Ultimate Baby Nursery Essentials Checklist – 2023


Our daughter and son-in-law are expecting their first baby This can be both exciting and overwhelming. As a soon-to-be first-time grandma, I’m excited and overwhelmed.

While I’m sure that my daughter and her husband will be the most amazing parents, I feel like there is no way that they can be prepared for what will happen when this little human enters their lives. But they like me will figure it out.

One of the most important and exciting things to prepare for is the baby’s nursery. So “Handy” and I headed to Texas and helped them execute their vision. While we are at it I decided to share it with the world in the Fall 2023 One Room Challenge

Crate and Barrel Baby Crib in Sage Green

On my blog Living Large in A Small House, I may sometimes use affiliate links, which means a small commission is earned if you make a purchase via the link. The price will be the same whether you use the affiliate link or go directly to the vendor’s website using a non-affiliate link. You can find my full Disclosure Policy HERE

Crate and Barrel Dresser in Sage Green

Creating a Nursery Essentials Checklist

Annie and I have created a checklist of baby nursery essentials that can help parents (and grandparents) ensure they have everything they need to welcome their little ones into the world.

Find the checklist along with so much more in my FREE Resource Library.

For the grandparents who are reading this, I have noted the items on the checklist that I plan to have at my home so that traveling from Texas to Illinois is seamless. 

When it comes to creating a checklist for a new baby, it’s important to consider both the practical and aesthetic aspects of the room. This includes items such as a crib, changing table, and dresser for storage, as well as decor and bedding to create a cozy and inviting space. With so many options available, it can be difficult to know where to start, which is why a comprehensive checklist can be helpful.

There is a wide variety of styles and price ranges for all baby products. I’m a fan of taking your budget into account when deciding on which nursery items to purchase. You may also be given a baby shower and will be gifted some of these items. 

Preparing for Baby’s Arrival

Expectant parents often feel overwhelmed with the arrival of their new baby. To make the transition smoother, it’s important to start preparing for the baby’s arrival during the second and third trimester. One of the most important things to prepare is the baby’s nursery. Here are some essential items that should be on every baby nursery checklist:

  • Crib or bassinet: The baby will need a safe and comfortable place to sleep. A crib or bassinet is a must-have item for the nursery.
  • Changing table: A dedicated changing table will make diaper changes much easier and more organized.
  • Dresser: A dresser is a great way to store all of the baby’s clothes and other essentials.
  • Rocking chair or glider: A comfortable chair for feeding and soothing the baby is a must-have for any nursery.
  • Baby monitor: A baby monitor will allow parents to keep an ear and an eye on their little one while they are in another room.
  • Diapers and wipes: Stock up on plenty of diapers and wipes before the baby arrives.
  • Swaddles and blankets: Swaddles and blankets are essential for keeping the baby warm and cozy.
  • Onesies and sleepers: The baby will need plenty of onesies and sleepers to wear during the first few months.

By preparing for the baby’s arrival and having all of the essential items ready in the nursery, expectant parents can feel more confident and ready to welcome their new bundle of joy.

Designing the Perfect Nursery

When designing the perfect nursery, there are several things to consider to create a space that is not only stylish but also functional for both babies and parents. The nursery design should reflect the parents’ personal style while also being a calming space for the baby.

You can follow our journey of designing baby Nellen’s Nursery by starting with our first One Room Challenge Fall 2023 post. 

One of the first things to consider when designing a nursery is the color scheme. The color scheme sets the tone for the entire room and can greatly impact the mood of both the baby and the parents. Soft, muted colors like pastels can create a calming and soothing environment, while brighter colors can provide a more stimulating atmosphere.

Creating a mood board can be a helpful tool when deciding on a color scheme and overall room feel. A mood board can include images of furniture, decor, and color swatches to help visualize the overall design of the room. 

If the nursery is in a small room, it’s important to consider floor space and storage options. Choosing furniture that is both functional and space-saving can help maximize the room’s potential. Wall shelves and baskets can also provide additional storage without taking up valuable floor space. Our room is rather small so we used graph paper to make sure everything would fit into the space. We also used the closet to create a dressing/changing station nook. 

Natural light is another important factor to consider when designing a nursery. Natural light can help regulate the baby’s sleep schedule and create a more inviting atmosphere. If the room lacks natural light, adding soft lighting fixtures can help create a warm and cozy environment. Annie and Tommy chose to use the room in their home that had the biggest windows. However, they also are using room-darkening drapes so they can regulate the natural light for their little one. 

For those who need additional assistance, interior designers can be a valuable resource when designing the perfect nursery. They can offer suggestions on furniture, decor, and overall design to create a space that meets the parents’ needs and reflects their personal style.

Overall, designing the perfect nursery requires careful consideration of several factors, including color scheme, room feel, floor space, natural light, and storage options. By taking these factors into account, parents can create a space that is both stylish and functional for their new addition.

a photo of the closet turned desk in the one room challenge
Fall 2022 One Room Challenge – Office/Den/Guest Room

Essential Furniture for Baby’s Room

When it comes to setting up a baby’s nursery, essential furniture is a must-have. Here are some of the most important pieces to include:

Baby’s Crib

The baby’s crib is the centerpiece of the nursery. It should be sturdy, safe, and comfortable for the baby. Consider getting a convertible crib that can be used as a toddler bed as well.

