Having a baby is super awesome, but I bet if you have one, or are having one soon, you never in a million years thought there could be so much stuff involved. Well, here’s a few more things you can put on your tab that probably isn’t on the cute little checklist they give you at the store when you register. Why? Because store people apparently don’t spend a lot of time in a nursery with babies OR they don’t sell these things at their store.
Then you might be like, “But why didn’t my amazing girlfriends or mom tell me about this stuff then?” Well, there’s this thing called ‘mommy brain’ where you do things in the middle of the night on little to no sleep and you think to yourself, “This is the best thing ever! Why doesn’t everyone know about this?!” and then you either fall asleep and forget OR continue doing it like everyone MUST know this and you’re not going to act like you’re the first one to invent it. You’re probably right, BUT I’m going to take a chance anyway because I definitely learned these things on the go and they have also definitely been game changers. So, here are 6 things you didn’t know you needed in the nursery – until you had a baby.
Last time I checked, nobody likes being blinded by a super bright light in the middle of the night, and neither does your baby!
Spoiler alert, your baby will get up in the middle of the night for… a while. When this stops, really depends on your baby; regardless, this little upgrade doesn’t cost much but the benefits are great:
- First, it allows you to sneak in and check on your baby, hopefully without waking him, when you fear he may have died because he actually slept more than 2 hours! It sounds funny, but it truly happens, and it’s terrifying. P.S. yes, he’s most likely still breathing, but if you want to be sure and you just can’t handle it, buy one of these baby movement or oxygen monitors.
- Second, it keeps your baby’s room a tranquil place while trying to get her to go to sleep or go back to sleep in the night. Babies are already so confused about night and day and most likely have them totally mixed up, especially in the beginning. Think about it, you have been lulling them to sleep in the womb all day by your movements, and then you suddenly stop, making them wake up at night – it may take a while to adjust! So, keeping her room as dim as possible when it’s time to sleep will help her acclimate and, hopefully, start getting her internal clock back on track. Plus, it will help babies who are a little older resist wanting to engage in playtime in the middle of the night, too, because… who wants to play in the dark? Lame!
- Finally, it helps keep your own internal clock in check so you’re not wired in the middle of the night, either! “Um, excuse me? I’m so sleep deprived, I couldn’t be wired if you paid me,” you might be thinking. Well, it’s just better for melatonin production anyway, so maybe you can go back to sleep faster. The potential of 30 seconds of more sleep = winning!
Well, where do I get this magical device, you ask? You can get one for your overhead light at most any home improvement store, but it’s easier to just get it on amazon and have it delivered to your door! Here is my personal favorite style: the Lutron Electronics Diva Duo Dimmer – it’s easy to slide up and down even BEFORE turning on the light, so you can make sure it’s at an appropriate level before flipping the switch. Here is a DIY on my Pinterest page for installing it too!
*TIP – dimmers work best with incandescent bulbs. Sorry, the L.E.D. lights (even the ones that SAY they dim), just don’t cut it.
- BLACKOUT SHADES
Raise your hand if you loathe daylight savings time! Well, if you live anywhere but Alaska and Hawaii (or other states or countries where they actually like their citizens), you probably feel me on this one. It’s the worst. You just get baby on a schedule and suddenly, GOTCHA, schedule changed. Besides, now it is daylight until 9pm or later and your kiddo’s bedtime is 7:30. What’s a mom to do? Keeping with the dim theme, get yourself some of these!
There are quite a few options:
- You can buy actual blackout curtains or shades, or get them built in to the ones that you already have coordinated with your nursery. Though, you may just want some curtains drawn at some point for privacy without having it completely black in the room, so, the other options may be better.
- You can “Add a Rod“ to already existing curtains! It’s super easy, as it just hooks onto an existing rod, and then you buy a blackout curtain liner to hang in behind your existing curtains! They have TONS of color options too, score!
