Of all the baby preparation tasks on my list when I was pregnant, I have to admit, setting up the nursery was one of my favorites. I am not exactly talented or crafty when it comes to interior design, but something about putting all the little baby clothes in drawers and hanging photos on the walls made me feel like I was creating a space of love and warmth for my little one to come home to.
But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t stressful or overwhelming at times, especially as a first-time mom. Since then, I’ve learned that the best baby nursery is one you feel comfortable in. It’s not all about the baby, folks.
If you’re just getting started brainstorming and want to design a baby nursery that fits all of your needs, here are some baby nursery ideas to consider.
What is a Baby Nursery?
A nursery is essentially just a room for a baby. The term nursery comes from the French word “nourrir,” which means nurture. A nursery doesn’t necessarily need to be a separate room; you can think of it as any space set aside for your baby to sleep in or for storage of baby items.
If you live in a small house or apartment without a spare bedroom, or your budget is too tight to splurge on nursery decor, keep in mind that a nursery is completely optional and definitely not a newborn necessity.
But if you do have a space you’d like to use as a nursery, here are some ideas for items to include and ways to decorate.
Baby Nursery Ideas
If you’ve ever scrolled through photos of baby nurseries on Instagram, you’ve likely seen the myriad of directions you can go with decor. From choosing a theme, like woodland creatures or outer space, to simply following a color palette, nurseries can range from simple and classic to elaborate and over the top.
There is no wrong or right way to put together a nursery. It’s all about what speaks to you. Here are some baby nursery ideas to get you started.
- Run with a theme. Choosing a theme for a nursery can be a fun way to tie everything together. You can search endless ideas on social media, but some general categories include characters (Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, Harry Potter. etc.), places (mountains, beach, outer space, forest, etc.) or designs/patterns (rainbows, florals, animals, fruits, geometric shapes, etc.)
- Have fun with a color palette. Depending on your individual design preferences, a simple color palette may appeal to you more than a theme. From yellow and gray to blush and mint, you can play around with different tones and patterns.
- Keep it simple. Modern, monochromatic styles with neutral tones are all the rage in interior design these days and this style makes for a sweet and simple nursery. You can keep it classic and clean with different shades of gray or go for a bold shade of blue and accent with white. Along these same lines, the boho-style decor also continues to remain popular. You can add elements of this style with natural/rustic finishes, wooden furniture, and textured pillows.
- Make the most of small spaces. If you don’t have the space for a nursery or your baby will be sharing a room with an older sibling (or you!), you can decorate a corner of a room or even just right above the crib with a themed mobile or a unique light fixture. If you do have a separate room for a nursery, but it’s a small room, you can give the appearance of a larger space by painting the room a light color, like off-white or a light gray. You can also opt for smaller pieces, like a mini crib or bassinet.
Setting up a nursery can be fun, but just remember, it isn’t a necessity. If you don’t have the space, time or money to create a nursery, don’t sweat it.
And if you’re looking for some inspiration, here are some baby nursery ideas, straight from Pinterest—the source of all parental inspo, of course.
Luxurious Detailed Nursery
Safari Baby Nursery
Black and White Nursery
Minimalist Baby Nursery
What to Include in Your Baby Nursery
Not all baby nurseries will be built alike, but there are some basic products you’ll want to include in your baby’s nursery if possible. To narrow it down, think products that will help you hit the “big” categories like eating, sleeping, comforting, and diapering when stocking your baby nursery.
Here are some of Truly Mama’s top picks for baby nursery items.
Start with a crib
Obviously, a crib is a necessity when creating a nursery, but keep in mind that you have a lot of options for cribs. There are full-size cribs, mini cribs, and bedside bassinets to choose from, so pick the one that makes the most sense for your family and home.
You may also want to consider if you’d like to use the crib later on, like in converting it to a toddler or full-sized bed, or if you plan to have more babies to pass it on to.
Best Crib for Nurseries
Add a rug
A rug is a great way to add some creativity and fun to a room. You can layer a rug on top of carpet or place it directly on a wood floor to add dimension to a room. Plus, they can help keep a nursery clean, separate play areas and contain spills if they happen.
Best Rug for Nurseries
Stock a bookshelf
Children’s books are one of the sweetest parts of a nursery and with so many adorable bookshelf designs out there, you’re sure to find a creative way to display your favorites. Some bookshelves can be hung directly on the wall for easy book access. (Bonus: This style also frees up space on the floor and doubles as wall decor.)
Other options for book storage include items you wouldn’t think of as shelves, like a utility cart, that can grow with your child into many more uses down the road. Bookshelves can also pull double-duty for toy storage and even clothes, so they’re definitely a handy nursery item to have.
Let there be light
Lamps and night lights are great items to have in a nursery, especially if you are breastfeeding and stumbling into the room a few times a night to scoop baby up and feed them.
Look for a light that’s bright enough for you to use during those middle-of-the-night nursing sessions, but also dim enough that it won’t disturb your baby’s sleep.
Glide away in a glider
A nursery glider is a classic baby nursery essential that definitely comes in handy when trying to calm a fussy infant or soothe a toddler back to sleep. Plus, it’s ideal for feeding a baby and keeping you comfortable at the same time.
This one is a favorite among parents due to its tailored modern design and unmatched comfort. It also has one of the highest weight capacities at 300 pounds and the metal base allows for a smooth and gentle 360-swivel.
Keep baby comfortable
A humidifier may not exactly be high on the list of cute and trendy items to add to a baby nursery, but it’s one you’ll probably be glad you invested in, especially during the colder winter months. A humidifier adds moisture back into the air and can soothe irritated nasal passages and dry throats.
The Fridababy 3-in-1 humidifier is a beloved choice among parents. This humidifier releases a powerful cool mist for up to 12 hours, diffuses essential oils and operates as a color-changing night light.
Truly Mama Takeaway
Setting up your baby’s nursery can be fun and exciting, and if you’re a creative person, a great outlet for channeling any pregnancy energy you might have (especially in that second trimester or when nesting hits!)
What to include in your baby’s nursery and how to decorate it is totally up to you, but there are some essentials that can make your life easier, like a glider and a humidifier.
Keep in mind too that a nursery is not a necessity, so if you’re working with a small space or don’t have a separate room at all, rest assured your baby won’t notice or care.
You can always choose rooming-in with a bedside bassinet or mini crib and move your baby to a bedroom later on. The important thing is keeping both of you comfortable—and getting as much as sleep as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should I start setting up a baby nursery?
Some parents choose to do this early in pregnancy before they are dealing with third-trimester discomfort, while some might even wait until after the baby is born. The second trimester is also a popular time since it’s when most moms-to-be are feeling their best.
What do you need in a baby nursery?
You don’t really need a baby nursery at all, but if you are going to have one, including a crib, glider, some kind of storage unit, and a humidifier are good essentials to start with.
What colors are good for babies?
Soothing neutrals like gray and white are good choices. Softer pastels, like pink, blue, and green can also be good. Try to stay away from colors that are too bold or bright as these can be harsh on your baby’s eyes.
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