Woman in black and white shirt assembling white crib

Now that you’re in your third trimester of pregnancy, the arrival of your little one is becoming more and more real with every passing day. It’s time to get your home ready for baby’s big debut!

Mom-to-be Brooke and her husband are excited to be adding to their little family with a baby girl due right around Thanksgiving. As the sticky summer days meander by, Brooke is busy turning a guest room into a nursery.

Brooke a mother to be

Brooke Shirakawa resides and works in Ottawa. At 26-years-old, she and her husband are expecting their second child, a little girl who will join the family right around Thanksgiving (and big brother’s 5th birthday).

Dream a Little Dream …

Brooke has a basic approach when it comes to baby’s sleep furniture. “I’m very forgiving when it comes to cribs. As long as they are safe and functional, then they’re a ‘go’ for me,” she says. “I’d like to keep the nursery fairly simple and practical, including only things I will use.”

It’s with that practicality in mind that Brooke favours a crib that also offers storage like the Solano 4-in-1 Crib with Drawer by Graco. It comes in soft and subtle pebble grey, has three adjustable mattress positions and offers the added convenience of storage with a drawer tucked beneath the mattress.

Grey crib with pullout drawer on bottom

As Brooke puts it: “I could keep things like crib bedding and changing pads and covers close and convenient for late night changes.” When you’re sleep-deprived with a new baby, having what you need at your fingertips is helpful.

For bedding, Brooke says she’s leaning toward a subtle woodland animal theme like the three-piece Nursery Crib Set by Baby’s First by Nemcor. The set is made from 100% cotton. The pattern features sweet forever friends that peak through classic stripes in soft neutral and pink colours. The comforter can also be used as a cozy play mat.

Rock-a-Bye Baby

Then there are those special hours of holding, rocking and feeding. When it comes to the kind of rocking chair Brooke is looking for, there’s no back-and-forth on this one; her mind is made up.

“A glider rocker is something I most definitely want,” she says. “We have a wood-framed one with cushions for our son, but this time I’d love a fully upholstered glider rocker. We aren’t planning on co-sleeping, and we will have her in her room early in her life so I would like something comfortable, with easy-to-clean fabric that will last into her early childhood. Breastfeeding can be challenging enough without having to battle chair-induced back pain!”

I may have found something that will fit the bill very nicely, Brooke. This chair is stylish and will transition neatly from nursery to family room in years to come. I just love the sleek design and versatility of the Annie Swivel Glider Recliner from Twinkle Twinkle. It features premium foam cushioning for added comfort. It can also glide and swivel if needed, which helps make it a top choice during feeding time.

Grey recliner in bedroom with side table

As new parents, my husband and I loved our two wooden glider chairs (we had one for the nursery and one for the family room). They lasted long after the last diaper was used and even well into our child’s high school years. Choose a rocker you’ll want to enjoy for decades like the Graco Parker Semi-Upholstered Glider Rocker and Ottoman. It’s cushioned for softness, and it’s designed to be comfy and compact. When not in use the ottoman may be tucked underneath the rocker.

Gifts and Registries

I’m lucky to have this space and an excuse to ask Brooke these questions, so I know what gifts she’ll need come October (or even before, as she and her husband continue to feather their nest). For instance, I know that the HD Wifi Baby Monitor with Audio Parent Unit is high on her wish list. It’s made by Safety 1st. Real-time video can be viewed from your smartphone (at home and while on-the-go) thanks to a feature-rich mobile app.

All this intel is great for me, but what about in-laws, grandparents, relatives, friends and co-workers who don’t know precisely what a mom-to-be like Brooke needs?

Says Brooke: “As far as gifts and a baby registry go, my recommendation is for moms to absolutely make a public list and for gift-givers is to follow it. This is mom’s chance to tell people what it is she needs.”

“Now that I’ll have two children, I prefer to be gifted items I’ll need, instead of items that people think I’ll like. If they do gift items that aren’t on the registry, a gift receipt is the best way to go,” suggests Brooke. “However, I advise against it because, as I’ve seen at work [in children’s clothing retail], moms tend to let too much time pass while they are busy preparing for or recovering from giving birth, and therefore the gift receipts pass their expiry date.”

Brooke continues: “Gift cards are also a fantastic idea because we don’t know what needs our babies will have. Will your child suffer from reflux and need a crib wedge to elevate? Will they have sensitivities to certain baby bath time products? Will breastfeeding work out for you? Will you want to buy an electric breast pump in the future? Preparing for a baby is a lot of work, and we just never truly can be fully ready. Therefore, gift cards are an excellent way to ensure mom and dad have your help in getting their baby exactly what it needs.”

Thanks, Brooke! May your third trimester be smooth sailing. We can’t wait to hear that your home has grown by two feet.

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Erin Davis is the #1 best-selling author of Mourning Has Broken: Love, Loss and Reclaiming Joy, a non-fiction memoir published by HarperCollins in 2019. Previously, she spent 30 years as morning host on top-rated 98.1 CHFI in Toronto and now lives with her husband and their little dog Molly on Vancouver Island. Erin writes a daily blog enjoyed by 12000+ readers weekly at erindavis.com, and enjoys travel, freelance voice work, keynote speaking and emceeing every chance she gets.