Bebe K is 2 months old by the time I get to jot down my thoughts regarding newborn baby nursery. I remembered that when we were first setting up the room, we were so overwhelmed trying to figure out what he’ll need, besides the obvious things like a cot, a stroller and a car seat.
The baby products market in Singapore is undoubtedly saturated, as with everywhere else in the world, making it challenging to distinguish the must-haves from the nice-to-haves. And to be honest, most newborn nursery items are the big tickets that would eat into our budget. So we were very clear from the start that we do not want to go over the top as the baby grows really fast, and that we’re going to convert the nursery to a Montessori bedroom once he hits his toddler phase.
A great part of the items in our super cosy baby nursery are, therefore, hand-me-downs (bebe is so fortunate!) or from the 2nd-hand marketplace (Save the environment!). Here is a roundup of my favourite products for the early days with bebe K. They have helped us tremendously as we ease into our new role as papa and mama.
I used to think baby nests are only for the gram. I mean, they look so picture-ready in all the Pinterest photos I reference. Until I started to research more about them, I realised that not all baby nests are the same. There are the cotton nest lounger, rustic woven baskets, those with fancy fabric and removable arch etc.
In the end, I got the Red Castle’s CocoonaBaby nest for bebe as it has this elongated semi-fetal position, which mimics the shape of a mom’s womb for the baby to feel safe and contented while respecting the medical recommendation for babies to sleep on their back. We found bebe sleeps more soundly in the nest too! One thing though, is that it comes in various fitted sheets and it is better to choose cotton ones (those with prints!) as the quilted versions tend to get warmer even in the air-conditioned room. We love it nonetheless, as our newborn sleeps so well in it!
Diaper Changing Board
As our Micuna baby cot is a fairly new hand-me-down from a sweet relative, we got our diaper changing board from the same brand. It was such a relief to our back. Trust me, if you do not categorize yourself as young and energetic, please invest in one or get a 2nd-hand changing board as you do not need to bend down every single time you change diapers for the baby. This is especially helpful if you are going to have / may end up with a cesarean section delivery, or intend to get your folks to help with taking care of the baby. Your back will thank you for this!
Baby mobiles are adorable. And it is a great choice to decorate a baby nursery. But they are more than just an aesthetically pleasing accessory for a baby’s room. So for our baby’s very first mobile, we opted a Munari mobile, which is a Montessori mobile that promotes visual tracking and hopefully, provides some concentration training.
It is a simple, lightweight mobile with a transparent sphere and a few cupboards that are drawn in a specific black & white proportion. It was said that the elements are designed to ignite a child’s inherent mathematical sense, which is definitely needed because both K and I are lacking in math abilities. Jokes aside, we are happy to see that the mobile keeps bebe occupied during his wake window! As anything that comes with a Montessori tag is expensive, and these mobiles need to be changed out as the baby grows, we got ours from Taobao. If you wish to find out more about these Montessori mobiles, here is a great write-up about them.
Waterproof Bed Pad
All parents would know how a Poonami and Wee Fountain can make a simple nappy changing time a really complicated one. A waterproof diaper-changing pad is helpful when it comes to messy diaper-changing time. It also doubles up as a baby mattress protector. Just layer it on top of the mat to prevent the baby from wetting the bed!
We got ours from this popular China brand called Cutelife and it’s so soft, dries fast and is so aesthetically pleasing. I love the floral prints that add a delicate touch to the room!
A bed pocket is really handy when it comes to storing small items during nappy time. Be it the baby’s pacifier, mom’s hair tie, airpods and other necessities. They’re so perfect I never regret getting them!
A baby monitor is a practical item in the nursery as it allows us to keep a lookout for our newborn in the middle of the night and during naps. We got a super affordable baby monitor from Xiaomi. The night vision is clear enough and so far it works fairly well for us. The only thing that I don’t like is the speed to launch the monitor as it would usually take about 15 seconds or more to launch the camera, which can be painful for any impatient individual.
I guess this Ikea RÅSKOG Trolley is no secret to any breastfeeding mom. You basically put everything you would need on it, be it diapers, ointments, nursing and pumping gadgets, you name it. It is literally a newborn survival cart! You can roll this from room to room, with all your nursing essentials in one place. Here’s our nursing cart and check out that Bepanthen ointment. We use it each time we change bebe’s diaper to prevent nappy rash, so very effective that we recommend it to all parents!
A nursing chair is an important item in the baby nursery. Because, guys, don’t underestimate the duration we’ll end up nursing our baby or rocking them to sleep on the chair. If you do not wish to splurge on a nursing chair, an armchair with good back support is essential. A reclining feature would be a nice-to-have if you’d also like to explore laid-back breastfeeding if your let-down is too fast that it gushes down.
Ours is an Ekenäset armchair which is a limited edition from Ikea as they celebrate their 75th anniversary in 2018. It is a relaunch from their archive and I really love the iconic mid-century modern design that works well with our space. It used to be our reading chair in the living room but as we make space for a “milk station” in the living room, we have since moved this armchair into the baby’s nursery and it works great for us.
Odourless Diaper Bin
Nobody warns us that newborn’s farts and poops can be as potent as adults’. The odour can actually linger long after we have disposed the diapers. We choose Umee Odourless Diaper Pail as its patented design can seal up the smell, germs and bacteria and can store up to 25 diapers! Great item to help us tide through the sleepless newborn phase!
A playmat is a nursery essential as it provides a cosy and safe environment for our newborn, especially during his play time – this includes his tummy time and motor skills time. As I wanted a touch of Korea in the nursery, we opted for a quilted cotton playmat that comes with anti-slip features from Taobao. It also works as our baby’s Monthsary backdrop!
White Noise Machine
White noise machines are our saviour in the initial days when bebe returned from the hospital. The soft frequencies and ambient sounds mimic the noises the baby heard inside the womb while drowning out other disturbances. It is a good transitional item that can comfort newborns and help them sleep better. We find this device essential if you want to save yourself from having to make those “shhhhh” sounds for hours (that’s insane) or having to use your mobile phone to play the sounds.
A bedside lamp is extremely practical and critical to a nursery. You’ll likely nurse the baby, change their diaper, and put the baby down to sleep round the clock during the newborn phase. A dimmable bedside lamp would be very helpful when it comes to those midnight feed when you do not wish to wake the baby while getting the job done.
If you’re going to sleep train your baby, or at least want to be more informed of your baby’s next feeding time so that you have more control of your daily schedule, a silent table clock in the room is going to be very helpful as most of the time, your hand may be pretty much occupied especially when you’re nursing or feeding.