Essential Baby Furniture:
What Do You Really Need?

Overwhelmed with choices? It's sometimes hard to tell if products marketed as essential baby furniture and equipment are really necessary, or just fancy optional items which will actually get very little use.

After all, for much of human history, parents raised babies without spending a fortune and without considering the dizzying array of options available today.

If you're on a budget (as so many new parents are!), it's important to sort through the hype. We've listed the most useful baby equipment (in order of importance).

The lowdown on baby necessities ...

  • Carseat. If you have a car, or you ride in a car regularly, you need an infant safety seat. It's critical for safety, and it's the law.

    You can choose a carseat made specifically for infants, which often has a useful carrying handle. Then you'll need to move up to another front-facing carseat, when your child is about a year old.

    To save money, you can instead choose a convertible car seat, which you install rear-facing for infants and forward-facing for bigger babies. A convertible carseat can be used from birth until your child weighs about 40 pounds.

A carseat is the only essential baby furniture or equipment mandated by law (and that's only if the baby rides in a car). Here are a few more items which are enormously useful with a newborn ...
  • Baby Sling - A baby sling is the most useful and least expensive piece of baby equipment you can buy. You can hold your infant close to you and still have your hands free. A sling allows you to carry your baby while working, playing, cooking, cleaning, writing, shopping, eating ... you get the picture.

  • Baby Crib - A baby crib is essential baby furniture for almost all parents. A crib is the only place you should ever consider leaving your baby unattended, even for a short time.

  • Rocking Chair - A rocking chair is a time-honored piece of baby furniture. We've found that a rocker is one of the most used and loved items; thus, essential baby furniture. Rocking your baby to soothe her to sleep sure beats walking laps around the living room!

Those are the most helpful and valuable items to have ready from day one. When your baby gets a little older, it's really nice to add ...
  • High Chair - When a baby starts eating solid foods, the safest place for her to sit is in a high chair. (Unless she's sitting in your lap, of course ... which can make it a bit harder for you to eat yourself!)

  • Baby Stroller - A baby stroller can be really helpful with an older baby. While not strictly necessary, it can be a lifesaver for taking long walks or traveling around with a toddler!

We hope that this list will help you separate truly essential baby furniture and equipment from the less important options, which are marketed just as heavily.

Changing tables, bassinets, baby dressers and so forth can be useful too. Personal preferences and circumstances (like budget and space) vary. Have a look around the articles at this site to determine what's most important for your family.

Return from Essential Baby Furniture to Baby Furniture Guides home page.