Safely outfitting your nursery: cribs, changing tables, and other furniture for the new arrival

Let's be honest; it's easy to pick out onesies and teethers for your baby registry, but nursery furniture is a whole different ballgame. Not only does your furniture have to match your décor, but it has to be safe and functional as well.

When outfitting a nursery, cribs are usually at the top of the list. Every baby needs a safe and comfortable place to sleep. Of all the things you will purchase for your baby, nursery cribs are one of the most important items to buy new, in order to make sure you are getting the safest item possible. Current regulations ban the use of drop-side cribs, so make sure all rails are stationary. Additionally, laws state that rails should be more than 2-3/8" apart, to help prevent little limbs from getting stuck, and the crib should have no decorative cutouts or post extensions. Additionally, your mattress should fit snugly, with no space for little hands or feet to get stuck.

Changing table

There are many varieties of changing tables on the market, allowing you to pick one that fits your needs. Some are standard units with shelves, while others have cabinets beneath, allowing you to hide all of your diaper supplies neatly out of sight. You can also buy organizer bins to hang conveniently on the side of your changing table. Your changing table should have a strap that buckles or otherwise secures around your baby, in case of rolling. Alternatively, you can purchase a contoured changing table pad (with strap) to go on top of your changing table or dresser.

Dresser

Unless you plan to do laundry every day, your baby is going to need a lot of clothes. Whether you use a set of shelves or a set of drawers, you will need something to store all those outfits. Some dressers will come as part of a set, along with a matching changing table and crib. You may want to shop for a dresser big enough to last until your child goes to college. While a nursery dresser might match everything today, if you intend to use it for the long term, you will need to make sure it is in a style that will appropriate for an older child as well. However, if you want to use the dresser for multiple children, it might make sense to have a teeny weeny dresser for those small babes. If this is your plan, consider a dressing/changing table combination. These styles make the top of the dresser functional for thousands of diaper changes, and they can be a great way to furnish a small space.

Bedding

If you are looking for an easy and economical way to outfit your nursery, crib sets are the way to go. They usually include all you need to outfit the crib for years to come, including a fitted sheet and quilt or comforter. The quilt makes an excellent wall hanging until about a year, when it is safer to place items in the crib with your baby. Though you might love fluffy matching items for your nursery, crib bedding needs to remain simple and lightweight in order to prevent suffocation hazards.

Rocker

During those early weeks, it is great to have a comfortable rocker close by for soothing and nursing your little one in the wee hours of the morning. Nursery rockers can be as simple as a spindled wooden design, or plush and comfortable, with matching ottomans and footstools. If you plan to spend a lot of time in your rocker nursing, then you will want something comfortable with supportive arms. You may also want to purchase a nursing stool to help prop up your legs. Gliders have more smooth motion than standard rockers, and mimic the movement your little one felt when in the womb, so they are a great choice for soothing.

You can have a complete nursery with just a few key items, or you can outfit the room with all the essentials and then some. Whether you are looking for a couple items for a small space, or a matching suite, Sears can help you find all the nursery furniture you need.

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