Welcome to Krrbside Questions, a column created solely to answer your queries about living local and being the good neighbor we know you all are. First up with some super helpful advice is Jett Superior, recently featured in our Member Spotlight. This Southern lover of all things secondhand, vintage and handmade has what she calls “crackerjack ingenuity” and a knack for redoing roadside furniture. Have a burning question? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll make sure to get it in the right hands.
Q: We just had a baby boy but never got around to setting up the nursery in the nine months before around-the-clock nursing. What’s absolutely necessary since we don’t have a ton of room or time?
A: Many people do a sort of elaborate staging of a baby’s environment far before they’re born. I know of one woman, I kid you not, who was already planning her nursery two years in advance of having children. However, I think that certain things can be over-planned and certainly overdone. The truth is, no matter how well-prepared you think you are, you’re always kind of behind the eightball when you have a kid.
I think the key for you in particular is really just to keep it simple and streamlined, then trade up as necessary. Buy one large thing, and when your baby is ready to move on to the next stage of development, get rid of it and bring a new piece in. For instance, for their first couple of months my kids got shucked into a sturdy seagrass basket with a custom fitted cushion for naps; it was super-portable and I had total basket envy. I think that if someone made one of those things grown-sized I would lie happily in it for many, many hours every day and never do anything tedious or unnecessary like put on pants or frown. At night the basket attached to a stand and became a bassinet. When our babies outgrew the bassinet, they graduated to a small pack and play before moving on to a convertible crib later.
My definitive starter list as to what I believe you need right now? That’s easy:
A chest of drawers with changing table top to serve as your Baby Central.
A wheeled bassinet or small pack and play crib.
Baby monitor. Even if your place is smallish, you need to be able to listen closely to baby when your little one is sleeping.
A lidded container for disposing of soiled diapers.
Stuff to fill up those drawers in that changing table including books, children’s fever reducer/pain reliever, diaper rash ointment, lotion, thermometer and multiple crib sheets/bedding for the baby.
If you have the space and funds to invest in a decent rocking chair? Do it. Rocking your baby is a special kind of magic that every parent should get to experience.
Q: I have an office chair at home that’s dangerous to my learning-to-teeter toddler. Any ideas on how to demobilize my chair? I am including a pic.
A: Thanks for thinking to include a picture! It doesn’t tell me everything I need to know about that chair, but it tells me enough. First, it has potential, because the legs are low-profile and many, meaning that it will be a pretty stable chair when you de-wheel it. Doing so should be a fairly straightforward task, by the looks of it. Just flip the chair on its side and pull the casters out. You’ll want to attach a circle of cork or felt where the casters were inserted so as to protect your floors until you get to put the casters back in. If the chair seat swivels, there are two ways of approaching it. First, check the underside of the seat. Some swivel chairs have the option to lock the seat so as to keep it fixed. If that’s not the case with this particular chair, then the only option you have is to keep it tucked firmly under your desk when not in use, or placed into a corner so as to anchor the back. I hope this helps, and Godspeed to you and your wobbly tot!