Your Complete Baby Nursery Checklist


There are so many fun and exciting tasks and activities to complete as you prepare for your baby’s arrival. Perhaps the best of all is getting to design and set up your newborn’s nursery. Many new moms like to start their planning with a favorite color palette. It’s also a good idea to start with a theme, like zoo animals or an ocean scene.

While you may have tons of inspiration about how you want the room to look, you may not know everything that needs to go inside. There are several different types of products that you need to keep stocked, but it can be difficult to remember them all. The following checklist will detail each item you need for your nursery, so you can be ready for when your little one arrives. Take it with you to the baby supply store or go down the list when you’re creating your baby registry. After completing it, you can rest assured that you won’t have to rush to the store as soon as the baby arrives home. Afterall, you don’t want to be hanging nursery window treatments while your baby is there trying to sleep.

Essential Nursery Furniture and Accessories

First, paint your baby’s room and create your color scheme. Add decorative pieces, such as area rugs and lamps. Now, it’s time to purchase and bring in your essential nursery furniture. The following items are the must-have pieces for newborns:

  • Crib or bassinet with mattress

  • Waterproof mattress cover (for preventing overnight accidents)

  • Changing table or pad

  • Rocker or gliding chair with ottoman (for feedings and naps)

  • Storage furniture for clothing, such as a nightstand, armoire or dresser

  • Window coverings for each window. Blackout blinds and room darkening blinds are excellent choices for daytime naps and controlling temperature.


As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains, pediatricians recommend baby sleeps in your room for the first six months of their life. This approach helps reduce the risk of SIDS and can also make nighttime feedings easier. For this reason, you may choose to purchase a portable crib. A smaller bassinet can also be replaced with a larger crib once your little one moves to the nursery full-time.

Important Diapering Supplies

Now that you have your changing table or pad in place, it’s time for you to outfit your baby’s room with all of the essential diapering accessories and supplies. According to the moms at Babylist, newborns go through between eight and 10 diapers per day. Instead of venturing out to the grocery store every few days, make sure you keep your nursery stocked with each of these products. Your days and nights will be a lot more peaceful. At a minimum, newborns will need:
  • Diapers (disposable or reusable)

  • Diaper pail and bag refills (these help keep odors at bay, but a garbage can is also fine)

  • Baby wipes (disposable or reusable)

  • Changing pad cover (to help avoid messes)

If you choose to use reusable diapers, you may also decide to invest in waterproof liners. Some products come with a built-in lining, while others require you to place them inside. Many new moms are concerned about nursery odors. If this sounds like you, choose a diaper pail with an included scent filter. 

Must-Have Newborn Clothing

There are tons of cute baby clothes out there, but which items does your newborn really need? It can be difficult to distinguish between trendy and essential. Experienced parents will tell you that you can keep your newborn cozy and warm in the first weeks of their life with a few foundational infant clothing items. Buy between four and seven separate garments in each of the following clothing categories. Make sure you have:
  • Bodysuits (long-sleeved and short-sleeved)

  • Pajamas (Styles with feet are perfect for naps and sleep)

  • Pants and/or leggings to go over Onesies and bodysuits

  • Socks

  • Beanies/Hats

  • Baby Mittens

  • Swaddle blankets/wraps/wearable blankets

  • Booties (optional, but they protect and warm baby’s feet)

Some parents like to have both Newborn and Size 1 clothes on hand. No matter your baby’s length and weight, you’ll be prepared. Try both types of garments once you bring your little one home. It’s possible that some brands in the same size will fit, while others will be too big or too small. 

Critical Comfort and Sleep Items

Many babies are good sleepers. Sometimes, however, it takes a little more effort to get your little one to sleep. You already have a rocker or glider, which can help lull your newborn in those delicate first few weeks. Your baby may also fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer with a few of the following essential comfort items. The remaining nursery essentials will provide for fun and educational play. These are:

  • Sound machine or white noise machine (for helping baby fall asleep and reducing background noise)

  • Baby monitor (choose from audio or video models)

  • Mobile

  • Toys (Rattles, teethers and plush animals are popular)

According to The Spruce, there are a variety of benefits to using white noise for sleep. While this is a popular type of sound for soothing infants, some sound machines also come with soundtracks such as ocean, rain or a babbling brook. Feel free to use whatever baby likes. There is no one noise that is better than another.

A Well-Planned Nursery Keeps Baby Comfortable and Happy

It’s true that babies need a lot of different supplies to stay safe, happy and comfortable. While you’ll probably need to plan and shop more once your little one arrives, the money and time spent will be worth it. If you’re looking for easy ways to save money, know which baby supplies you can buy second-hand.

Baby monitors, clothing and furniture for mom such as a rocker or ottoman should be safe, as long as they’re in good working order. Look for old fixtures and accessories, such as worn zippers or faulty wires. Avoid recycling cribs, bassinets and diaper pails. Some older sleep furniture doesn’t pass current infant safety standards, while others may be under recall. Used diaper pails and related diapering accessories are likely to be too unsanitary, even if you wash them.

Now that you’ve reviewed this checklist, you know how to prepare. By placing each of these supplies in the nursery at least a couple of weeks before your due date, you’ll enjoy more peace of mind before you go into labor. You’ll also be even more confident that you’re ready to bring your baby home from the hospital.

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