Changing Table

A changing table is a convenient place to change the baby’s diaper and dress them up. It should have ample storage space for diapers, wipes, and other essentials. We opted to use a changing topper that can sit on top of the dresser. 

Rocking Chair

A rocking chair is a great addition to the baby’s room. It can be used for feeding, soothing, and bonding with the baby. Look for one that is comfortable and has good back support.

Storage Space

Storage space is essential for keeping the nursery organized and clutter-free. Consider getting a dresser, shelves, or baskets to store clothes, toys, and other items.

Overall, these furniture pieces are essential for creating a comfortable and functional nursery for the baby.

Choosing the Best Baby Items

When it comes to choosing the best baby items, there are a lot of factors to consider. From safety to practicality, there are many things to keep in mind when selecting the essential items for your baby’s nursery.

One of the most important things to consider is safety. It’s crucial to choose baby items that meet safety standards and have been tested for potential hazards. This includes items such as cribs, car seats, and strollers. Always check for safety certifications and read reviews from other parents before making a purchase.

Practicality is also key when choosing baby items. Consider how often you will use the item and how long it will last. For example, a convertible crib that can be used as a toddler bed will be more practical in the long run than a standard crib.

Another factor to consider is the baby’s comfort. Look for items that are soft and cozy, such as a comfortable mattress for the crib or a soft blanket for swaddling.

When it comes to baby essentials, there are a few items that are a must-have for any nursery. These include:

  • Diapers and wipes
  • Baby clothes (onesies, sleepers, etc.)
  • Bottles and formula (if not breastfeeding)
  • Burp cloths
  • Baby bathtub
  • Baby monitor
  • Changing table or pad

Of course, every parent’s list of essential items may differ slightly based on their individual needs and preferences. It’s important to do your research and choose items that will work best for you and your baby.

Overall, choosing the best baby items requires careful consideration of safety, practicality, and comfort. With these factors in mind, you can create a nursery that is both functional and cozy for your little one.

Baby Sleep Essentials

One of the most important things for a new parent to consider when setting up a nursery is their baby’s sleep. Creating a comfortable and safe environment can help ensure that the baby gets the rest they need. Here are some baby sleep essentials to consider:

White Noise Machine

White noise machines can help soothe a baby and create a calming environment. They can also help drown out other noises that might wake the baby up. A good white noise machine should have adjustable volume and a variety of different sounds to choose from.

Fitted Sheet

A soft, fitted sheet is essential for a baby’s crib. It should fit snugly and securely to prevent any bunching or slipping. Look for sheets made from breathable materials like cotton or bamboo. I saw the best sheet hack recently. Put a sheet on the mattress then a waterproof pad then a second sheet. If the baby makes a mess during the night it’s a quick change to a new clean sheet by taking off the top sheet and pad and the mattress is all set to go with the second sheet.

Sound Machine

In addition to a white noise machine, a sound machine can also be helpful for creating a peaceful sleep environment. Look for one with a variety of soothing sounds like lullabies or nature sounds. I’m amazed that my kids can sleep at all. We didn’t have these kinds of gadgets 🙂

Night Light

A night light can provide a soft, comforting glow in the nursery. It can also make it easier for parents to check on the baby without disturbing their sleep. Look for a night light that is dimmable and has a soft, warm light.

Room Temperature

The temperature of the nursery is also an important factor in a baby’s sleep. The room should be kept at a comfortable temperature, between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit. A room thermometer can help parents monitor the temperature and make adjustments as needed.

Overall, creating a comfortable and safe sleep environment is key to ensuring that babies get the rest they need. By incorporating these baby sleep essentials into the nursery, parents can help their little ones sleep soundly through the night.

Diapering Essentials

One of the most important things to consider when setting up a baby nursery is the diapering essentials. This includes everything from the changing pad to the diaper pail. Here are some of the must-have items for any baby nursery:

  • Changing pad: A changing pad is essential for diaper changes. It provides a soft and comfortable surface for your baby to lie on while you change their diaper.
  • Diaper pail: A diaper pail is a great way to keep dirty diapers out of sight and out of mind. It helps to control odors and makes it easy to dispose of dirty diapers.
  • Changing station: A changing station is a designated area for diaper changes. It can include a changing pad, diaper pail, and other diapering essentials.
  • Diaper genie: A diaper genie is a special type of diaper pail that uses a special bag system to lock in odors. It’s a great option for parents who want to keep their nursery smelling fresh.
  • Changing mat: A changing mat is a portable option for diaper changes. It can be used on top of any surface to provide a clean and soft area for diaper changes.

Overall, having these diapering essentials on hand will make diaper changes much easier and more convenient for parents.

