Are you expecting a new addition to your family? Congratulations! If you’re a first-time parent, you’re doubtless overwhelmed by advice, lists of baby items and hours spent looking around baby stores wondering how such a little human could need so much stuff. There are so many things on the market these days and getting everything you need for your little one can be an expensive process!

Whether you’re planning a Pinterest-worthy themed nursery or sharing space with your bub in an urban apartment, this guide will help you navigate the world of shopping for a newborn with confidence.

Painting & Decor

If you’re starting with an empty spare room that’s just begging to be a standalone nursery, it will help to have an idea of what you want before you get started – that way, you can paint before you fill it with furniture. Whether you’re going to DIY or get a professional look for non-toxic and easy to clean paint options. The colour you choose can also set the tone for your nursery – neutral colours are in fashion right now (especially if you’re keeping the gender a surprise), and some people even say that softer hues are best for creating a peaceful sleeping environment for your baby. Sure, a soothing lavender wall is no guarantee that the baby will sleep through the night, but as new parents it doesn’t hurt to hedge your bets. If you’re renting, or want to keep decorating costs down, removable wall decals are a beautiful and affordable option to customise your space. 

Choosing a Crib

The crib is the focal point of the nursery, and the most important piece of furniture because it’s where your precious bundle of joy will sleep! When it comes to the crib, this is something you’re definitely going to want to buy new, particularly the mattress. You can be thrifty with a lot of baby items and save money by purchasing things like clothes and toys second-hand, but mattresses can harbour bacteria if they weren’t cleaned properly.

You can start out with a smaller bassinet to have baby sleeping in your bedroom, but keep in mind that they will outgrow this at around 12 weeks of age. Another option is a mini-crib, which is smaller than a standard crib, but will still be large enough to use until around 12 months old – perfect for apartment-dwellers with limited space, these can fit in your bedroom with you or move into the nursery when you’re both ready. There are so many beautiful designs these days to suit any sense of style and living arrangement! Some even have wheels so you can roll them out of the bedroom for naptime. It pays to have a think about how your ideal sleeping arrangements will look in the first year but be open to change as well – babies are all little individuals and have no idea that you made them a perfect sleep schedule. This will dictate the type of furniture you choose based on where it will be most of the time.

Baby Monitor

There is a huge range of baby monitors on the market these days, and again this choice will depend on the size of your home and how much you’re wanting to spend. If you’re living in a small space, a monitor might not even be necessary if you’ll never be too far away or perhaps the classic ‘walkie talkie’ type will be enough to ensure your peace of mind. If your home is bigger, or you just like to be observant, there are some amazing high tech options now featuring video and alerts to your smartphone if AI detects potential hazards in the baby’s sleeping zone. If you’re into tech, you could also look at wearables that monitor your baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels.

Nursing Chair  

If you plan on spending a lot of time in the nursery, a comfortable and supportive chair is an absolute must! Whether you’re breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, you and/or your partner is going to be spending hours upon hours in this chair. No extra space? Consider an upgrade to your regular lounge suite instead.

Changing Table

This is another item where you can go as thrifty or bougee as you like – if matching furniture is your thing, you can get whole sets to match with your crib in stunning wood textures. If your taste is more eclectic, this is a safe item to look for second hand, and you’ll be surprised at the gorgeous pieces you can find. More space conscious? Go for a changing pad on top of a chest of drawers so the furniture does double duty. A word to the wise: make sure you can reach everything you need from your changing station because once your squirmy worm is up there, you won’t be able to move away.

Storage Space

If you’ve been doing your research on becoming a parent for the first time, one theme you’ll be seeing over and over is how many things your little one needs, and how quickly they outgrow them. Make sure you’ve got adequate storage space planned for all those extra clothes, toys, nappies, etc. Storage units with pull out boxes make a stylish option for reducing clutter anywhere in your home, whether that be a dedicated nursery or shared living area!

Furniture Finance

It’s a lot to take in, we know. That’s why financing your baby purchases, like furniture, can be an option for first time parents. It allows you the freedom to prioritise the things you need and set your own budget, while spreading out the cost with set repayments so nothing catches you off guard. After all, you want to be able to focus on enjoying your new baby.

Rapid Loans offers secured personal loans ranging from $2,001 to $40,000, with a simple online application and dedicated customer service. If you think a personal loan could be the perfect option to finance your biggest adventure yet, get in touch today on 1300 727 431 or apply online.

This article is intended as opinion only and not as a sole source of guidance. Responsible lending criteria applies. Australian Credit Licence Number 388847.