Baby Registry Must-Haves for a Safe, Functional Nursery

Baby Registry Must-Haves for a Safe, Functional Nursery, women, presumably a mother, standing in a room changing a baby who lying on a changing pad that's on a white dresser.

Planning the perfect baby room is fun—and a little stressful! Our expert nursery designer shares how she creates a room that’s practical, comfortable, and adorable too.

MyRegistry.com contributing writer Lisa Janvrin is the founder of YouthfulNest, an e-design experience dedicated to room designs for babies and children. Learn more about YouthfulNest design services.


There’s a swarm of excitement around selecting baby items, and then there’s the anxiety of getting them right. Especially for first-time parents, getting it right and investing money in the right products can be stressful. The designers at YouthfulNest have made an art out of selecting the right products for each client’s personal situation. Below, I share some of the considerations our new parents and even our experienced parents have come to appreciate.

Safe Sleep

Let’s start with the sleeping arrangements. The crib is often the item a parent gravitates to first. When it comes to safety, the great thing to know is that there are federal safety standards that have regulated some specific elements of cribs. One example is that spindles or bars cannot have more than two-and-three-eighths inches of space between them. This means you can have as much confidence going with that IKEA crib as you do going with one from a higher-end store. In other words, pricing doesn’t equal more or less safety.

Our other major crib consideration is the mattress. Beyond being organic, check that the product you’re considering is GOTS-certified organic. Going with a premium 100% organic product that’s GOTS-certified means there’s nothing near your child's skin except a safe, comfy, breathable material.

Let’s stay with the mattress but talk about how you cover it. If you spend money on a healthy organic mattress, why not cover it with the same quality sheet? After all, the sheet is what comes in contact with your baby’s skin.

But no matter what type of fabric you choose, the crib sheets should be snug and tight. Loose sheets or ill-fitting sheets could come off the corners and be a danger to your child. Also worth mentioning for first-time parents: You may have no idea how many times a week, or even a day, you’ll need to change soiled sheets. Lifting a heavy mattress can be tough on your back, so I love zip-on sheet systems. With all these considerations in mind, here are some YouthfulNest designer favorites.

Crib

Sebra Cot Bed, Sebra
Sebra Cot Bed | Scandiborn
$1,145.90



Million Dollar Baby Classic 3-in-1 Convertible Crib, Million Dollar Baby Classic
Million Dollar Baby Classic Tanner 3-in-1 Convertible Crib | buybuy BABY
$499.99



GONATT Crib with Drawer, GONATT
GONATT Crib with Drawer | IKEA
$199.00

Mattress

Babyletto Pure Core Crib Mattress with Cover, Babyletto
Babyletto Pure Core Crib Mattress with Cover | buybuy BABY
$199.99



Naturepedic Organic Crib Mattresses with Pad, Natureperdic
Naturepedic Organic Crib Mattresses with Pad | Crate and Barrel
$349.00



Pebble Pure Crib Mattress, Nook Sleep Systems
Pebble Pure Crib Mattress | TheTot
$429.00

Crib Sheet

QuickZip Crib Sheet System, QuickZip
QuickZip Crib Sheet System | buybuy BABY
$45.99



Pehr Strawberry Field Crib Sheet, Pehr
Pehr Strawberry Field Crib Sheet | TheTot
$36.00



French Nautical Organic Crib Fitted Sheet, Crate and Barrel
French Nautical Organic Crib Fitted Sheet | Crate and Barrel
$87.00

Changing Area

Now let’s go to the changing area and talk about how to feel confident when doing what you do-do there. Yes, changing dirty diapers and clothing is a big part of what happens at a changing table. Which is why I’m loving the more recent wipe-clean changers. Easy cleanup + less laundry = happy parent. They also have a heavier design, so they’ll rest safely and securely on top of a dresser or changing table.

Of course you’ll also need to see what you're doing in the middle of the night. We don’t recommend turning on that bright overhead light. Instead, look for a task light with a dimmer or motion sensors, so you have enough light to work with but not so much that baby is startled awake.

