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Cribs

A crib is the centerpiece of the nursery, the item around which other decor revolves. A quality crib can last through multiple children, so make the investment once and plan to spend $600 or more for a well-constructed, enviro-friendly model with a lasting finish. Look for a "convertible" model designed to convert to a toddler bed. Make sure a gently used crib offered by family or friends meets the Consumer Product Safety Commission standards. For more information, see: http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PUBS/5030.html.

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Land of Nod Time to Turn In Crib Land of Nod Time to Turn In Crib
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Dresser

A well-crafted dresser with classic lines can grow with your child's room décor, so consider investing in a quality piece. In a nursery, the dresser can serve as a changing station by simply attaching a changing pad to the back panel using the screws already in place. To protect the dresser, lay a flat flannel pad under the changing pad.

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Land of Nod Jenny Lind 7-Drawer Dresser Land of Nod Jenny Lind 7-Drawer Dresser
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Crib Mattress

Crib mattresses come in all foam, innerspring and double-sided (foam on one side, innerspring on the other). For newborns, firm support is key, which makes sturdy foam with little "give" a solid choice. An all-foam mattress is lightweight -- less than 10 lbs compared to more than 20 lbs for an innerspring mattress -- which makes for easier sheet changes. (For safety reasons, a crib mattress fits snugly into the crib and can be difficult to maneuver.) If you plan to convert your crib to a toddler bed, consider a double-sided mattress. Crib mattresses made of natural or organic materials are available for a premium.

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Colgate 2-in-1 Crib Mattress (foam/spring) Colgate 2-in-1 Crib Mattress (foam/spring)
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Glider/Rocker

Nursing moms often find it helpful to have a comfortable chair with cushioned arms and a footrest, expecially in the early days and for late nights. An upholstered rocker or glider is an investment that can grow with your family from the nursery to the playroom to the family room. Wood-frame, cushioned gliders specially designed for nursery use are less expensive but not as versatile -- borrow one if possible.

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Land of Nod Attractive American Rocker and Ottoman Land of Nod Attractive American Rocker and Ottoman
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Bassinet / Co-Sleeper

In the early weeks, feedings may be as frequent as every two hours around the clock. With a bassinet or co-sleeper, your baby is within reach during the night. A bassinet is a separate little bed, whereas a co-sleeper creates an extension to your bed for the baby. A co-sleeper is a good choice for nursing moms -- no need to get up or to rouse the baby out of bed. However, having the baby right next to you may make it difficult to rest, and a co-sleeper is not as attractive as a wicker bassinet, which makes a great family heirloom. Bassinets and co-sleepers are quickly outgrown, so consider borrowing if possible.

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Pottery Barn Kids Bassinet with Bedding Pottery Barn Kids Bassinet with Bedding
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Playard

In days past, little ones were put in "playpens" to keep them safely put while mom did chores around the house. Nowadays, a playard, or "Pack-n-Play" (Graco's product name), more often serves the purpose of a secondary nursery or portable crib. The changing table and bassinet options, preferably with a bumper, are essential accessories. Ask the grandparents to purchase a playard for their house if you visit often. As for set-up, if the sides won't lock into place, raise the center piece higher and try locking the sides again. (You will thank us later for this tip!)

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Graco Pack-n-Play Huntington Graco Pack-n-Play Huntington
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Travel Crib

For frequent travelers, a lightweight travel crib, without the space-consuming features of a playard, makes a lot of sense.

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BabyBjorn Travel Crib BabyBjorn Travel Crib
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Contoured Changing Pad

A contoured changing pad, with raised sides, creates a comfortable changing surface and provides some measure of extra protection against rolling off the changing surface. Don't forget the changing pad cover and cloth diaper on top for comfort and easy clean-up.

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Colgate 2-Sided Contoured Changing Pad Colgate 2-Sided Contoured Changing Pad
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