5 Crucial Nursery Items I Didn't Realize I Needed
I’ll never forget the day we put our twins’ cribs together. That was the moment things became real for us. I was 5 months pregnant, my belly was ever-growing, and the twins were constantly kicking. They were no longer just some fun topic of discussion; they were actual human beings that were really coming. It was mesmerizing to think they would soon lay on that changing table, get wrapped up in those swaddles, and hold onto those rattles. We were happily lost in the thrill of it all.
When I was first designing their nursery in my head, I was totally blinded by all of the cute stuff. The twins needed some pretty art, a gorgeous rug, a stunning canopy over their cribs …oh, and we can’t forget the fluffy teddy bears on the shelf! I spent less time thinking “outside the box” about what I might be forgetting. Once I got past the “I’m Totally Going To Be An Interior Designer Now” phase, I realized at the last minute that we were missing a few helpful and important items. With hindsight being 20/20, whenever people ask me what they should put in their nursery, I never forget to share these 5 crucial nursery items:
1) Interesting overhead light fixture
When you think about how much time your babies spend lying on their backs and looking up in the first year, it makes sense to have something interesting on the ceiling to capture their attention, right? In keeping with our modern nursery theme, I opted to search for something unique, affordable, and eye-catching from houzz.com. The chandelier we purchased has several lights that shine through crystals, creating a rainbow effect. This gives both babies something different to look up at other than the regular mobiles that hang over their cribs. When the babies are resting in their nursery, I often catch them quietly staring (and appearing fully entertained) by the lights. For us, the chandelier is also a fun and visually appealing way to add style (and not clutter) to their nursery, as it’s a small room they both share.
2) Light dimmer
Speaking of lights, when it’s 3:00 AM and you’re basically fumbling in your sleep to feed your twins, you’re going to want everyone to go back to bed ASAP. That’s not going to happen if you have a harsh, bright overhead light beaming in their sleepy little eyes (and yours!). This was one of the final touches to our nursery that I’m incredibly glad we added. I went to Home Depot with a picture of my light switch, showed it to one of their staff members, and then purchased a $30 dimmer that fit beautifully. Luckily, my brother-in-law is extremely handy and he installed it for free!
3) Blackout shades
When it’s naptime during the day and you JUST want the twins to sleep so you can do the laundry, what can you do? Pull down the blackout shades!! My twins’ nursery has one large window that fills the room with sunshine every day. While that’s nice when everyone is awake, it can be a barrier to putting the twins down for a good nap. To fix that problem, I went to Home Depot (again!) and purchased a Blackout Vinyl Roller Shade and the mounting kit for ~$60 total. My husband and I installed it ourselves after watching a YouTube video “how-to." And voila! Babies started napping better for mama! :-)
Now, this one is a BIG one to remember. This was something I did NOT know about until our first appointment with the pediatrician when the twins were 6 days old. When we think of safe sleep for infants, we often think about “back is best,” having them sleep alone, not using blankets or pillows, etc. But what about fans? Research now shows that keeping a fan on in the room where a baby sleeps reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) by 72% through keeping air circulating. SIDS is most likely to occur in infants between 2-3 months of age, but it’s probably best to keep the fan on when they sleep until they are 1 year of age. If the room your babies sleep in doesn’t have a ceiling fan, then it can be an easy purchase from Walmart for $4 (like this one).
5) Cameras at the foot of each crib
If you’re going to step away from the twins for any reason while they’re sleeping, it’s nice to know that they’re each doing okay. During the week, when the twins sleep in their nursery with the night nanny, our cameras allow us to check in to have some peace of mind and know the babies are safe. Once the babies are old enough to sleep in the nursery alone (without someone in there with them), then I’m sure I will be one of those moms that randomly checks for a “chest rise” in the middle of the night. Being able to do so from my own bed through a camera (that zooms in on each baby with 24/7 live streaming available through my iPhone) will allow us to get better rest. We purchased a Nest Camera 3-pack from Amazon.com for ~$400 and placed one overhead in the nursery and one at the foot of each crib. While you may not need 3 of them, purchasing at least 1 camera is a worthwhile investment that can later be used for home security purposes. A more affordable camera option (and other important nursery items) can be found at Project Nursery:
Are there any other crucial items that you thought of for your nursery (that others might have forgotten)? If so, drop a comment below to share with everyone! :-)