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The Nursery Checklist

Essentials


Cradle, crib, or bassinet
The safety standard for cribs changes frequently so avoid using a crib that’s more than a couple of years old. Slats should be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart—about the width of a soda can.
Bedding and sheets You should own at least two sets of sheets. Try covering the mattress pad with a crib sheet, then layering your spare pad and a second crib sheet on top. That way when the baby wets through the first layer, you can just whip it off and the crib is ready to go again.
Crib mattress According to the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), “crib mattresses should fit snugly with no more than two fingers width between the edges of the mattress and the crib side.” For safety’s sake, a mattress should be firm, too. You’re not looking for the cushy feel you may prefer in your mattress; you want something that will holds its shape and stay flat.
Mattress pad and/or
waterproof cover
You’ll want at least two of these since you’ll need a dry one on hand to replace a soiled one in the middle of the night. Make sure to use a cover or pad that is recommended for your crib mattress dimensions. You want a tight fit to avoid it coming loose and becoming a suffocation hazard.
Diapering supplies Cloth or disposable? The decision depends on your lifestyle and personal views. If you’re using cloth, you’ll need three dozen diapers, five waterproof diaper covers, and a diaper pail with a close-fitting lid. You can also employ a diaper service and arrange for weekly delivery and pick-up. If you’re using disposable, avoid the temptation to buy several packs at once, because little ones grow into the next size before you know it!
Baby monitor Invest in a monitor with two receivers so you can keep one in your bedroom for nighttime and another in the kitchen, living room, or home office for the day. Some monitors have the ability to intermittently scan two rooms to listen for a napping toddler and newborn at the same time. Others may interfere with your cell phone or garage door opener, so keep the receipt and do a couple of test runs before choosing a monitor.
Smoke and carbon
monoxide detector
Both items are as important as a car seat. No nursery should be without them. Pick up one of each or a combination alarm at any hardware store.
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