Top 10 Baby Nursery Essentials

Top 10 Baby Nursery Essentials

Planning a baby nursery can be an overwhelming task. With so many baby items available, it can be difficult to figure out which ones are really worth buying. The items you buy will depend partly on your personal preferences, but a few nursery decor basics can assist every new parent. These essentials will get you started and inspire you to add the additional items that will be right for you and your parenting style.

Essentials for a Baby Nursery:


Crib or Bassinet

White Babyletto crib for a baby nursery

One of the most important baby nursery essentials is baby’s bed. Whether you choose an elaborate crib or a simple bassinet, your little one’s sleeping spot will likely be the focal point of the nursery. However much you choose to spend and whichever style you choose, be sure that the crib or bassinet is sturdy and made of quality materials. Avoid drop-side cribs, as they fail to provide adequate support and were banned by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. For more tips on finding a crib that fits your nursery needs, read Choosing the Best Crib for Your New Baby.



Folded bedding for a baby nursery

Baby bedding is not just a necessity for your child’s comfort; it can also be a fun part of the decorating process. You can choose from a variety of bedding, including crib sheets, bumper pads, pillows, blankets and crib skirts. If you choose to use a sleep sack to keep baby warm throughout the night, you can still display a baby quilt as part of the nursery decor. To find both the best size and material for your baby’s bedding, read our FAQs About Baby Bed Sheets.


Changing Table

White changing table for a baby nursery with drawers for extra storage

Given that there will be thousands of dirty diapers in your baby’s first year, a sturdy changing table is a nursery essential. While you will become skilled at changing these diapers on the fly, a changing table with drawers or shelves can keep you feeling organized amongst the new-baby frenzy. Organize diapers and swaddling blankets in changing table drawers while keeping an upper shelf open for the other must-haves, like wipes and ointments. Most changing tables also feature a comfortable curved pad that prevents baby from rolling in either direction, making changing diapers that much easier.


Storage Baskets

Woven storage baskets for baby nusery

A big basket on the floor next to your baby’s crib is more than a cute piece of decor — baskets are great for housing extra blankets, burp cloths, and even toys. Make sure to position them where you’ll need them most: blankets by the crib, burp cloths by the rocker, and toys within easy reach for baby.



Gray dresser for a baby nursery

Babies often go through several changes of clothing each day, making an organized dresser a much-needed piece of nursery furniture. Infant dressers should have at least three drawers and feature compartments for socks, bibs, and other small items. For tips on fitting a dresser into your baby’s room, read How to Arrange Baby Nursery Furniture.



Moon and star mobile for a baby nusery

Mobiles have long been a baby nursery fundamental because they help to soothe new babies to sleep and entertain them when they wake up. Some crib bedding sets come with matching mobiles, but there are also many mobiles on the market that can be purchased separately with varying features. Most mobiles include a music feature and moving figurines, while others have lights, mirrors, and calming nature sounds.


Rocking Chair

Cream fabric rocking chair for baby nursery

When it comes to nursery essentials, rocking chairs are sure to come to mind. A traditional wooden rocking chair can add a nostalgic touch to your nursery, while an upholstered or padded glider may be a more comfortable option. The rocking motion from both chairs and gliders can soothe babies to sleep, making them especially helpful for parents come evening time. These chairs also offer a peaceful spot for bottle or breastfeeding.


Clothes Hamper

Black and white printed clothes hamper for a baby nursery

From spiting up to dirty diapers and dribbled baby food that misses the bib, your baby will likely go through a lot of outfits. With all the clothes that your baby will wear, you will find a clothes hamper to be a baby nursery essential. Hampers are available in a wide range of materials and styles, and many bedding sets offer coordinating hamper designs.


Receiving & Swaddling Blankets

a four-pack of grey, white, and yellow gender-neutral receiving blankets, a newborn baby essential for your nursery

Made from light yet durable materials – such as cotton, flannel, or muslin – receiving blankets have many uses when you have a new baby. These newborn essentials are sized with swaddling in mind, so they are a must for your changing table drawer. You can give your little one a fresh, cozy wrap after every diaper change. They also come in handy away from the nursery when you need a temporary changing mat, burp cloth, or nursing cover.


Baby Blanket

an orange baby blanket and teddy bear draped over the side of a white crib

Experts do not recommend baby blankets for newborns and infants, as any loose items in the crib pose a risk for suffocation or other injuries. Older babies, however, move less in the crib and can safely sleep with comfy covers. Quality cotton materials will give your tot the best night’s sleep as well as a cuddle buddy for bedtime. Baby blankets aren’t just for sleeping, either. Storytime is that much better for mama and baby when snuggling together under a fuzzy blanket in the rocking chair.

Now that you have your nursery essentials, it’s time to put them all together. For more complete decorating tips and visual inspiration, read our Baby Nursery Ideas.