Our NYC Nursery Essentials


When brainstorming ideas for putting together Augusten’s nursery, I did A LOT of research both online and asking other moms the question:

“What do babies REALLY need?”

Because you can be sure there’s a TON of stuff out there that registry lists and baby stores will tell you that you need, but being both in a tiny NYC apartment and also suffering from an allergic reaction to clutter, I wanted to focus on only the really relevant stuff that little man and I would use on a regular basis.  We’ve been in the space for a little over a month now, and I couldn’t be happier with the flow!  Here’s the parts of Augusten’s NYC nursery that have given us the biggest bang for our buck:

Book Nook

I found this old Seven-Up crate and repurposed it to hold Augusten’s little collection of books!  Reading is super important in our home, and even though he’s still really little, one of our favorite routines that we established from day one is picking a book from the nook and snuggling together for story time every evening.


Modified Changing Table

Everyone told me that a changing table was really helpful during the early years.  We didn’t have the space to put an entire table, so when I came across a table that snaps right on top of any standard size crib, I was thrilled.  Seeing as how this space is currently being used, oh, ten times a day at least, it’s great to have one spot for all of the essentials: diapers, wipes, and Aquaphor (all of which you’ll want to stock up on!;-)


My Secret Weapon

I was on the verge of buying one of those Diaper Genies, but just couldn’t wrap my mind around a piece of furniture that’s essentially used to hold dirty diapers (yuck!)  A few NYC mamas told me their secret: just keep a recycled grocery bag in the room, and at the end of the day take it to the garbage chute.  In the meantime, keep a bottle of Squelch handy to keep the room smelling so fresh and so clean, clean!  Squelch is a natural, scentless odor remover–perfect for keeping the nursery baby fresh.  And it’s MUCH more compact and affordable than the Diaper Genie, that’s for sure!


A Special (And Useful!) Family Heirloom

This dresser was used by my dad when he was a baby, me all the way up through college (and beyond!), and now sports a fresh coat of white paint and new mint green knobs for Augusten!  It’s the perfect size to hold his onesies, swaddles, and adorable “going out” outfits, and even more special is the sentimental value it holds.


A Nursing Chair

I heard lots of recommendations to get a glider/rocking chair for nursing, but all of them seemed so big and bulky and since it would only be used for a finite period of time, I just couldn’t justify the purchase.  We ended up putting my old desk chair in the nursery, and although it doesn’t rock, it certainly serves the purpose of sitting upright to nurse just perfectly.


And while they aren’t exactly “nursery” essentials, here are a few other things we couldn’t have lived without this first month and are so, so happy that we had:

Snuggle Nest–Perfect for co-sleeping during these early days!

Ergo Organic Baby Carrier–So far I’ve really only taken Augusten out to the pediatrician, but each and every time we’ve used this thing and it’s been phenomenal!  Keeps him close to me and super warm, and makes it easy for me to walk quickly through the city without the hassle of pushing a stroller.  Also, when he wants to be held around the house when I’m getting chores done, this thing is a lifesaver!

Zippered Onesies With Feet–Augusten has a bigger wardrobe than me and my husband put together (thanks, friends and family!), but the outfits that are in the biggest rotation are these fantastic onsies with the feet that zip right up the front.  They are super easy and quick to put on and take off during diaper changes!

Sleep Sack–We went through a few versions before we got this right (the Womby, the Miracle Blanket, regular swaddles…), but mighty Augusten would break out of all of them before it was time for his first feeding!  He was much more comfortable (and hence sleeps much more soundly) in his sleep sacks–still warm and snuggly, but not so tight he resists.

WubbaNub Pacifier Holder–My sister gave this to Augusten as a gift, and although it’s cute, it serves a MUCH bigger purpose.  One of the main reasons he gets up during the night (other than to eat, of course) is because he drops his pacifier and wakes up immediately.  At first my husband and I were waking up every 5 minutes to retrieve the thing!  But then we started using this pacifier attached to a stuffed monkey, and realized that if you put the monkey into the sleep sack or swaddle, it really decreases the amount of times the pacifier will fall from his mouth–saving us all a lot of sleep!  Brilliant, right?!

White Noise App–Since there are so many free apps out there, we totally skipped over purchasing a white noise machine and I downloaded a timed app on my phone.  We put it on during bedtime as part of his routine, and (knock on wood!), he’s been doing a pretty good job of falling asleep to the noise (and then waking up exactly 3 hours later to be fed;-)

Would love to know…did you have any baby nursery essentials?  Share below!


  • kemkem says:

    His room looks gorgeous! What a great idea for that 7UP crate. Aquaphor is great for everything isn’t it? :-). I love antiques..the older the better.

    • Used York City says:

      Haha, it is truly one of those one stop shop products, we go through it really fast in our house:-)

  • That dresser is gorgeous! It’s impressive how you were able to maximize your space and keep messy clutter at bay. That snap on changing table is kind of genius. No baby here, but my SIL swears by the sleep sack, zippered onsies, and pacifier holder.
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    • Used York City says:

      Haha I think living in NYC sort of forces you to continually edit things with the question “do i really use/need this or is it just taking up space?” Although I’ll let you know how it goes once he starts to actually have toys!;-)

  • Stanislava says:

    I don’t have any baby nursery essentials, since I am still not a mommy. These details above look very helpful. The dresser looks like new, can’t believe that it went through 3 generations and it’s still in use!

    • Used York City says:

      The dresser was a sky blue before this, and a navy before that, and has lived in three different states! Amazing what a solid piece of furniture can withstand over time!

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