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Baby Furniture: What's Essential?

Decking out a nursery can get pricey, but it doesn’t have to be. This guide tells you what baby furniture is indispensable, and how -- and when -- to shop for discounts.

Buying Baby Furniture: Rocking Chairs and Gliders continued...

A glider is one nursery item that you can continue to use as your baby gets older -- as a place to read a bedtime story or soothe an ornery toddler -- so it's worth shopping around to find something you really like. The Baby Bargains team recommends that you choose a glider with a locking mechanism to avoid pinched fingers.

San Francisco mother Lauren Cony cautions parents to wait until after the baby arrives to buy a glider, so you can test it out with your baby before you make a purchase. She bought a glider before her son was born, but found she never used it because she couldn't find a comfortable nursing position. Instead, she nurses her baby in an easy chair, and uses a nursing pillow and a nursing stool for support -- a far cheaper alternative. As for the glider, she sold it on Craigslist.

Baby Monitors

For many modern parents, the baby monitor is a nursery essential because of the peace of mind it provides. A monitor allows you to hear your baby when you're taking a shower or working in the kitchen at the other side of the house. Monitors range in price from around $20 to several hundred dollars for a video monitor that lets you see as well as hear your child.   

Alan Fields recommends purchasing a monitor that you can exchange, because it may take a few tries to find one that works for you. 

Lively says she was overwhelmed when she went monitor shopping because there were so many makes and models to choose from. In the end, she bought the one with the lowest price tag, and she says it works just fine. "The video monitors are really popular," she says, "but once I have the boys in bed, I'm ready for a break.  I don't need to watch them on television."

Night-light

Some kind of low lighting in your child's room will make life easier when you or your partner go to the nursery to change or feed your baby in the middle of the night. Cony uses a regular standing lamp with a dimmer, so she can turn the light down for a night-light and up if she needs to change a diaper or read to her baby.

Diaper Pail

It's down and dirty, but it's also worth mentioning: Whether you're using cloth or disposable diapers, a solid pail with a lid is essential to minimize odor and keep your nursery sanitary. A diaper pail that opens with a foot pedal will allow you to dump the diaper while keeping a hand on your baby.

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Reviewed on September 15, 2013
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