Baby Furniture – What Every Parent Needs to Know

 So you’re expecting a new little bundle of joy – congratulations! Whether this is your first child or one of many, bringing a new baby into the world is the ultimate experience for any mom and dad. However, the same certainly can’t be said for finding baby furniture, especially when you haven’t the slightest clue what you’re looking for. Before you rush off to the nearest baby store in anticipation of your impending son or daughter, it’s important to take the time to research baby furniture purchases beforehand. After all, your baby will spend a majority of his or her time in furniture items like a crib, on a changing table and later in a high chair – and you certainly want to make sure that every piece of furniture that you purchase is up to standards for the imminent arrival of your new bundle of joy.

Before you venture out on your next shopping trip, here are a few key tips that will keep your baby happy, healthy and safe in the new baby furniture:

Arm Yourself With Measurements. When visiting baby furniture showrooms, it can be easy to underestimate just how large some furniture pieces can be. However, a nursery that’s stuffed with furniture can not only be a nuisance; it can pose a safety hazard to both yourself and the baby. In order to keep the size of the furniture to scale with your own nursery, take measurements of the baby’s room before you decide on a purchase. Measure the length, width and height of the room, as this will help you to determine which pieces of baby furniture are just right for your baby’s nursery – and which items will simply be too big to fit!

Set Up A Firm Budget. Now that the measurements have been taken care of, it’s time to sit down with your partner and determine what you’re going to use as a budget. Remember, you can find baby furniture for every budget, so don’t assume that you’ll have to spend thousands of dollars just to fill up the nursery. That being said, you’ll want to ensure that you have enough of a budget to cover the major baby furniture expenses, including the crib, the nursery furniture, the changing table and the high chair. 

If your budget is a bit on the lean side, you might want to consider bargain shopping online or using secondhand baby furniture. However, use your furniture budget to purchase a high-quality crib set, as this is the most important piece of furniture that your baby will spend time in. This takes us to our next point…

Be Smart About Secondhand Baby Furniture. Although many parents prefer to shop for new baby furniture, other parents tend to favor secondhand items in the hopes of saving more. If you’re tempted to borrow your mother’s old baby crib, you might want to take a moment to reflect: many older secondhand items are often riddled with safety hazards, including splinters, peeling paint and other choking dangers. Make sure that a secondhand piece of baby future is up to safety standards by conducting research on the furniture’s manufacturer. If there have been any recalls or there’s a trail of unsatisfied customers, forgo the item in favor of a new and modern piece of furniture. 

If you’re thinking of accepting a gift of a secondhand crib from a family member or friend, make sure that your crib mattress perfectly fits it. An ill-fitting crib mattress poses a suffocation risk – as babies can get their heads caught in between the mattress and the crib – so always take measurements with you to ensure that both crib and mattress are a match made in baby furniture heaven.

Leave No Stone Unturned… Or in this case, no detail left unexamined! While most pieces of baby furniture are quite safe due to strict governmental regulations, it’s still vitally important for parents to check every detail of the baby furniture before whipping out the credit card. Check to see if any hardware is missing, if the screws are loose, or if the item in general is loose or shaky. Once you’ve proven that the furniture is safe, head over to Consumer Safety Commission and Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA; www.cpsc.gov) to determine if your potential purchase has ever been recalled or has earned dissatisfied customer reviews. If it has, it’s best to forgo that furniture for one with a proven track record of quality, safety and satisfaction.

As you can see, shopping for your new baby’s nursery furniture takes plenty of research, patience and determination – but once you have all of the baby furniture waiting for your bundle of joy, you’ll be glad that you took the time to make educated nursery purchases.