Feeding and Soothing Essentials

When it comes to feeding and soothing essentials for a baby nursery, there are a few items that are must-haves. First and foremost, a comfortable rocking chair is essential for both feeding and soothing a baby. A rocking chair provides a comfortable and calming environment for both the baby and the parent.

Late-night feedings can be exhausting, so having a nursing pillow can be a lifesaver. A nursing pillow provides support for the baby while feeding, which can help reduce strain on the parent’s arms and back. It can also help make feeding more comfortable for the baby.

In addition to a nursing pillow, a baby swing can also be a helpful tool for soothing a fussy baby. A swing can help replicate the motion of being rocked, which can be very soothing for a baby.

Lastly, it’s important to have a few items on hand for late-night feedings. A bottle warmer can make it easier to warm up bottles quickly, while a nightlight can provide just enough light to see what you’re doing without disturbing the baby’s sleep.

Overall, having these feeding and soothing essentials on hand can help make the first few months with a new baby a little easier and more comfortable for both the baby and the parent.

Safety Considerations for the Nursery

When setting up a nursery for a new baby, safety should always be a top priority. Here are some key safety considerations to keep in mind:

Baby Monitor

A baby monitor is an essential tool for keeping an eye on your little one, especially if they are sleeping in a separate room. A video monitor can be particularly helpful, as it allows you to see and hear your baby at all times.

American Academy of Pediatrics

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers a wealth of information on creating a safe sleeping environment for babies. They recommend placing babies to sleep on their backs on a firm, flat surface with no soft bedding or toys.

Baby Proofing

It’s important to baby-proof your home, including the nursery before your little one arrives. This can include covering electrical outlets, securing furniture to the wall, and removing any choking hazards.

Separate Room vs. Baby Close

While some parents prefer to have their baby sleep in a separate room, others choose to keep their little one close by using a bassinet or co-sleeper. Whichever option you choose, make sure it is safe and comfortable for both you and your baby.

Overall, taking the time to carefully consider safety when setting up your baby’s nursery can help give you peace of mind and ensure a safe and comfortable environment for your little one.

Storage Solutions for Baby’s Room

One of the biggest challenges new parents face is finding enough storage space for all their baby’s essentials. With so many clothes, toys, and accessories, it’s easy for a nursery to become cluttered and disorganized. Fortunately, there are plenty of storage solutions available that can help keep everything tidy and within easy reach.

One great place to start is with the baby’s clothes. A dresser or wardrobe with plenty of drawers and hanging space is essential for keeping onesies, pajamas, and outfits organized. Consider investing in dividers or organizers to separate items by size or type, making it easy to find what you need quickly. We found some inexpensive drawer organizers at Target. Annie has completely fallen in love with the whole Brightroom collection. 

Another important storage solution is for crib bedding. A storage bin or basket can be a great place to keep extra sheets, blankets, and crib skirts. This not only keeps everything organized but also makes it easy to switch out bedding when it needs to be washed.

Burp cloths are another item that can quickly take over a nursery. A basket or hanging organizer can be a great place to keep them all in one spot. This not only keeps them within easy reach but also helps prevent them from getting lost or misplaced.

Finally, don’t forget about finding a great place to store toys and books. A bookshelf or toy chest can be a great addition to any nursery, providing a place to keep everything organized and within easy reach.

Overall, finding the right storage solutions for a baby’s room can be a challenge, but with a little creativity and planning, it’s possible to keep everything organized and within easy reach.

Final Thoughts and Tips for New Parents

Becoming a new parent can be a daunting experience, but it can also be one of the most rewarding times of your life. As you prepare for your baby’s arrival, there are a few things you can keep in mind to help make the transition easier.

First steps are important but don’t worry too much if your baby doesn’t hit all the milestones right away. Every baby develops at their own pace, so try not to compare your child to others.

In the early days, it’s important to focus on bonding with your baby and getting to know their needs and personality. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family and friends, and take advantage of any resources your community may offer for new parents.

The first year of your baby’s life is full of changes and challenges, but it’s also a time of wonder and joy. Enjoy every moment, even the tough ones, because they will pass quickly.

Creating a checklist of baby nursery essentials is a great way to stay organized and prepared. Consider investing in quality items that will last through multiple children, and don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations from other parents.

Overall, being a new parent is a great idea and a wonderful experience. Remember to take care of yourself as well as your baby, and enjoy this special time in your life.

For the grandparents who are reading this, I have noted the items on the checklist that I plan to have at my home so that traveling from Texas to Illinois is seamless for the new parents.

This is such an exciting time for our family and I can’t wait to reveal the completed nursery to you next week!

Peace and Love,

Meet Me

I’m an Interior Designer, Professional Organizer, and Party Planner who lives in the suburbs of Chicago in a 1,300 sq., ft., home with my “Handy” husband, Keith.

I’m an open book about my life on my blog. Find out more about me by tapping the button below.

A great way to save this article is to keep it on one of your Pinterest boards. You can find the pin button in the top left corner of the photo below. Also, don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest

Pinterest Graphic with an overlay that reads "One Room challenge - Nursery Essentials Checklist"


Web Story

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.