The Ultimate Nursery Buying Guide and Checklist

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The Ultimate Nursery Buying Guide and Checklist

New babies require several items to care for them properly. With thousands of items in the baby store to choose from, it can be hard for new parents to determine which items are essentials, which items are nice to have, and which items are useless. Making a checklist is one of the easiest ways for parents to figure out what they need to get to complete the nursery and be prepared for baby's arrival. To make a checklist, parents should examine the different elements of the nursery, assess their needs, and identify the items that they'll need to take care of baby.

Nursery Elements

Looking at the different elements that make up the nursery is an easy way to draw up a list of things that parents will need to get for the room. Parents can make smaller lists for things needed for one part of the room or related to the completion of one task. The elements of the nursery range from the artwork needed to decorate the walls to the clothes needed to fill the drawers.


Nursery decor is needed to make the room cozy and inviting. Many of the items used to decorate the room are also functional. When it comes to decorating the nursery, parents should choose themes and colors that they'll appreciate. There is a good chance that mom and dad won't have time to redecorate any time soon, and it will be awhile before baby shows any interest or preference for room decorations.

Wallpaper or Paint

The overall mood of the room can be set with the color of the wallpaper or paint on the walls. Parents can also tie the walls in with the theme of the room. Bright colors should be avoided since these colors can be overly stimulating and can keep baby from getting much needed sleep.


Rugs are not only decorative, they are also functional. Rugs soften the room and help to dampen sounds that may be accentuated by reflective floors like hardwood floors. Rugs protect the floor from messes or spills, and provide a soft place for baby to play.

Windows and Lighting

Lighting is an important part of the room's decor. Parents should use as much natural light as possible by choosing window coverings that allow the daylight to shine through. Overhead lighting can be harsh and should be diffused. Smaller lamps can be placed around the room to provide light for certain tasks, like changing a diaper in the middle of the night or reading a bedtime story.


Furniture is perhaps the biggest expense when it comes to putting together a nursery. Some parents choose furniture sets that all match, while others will choose individual pieces or fill the room with secondhand furniture. All of these options are okay as long as the essentials are provided.


The crib is where baby sleeps and where she will be spending most of her time in the first year of life. When choosing a crib, parents should make sure that it complies with all safety standards. A bassinet or cradle is another option for smaller babies, if parents don't want to invest in a full-size crib at first.

Changing Table

Some parents will change baby on the bed or the floor, but they will quickly realize how tired their backs can get. Having a place to change baby that allows parents to stand upright will make the task more convenient. Changing tables also provide storage for baby essentials such as diapers and wipes.

Glider With Ottoman

A glider with an ottoman in baby's room makes it easier for parents to feed baby and get baby to go back to sleep. The ottoman helps bring the legs up to support baby for easier nursing. This is also a convenient place to read baby a bedtime story.


Parents quickly learn that babies have a lot of stuff. Without proper places to put all of these things, the room will begin to look cluttered and messy. Storage bins can hold clothes, baby care items, and toys. These can be kept in the closet, under the changing table, or under the bed. For decorative storage, parents can use baskets instead.


Bedding is necessary for baby to be comfortable and stay warm while sleeping. Parents will need to have several sets of crib sheets and receiving blankets. These may need to be changed often if baby's diaper leaks or if baby spits up. Crib bumpers can be placed around the edge of the crib and tied to the slats to decorate the crib and prevent baby from being injured on the hard surface.


Along with sheets and blankets, parents will need to purchase a crib mattress to go with the crib. The mattress should provide ample support to baby's back and head. Many crib mattresses are made from waterproof materials, but if not, a separate mattress cover should be purchased to protect it from diaper leaks and spitting up.

Baby Care Items

Baby's nursery will need to be stocked with baby care items, and these items should be placed near where they will be used most often. Lotions, powders, and diaper rash cream can be stored close to the changing table for convenience. Burp cloths can be placed near the glider for baby's feeding time.

Diapers, Wipes, and Diaper Disposal

Diapers and wipes are perhaps the most important baby care item that parents can have. Newborn babies will go through more diapers per day than older babies, so it is important that parents are prepared. A diaper pail or covered trash can should also be placed near the changing table for easy diaper disposal. A lid helps to reduce the odor.


A small fan not only helps cool baby off in the room, but it is an excellent source of white noise. Babies are used to hearing various sounds while in the womb, and once born they are thrust into a world that sounds significantly different. Having a source of white noise in baby's room will not only reduce stress, but also help them sleep better and longer.

Baby Safety Items

Since parents can't be in baby's room all the time, they need to make sure that the room is safe for baby to be in alone. Cords for blinds should be kept out of reach, small items that are choking hazards should be removed, and outlets should be covered. Baby monitors can help parents keep an eye on baby when they are not in the room, and detectors can be installed to signal for dangerous levels of smoke and carbon monoxide.

Baby Monitor

Parents can place audio, video, or movement baby monitors in the nursery, so that they can watch or listen for baby as she sleeps. A cordless monitor allows parents to roam freely throughout the house while monitoring baby.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Most homes already have smoke detectors, but one should be installed near the entrance of the baby's room, if it is not there already. Carbon monoxide detectors are not as common, but are just as important. Carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless, and deadly if it reaches levels that are too high. Having an alarm installed near the bedrooms will protect the family if the carbon monoxide levels become dangerously high.


