If you’re expecting a new addition to the family, making sure that your nursery is stocked with all of the essentials is key. While you probably don’t want to buy any new baby furniturewithout first checking in with the wife, showing initiative and planning ahead will definitely put you in her good graces. But what exactly does your nursery need? This guide will go over all of the nursery essentials.

The Crib:

The crib is probably the most important piece of furniture in your nursery. When choosing the right crib there are some basic safety features that you should look for. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you look for the following things in your new crib:

  • All cribs should have a JPMA (Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association) certification sticker insuring that they were manufactured according to industry standards
  • Slats should be no more than 2-3/8 inches apart to prevent the infant’s head from getting caught
  • All joints and parts should fit snuggly and wood must be smooth and splinter-free
  • The end panels must be solid, without any sort of decorative cutouts, as these can also trap an infant’s head
  • Lowered crib sides must be at least 9 inches above the mattress support in order to prevent the infant from falling
  • Raised crib sides need to be at least 26 inches above the mattress support
  • Cribs with drop sides must have a hand-operated locking mechanism that will not release by itself
  • The mattress must be the same size as the crib, eliminating any sort of gaps that might trap a baby’s arms, legs or head. Perform the “2-finger test” to see if the mattress is the right size. If you can fit 2 fingers between the mattress and the side of the crib, the crib and/or crib mattress should be replaced.
  • Use minimal bedding, just a sheet and blanket will do. No pillows or large stuffed animals as these could suffocate the baby. Avoid baby bumpers (pads that line the inside of the crib) as these are also thought to cause suffocation.
  • Another thing to consider is what type of crib you purchase. If you want to get the most out of your money, convertible cribs are your best bet. Convertible cribs change from a crib to a toddler bed, sometimes even to a twin-sized bed. This automatically extends the lifetime of your bed.

The Changing Table

The addition of a changing table to your nursery, while not completely necessary, will only help keep things organized. Most changing tables, in addition to providing you with a surface to change diapers, also provides you with ample storage spice for fresh diapers, ointment, powder, even clothing.

The problem with If you are looking for a piece of furniture that’s a bit more versatile, you could go with a sturdy dresser. A dresser, unlike a changing table, can be used as your child grows. Whatever route you choose, make sure that the product is well built and manufactured according to industry standards.


While not 100 % necessary, these accessories make a nice addition to any nursery.

  • Baby Monitors:Having a baby monitor set up in your baby’s room will give you that peace of mind that you need when you bring a baby home for the first time. With many different models available, some with video, some with just audio, as long as you can hear what’s going in your baby’s room, that’s all the security you really need.
  • The Mobile: A baby mobile hanging over the crib is good for soothing a baby before a nap. You can choose an electronic mobile that plays music, or one that you just turn manually. Available in all sorts themes and fun shapes, have fun picking this out.
  • Rocking Chair: Reserving a corner of your nursery for a rocking chair is always a good idea. A rocking chair makes for the perfect spot to feed, burp or rock the baby before a nap. They are also great for reading to your child as he or she gets older.

With these basics covered, your nursery should be all set. When ordering nursery furniture, it’s important to plan ahead. While there’s no set time frame as to when you should have your nursery set up and ready, you need to keep in mind that certain popular pieces could be out of stock.

Having your nursery prepared well advance of the due date is probably a good idea. Have fun with the shopping, but let me reiterate the importance of checking with the wife before purchasing. You’ll thank me later!