Nurseries are like kitchens. It’s easy to get sucked into buying a bunch of stuff that you don’t really need, but what you really want is to put that money into upgrading the things that you use all the time. It makes my heart SING to put lists like this together for you guys. I know how overwhelming (and expensive) shopping for baby gear can be!! I am ONLY including the essentials that I use on a regular basis (daily or more often.) I haaaate letting clutter take up valuable space, and I like to make sure that all the items in our home are not only beautiful but also FUNCTIONAL. I’d recommend everything on this list to any new mom or mom with multiple little ones.
In fact, I love helping other moms with this stuff so much that sometimes I become people’s personal shopper when I’m out doing my own shopping 😂 I’m so grateful to be partnering with Bed, Bath and Beyond as well as buybuy BABY because god knows I’ve spent so much time in their stores and shopping on their website that it feels like I already work there!! LOL I know their entire catalogue like the back of my hand. I highly highly recommend registering with them. First of all it’s so easy, and second it gives you perks like registry consultants, referral rewards, price match promise, completion discount and registry announcement cards. I LOVE a good registry.
buybuy BABY has SUCH a wide assortment of furniture and decor to help YOU create the perfect nursery, and they even offer decorating services!! I love that they have such a wide assortment of brands to cater to alllll the styles and budgets– which makes it easy to pick up something for your girlfriend that has wildly different tastes from you at the same time as you’re grabbing something you need for yourself.
And of course, contactless/curbside pick-up options are great for when you’re in a rush or have a screaming toddler in the back, LOL. Just order what you need and they’ll send you an email within TWO business hours letting you know that it’s ready to pick up. Or if you have more time, you could even go in for a FREE one-on-one personal shopping appointment with one of their registry experts. They have so much knowledge to help you with questions and make sure you have everything you need!!
SO many of the items on this list ultimately come down to YOUR comfort. Like organization for when your sleep deprived, support for your body after everything it’s gone through, and comfort for your baby so that it can actually sleep (so that you can actually sleep!) You’re going to thrive best when you have vetted, high-quality supplies.
Here are my top 20 nursery essentials that I can’t live without!!
Diaper Pail: An Ubbi Diaper Pail and bags is a NO BRAINER when it comes to diapers. I love the look of it– it’s sooooo much sleeker than a big clunky diaper pail and it doesn’t take away from our decor. The Ubbi comes in 11 different colours but (of course) I love the white. These refill bags are also great and are small enough to store away in the dresser drawer below the changing table. The dresser is our changing table so I have everything below that we need for diaper changes and naps/bedtime to make life easy… and the easier you can make things the better. Sleepless nights = changing diapers on autopilot.
Wipes Warmer: Diaper changes are made SO much easier with the Prince Lionheart Wipes Warmer. I’ve tried both versions and the original (the one that’s linked) is the one that worked miles better for me! I didn’t use one for Pierce as a newborn only until he was a bit older but I WISH I did. Ah, the things you learn on your second kid lol. He was suuuper affected when wipes were cold and would scream. That’s one way to wake up in the morning! Bence has only had warm wipes and has never made a peep. But that could also be because he’s the #secondchild so you KNOW he’s had to make do because I’m so busy with Pierce. Hard to tell haha. But there’s a very good chance it’s the warmth of the wipes 😂.
Diapers and Wipes: Need I say more? Water Wipes are my favourite wipes because they are mainly water and have no chemicals or harsh ingredients. I have a pack in my diaper bag, in the car, at home, in both kids wipes warmers AND back ups in the laundry room. To say I love them would probably be an understatement LOL. I use wipes for absolutely everything!! Not just for the kids– I keep them handy for spills and sticky hands cause those are always coming up!!!
Diapers: I LOVE the Parasol brand of diapers but they are IMPOSSIBLE to find. If anyone knows where I can find them in-store in Vancouver PLEASE let me know. But they do ship as well, so that’s always an option. Sometimes you just need something NOW though, so when I’m shopping in-store I typically go for Pampers Pure. Those are a bit easier to find and again don’t have all the harsh chemicals and fragrance that I’m not a fan of putting on my babies sensitive skin.
Diaper Caddy: A diaper caddy was PARTICULARLY helpful post-partum as both times I was resting and recuperating from C-sections. It gave us the ability to have everything we needed for baby right at our fingertips without having to run up and down the stairs… not that that would have been me since I was recovering but MVP Gary would have been the guy doing the in-house StairMaster. BUT instead, all we needed to do was load our diaper caddy up with washcloths, a small toy for diaper changes, a swaddle, scratch mitts, diaper cream and of course diapers and wipes. Just like that, you’re ready for anything baby brings!! If you want to get fancy with some extras you could throw in a baby brush and some nail clippers but those are totally not needed for essentials.
Scratch Mitts: These come in handy ESPECIALLY with newborns in the early days from scratching their faces and leaving horrible scars. My babies nails grow SO fast and when I can’t keep up I throw scratch mitts on and know they’re protected ❤️
Changing Pad: We have a few different changing pads in our home that really come in handy. The one I linked is similar to the peanut we have on our main level which I absolutely looove. The most essential thing to look for is being able to WIPE IT CLEAN!! It’s great for the bath as well 🛁 We also have a Nook Changing Pad on the dresser in Bence’s nursery that I easily throw in the laundry when needed.
Changing Tray: A changing tray comes in verrrry handy as well if you are able to get one. With a changing tray, you can turn your baby’s dresser into a safe changing space (i.e., not a total mess.) The compartments are perfect to keep all your essentials like diapers, wipes, diaper balm, etc. on hand while you’re changing baby.
Body Balm & Diaper Balm: To help soothe roughness and itching and keep baby’s skin soft and hydrated, you’ll need a couple items that I like next to the changing pad so they’re handy. I’ve always only used natural products on both my boys and I don’t plan to change that now as I know the benefits and wouldn’t want to use ANYTHING I don’t trust on their baby soft skin. I love this body balm and this diaper balm. Sudocrem also comes highly recommended… I haven’t used it but I have heard raving reviews. Sometimes baby gets diaper rash and you just need a little something heavy duty to sort it out.
Wash Cloths: I like to have soft white wash cloths on hand to dry Bence’s super soft baby bum before putting on a diaper. I find that when everything is dry he has fewer diaper rashes. Pierce never had ONE and I fully attribute it to keeping everything dry and never letting a soiled diaper sit on his skin.
Here are a few super cute options for washcloths…
Sophie the Giraffe: I like to have something on hand for Bence to play with while I change his diaper. He LOVES to chew and play with Sophie the Giraffe or one of these rattles. If I don’t have one of these handy he’s squirming around, yelling, screaming, rolling over, pulling at the bunny print, you name it he’s doing it and I can NOT get his diaper on to save my life haha. Enter Sophie (the Giraffe) and the day is saved haha.
Baskets: Baskets are amazing for organization and storage solutions. I love the Pehr Pom-Pom Baskets because they are not only functional but also make beautiful decor items. We have them in natural, grey and sage in the pint and bin size but come in a variety of colours and sizes. I’m obsessed and they aren’t just great for the nursery you can use them EVERYWHERE!! Have I said how much I LOVE these haha.
Okay… So let’s talk breast pumps. I have two that I highly recommend and they both do different things.
Milk Storage & Ease: It’s great to have the storage bags to keep your milk organized in the freezer and a bra so you can go hands-free. Both these links work perfectly with the Medela set-up.
Nursing Pillow: I don’t always have time to use a nursing pillow, but when I do it relieves a looot of weight from baby and makes feeding a breeze. Basically, it’s heaven for my back. And of course you want support for you and baby so the feeding process is comfortable for all! Another option is a natural curve nursing pillow, which doesn’t work for everyone, but those it does work for absolutely LOVE it!
Baby Swing: This Fisher Price Swing (which can also be found in my Mom Essentials here) from Bed, Bath and Beyond is a straight-up GODSEND. I’ve used it daily with Bence and WISH that I had it with Pierce. It’s SO cute, I love that the mobile matches our woodland theme. I also love that it has multiple swinging directions. Do they have swings like this for adults?? LOL
Activity Gym: Activity gyms are so great for little ones to learn, grow, explore, and do their own thing while you do yours! The variety of shapes, sounds, and colours are really helpful for motor skill and sense development. Every day is a new adventure. Bence loves to play and explore and jump around, Pierce loves to show Bence new things and mama is able to take a SHOWER! It’s a win-win.
Here are a few really cute options for your little one to rip & roll around in!
Sound Machine: The Hatch Sound Machine was suuuuch a life saver and is definitely a must for any baby!! I use this with Pierce EVERY night and he’s THREE!!! I’ve gotten soo much life out of it and definitely feel like I’ve gotten my money’s worth haha. And we’re still going!! I have one in Bence’s room too. You HAVE to have one. I want to get a travel sound machine next.
Sleepers: Baby will definitely need some sleepers for naptime, bedtime and during the day. I like lighter ones (this is another great lighter option) during nap time and a bit thicker (this is another great thicker option. And SO cute!!) at bedtime so baby stays warm and stays asleep a bit longer. I find that with Bence, when he’s cold he wakes up easier and more frequently. I didn’t get too far with the sleeper gowns but it’s definitely worth a try, I’ve linked one for you.
Rocking Chair: You will spend many, many hours rocking a baby to sleep so you definitely need a good rocking chair. Keep in mind that you’ll be making beautiful memories with your precious little one, so you want something that you’ll be very comfortable in and works well with your nursery.
Blackout Curtains: It is soooo necessary to invest in blackout curtains so your little one sleeps well during naps and bedtime. I have seen frugal parents use cardboard though, so to each their own! But. You will be the one (or one of the ones) that spends tons and tons of time rocking baby in the nursery, so you might want to look at drapes and have the option to peel them back easier than a taped box would 😂 We had custom drapery done by Lorie from i4Design (I LOVE her work), but here’s one from Bed Bath and Beyond that would have looked lovely in the nursery.
Mobile for Baby: I didn’t have a musical mobile with Pierce, only a decorative one… but I always wondered if I should have, so I went ahead and picked up one for Bence. The Woodland Musical Mobile lulls baby off to sleep with 4 spinning forest friends rotating around to a soothing melody. It has the CUTEST woodland animals and classical music is really beneficial for little one’s ears to absorb. From sweet baby animals, gentle colours and fun prints there is lotssssss to keep baby occupied with. I also linked a more decorative cloud option that would be so sweet in any nursery.
Swaddles: We swaddled Pierce a few times when he was a newborn but he wasn’t a huge fan and would kick up a fuss so we stopped… but swaddles are always great if they work for your little one! And they’re so good for other things as well. I’d obviously keep them in the nursery, but also in your diaper bag for when baby falls asleep and you want to cover the car seat or stroller with one. And you can also use as a blanket. And as a nursing cover! Not that I have time for that anymore haha, but I did try to do that with Pierce. Mind you, he hated it 😅 Some swaddles I love are Loulou Lollipop, Aden + Anais, and Lulujo Baby.
Here are a few of my favourite swaddles from Bed Bath and Beyond!
Baby Carrier: A baby carrier is ESSENTIAL and not really something you’d think about being a part of your outfit but… it sure does take up a lot of surface area 😂 Being able to carry your baby around while you’re doing stuff is MAJOR, so why not use something that you feel good in??
There you go! My list of my TOP need-to-have items. I’ve actually been working on this for 3 years now since Pierce is now 3!! Actually, probably even more than that though because of my nesting period and from buying gifts for my girlfriends when they were pregnant. So this is a list 4+ years in the making!! Wow!!
What other must-haves would you include on this list?? Let us all know in the comments below ❤️ And PLEASE also let me know if you know where to find Parasol diapers in-store in Vancouver lol!!!