The nursery should be fun and have toys for baby to play with as well. A mobile placed over the crib can provide entertainment and give baby something to look at instead of a blank ceiling. The room should not be overly stimulating though, since too many distractions can make it hard for baby to get to sleep.

Bouncy Seat or Swing

A bouncy seat or a swing provide a comfortable seat that give baby a change of scenery. Rather than having to lay flat, baby is sitting up so that she can see the world around her. Swings will rock back and forth or side to side to help soothe baby and get her to fall asleep. Many bouncy seats have a vibrating function to do the same thing. These can also be transported out of the nursery to give baby a place to sit in other rooms.


A stereo should be placed in the room so that soothing music can be played for baby. This music helps baby relax and fall asleep. During play time, fun songs can be played for parents to sing and dance along to.


Babies will grow quickly in their first year, but they will also be very messy. Several articles of clothing in each size should be purchased and kept handy. Small babies will need to have their clothing changed several times per day. Because babies grow so quickly there is a good chance that they will outgrow many of their clothes before they get to wear them.

Many parents will find that onesies are the most convenient clothing for baby to wear. The dresser will be stocked with these more than other types of outfits. Socks and hats are needed to keep new babies warm no matter what time of year it is.

Nursery Checklist

Once parents have assessed their needs, they can put together a checklist of the items that they need or think they will need. Each category will have its own items, and parents can cross them off the list as they are purchased or obtained from other people. Below is an example of a checklist to help parents prepare a nursery for their new baby.


Essential Items


Wallpaper or paint

Window coverings


Wall art


Night lights




Changing table


Glider with ottoman

Clothes hamper

Storage bins and baskets

Closet organizer



Mattress pad

Crib sheets

Crib bumpers

Receiving blankets

Baby Care

Diaper disposal container



Burp cloths

Wipe warmer


Baby Safety

Outlet covers

Baby monitor

Carbon monoxide detector

Smoke detector



Bouncy seat or swing

Play yard






Pajamas and sleepers

One-piece outfits



Not all parents will find the same items to be essential. For example, a wipe warmer may seem like a luxury for many parents. Others understand the importance of having a warm baby wipe handy when changing a sleepy baby. Cold baby wipes can shock baby and wake them up suddenly. It can be hard to get her to go back to sleep after this occurs. It is up to each family to determine what their needs are and make a list accordingly.

Shopping for Nursery Items on eBay

Whether you are shopping for items for your own nursery or shopping for an item to give to an expectant couple at a baby shower, eBay has a wide selection of new and used nursery items to choose from. You will need to know how to effectively search for items on eBay to find great deals on the nursery items you need. You'll need to be an eBay member to buy the items and have them shipped to your house.

Searching for Nursery Items on eBay

There are a few ways that you can go about searching for items on eBay. You can browse through the listings and narrow them down by category until you find something that interests you. Or, you can perform a keyword search to find something specific.


Narrowing down the listings by category allows you to browse a wide range of items. Start in the Baby category on eBay and work your way through the other categories from there. Once in this category, you will be given the option to browse by other categories such as Nursery Bedding,, Diapering,, Nursery Decor,, Nursery Furniture,, and more. Once you delve further into the site you will see that there are other categories and options for you narrow down the listings by.

Keyword Search

Performing a keyword search, whether it be in the main search bar or an Advanced Search,, will pull up a focused set of results matching the keywords that you are searching for. You can search all of eBay or specify one category to search in. You can also widen your search results by selecting the option to search titles and descriptions when performing an advanced search. The left side of the page will have other options for you to narrow down the results by, if necessary.

Buying Nursery Items on eBay

When it comes to buying nursery items, you should carefully read the item details, check out your buyer's history, and understand the programs eBay has in place to protect you, the buyer. By doing this, you can be sure you're getting exactly what you want, and you'll have a positive shopping experience on eBay.

Read Item Descriptions

Before buying an item, be sure that you have read the seller's description very carefully. This is the place where the seller has an opportunity to provide all of the details on the item, such as its condition, appearance, size, etc. The seller might also accept returns or offer refunds and exchanges. If so, the seller will likely outline the terms and conditions within the item description.

Seller's Feedback

The eBay feedback system is in place to recognize the top-rated sellers among all the rest. Check out the feedback rating and read some of the comments left by previous buyers before deciding to do business with a seller.

Buyer Protection

Many sellers will work with you if you are not satisfied with the transaction. They may offer a refund or an exchange rather than risk receiving negative feedback from you. You can be confident in all purchases you make, regardless of the seller's return policy, knowing that eBay backs your purchase with its Buyer Protection Program.. This covers the price you paid for the item and its shipping, if necessary.


Getting all of the items that are needed for a nursery is a big task. Having a checklist handy helps parents make sure that they've got everything that they will need. In order to put the checklist together, parents will need to identify the different elements of the room, determine what their needs are, and then list items that they'll need for taking care of baby and complete the nursery. Parents and baby shower gift shoppers will find everything that they'll need for baby's nursery on eBay.

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