TWBP: The Efficient Nursery

by July 3, 2012 at 3:00 pm 1,475 0

From Leslie Jones. She writes about urban motherhood every two weeks in her column TWB Poo (There Will Be Poo). You can email her at leslie[AT]

"Borderstan""Baby Hand"

What you need, don’t need and simply may want for your baby’s nursery. (Luis Gomez Photos)

One of my biggest concerns with staying in this neighborhood after Baby arrived was how we would fit her and all of the baby accoutrements into our small second bedroom.

While most days there is baby stuff scattered around the house, I have managed to create a place for everything in the nursery and I can tuck all baby-related items away if we’re having guests over.

You don’t need many of the things people will try to convince you that you have to have; here are some guidelines.

Things You Need for Baby’s Nursery

  • An Amazon Prime membership. For $79 a year you get free two-day shipping on tons of great items. Amazing for ordering must haves at your 3 am feeding.
  • Dr. Brown’s bottles.  For formula or breast milk, these bottles are the crowd favorite among my friends.  They purportedly cut down on gas and make baby suck a little harder, more like on the breast.
  • A Boppy lounger. It’s a pillow with a baby-sized cut out that you can plop your baby in and hopefully get a few minutes of freedom. Baby has grown out of it now, but I used to put it on the bathroom floor so I could keep her close when I tried to take a shower. Don’t ever put it on a raised surface because baby can roll out of it and hurt himself.
Basically you need a place for your baby to sleep, clothes to put her in, and something to feed her. Everything else is gravy. Don’t overthink it. My great-grandmother was premature and they kept her in a wood-burning stove warming oven for the first few weeks. Seriously.  You’ll be okay just trust your instincts.

Things You Don’t Need

  • A bottle steamer.  It takes up a lot of room and we never used it. I wash bottles in hot water with fragrance free dish soap and dry them on a bottle rack made by Skip Hop.
  • Dozens of onsies and outfits in every size. We don’t change for spit up or drool; it’s only going to happen again 5 minutes later. Just about every parent I know says that they have tons of clothes that their babies never wear. Get a couple of things and then see what you like, and what you need after the baby arrives.
  • Tons of toys, a bouncer, a swing, etc. Be strategic in your choices, and take larger items for a test drive before you purchase them. Baby hated the vibrating bouncer chair, and we did just fine without a swing. I did break down and buy a jumperoo after Baby had a blast in a similar model at her cousin’s house. It’s bulky, but it can be folded up and stored in the closet.
  • Crib bedding sets. According to new guidelines released by the American Academy of Pediatrics, you shouldn’t use bumper pads.  I like the clean lines of my crib and opted out of the crib skirt as well. I just got two crib sheets in cute patterns. If you really want a bumper, look into breathable bumpers. They allow air to circulate, but help to prevent little arms and legs from sticking through the crib rails.

Things You Don’t Need, But May Want

  • A wipes warmer. My husband thinks this is crazy, but it only takes up as much space as a large box of tissues and I like the idea of putting a nice warm wipe on Baby’s bottom at 3 am. I keep reusable washcloths in here as well as disposable wipes, and I use the washcloths for little touch ups between baths.
  • Muslin swaddle blankets from Aden + Anais. They come in super cute patterns, big enough to swaddle, and make nice lightweight blankets.
  • A rocker/recliner. Aesthetically, I don’t love wooden rockers. I splurged on an upholstered rocker/recliner and it has been one of my best buys. Baby has been in the nursery since the first night we brought her home; and for the first two weeks, so was I. So, I ended up sleeping in the chair because I needed to make sure she was breathing, obviously. I was able to recline to an almost flat position, and it was actually more comfortable than sleeping completely flat after my C-Section.
  • A cute diaper bag that looks like a purse!  There’s no need to sacrifice style in order to carry around everything baby needs for excursions and adventures.  I LOVE my diaper bag from timi & leslie.

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