Building Baby’s Room | What you need, and what you can leave behind

Building Baby’s Room | What you need, and what you can leave behind

Baby number one is hard for a lot of reasons, the main one being, you really don’t know what you’re doing. None of us did, including your own parents so cut them some slack.

Baby furniture is adorable, but it can also be expensive, and if you’re not buying smart, you won’t make use of it for very long. As is the case with everything baby related, it can feel like you’re spending a fortune on things they need right now, but will be completely useless in the very near future.

We’ve compiled a list of must-haves for building your baby's room, and included some tips on what to look for to make your purchases last as long as possible.


You can never and will never have enough storage. This goes way beyond tiny baby pants and bodysuits. Books, toys, blankets, bedding, extra wipes and diapers; these all take up a LOT of space. If you don’t have anywhere to put these things, you can feel like you’re drowning in baby junk, and definitely doesn’t help the feeling of being totally overwhelmed that almost all new parents have from time to time.

One really great thing about outfitting your little’s room with a ton of storage, is that you can be pretty certain they are always going to need it. Kids tend to acquire a lot of things, so when the super hero phase hits really hard in a few years, you’ll have a spot to store their action figures and whatever toy transportation comes with them.

Convertible crib. It’s tempting to hold off on buying a crib for baby, because so many parents choose to keep their newborns in a bassinet near their own bed, or in their room for the first few weeks or months. But, you don’t know what sleep is going to be like for you or your baby until they get here, and even then, it changes constantly! Having a crib with a breathable mattress ready to go means the second you or your baby are ready for their own space, they can start sleeping there. One member of our AFW team was looking forward to tending to her snoozing baby from the edge of her bed and thought they’d be doing that for months, but her kids had other plans! Both babies preferred their cribs in their own rooms before they hit the two month mark, and thankfully they each had one waiting!

Convertible cribs also grow with your baby. Buying a crib with an included toddler rail allows you you keep using it well into their toddler years. It's a smart purchase that will allow you to hold off on buying a bigger bed right away!

A spot for Mom & Dad.
Like it or not, you’re going to be spending a lot of time in baby’s room. Hopefully it’s during the daylight hours, but that’s unlikely. Create yourself a space to sit with baby, and keep in mind you might be there awhile. A little table, or place to rest your phone/coffee/drink (we don’t judge!) is a must, and you should all enjoy the furniture you’ll be sitting on. This is one of those times that function is a bit more important than form (you’ll want to rock or swivel) but both should be considered.

A changing pad or table. Babies go through thousands of diapers in the first year of their life. It’s astounding a person so small could produce SO MUCH waste, but they do. Constantly. Sometimes five seconds after you’ve zipped up their jammies. You’ll need a designated spot to perform these non-stop diaper changes, and you’ll want to make sure all your baby booty supplies are easily accessible and close at hand. Dressers can double as changing tables, but make sure you’ve got plenty of space to lie a wiggly baby down, and at least one drawer to store extra diapers, wipes, and lotion. While the diaper phase does eventually end, your need for flat surfaces and storage won’t. The changing pad itself might get passed on, but you’ll likely use the table or dresser for years after you buy your last pack of Pampers.

Save it for later:

A full-blown bedroom play place. You’ll want to give you and your baby some room to move, so larger spaces tend to be better places to play, and most of us don’t have bedrooms that can double as living rooms. It’s tempting to make your child’s nursery a kid’s paradise with tons of toys and activities, but it’s pretty likely you’ll want to use those things in a more common space. Also, kids don’t need big interactive toys for the first few months, so you’ll probably be fairly annoyed that you’re tripping over the indoor slide every night while your baby gleefully spends hours playing with a sock.

Minimalist furniture
. Refer back to must-have number one. STORAGE! Kids accumulate stuff, and you need somewhere to put that stuff so you don’t end up turning into your own parents and threatening to throw everything they own into the garbage if it’s not put away this minute! Yes, it’s wonderful to think you’ll be able to fit all of your infant’s teeny-tiny clothes into one three-drawer chest, but you probably can’t. Even Marie Kondo, the queen of clearing clutter, gave up! If she can’t manage to keep her kids tidy, you probably won’t either. Wait until they're a bit older to start encouraging the minimal lifestyle.

All the bells and whistles. Remember, you’re just anticipating needs right now. You have no idea what kind of kid you’re going to get, and you also don’t really know what they, or you, will want. Sure, some parents probably owe their sanity to a power recliner with LED night lights, but maybe your baby won’t fall sleep unless you’re walking with them (this is a real thing, and we wish it upon no one), or maybe the color of the LEDs send them on a one-way trip to Tantrum City. You just don’t know yet, so try not to over-invest in furniture or accessories that may not end up being as awesome as they seem. And remember, it's much easier to add items as needed than it is to sell them on Facebook when they aren’t.

Anything that can’t be scrubbed. Especially if it’s white. You might see a gorgeous and soft white chair that brings some sweet sophistication into your beautiful baby’s room, but do you know what they see? A great spot to poop, barf, or wipe boogers, and once they are a bit older, an awesome place to create some scribble art. If you can’t either throw it in the washing machine, or take a magic eraser to it, DO NOT PUT IT IN YOUR CHILD’S ROOM! It’s not as hard as it may seem to find furniture that’s beautiful, and durable, and white isn’t off-limits. Just make sure you’ll be able to deep clean anything you decide on.

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