12 Must Have Nursery Items Every Parent Needs

Are you in the planning stages of your nursery, or thinking yours isn’t as functional as it could be? Today I’m covering my 12 must have nursery items for you all!

I’ll be the first to admit that we didn’t put any design thought into Peyton’s first nursery. It was more about function than anything. Not such a bad thing!

Peyton, now being two years old (heartbreaking to admit) has had three nurseries. Yep, three!

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His first one being in our condo apartment for a short time before moving across the country. Once we arrived at my parents, where we stayed for a few months he had another nursery. Now we’re in another condo which we’ve been in for just over a year.

In all three of Peyton’s nurseries, there are things that have been essential to him and us. Trust me when I say you don’t have to have every bell and whistle. Function and practicality is the most important thing.
Nurseries are probably some of my favorite decor inspiration.

I’m kind of shocked that I haven’t posted much about them. Especially considering how well received my posts about gender-neutral nurseries and Montessori nurseries went. You should check them out and see what all the fuss is about!

12+ Must-Have Nursery Products

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A crib

When we choose Peyton’s crib, other than aesthetics, we were looking for practicality. While those adorable round or oval cribs are just that, adorable. They’re not very practical.

If you need a crib that will last, grow with your child, or be transferable to another baby, consider a convertible crib. We opted for a crib that would grow with him well into childhood, crazy to think his preteen self will be converting this very crib to a proper bed with a foot and headboard!

Convertible cribs can come in a few different forms:

  • 2-way – these are sometimes just a simple conversion from crib to a daybed with or without a safety bar.
  • 3-way – in addition to the 2-way features, a 3-way crib may include the crib changing to a toddler bed.
  • Fully convertible – this type is sometimes a part of the 3-way option, or it may be considered a 4-way option by adding in the ability to convert to a twin or double bed with a new mattress of course, and bed rails.

Crib mattress

There are some key aspects you need to consider about the mattress you are putting in your child’s crib. Especially if they are a newborn.

Newborns, and babies until they are well out of the SIDS stage need firm mattresses. Why? Because their little growing bodies need proper support. Also, if the mattress is soft, you are running the risk of suffocation. Click here to learn more about SIDS from the Mayo Clinic.

When your baby starts rolling, it’s also much easier for them to roll over, and recover themselves on a firm mattress, easier for their little arms and legs to push off of and safely turn themselves without sending themselves, and you into a panic.

Other than being firm, think about the physical weight of the mattress. If you haven’t changed a crib sheet in the middle of the night yet, you don’t know how real that struggle can be. It’s real mama, oh so real. Lots of swearing, sweating and a crying baby because that’s the reality of it when you’re a sleep-deprived new mom!

You’ll end up having to change sheets during the night so be sure that the mattress is light enough for you to pick up and change on your own because your partner won’t always be there.

Newton Baby
Some mattresses are already waterproof, or water resistant. In those cases, you may not even need a waterproof mattress cover. Bonus! In the chance you have a mattress that doesn’t specifically say it has a waterproof barrier get a waterproof mattress cover, remember cover, not pad, we want to keep it firm.

Want to take your crib mattress game to the next level? Newton Baby Crib Mattress is the highest rated crib mattress on the internet! Find out why here. They’re breathable, easy to change and come in a huge range of options. Check them out!

Crib sheets

Especially when you’re in early days, having extra crib sheets on hand is key. There will be diapers that are peed and pooped through. Baby puke, drool, lots of that!

In other words, you’ll be changing those sheets a lot.

I suggest having light, cotton sheets, four to start. If you live somewhere that it gets cold, like us here in Canada. You’ll also want flannel sheets, those seem to really wick moisture into them, so definitely stock up on them as well.

I discovered Rookie Humans and seriously, their crib sheets are so adorable. Since you won’t have a blanket on your baby until they are a toddler, having cute, whimsical sheets like theirs are a fun way to add some personality to the nursery!

Discover the most whimsical crib sheets

Crib bite guards

For the sake of your crib, put these on early. When we were with my parents I waited too long. All of a sudden, one day Peyton discovered it’d be a great thing to teethe on. And that was the beginning of the downfall for that poor crib.

The first crib guards I picked up where these gummi ones, they made for a great teething device for our little guy. They also protected the parts of the rails that he hadn’t gnawed like a beaver yet.

When we moved into our current condo, I ordered these fabric ones, I’ve had them on ever since! I love that they’re easy to remove for washing and they kind of complete the look of the crib.


Depending on what the air is like where you live, or much less, the air in your nursery, you should consider getting a humidifier or a dehumidifier. Key reasons being that if it is far too dry in the room, much like winters here on the east coast of Canada.

You want to keep the air comfortable for your little squish. No one likes feeling like their skin is flaking off, or that they have crusty boogers for days. Adults included. You can find humidifiers here.