- On the go or don’t want something so permanent? There are these handy Gro-Anywhere Blind inserts that just suction to your windows!
- WHITE NOISE MAKER
This one may already be on your list, or at least you may have heard of it, but you may also be thinking… “Do I really need this?” or “Won’t it make my child addicted to having it so that he needs something like this ALL the time to sleep?” These are valid questions, but once you have a baby, you pretty much don’t care what you have to do to make him sleep. Seriously. If holding him by the legs while standing on one foot and whistling “Yankee Doodle Dandy” works, you do it.
Guess what? These tiny magic machines work! Why? Well, that little human used to be in your belly, and your belly was a host to all kinds of sounds – your breathing, your heartbeat, and any sounds outside of your body that would filter their way through. And now… silence. It can ironically be deafening to them; it’s too much change! Sure, you can play music or something else, but you risk the music getting to loud, changing, stopping, etc. at just the right moment, or rather the wrong moment, that wakes your little one up. Boo!
So, just do yourself a favor, and get one of these. This one is my favorite, the Marpac DOHM, because it’s not just a recording, it’s an actual fan. It also comes in Black, if you prefer. Sure, some of those super adorable ones look enticing, but all those other sounds may prove useless and what matters? Right, whatever helps your baby, and ultimately you, sleep.
You’re probably thinking, “This is the absolute last thing I want in my nursery. I’m sleep deprived, I sometimes wonder if I’m actually going insane, and the bags under my eyes, along with the fact that I haven’t had a chance to take a shower in 6 days, means I REALLY don’t want to see my reflection right now.” Trust me, I get it, but a mirror is going to come in real handy when your tiny tot is on your shoulder seemingly snoozing away, and you’re bouncing like a mad woman, only to discover in the mirror… he’s wide awake and it’s all for naught. You might as well be saving your back and try something else!
So, incorporate a cute framed mirror, something shabby chic, or play around with different shapes. The different texture will brighten up your design, and it may serve as a wonderful distraction for your baby later too. Here are some favorites:
Again, you may be thinking, “Why, on God’s green Earth, would I ever want to know what wee hour of the morning it is while I’m awake, yet again.” Well, the nursery seems to become kind of like a twilight zone sometimes and you totally lose track of time in there. Sometimes that’s a good thing, and other times it’s helpful to know that this incessant fussiness is just because it’s 30 minutes past her bedtime and if you can just soothe her a little longer she will probably fall asleep!
Sure, you think you would have your phone on you all the time, or maybe you’re super classy and you always wear a watch. Well, try looking at that phone while standing up and bouncing the baby, or get your wrist out from underneath them to look at your watch (which, by the way, you’ll probably not wear for a while due to the fear you’ll get it caught on baby’s clothes, hair, skin, or otherwise). It’s just not always feasible to think you’ll have some other technology with you. So, just put a cute clock on the wall and call it a day – done!
There are a lot of cute clocks to fit into your theme:
This may seem like a joke, but there’s nothing worse than getting your little dear to sleep just to wake them up with a sound straight from a horror film while closing the door. Squirt a little of this WD-40 Spray with Smart Straw in your hinges to save yourself the trouble (and have an old towel ready because there may be an unbelievable amount of black stuff that comes out – if it ends up on your door, a trusty Magic Eraser will do the trick).
Of course, these are definitely not the ONLY things you need in a nursery – a crib, changing table, diaper pail, rocker, side table, lamp, waste basket, book case, etc. should probably all be on your list. (Check out our “Greatest Inventions Ever!” section for some of our must-have baby gear). These are just some of the less obvious ones that I wish I would have known about prior to having the baby in the room since they have helped make life a bit easier. And, really, that’s what it’s all about. But, don’t worry momma – you’ll figure it out along the way if you haven’t already. You got this.
Have some great things in your nursery you think everyone should know about?? Comment below or send us an email! Help make life a little bit easier for other moms too! firstname.lastname@example.org