Baby Budgeting For The Nursery Essentials

The following is a guest post by: Ashley White. Ashley is a blogger and self-described HGTV addict. She scours antique and resale shops for goodies to fill her family’s eclectic home in upstate New York.


Babies need a lot of stuff — or so they say. While I was pregnant with Patrick, people —including my friends, family, coworkers and those who met me on the street — would tell me I had to have a Bugaboo stroller or that a travel crib was essential. It was a bit overwhelming, and sometimes tempting, but I learned after the crib, dresser and rocking chair, the real nursery necessities are below.

A Night Light

It was an adjustment getting Patrick on a sleep schedule that didn’t involve him staying up all night and sleeping all day. Once we invested in some roller/solar shades he started associating darkness with sleep and light with being awake. With curtains or shades that block out light (great for nap time) you’ll need a night light. Find one that emits enough light for you to navigate the room but not so much that it keeps your baby awake.

Not necessary: Stubbing your toe in the dark while you are trying to calm your child. Or worse, waking him up because you flipped on a too-bright light just to check on him.

Garbage Pail

Find a sturdy, 4 gallon garbage pail with a lid for your baby’s nursery. has a great selection of trash bins under $15, but check your local dollar store as well. In the beginning, we changed Patrick in whatever room we were in. But when I found a week old dirty diaper in the spare bedroom in the basement, that changed. Learn from our experience: Designate one garbage pail for dirty diapers. Control the smell by regularly sprinkling a little baking soda in the bag and make sure it always gets taken out.

Not necessary: A Diaper Genie. If you change that dirty of a diaper, just run it out.

Sleepy Swing

Every child is different, and when deciding on nursery items it really depends on your child’s personality and your parenting style. But, I have to say, a comfortable little baby swing for Patrick to fall asleep in saved my life. We love to rock and snuggle, but when I need a nap, to cook dinner or finish some freelance work, the swing is Patrick’s new best friend. We found a gently-used Graco swing on Craig’s List for $25.

Not necessary: Toys. Your child won’t be interested in them until later, and infants shouldn’t sleep with stuffed animals for safety reasons, anyway.

A Handy Hamper

Your baby will need his or her own hamper. We keep Patrick’s on the floor in the corner of his closet. It is out of the way, but still very accessible. Since we only change dirty diapers in his room (see above: garbage pail) this hamper comes in handy when we are getting ready for a bath or when changing a disaster of a diaper.

Not necessary: Carrying those onesies around after a diaper explosion.

Baby Monitor

Those first few nights my husband and I would lay awake listening to Patrick breath so we didn’t need a monitor. But when we got used to him being a part of our family — and when we succumbed to a much needed deep sleep — the monitor came in handy. It is also great for nap times when I’m downstairs cleaning or working. My suggestion? Ask around to see if someone has an extra. My sister lent me hers so we got ours for free.

Not necessary: A video monitor. Just go check on him or her.


2 thoughts on “Baby Budgeting For The Nursery Essentials”

  1. Pingback: makingtimeformommy
  2. I am glad that you mentioned what wasnt necessary. Some new moms may think all that is needed and really its not…. this is advice a good friend would give …. great post


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