Wipe-Clean Changers

Skip Hop Wipe Clean Changing Pad, Skip Hop
Skip Hop Wipe Clean Changing Pad | Target
$70.99



Bumbo Changing Pad, Bumbo
Bumbo Changing Pad | buybuy BABY
$69.99



Keekaroo Peanut Changer, Keekaroo
Keekaroo Peanut Changer | TheTot
$130.00

Traditional Changer

Contour 2-Sided Changing Pad, Colgate Mattress
Contour 2-Sided Changing Pad | buybuy BABY
$29.99



Summer Infant 4-Sided Changing Pad, Summer Infant
Summer Infant 4-Sided Changing Pad | Target
$26.99



Naturepedic Organic 4-Sided Changing Pad, Naturepedic
Naturepedic Organic 4-Sided Changing Pad | Serena & Lily
$128.00

Lights

Juno Lighting SlimForm , Juno Lighting
Juno Lighting SlimForm | Build with Ferguson
$38.00



FUBBLA LED Wall Lamp, FUBBLA
FUBBLA LED Wall Lamp | IKEA
$19.99



Crater Moon Table Lamp, Crater Moon
Crater Moon 3-Way Table Lamp | Pottery Barn Kids
$149.00

Glider/Rocker

Now for the glider or rocker. Seems easy enough to pick out a glider that’s comfortable and stylish. But we also want to consider the type of material. You'll be sitting and rubbing your skin against it for hours and hours, so be sure to look for a glider upholstered with non-toxic fabric. If you can get a swatch to feel or test it out, we highly recommend it, especially for those with sensitive skin.

The other two items I want new parents to consider are a pouf and one or two decor pillows. A pouf or ottoman will allow you to put your feet up while sitting for extended periods of time during feedings, naps, and everything in between, improving circulation in your legs.

Now those decor pillows don’t just look good, they work hard. A lumbar pillow is wonderful to support your lower back, and a square one is perfect to prop up under your arm when holding the baby for both breastfeeding and bottle feeding.

Glider/Rocker

Babyletto Kiwi Electronic Recliner and Swivel Glider, Babyletto
Babyletto Kiwi Electronic Recliner and Swivel Glider | TheTot
$799.00



Million Dollar Baby Alden Swivel Glider, Million Dollar Baby Classic
Million Dollar Baby Alden Swivel Glider | buybuy BABY
$329.99



Nursery Works Compass Rocker, Nursery Works
Nursery Works Compass Rocker | Pottery Barn Kids
$999.00

Pouf

Blue Velvet Pouf, Crate and Barrel
Blue Velvet Pouf | Crate and Barrel
$89.00



Babyletto Tuba Swivel Gliding Ottoman, Babyletto
Babyletto Tuba Swivel Gliding Ottoman | TheTot
$269.00



Spada Moroccan Leather Pouf, Dakota Fields
Spada Moroccan Leather Pouf | Wayfair
$224.99

Decor Pillow

Pom Pom Pillow, Crate and Barrel
Pom Pom PIllow | Crate and Barrel
$32.00



Boucle Throw Pillow, Studio McGee
Boucle Throw Pillow | Target
$22.00



Wanderer Throw Pillow, Crate and Barrel
Wanderer Throw Pillow | Crate and Barrel
$29.00

YouthfulNest Essential Package

Find out more about working with an expert nursery or kid’s room designer for a custom room design.

YouthfulNest Essential Package, YouthfulNest
YouthfulNest Essential Package | YouthfulNest
$549.00

About the Writer
Lisa Janvrin is the founder of YouthfulNest, an e-design experience dedicated to room designs for babies and children. A self-described design addict, Lisa worked in the design industry for more than 20 years before founding YouthfulNest, where she has helped hundreds of families prepare for their new baby with stress-free nursery planning. Lisa guides parents in creating the perfect nursery or kid’s room for their unique space, style, and budget by offering designs for full-sized and small-space nurseries, along with a range of product suggestions, from modern to traditional, high-end splurges to budget-friendly nursery finds. As a travel enthusiast and experience junkie, Lisa has lived and worked around the world, including NYC and Charlotte, NC, Florence, Istanbul, and Moscow, taking inspiration for the nurseries and children’s rooms she now designs for clients across the U.S. and beyond.

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