Furnishing a nursery can be a wonderful time for an expectant mother. Not only is it fun to prepare for the birth of a baby, but it gives the expectant mother an outlet for those nesting instincts that will soon kick in. A lot of well-meaning people (i.e. parents and in-laws) will convince you that you simply must have certain furniture for your new baby’s room.
Some of the furniture you will likely consider includes:
Do you need it all? Only you can know for sure. Ask yourself, “What furniture am I really likely to use?”
A bassinette is handy for keeping the new baby very close. Most are portable so you can roll them throughout the house. If someone offers to loan you a bassinette, take them up on it as long as the mattress is clean and in good shape. You’ll only use a bassinette for a short period of time, so why invest in it as a major piece of furniture?
A crib, however, is a different story. If you plan for your child to sleep on his or her own at all, you will want a crib. It’s not as safe to borrow a crib from someone and while cribs are a type of baby furniture that have sentimental attachments, don’t agree to use an old crib because it was the one your husband used when he was a baby. Safety standards have changed dramatically and what was once considered safe furniture, might not be now. Look online to find baby crib safety standards. Make sure any spindles on the bed are placed close enough so that the baby cannot get his or her head stuck between them. Also, make sure there’s no lead paint on the bed. If you’re like most mothers, you’ll feel better about your baby’s safety if you buy new or one that was just recently used by someone you know.
Do you need a changing table? Mothers went for years without this piece of furniture. But, they are nice to have and at a convenient height that saves some back strain. It’s a matter of available space, available money and your willingness to bend over to change a diaper!
A dresser, if bought to last for years, would be a good furniture investment. Don’t waste money on a cutesy theme dresser that the baby will only outgrow when he or she starts to develop personal tastes. Instead, think about the rest of your house. Do you have a lot of mahogany furniture or a lot of white painted furniture? Buy a dresser that you can move elsewhere in the house if your child decides he or she hates it down the road. Buy solid wood. The furniture will last longer and it will contain fewer chemicals than cheaper veneer furniture pieces often include in the processing stage or in the glue used to hold pieces together.
Everyone thinks you need a rocking chair if you have a baby. Is it a necessary piece of furniture for the nursery? Not if you have a rocking chair somewhere else in the house. No mother or baby wants to spend all their time in the nursery anyway. Use rocking time in another room to give you both a change of pace – unless you just want to buy a rocker.