nursery essentials
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When you're a first-time mom, getting your baby's nursery ready can be incredibly overwhelming. Whether you're aiming for design perfection or simply making sure you have all the basics, it can seem like a gargantuan task when your due date is looming.

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The reality is though, aside from aesthetics you don't actually need all that much in the nursery in order to bring home your baby. Check out the our slideshow to find out what the 15 essential nursery items for new moms are.

Crib 1

Even if you don't intend for your baby to sleep in a crib from Day 1, you'll want to have one ready and waiting. Some babies actually sleep better in their cribs (mine included) and sometimes it's impossible for moms and dads to get much-needed rest when baby is in the same room. Having a safe crib set-up and ready when you and your baby are is ideal. Jenny Lind Convertible Crib, $199.99

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Waterproof Crib Mattress Pad 2

Well-fed babies are known to soak through and blow out their diapers, especially during the night. Nevermind, the occasional spit-up incident. When you're bleary-eyed and exhausted attempting to clean up just such a mess, you'll be thankful for a waterproof crib mattress pad that can protect the crib mattress from seeping, soaking messes. Organic Waterproof Fitted Crib Pad, $29.99

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Crib Sheets 3

Because of said accidents and the overwhelming amount of laundry that comes with a new baby, you'll want to have at least three crib sheets, so that you can change to a clean one without having to run a load of laundry. You can buy cute, printed sheets, a multi-pack of solid-colored basics, flannel, cotton, jersey, etc. Carter's crib sheet, $11.99

Changing Table/Dresser 4

Changing teeny tiny diapers on teeny tiny squirmy babies, is not the easiest thing ever. Having a contained space with everything you need within arm's reach, makes it a whole lot easier. A changing table, dresser or combination of the two is super-helpful. Babyletto Modo 3-Drawer Changer Dresser, $279.99

 

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Changing Pad 5

To top your changing table, you'll want a changing pad, which will keep your baby from sliding around the smooth surface of the table, and provide a comfy surface for them during changes. Summer Infant Contour Changing Pad, $14.99

Changing Pad Cover 6

It's good to have a few nice, soft changing pad covers that can keep your baby's back warm and cozy during changes, since most changing pads are covered in a plastic-like material. Burt's Bees Baby Organic Changing Pad Cover, $16.95

 

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Hamper 7

Babies tend to go through a lot of clothes each day, add that to sheets, towels, burp rags, washcloths, and you'll definitely want to have a separate hamper for your little one, and the nursery is the most convenient place to keep it. My Baby Sam Imagine Hamper, $35.99

 

Storage Baskets 8

Through two kids, I've found that the easiest way to stay organized for diaper changes and bath time is to keep all of our changing and bathing essentials in open storage baskets. A stack of diapers, a soft-pack of wipes, diaper cream, lotion, etc. will all have a designated place and be easy to access. StorageWorks Foldable Storage Baskets, $20.99 for a set of 3

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Comfy Chair 9

Over the next few years, you will likely spend a lot of time putting your baby to sleep, and will probably spend more than a few nights holding a sick or teething baby while they sleep. Having a comfy chair to do so in, will make a difference for you. It doesn't need to be a rocking chair, but the gentle rocking motion can definitely be a helpful addition to the bedtime routine. Agatha Mid-Century Modern Tufted Rocking Chair, $383.99

Wall Art 10

A few prints on the wall will give your baby's nursery a homey feel. Graphic art and pieces with a lot of color contrast are a great idea since babies don't see all colors, and this type of art is ideal for brain stimulation. Black and White Bear Nursery Art Print, from $11

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Book Storage 11

Many experts agree that the best way to develop language and communication skills in children is to read to them regularly from birth. Having somewhere to neatly store books in the nursery makes it easy to incorporate reading into sleep routines. FLISAT Book Dispay, $19.99

Board Books 12

A few sturdy board books with colorful and interesting illustrations are a great way to start your baby's library. You can buy individual titles, but there are also some really fun sets available on the market. Baby Einstein 12 Book Block Set, $9.99

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Baby Monitor 13

A good quality video baby monitor will give you priceless peace of mind when your baby is sleeping away in the nursery. It can be tempting to constantly check on slumbering little ones, but sneaking into the nursery could wake them. A video monitor will let you check in without the risk. Summer Infant Video Baby Monitor, $199.99

White Noise Machine 14

A white noise machine can work wonders when you're trying to get stuff done around the house without waking your sleeping infant. A good machine can drown out almost all outside noise, and when used as part of a sleep routine from birth can act as a cue to let baby know when it's time to sleep. LectroFan Sound Therapy Machine $49.99

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Blackout Curtains 15

One of the best tips for getting baby to sleep past the break of dawn is to utilize blackout curtains in the nursery. This type of curtain will keep bright, early sunlight from streaming through the windows and waking your baby. Malbrouk Blackout Curtain Panel, $49.99