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When you get the exciting news that you’re expecting, you have got to get to work! Besides taking care of yourself, you need to create a wonderful space for your bundle of joy. This guide is for those first-time parents who need a guide to follow in buying nursery furniture.

One of the most important pieces for your nursery is the crib. Your baby will typically be in this crib until they are 2 or 3 years old. There are so many options out there when you select a crib and things you need to figure out before you go looking for a crib.

Safety is your first consideration. You may want to use that crib you had as a child that has been passed down to you, but you need to be aware that improvements have been made in cribs. One of those is how far apart the vertical slats. They should be no further than 2 3/8 inches apart. If you don’t want to get out the tape measure, see if you can fit a soda can through the slats, if you can, the slats are too far apart and pose a risk to your baby.

The mattress should be firm and fit tightly within your crib. There should be no gaps at all. If you can fit more than 2 fingers between the gap of the mattress and your crib, the mattress is too small or the crib is too large.

Features vary from crib to crib and one common feature is a drop side. This is where you can drop down one side of the crib by using your knee to lower the side and making it easier to get your baby out of the crib. However, there have been problems with these types of cribs and they may be eliminated from the marketplace.

One feature that many cribs have is wheels. This allows you to move the crib around easily to change the sheets or vacuum under it. Make sure that the casters are substantial; you don’t want some cheap caster breaking on you and making the rolling feature non-existent.

Adjustable mattress height supports is a feature that is very helpful. The higher mattress setting is perfect for the sleeping newborn, so you can lay them gently in the crib. When your baby gets older, you can lower the mattress height so they can’t climb out of the crib, which they will try to do!

Convertible cribs allow you to transition your crib to a toddler bed. When you purchase a crib that converts to a toddler bed you have invested in a piece of furniture that will grow with your child and save you money. These convertible cribs will sometimes allow you to then transition the toddler bed to a full-size bed. I will caution you that extra parts may be needed and you need to find out before you purchase this convertible crib and see if the cost is worth it.

You will need a dresser for all those items your baby needs burp cloths, onesies, socks, blankets, etc. Pick a dresser that is sturdy. Also consider the knobs on the dresser. You want knobs that have no sharp edges and pose no danger to your child.

There is another option of a changing table dresser. While I know this is a popular option I would ask you to think about this. Babies roll and they can roll off a changing table. Many parents I know change their babies on the floor, the couch, the bed, etc. Having a specific changing table is not necessary and I would only suggest it if you have a larger budget.

Whether you select a rocking chair with cushions or a swivel rocker chair, you will want something to sit in with your child. If you select a chair that has upholstery, make sure you can wash it or it has some type of stain guard protection on it. You want something that is very comfortable, too, as you will never know when you will have one of those long nights with your baby. One other item you may want to purchase with your chair is an ottoman.

Toy storage will be needed down the line. Babies aren’t interested in toys and it will be a few months before they care, but you usually will already have quite a collection of toys from your baby shower. Invest in toy storage that your child can access when they are older and is sturdy. This toy storage will be with them for a long time. I would caution you in using a toy chest unless it has a safety lid support system to hold the lid up and lower it gently, which will keep your little darling’s finger safe.

A good bookcase is vital. Your child will have many books and having a bookcase where they can reach the books is important. You also need this place to store all the books. This bookcase will grow with your child.

If you want to be extra cautious, invest in some furniture wall straps. These will allow you to connect the furniture to the wall and keep it from tipping over on your baby. When babies get older and before they are even toddlers they like to pull on things and the last thing you want is to pull on a piece of furniture and have it tip over.

These are the basic furnishings your nursery will need. If your budget allows for more consider this first. Babies grow up. Decide if your investment in the furniture you buy today is a good one. Babies will not remember if they had the finest crib or designer bedding. Spend wisely on quality pieces and pieces that can grow with your child.

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