Adversely, if you have a very humid room, think about getting a dehumidifier. Heavy air can make our little ones feel just as uncomfortable, if not more uncomfortable than adults. You can find dehumidifiers here.


Get a chair that is comfortable, ergonomically right for you, and most of all, not creaky. You’re going to spend a lot of time in this chair, especially if you’ve got a newborn. Whether you’re nursing, or bottle feeding, a chair in the nursery is a must have. You may end up sleeping in it from time to time. So you better hope it’s comfortable so your butt doesn’t fall asleep too.

Some people like to have footrests as well, I believe that’s a personal preference. In early days, when I’d sometimes doze in the chair with our little guy, yes. Now, no need, it’s pretty quick and easy nowadays, but when he was up multiple times a night, it was necessary.

Just make sure that the footrest is soft around the edges. Why? No one wants to stub a toe and wake the baby.
Then you’ll be crying for other reasons. And I don’t want that for you!

Chest of drawers

There are two types of parents in the world. Parents who hang clothes, and parents who throw them in a drawer. I bet you can guess which of the two I am. That’s right. Drawer baby mama, drawer.

You’re already doing enough cleaning, why add to it by having to hang each of those tiny things on a hanger, to only have to rip it off about an hour later when your baby pukes all over themselves. Ease of access people.

Get the damn chest of drawers.

If you choose to fold, that’s on you. But again, I am admittedly a hot mess mom, and I just throw those suckers in there because I know they won’t be there for long.

Once your child starts crawling, however, you should really consider bolting the dresser to the wall. You can find brackets here, that is really easy to install. No one wants an accident.


Depending on what you want, some people will have a cute, regular lamp, while others opt for something a little more… How do I put it… Themed.

I personally prefer a functional, normal, everyday lamp that can grow with his room as fast as he does. If you feel like you need that crazy giraffe lamp, go for it, but I can guarantee, theme’s fade my friend. Don’t overspend on things you don’t need to. Function over looks, always. Now, if it’s functional, and looks great, win-win!

Video monitor

There is no way I could sleep at night without being able to see that our little man is alright. I love monitors and frankly don’t know how some parents do without them. They’re a total must have.

Think about it, if you don’t need to go open that creaky door in the middle of the night, why should you? You’ll just end up with a startled cranky baby. And no one needs that.

Video monitors have come a very long way. This one, in particular, is incredible. I love that it gives you updates on your phone! How handy is that?

Give yourself some peace of mind, and get some sleep, get a video monitor.

Nanit - The Baby Monitor That Thinks

Changing table

This is one thing I find very debatable for people. However, speaking as someone who didn’t have a changing table for a very long time. My back thanks me for eventually getting one. At two years old, Peyton is still being changed on it.

Not only does it save my back from being in a world of slouchy pain, it serves a purpose to organize his room better. I consider our changing table to be the epicenter of everything in his room. Mainly because it houses a lot. His overnight bag if he’s going to his grandparents. As well as the usual essentials like diapers, lotions, wipes and whatever else has ended up there.

My suggestion as well, as a side note, you know how I love side notes. Instead of putting a mobile above their crib, put the mobile on their changing table for little babies. It makes changing time much less scary. And gives them something to enjoy looking at while you’re fiddling with that explosive situation down there.

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Changing pad

Even if you’re not going to have a changing table, you should consider a changing pad to be a necessity. It’ll keep things from getting messy that you don’t want to be messy, and they keep your baby contained to one spot to change them. This is the one we have, and I also bought it for my parents’ house.

If you don’t have a changing table or a designated changing spot, consider getting a portable changing pad like these. You can easily fold it up and put it out of sight.

Sound machine

By far, one of our favorite sleep aids for our little man. Check out our favorite sleep aid here!

Peyton has had a sound machine since the beginning. You can get ones which have multi-purpose functions. Such as multiple songs, sounds, night lights, ceiling projection and more. Ours has all of those functions so when he was young and we were limited on space, we used it as the lamp for the room. Now he has both a lamp and his sound machine. You can find all sorts of sound machines here.

They can vary in type. Some are stuffed animals that you put in the crib, however, that runs a SIDS risk. Other’s clip onto the crib, and then, like ours, others can sit on the floor or a dresser.

Blackout curtains

Not only do blackout curtains make our son’s room dark as night at all times, they also help regulate temperature.

But won’t my little one be scared? They spend time in your belly with no light and for the first while are pretty much blind. So long as you keep nap and bedtime as dark time from the start, this shouldn’t be an issue.

It also helps your little one realize it’s sleep time. Not to mention, if they can’t see something they may want to play with, you won’t end up with a baby losing sleep over fear of missing out, aka FOMO.

All of the items above are things we use, always, in our nursery. What works for us, may not work for you. Related post: Top 6 Amazon Baby Essentials

Do you have some must-have nursery items? Share yours in the comments below!

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12+ Must-Have Nursery Products

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