First 12 Weeks: Week 1–My 9 Nursery Essentials Transcription
Hi, everyone, I just wanted to do a quick follow up about nursery essentials. Baby gear can be so expensive, and I know you're probably wondering what you truly need. Right now I'm going to share with you the nine items I ask clients to have, or I bring with me before starting a new shift with a new family.
The first one is super basic, every baby needs a safe place to sleep. So there needs to be a portable crib, a crib, a bassinet, or a play yard. This is the one thing I insist on. It has to be one of those items because that is what is approved for safe sleep. So that's the only thing I'm a real stickler about everything else after this is just you know... Use your best judgment and what makes sense for you. But I have to have a safe sleep surface for the baby, and we need to have at least two sets of sheets for the mattress because the worst thing is if your bed gets destroyed in the middle of the night with like a blowout poop diaper or like spit up everywhere and you don't have another sheet to go on the bed.
After that, my second item is a red nightlight. And I know this might seem like a little less important, and you're like: why is this number two on the list? Well, the thing of it is, is that red light is the least disruptive to the circadian rhythm. So, you know how blue lights are really bad for you? Screens are bad for you. They disrupt your sleep, they keep you awake. Well, LED lights that are in a lot of lamps still have some blue light. And so you don't really want to be turning on a lamp in the nursery at like three in the morning, when you need to change a diaper, you want to have a red light you can turn on so that hopefully baby won't wake up quite as much and their sleep rhythms won't be quite as disrupted. I actually have a headlamp that I keep in my go-bag for shifts that has a red light on it. So if a family doesn't have a red light, I have one with me so I can navigate around the house in the dark without turning on lights. And I don't know, that's probably something super Seattle and silly, but I find it very helpful.
The third thing I need is a changing station. Now, it doesn't need to be like a fancy changing table with like eight shelves and 70,000 baby items. What I actually need is just a changing surface, like a changing pad or a mat. I prefer it on the floor because if baby starts to roll they're not going to fall far. And I'm always right there, but like for safety reasons, I always love having a changing station on the floor just so once baby does start to be more mobile you don't start feeling too safe with a high changing table. I just prefer it to be on the floor personally. And then, with that changing station, I usually like to keep a little like box with compartments that hold diapers wipes, a couple extra onesies just so I'm not digging around in the middle of the night if we need to change a onesie, and then diaper cream if needed.
Number four on my list is swaddle blankets. It really helps with the Moro reflex and helping babies transition in between sleep cycles to be swaddled, and it needs to be firmer around their arms and loose around their hips because you don't want to trigger any hip dysplasia by swaddling too tight around their hips. So keep it loose around the hips and tighter around the arms and hopefully they won't startle awake in the middle of the night. It also helps remind baby of being in the womb, which brings us to number five, which is white noise.
The womb is really loud, so it's helpful for newborns to have white noise. They find it very soothing. Another investment that you don't need to have but may save your lungs a little bit of effort is a shusher. I know it seems silly, but when you're shushing a baby for 20 minutes at three in the morning, sometimes it's nice to have a machine to turn on to do it for you.
Number six on my list is blackout curtains, and that again goes back to recreating the womb. It's warm, it's dark, it's snug. It's also really loud. So the more you can recreate that setting the more comfortable your baby is going to be, the more they will sleep, and the more they will sleep soundly.
Number seven is a fan. And I know you're probably thinking like, why do I need a fan? We have white noise, we have other things, we have central air. A fan seems redundant at this point. Well, studies have actually shown that having circulating air in a room reduces the risk of SIDS. I think any little step we can take there to have babies safer is worth it.
Number eight is a baby carrier. Definitely check the weight limits on baby carriers, do some research, find some different ones that might work for you. Some of them are a lot more user friendly, and easier to use. But sometimes those have extra inserts that you have to use at the beginning, especially when baby is in the newborn phase. I personally prefer longer fabric wraps, such as like the Moby. I'm not really loyal to any specific brand, but those are the type of wraps that I like the most. I feel like it keeps baby very secure against my body. They're right there at chin level, which is really nice. And it also works really well with newborns. Again, go by the instructions for those though, because if you have a really teeny baby, they may not be at the weight requirement for use, so pay attention to that.
And then the last item on my list, number nine, is an exercise ball. You can have a rocking chair too, that's fine, but I personally love an exercise ball more than any other piece of equipment to help soothe the baby if they're feeling fussy.
So that's that's it. Those are my nine essential items that I really love to have in nursery, you can have like the fancy monitors and everything else. After that you can spend 1000s and 1000s of dollars on things for baby. But it's not necessary to do that. It really isn't. You need a safe place for baby to sleep, and then after that everything is optional, but those are the nine things that I love to have.