There is no magical time that fits every family's needs regarding when to purchase the nursery furniture. However, there are general questions to ponder and guidelines to follow. You also need to consider the furniture you desire; some models will take longer to arrive. Overall, you want to wait until the risk of miscarriage drops and still leave a cushion of time before baby's arrival.
Early in pregnancy, you may enjoy deciding what furniture you ideally want to have. Heidi Murkhoff, parenting expert and author of What to Expect the First Year, recommends several key pieces of nursery furniture. Foremost is a safe crib. Antique cribs are not recommended as they rarely meet safety requirements. The crib also needs a safe mattress and bedding. Decide if the baby will only use the crib, or if a bassinet, cradle or bedside sleeper will also be used. A safe changing space is another key feature of a nursery. Many people use an ordinary dresser, or you can purchase a stand-alone changing table or a combination changing table and dresser. Also, consider buying a rocking chair or glider. Finally, decide if there is any other furniture you will need, like an armoire, to provide ample storage.
Once you have decided your baby furniture needs, decide if you want a matching set, or if you will mix and match. Where would you like to purchase the furniture from? Will you be able to pick it up immediately, or is there going to be a long shipping time? Are you the one who will be purchasing the furniture, or are there family and friends who wish to buy the baby furniture as a gift? Answers to these early questions will help you decide when to purchase the furniture.
Mothers usually decide to wait until after the first trimester to begin buying baby furniture. According to the Mayo Clinic, the risk for miscarriage greatly decreases after 12 weeks. Eighty percent of miscarriages occur during the first trimester. The second trimester is often known as the "golden period" of pregnancy. The fatigue and nausea from the first trimester have faded, and the discomforts of the third trimester haven't arrived. Therefore, according to The Bump pregnancy forums, the second trimester is often an ideal time purchase the baby furniture and then set up the nursery. This also helps ensure that everything is ready in case baby has an early arrival.
- The Bump Q and A
- Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy; Robert V. Johnson M.D. and Mary M. Murray, C.N.M. eds.; 2004
- What to Expect the First Year; Heidi Murkhoff; 2003
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