Parenting can be a tough gig. Between the endless feedings and diaper changes and the sleepless nights, it can be hard to catch a break. Of course, the coos and cuddles make it all worthwhile, but some extra help—and a little peace of mind—goes a long way.
Making your list of nursery needs? Make life a little easier and safer for you and your little one by investing in these must-have nursery gadgets.
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A Video Monitor
Maybe you don’t absolutely need a video monitor, but this handy gadget will save you a lot of legwork, especially in those early months where every unfamiliar sound from baby’s crib feels like cause for concern. A quick check of the monitor offers all the reassurance of a sneak -peek without the risk of startling your little one, allowing for more frequent check-ins.
Video monitors can also be useful while sleep training or for monitoring recently-liberated toddlers boasting big-kid-bed status. The price tag may be a little heftier than your conventional audio-only monitor, but many parents find that the benefits of one-click-baby-surveillance outweigh the cost.
02 of 08
A Diaper Pail
Keep your nursery smelling as sweet as it looks with this simple and inexpensive nursery necessity. Diaper pails, like the popular Diaper Genie, can handle anything your little one can dish out, pressing dirty diapers into a refillable plastic liner and sealing in germs and odors by pinching the plastic closed every time the pail is opened.
Clean up is a snap! Since diapers never touch the pail, the pail stays perfectly clean. Simply tie off the plastic, and remove the waste without ever getting your hands dirty. Genius!
03 of 08
A White-Noise Machine
While adults may appreciate a quiet room at bedtime, the sound of silence can leave your newborn feeling isolated. Safe inside your womb, your baby slept to sound of your thumping heartbeat and the “whoosh” of blood pumping through your body, a reassuring hum that would have measured an astounding 80 to 90 decibels! That’s as loud as a vacuum!
A white-noise machine can help to create a comfortable, womb-like environment for your sleepy baby, encouraging them to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. White-noise machines also prevent outside disturbances such as doorbells, barking dogs, and even rambunctious siblings from cutting your baby’s naptime short.
04 of 08
Few things are as heartbreaking as a sick baby. For a newborn, whose tiny nasal passages are prone to congestion, a bad case of the sniffles is more than enough to cause misery, especially since the use of cough medicine and decongestants are out of the question for children younger than 2.
A humidifier can provide some much-needed relief by helping to keep your little one’s sinuses and nasal passages moist, making it easier for them to breath. You can even add a few drops of eucalyptus oil or a medicated breathing aid, such as VICKS Steam Vapor, to the water to help alleviate your baby’s suffering.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
A Ceiling Fan
Even if you live in a cold climate, a ceiling fan is a must. Ceiling fans not only protect your baby from overheating — a known risk factor associated with SIDS — but can also improve air circulation, whisking recently exhaled carbon dioxide up and away from your sleeping baby and showering them with cool, fresh air.
In fact, a study published in The Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine reported that infants who sleep under a ceiling fan reduce their risk of SIDS by as much as 72 percent!
06 of 08
A Nursery Thermometer
Buying a nursery thermometer is another great way to ensure your little one’s nursery maintains a safe and comfortable climate.
Temperatures can soar in small, closed-up rooms during the day, especially in direct sun. Furnace-heated homes, which tend to heat unevenly, can also make your nursery too toasty. In two-story homes or in homes with vaulted ceilings or open-plan living areas, a small bedroom can quickly become much warmer than the rest of the house, putting your baby at risk.
Nursery thermometers combat this problem by monitoring your baby’s room at all times and alerting you if the temperature in the nursery exceeds preset limits. Whatever the weather, this handy gadget will ensure baby stays safe and cozy.
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Your newborn may not be afraid of the dark yet, but a dark nursery can be a scary place for small children — not to mention the innocent toes of sleep-deprived parents! A charming nursery night-light provides safety and comfort for both you and your child throughout the night, and can even help your little one get back to sleep faster after late-night nursery visits.
Bright lights confuse sleepy babies, who often take them as a sign that it is time to get up. By allowing you to leave the lights off during nighttime feedings, night-lights create a consistently dark nursery environment, helping baby to stay in sleep mode and develop a better sense of night and day.
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A Smoke Detector
Even if you already have one in the hall, you need to install a smoke detector in your baby’s room. Unfortunately, nurseries are not magically exempt from unexpected fire hazards such as faulty wiring or overheated appliances. By the time the smoke makes it out of the room, it may be too late. Be sure to test all smoke detectors regularly, and replace the batteries at least once a year.