleigh cribs often come with the convertible feature allowing you to stretch your dollars.
A big plus of the raised back panel crib is that, if the bed is convertible, the raised back panel makes for a beautiful headboard for your child’s big-kid-bed. The higher panels add extra security by making it more difficult for babies to climb out and they also add a vintage vibe to the crib.
As far as safety is concerned, the barer the better when it comes to your baby’s crib. A firm crib mattress, waterproof mattress cover and a fitted crib sheet are all you really need! Pillows, bumpers, heavy blankets and stuffed animals pose the risk of suffocation to the baby and are not recommended to use until baby is upgraded to a toddler bed. If you’re worried about your baby being cold, dress them in warmer clothes for bedtime or use a small and thin blanket to swaddle them.
As far as nursery bedding style is concerned, neutral geometric patterns and bold graphic prints seem to be the biggest trend for 2016. Mix and match geometric patterns to create a unique and modern style for your baby’s room, or go the more traditional route of an animal theme to bring out bright colors. You’ll spend a lot of time looking around this room, so make sure it’s inspiring and beautiful!
Whether you opt for a full changing table with storage or a tabletop changing station, you’ll save your back a lot of strain compared to changing diapers on the floor. To make your baby more comfortable and less likely to roll off the changing table, secure a changing pad with removable cover to the top of your changing table. This provides extra cushion and comfort for baby making them feel safe and supported.
Rockers and Gliders
Today’s rockers and gliders take that basic idea and expand on it, providing a comfortable but stylish place to cuddle, feed, and read to your child. Some modern rockers are barely recognizable as rocking chairs – they have beautiful styling and resemble a cushy living room chair placed on top of wooden rockers.
What’s really innovative about gliders, however, is how they move. Instead of rocking, a glider slides back and forth either on a fixed track or with a swiveling capability.
The smooth gliding motion requires almost no effort – which you’ll appreciate during those 2 a.m. feeding and soothing sessions. Plus, since gliders sit flat on the floor instead of on rounded rockers, they’re less likely to pinch a child’s toes, or yours.
Rockers and gliders can get pricey, but they can come in handy for years. In the early days with your newborn, you may feel like you spend all your time in your rocker or glider so don’t be afraid to make a bit of an investment in one you really like.
Baby monitors have come a long way in the last twenty years. Now parents have access to wireless monitors, monitors with full color video and monitors synced with apps on your phone. All baby monitors should be placed at least three feet away from a crib to prevent baby from trying to reach it through the crib.
When your baby can sit up on his/her own and has started eating solid food – usually between four and six months old – it’s time to add a high chair to your kitchen furniture collection! The biggest consideration when buying a high chair is the ease of use. Make sure you’re able to attach and remove the tray with one hand and that the straps are easy to buckle and unbuckle. That way, when times get hectic, you won’t be struggling to get baby safely in and out of the high chair.
The second biggest consideration when purchasing a high chair is the cleanliness factor. Babies are notoriously messy eaters and you’ll want something you can clean quickly and easily after baby is done so you can get back to fun and games.
A stroller is a must-have for new moms and dads. They can get expensive, but are worth every dime considering you’ll use this essential piece of parenting gear from your baby’s first days to when he/she is able to walk long distances, about age three or four. Before you buy, consider the environment in which you live, where you expect to use the stroller most and how much you’re willing to spend. If you already have a child under the age of four, consider upgrading to a multi-seat stroller so you can haul all the kids around at once. Most companies have 2-seat, 3-seat and even 4-seat strollers available.