Let’s be honest: from the moment you take that positive pregnancy test, you start dreaming up your baby’s nursery. At least, that was the case for me. I couldn’t wait to paint and decorate and spend time in a room just for our new little one.
But, as it tends to go in the world of baby gear, it feels like there are about 500 options for every product you need. I was grateful for all the choices, but as a first time mom, I wasn’t sure where to allocate my budget. Did I need to spend a ton of money on a fancy crib or mattress? Was it worth it to put most of my budget towards a big rocking chair or glider?
If you’ve got the same kinds of questions, we have a few answers in today’s edition of Ask a Real Mom. Thanks to the wonderful world of social media, we asked our friends which items were worth the splurge for baby’s nursery and they filled us in on their favorites.
This felt like the most obvious category to start with since it requires a significant investment. If you’re able, you’ll want these pieces to pass down to the rest of your babies. So you’ll want high quality, durable pieces of furniture to use for years to come.
Real moms agree: a big comfortable glider is a necessity that’s worth the splurge! Where will you be spending a lot of your time once baby moves into the nursery–specifically in the middle of the night? In a (hopefully) big comfy chair! Before we were pregnant, my sister-in-law advised me to get a glider with a high back so I could rest my head on it during those middle of the night feedings. This is the area where I’m most glad we splurged! My glider met all my criteria: it looks like a real chair, is the perfect navy color to go in our nursery and it’s comfortable!
Real Mom Sarah E. recommends a dresser that will stand the test of time. “Our Restoration Hardware dresser moved from the nursery into his big boy room!” That’s how you know a splurge is worth it: it’s not just for a year or a season of life. It can grow with your child and your home and have many uses. While the dresser may start out as a changing table, housing diapers and wipes and 400 burp cloths, it will eventually be the staple piece of your child’s bedroom with plenty of room for their growing wardrobes.
And if we’re counting the DockATot as a nursery item, we had real moms agree that it’s an item worth its price tag. “I was so skeptical but glad I splurged!” says Real Mom Christina P. I couldn’t agree more. We’d be lost without our Dock, a cozy place we’ve laid our son in since we brought him home from the hospital. In the same vein, Real Mom Portia says she’s glad that the one baby item she splurged on was the Snuggle Me organic.
Thanks to Etsy, it’s become easier than ever to personalize your baby’s space. It might feel like a splurge, but a sign specific to your baby is a sweet way to make their new room feel like home. Real moms (me included) love the personalized name signs like this one from Etsy seller, A Custom Cut.
Real Mom Molly K says “I basically forced Mike into letting me buy a hot air balloon mobile before our first son was born when we were in Scotland. It was $80 but we both love it (now) and so do our boys. I’m so glad I splurged on it. It’s the focal piece of their nurseries and it’s gender neutral.” Molly sums up some of our best tips for deciding what to splurge on in your little one’s nursery: something memorable and meaningful to you and/or your spouse, something that’s unique and something that can be passed down for your next child. A piece like the mobile can make a unique statement in the nursery without being too over the top and while still keeping the room fun and focused on your baby. We love this handmade mobile by Etsy seller TheLittleTableau.
What about all the little things you could fill that nursery with? Real mom Amy P. says “Not a design feature but a really good video monitor is so helpful! I would spend money on it again and again.” You can set it up in baby’s room and watch from wherever you are in the house–perfect for naptime, especially if you live in a two story home. Which features are key in a video monitor? We like a color picture, one with a high range, a camera that can press mount and two way talk back (especially as those babies grow into toddlers!). Some registry favorite video monitors include this one by Motorola and this one by Summer Infant.
Real Mom Karla G. recommends nursing moms put your money toward an Elvie pump. It’s a hands free to pump in between feeds that DOESN’T keep you locked to your nursery and electric, plugged in pump. This wearable pump is quiet, small and lightweight, meaning you can pump on the go or anywhere around your house. It also connects to the Elive app to track milk volume and control the pump remotely.
A good sound machine is a nursery must-have, according to Real Mom Kelly B. Spend the money on one that works well, has white noise (not just waves or lullabies) and leave the image projection and light up capabilities behind. You’ll want one that works like one you’d put in your own room, so the louder it can get and the simpler it can be, the better. This one by Conair has both a DC adapter and battery power so it can stay docked in the nursery or go where you and baby go so you’re always prepared for a good night’s sleep.
Real mom Alivia J. voiced the necessity of splurging on lots of extras. “Lots of extra crib sheets!” We couldn’t agree more! Stock your nursery with all your extras: crib sheets, light blankets and burp cloths–all things your baby may go through more than one of during a nap or nightly sleep. It’s worth registering for extra items of those nursery necessities to keep your middle of the night sanity about you!
And where will you house all those extras and baby necessities? Real Mom Sarah M. says she’s so glad she spent money on a cube closet organizer with labels for her daughter’s nursery. I’ve loved having a hanging closet organizer like this one with room for burp cloths, bibs and blankets. Real Mom Christina P. agrees. “Thankful I bought lots of baskets and drawer organizers to rein in all the stuff.” Consider flexible drawer organizers or removable walls that can grow with your baby. These ones by OXO move to create more space for bigger items in those dresser drawers.
If you’re the mom of a baby girl, consider even more specific organizers. Real Mom Kelly B. says she’s glad she has a bow organizer to handle all the cute hair pieces for her little one. We love this personalized one by Etsy seller, HandmadebyPennyMay.
Labors of Love
Splurges don’t always look like writing a big check. Sometimes, they look like labors of love and time. For me, the biggest splurge we did was painting a striped wall in our nursery–TWICE! When I was first pregnant, my husband painted the navy and white striped wall of my dreams in our then home. When we decided to move while I was 8 months pregnant, he willingly and lovingly, painted the striped wall AGAIN in our new home. It’s my favorite part of our son’s nursery!
Real mom Hannah K. agrees that labors of love are often the biggest and best splurges. The tree style book shelves in her son’s room was made with love by his great grandpa and it’s not only beautiful, it’s functional and practical as well.
Real Moms also agree there’s a way to create your dream nursery without blowing the budget or splurging on anything! Real Mom Emily P. says “I didn’t splurge on anything and I don’t regret it!” And Portia says “I don’t think we splurged on anything! We got hand me downs, thrifted or bought from friends! Even our crib/dresser had been in a staged home so they were basically brand new and they sold them to us for basically nothing!”
Add your nursery splurges to your baby gift registry
Don’t forget to add your nursery splurges to your baby gift registry; you may or may not receive a larger item as a gift. But remember that most stores offer a discount on remaining registry items that you choose to purchase for yourself! And at RegistryFinder.com, all of your registry wish lists are conveniently displayed, so that family and friends can find the perfect gift (be it splurge or everyday essentials) to welcome your newest family member!
-Written by Sami Moss, who’s so glad she splurged on a beautiful navy rocking chair for her son’s nursery.