By Amber Barrett
Let’s face it – there are so many baby products out there. And honestly, I don’t think many of them are needed. Yes, they might make a cute baby shower gift, but in all honesty, it will likely get shoved into the back of the closet in the nursery, coming up for air two years later. That being said, after years of working with infants, there are five items I think every nursery should have. This is not a sponsored article or an ad, just some honest opinions on what I think every parent should consider having in their nursery (if you click any of the links below, I do get a tiny kick-back; wanted to be honest).
1. A Good Swaddle
Yes, a swaddle. Your baby just spent roughly nine months in a very confined space; being swaddled for sleep helps calm and comfort your baby. It also helps calm the moro or startle reflex that all newborns have; this can be very startling for your baby when trying to sleep and will typically wake your baby. There have been some recent concerns about swaddling and some hospitals even go as far as to suggest not swaddling. The reason being is that some parents swaddle their baby incorrectly, restricting their hips, which can lead to various issues like hip dysplasia. But don’t let that scare or deter you. If you have concerns about swaddling correctly, you can purchase an easy swaddle that has an open sack at the bottom, ensuring that you allow for free movement of your baby’s legs. I also hear from some of my clients and parents that their baby “just doesn’t like it”; honestly, what I typically find is that the parents are just not swaddling tight enough and baby wiggles free. I have two great videos you can find on Instagram using one of my favorite swaddles, the SwaddleMe. I also have another one showing what I like to call the “houdini swaddle” using the SwaddleMe and a simple nursery blanket for the “houdini” babies. You can find the videos here: https://www.instagram.com/seattlebabywhisperer/
2. Black-Out Curtains
Your baby has not only just been in a very tight and confining space, they have also been in a very dark place. By putting black-out curtains in the room you and your baby will be sleeping in, you are creating a space that your baby will find comforting.
3. A White Noise Machine
On the list to continue making your baby’s space calm and comforting is a really good white noise machine. I know many people who have said that they don’t want to use white noise for their baby; they want their baby to “just sleep” and not need anything to help. Your baby was just in an environment that was as loud as a vacuum! And while you may find your newborn will sleep through just about anything the first few weeks, by the six-week mark, you’ll start to notice that any little bang or noise will startle your little one. White noise helps block those background noises and helps allow for really good rest, which you will want by six weeks; I promise.
4. A Newborn Lounger
On the list is a newborn lounger or any type of product that allows you to put your baby down while baby is awake while you say, make a bottle, run to the restroom, answer the door, etc. At some point, you will need to put your little bundle of joy down…somewhere. Instead of placing your baby in an unsafe place like the couch or a recliner which I’ve seen many parents do, having a safe place for baby is key. I really like these options that you can have in your main living area:
5. A Red or Orange Nightlight
Lastly, for all those night-time feedings, I tell all of my sleep consulting clients to use a red or orange nightlight. A harsh white light in the middle of the night is not fun for anyone, especially you and your baby. Red or orange light has been shown to not have any effect on melatonin and I find I can easily see just enough to allow me to change a diaper or feed a baby. Plus, I find its less distracting for baby and doesn’t disturb anyone else that may be sleeping in the room. Here are my two favorites that I recommend to my sleep consulting clients: