Congratulations on your new baby (or is the baby still on the way?) We are sure that your excitement is bubbling over into all sorts of buying including baby furniture. But do you know how to pick the right baby furniture?
Oh, and preparing to welcome your little one into the world is a feeling second to nothing. Do you agree?
If you are about having your first baby, you may be at loss on what baby furniture to get. So, before making that trip to the mall, ensure you do a research on what you need but since you are already reading this article, we will discuss what you need to know before buying baby furniture.
Why Do You Need Baby Furniture?
Here’s why you need baby furniture:
You need baby furniture because they help save time and keep your baby safe. When you need to feed your baby while dining, the highchair comes in handy. That way, you can feed your baby while having a quick breakfast.
Also, the baby crib guarantees the safety of your baby when he is being fed or asleep. Other items such as strollers, bassinets, and baby chairs come with multiple harnesses to keep your baby secure.
Baby furniture provides comfort for both mother and child. Buying a baby crib or bassinet as well as a good quality mattress for the crib, will be a great move. Babies need a lot of sleep for proper growth and development.
Basically, all you may likely need for a baby are diapers, clothes, and a blanket to wrap him in. Once you have these, you are set to have a baby. However, this depends on whether you want to carry this baby on your body all through the day, without having to drop him at all.
If that is not your plan, then you need much more than diapers, clothes, and blankets. You need baby furniture. You need a bed to place your little one on while he naps. You also need something to sit on while feeding the baby.
As a new parent (most especially, a first-time parent), it could be quite confusing or probably daunting to know which baby furniture to choose. You may have done several researches towards that and have come up more confused than when you started. We understand how that works because we’ve been there before.
This is the reason we are writing this buying guide to help you outline the basic baby furniture you will need for a start and what to look out for when buying them.
You are welcome to take this journey with us.
What are The Essential Baby Furniture That You Need?
The essential baby furniture that you need are:
1. Crib and bassinet
2. Dresser/changing table
3. Glider and Ottoman
4. Shelves and storage carts
5. High chairs
6. Play pen
7. Safety gates and barriers
8. Bed rails
1. Crib and Bassinet
The first and most important thing you should consider for your baby is a place to sleep. Even though it is advisable that a mother should sleep in the same room as her baby for the first six months, the baby should have his own bassinet or crib.
You may first invest in a bassinet because your baby may feel more at ease in it since it’s more comfortable than a crib.
The ease of movement helps you keep watch over your sleeping baby. Consider placing the bassinet beside you for easy feeding and cuddling at night.
However, while bassinets are good, your baby would probably outgrow them in a few months. Therefore, it is better to invest in a good and sturdy crib.
The crib should be one with high rails and a very firm mattress with tight bed sheet on the mattress. The firm mattress is important. It won’t affect your baby’s airways. This will help the growth of the newly forming bones.
How Do You Check the Safety of Your Baby’s Crib?
To check the safety of your baby’s crib, do the following:
1. Avoid having throw pillows, soft toys, or blankets in the baby’s bassinet or crib. This will prevent any occasion for suffocation or SIDS.
2. Do not use crib skirts and other frills. They are not necessary; the less, the better for the safety of your baby.
3. The mattress should be firm and tight fitted in the crib. This is to avoid having your baby trapped between the crib and the mattress.
In order to save money, many new parents tend to buy a used crib. But it is always better to buy a new one which still has a firm mattress and can be used for child number two and maybe three (or 12?)
4. New cribs, however, especially wooden ones, may still carry the smell of fresh paint. You can arrest this by airing the crib outside during the day. Also, ensure that the baby’s room or nursery has good ventilation.
Cribs that come with storage drawers help to save money on a dresser and on space, too. If you can get a crib with extra features like a protective net, it would be a good option. Your baby won’t be able to climb in and out of the bed at will.
For a more detailed read, see our full article on Cribs.
2. Dresser/Changing Table
This is an essential baby furniture because you need somewhere to store up your baby’s clothes. It will also come in handy in storing toys, bits and pieces, and other necessities. Its flat surface can also be cushioned and converted to serve as a changing table.
It is true that you can change your baby’s diapers anywhere but a mother who has just given birth shouldn’t bend over so much. Therefore, it is necessary to have an upright surface to dress your baby on.
You could also have guard rails or safety straps installed on the dresser to hold a wriggling baby in place during changes. You should know that this will be the case most times.
Even if you do not cushion the flat top of the dresser, you could lay a waterproof mat on it for your baby’s changes so that the top can be used to display figurines, awards, or photos when your baby outgrows it.
3. Glider and Ottoman
Some parents do not consider these as essential baby furniture but when you consider the implication of a poor back health, you will see their importance.
Some gliders come with a matching ottoman for feeding and comforting your child, either day or night. Your back and feet comfort is very important.
Gliders that come with a matching ottoman are best to use because they move in sync with one another. Talk about that rocking feeling that keeps you at your zen.
And after your baby outgrows the nursery, you can rock your ottoman in other rooms of the house.
However, even if you get the glider alone, you should get a stool to rest your feet on when feeding or comforting your baby.
Leather-upholstered gliders are best to use because whether you get a new or used one, they will be free of dust mites that appear in cloth-upholstered gliders.
And the best part is that after your child outgrows its use, you can change its upholstery and move it into the den where you can have your occasional cup of coffee. Nothing lost at all.
4. Shelves and Storage Carts
What is the first thing you notice in a house where there are children? If you said toys, then you must be a genius. Toys are usually the markers of a child’s presence in a home.
This doesn’t mean that everyone who steps into your house has to trip and fall by stepping on a toy.
Please, note that a shelf can serve as a storage cart but if you choose, you can have them separately.
Shelves come in different forms. They include:
- Wall shelves
- Hanging shelves
- Floor shelves
These are shelves that are hung on the wall, as the name implies. The idea behind this shelf is to take off as many things as possible from the floor and put them in a more visible place. It can also serve as a decorative piece.
These are more like storage carts that are hung inside a closet. If your baby will be sharing the same closet with you, a hanging shelve is what you need to separate his things from yours.
These are shelves that look more like drawers. They are placed on the ground and most of them have doors for your child’s safety. Most floor shelves are used to store the child’s gears but some parents choose to use the top of their floor shelves as changing tables.
As your baby grows older, he will get more independent and desire to do things on his own. One of these things is eating by himself. You will also need the occasional breaks from holding your baby and what better place to “strap him in” than in a strong, sturdy highchair.
That is why you need to invest in a sturdy and easy-to-clean highchair. It should be balanced on the ground, enough to keep a wiggling baby from toppling over in it. It should also be easy to clean because bits of food will definitely get rubbed on it.
A convertible high chair is a great choice since you get to use it for different purposes – eating, rocking, and plain sitting.
What are the things to consider when buying a highchair?
When buying a highchair, consider the following:
- Check the manufacturer’s certification
- Check for proper restraints
- Check for durability
- Check for detachable or loose parts
- Check for ease of mobility
Check the manufacturer’s certification
It is important to check to see if your baby’s highchair is one that has passed the safety tests by the relevant manufacturer’s association of the country that you live in.
Check for proper restraints
A reliable and durable highchair should have waist and crotch restraints or straps. This will help to keep your baby properly secured during feedings or while just enjoying a timeout with any member of the family.
Check for durability
Highchairs should be strong and well balanced on the ground. Its parts should be easy to clean and wash, either by hand or by machine.
Check for detachable or loose parts
It is a known fact that babies cause a great deal of wear and tear to products that they encounter. It is important that you regularly be on the lookout for loose nuts, screws, torn fabrics, and other parts of the highchair that they can detach and swallow or cause harm to themselves with.
Check for ease of mobility
Durable highchairs should be foldable and easy to transport for baby to use in any part of the home or when visiting friends and family.
Do you consider a highchair as essential baby furniture?
Large customized or ready-made playpens are also a must-have for babies as they grow older. This is because they will be awake for long periods during the day. And play helps them to grow their cognitive, behavioral, and psycho-motor skills during that time. A playpen with the right toys is where these skills will be developed. Can you see the need for a playpen now?
Many new parents think they don’t have to bother about buying a playpen until their baby becomes a toddler. That could not be more farther from the truth. Some playpens are custom-made to fit infants alone.
Playpens now come in new and exciting combos that also help to save money. Some playpens come with a bassinet, sleeper or napper, a changing station, and pocket to store baby nappies. These types of playpens actually help to save up on buying these different baby products when you need them.
The bassinet can be useful for moving your baby around the house and especially for night feedings.
The sleeper is a cozy place for your baby to take an afternoon nap in. You can convert the sleeper or napper to a changing station.
Playpens are also good because they help to restrict the movement of a crawling baby away from potential hazards around the house.
Most playpens come with a thin but firm mattress which is laid on the bottom of the pen for babies to play on. The mattress is usually comfortable for them to sleep on. The sides of good playpens are also made of breathable mesh material which makes it safe for babies to play and sleep in.
Some stylish playpens have a fun side door that you can unzip and let babies crawl through into or out of the pen.
It is important to note, however, that some playpens hover some inches above the ground, resting on four rollers. This makes it easy to push the playpen from room to room. The weight of babies tends to make the mattress in this playpen to sag in the middle. So, this can pose a threat to the baby by obstructing his airway during sleep.
Other playpens, on the other hand, stand flat on the ground and adequately support a baby’s weight during sleep. These are not easy to move from room to room. That’s where the downside to this type lies.
Will this baby furniture make your list?
7. Safety Gates and Barriers
Babies are naturally curious little beings and one way that they learn is by imitation. Ever seen them trying to do the things you always do? They copy the way you plug in the electric pressing iron and switch on the socket and try to iron your blouse for you. They try to pull open the refrigerator door and take out the pack of milk to prepare breakfast, just the way you do it.
They will copy whatever you do and practice it whether you are looking or not. When babies begin to walk, their movements can no longer be restricted to playpens or certain rooms in the house.
How do you ensure your baby’s safety at home?
You can ensure your baby’s safety at home by installing the appropriate safety fittings and barriers. With these, you can have your baby in any part of the house; you will rest assured that he will come to no harm.
You can have barriers or gates installed in your home to cordon off hazardous areas away from your baby’s reach once he begins to crawl and walk.
The kitchen or bathroom door can be locked but places like the fireplace, electric outlets, large passageways, top of staircases and other such places need to be barricaded with gates or barriers to prevent your baby from coming to harm.
Which safety device is better to have installed: Gates or Barriers?
It is better to install gates because they are very convenient. They swing open and close. Barriers, on the other hand, are fixed, immovable safety devices. You need to step over them to gain access to the areas of your house that you are protecting your child from.
You can read more on safety gates here.
For you, is this an essential baby furniture or not?
8. Bed Rails
When your baby hits another milestone, he is ready to transition into sleeping in a real big-kid bed. However, the concern with this is that he can roll off the bed while tossing and turning in his sleep.
This is where bed rails come to the rescue.
But first things first, you need to introduce him into his bed, and we will share a few tips with you on how to go about that.
How can I transition my toddler from crib to bed?
Here are tips on how to transition your toddler from crib to bed:
Just as with potty training, you should talk to your baby and gradually bring him to sleep in his new bed with its bed rails.
In order to make the change less dramatic, you could convert your baby’s crib into a toddler bed by removing the front panel.
You should also involve your toddler in picking his new bed sheets and stuffed toys.
You might also need to set limits for the occasional refusal to sleep in their own bed. This includes frequent visits to the bathroom, requests for a glass of water, and more escape-from-my-room excuses.
Your patience meter would need to go up a notch higher as you walk him back to his room every time or look for creative ways to help him cope.
How can I choose an ideal bed rail?
Here are tips on how to choose an ideal bed rail:
- Look out for bed rails that can be securely attached on each side of your baby’s bed. A wall should not be a substitute for bed rails.
- You should check that the bed rail you choose meets the standards of manufacturing.
- Set up the bed rails properly, ensuring that there is no gap in the rails. This will ensure your baby doesn’t get trapped in between the rails.
- Look out for strong bed rails that will support the weight of your baby if he rolls and rests against them.
Types of Bed Rails
The types of bed rails are:
- Fixed toddler bed rails
- Swing down toddler bed rails
- Bumper toddler bed rails
Fixed toddler bed rails
These rails are permanently installed on your baby’s bed. They are only movable when you uninstall them from the bed. They allow your toddler to climb into the bed through the gap that is left between the bed rail and bed frame.
Swing down toddler bed rails
These are good for you, too. You can swing down the rails as you make your baby’s bed or tuck him in at night. You can also swing them back up when you are done.
Bumper toddler bed rails
They look like speed bumps and are the easiest bed rails to install. The foam construction ensures there are no injuries from hitting them.
If you are looking for something to pack up easily for vacation, these will be your best choice. There are inflatable and compact bumper bed rails that you can get.
Finally, not all children will need bed rails. If your baby has fallen out of bed once, chances are that it will happen again. Investing in a strong and durable bed rail, however, may be a wise decision. But if he sleeps still through the night, then you may not need to buy one.
Would you be getting this baby furniture?
Check out these other detailed articles here:
- Baby Nursery Furniture: What You Need
- Baby Nursery Decoration: Things You Need To Consider
- Baby Boy Bedding: Things To Know
- Convertible Baby Cribs – How Important Are They?
- Baby Girl Bedding: Things To Consider
And here we are, at the end of the journey. We’ve drawn up a list of the baby furniture you need for starting the journey of parenthood. We would love to let you know that this is not a list of compulsory items to purchase. After going through the list, you can decide that you do not need a Glider and Ottoman yet.
You can also decide to use a chair that you can conveniently convert to a nursing chair. And you can also look at your budget and decide that you will get a Bed Rail a lot later.
These decisions lie with you. We have only provided you with a guide to help you decide and create a priority list of baby furniture to go for.
Has this guide been a lot helpful to you? We believe that you are now well equipped to get into the market and buy your first baby furniture. Or maybe the next.
Baby Furniture – Related FAQs
When should you buy baby furniture?
You should buy baby furniture in your second trimester. This spans from the 4th to 6th month of pregnancy. During this period, you must have gotten over the morning sickness that comes with early pregnancy. The second trimester gives you an opportunity to buy items your baby will be needing. It also gives you enough time to set up your baby nursery and make the necessary changes in your apartment before the baby arrives.
As soon as you get into the third trimester, going for shopping will be tedious as you won’t have enough energy to go through the process of checking out various items before settling down for one.
Can a baby sleep in a crib right away?
A baby can sleep in a crib right away. You can also place your baby in a bassinet then move him to a crib later. Transitioning your baby from bassinet to crib should be done as soon as you observe that your baby sleeps for longer hours. You can also transition when your baby seems to be outgrowing the bassinet.
Most people opt for bassinet because of the ease of feeding the baby at night. Newborns wake up frequently at night to feed. So, when the bassinet is close to you, you can easily reach out and carry your baby.
What do you put on a baby changing table?
You can put the following on a baby changing table:
- Diapers. You can stack them in a fashionable way to avoid rushing to get them out when you need to change your baby’s diaper.
- Diaper pail
- Baby wipes
- Baby creams (diaper ointment and moisturizer)
- Pacifiers and any other soother
- An extra cover for your changing pad
- Some bodysuits to change your baby’s outfit if it gets soiled
- Nail clipper
- First aid kit
- Hand sanitizer
Can you put glider cushion cover in the washing machine?
You can put glider cushion cover in the washing machine. All you need to do is spray a stain remover on the cushion cover before placing it in the washing machine. Ensure you check the manufacturer’s guide before washing. Most manufacturers state the type of upholstery cleaner that you can use.
If your glider cushion has breast milk stain, you can soak it in water for 30 minutes. Afterward, add some drops of enzyme cleaner. This will help to break up the protein bond formed by the breast milk and remove the stain properly. Finally, toss the glider cushion cover into your washing machine.
What age should a child be out of a highchair?
Your child can be out of a highchair from 9 to 12 months old. Within this period, your baby can consistently sit upright without toppling over. Every child is unique, and this explains why two siblings may not meet the same milestone at the same age.
So, while one child can be out of a highchair at one year, for another child, he needs to be on it until he becomes 2 years old. Before you move your child out of a highchair, be sure that he has shown signs of readiness to seat at the table.
Are playpens safe for sleeping?
Playpens are not safe for sleeping because they are not made for that purpose. They are not like cribs where your baby can sleep without being supervised. Cribs are more durable. Some parents use the playpen as a substitute for cribs but if you must do this, ensure that the playpen is fixed according to the manufacturer’s instruction.
To prevent the occurrence of SIDs in the playpen, place the baby on his back while sleeping and remove all soft beddings such as quilts and pillows. Use the mattress that was provided in the playpen set during purchase. If you use another type of mattress, it will be ill-fitted and your baby can be trapped between the mattress and the playpen.