Decorating the nursery can be exciting, especially if you’re a first-time parent. But, while other parents will offer you advice (whether you ask for it or not!), ultimately, all aspects of the nursery decor will be your decision.
With this in mind, beyond planning a nursery color scheme and buying cute baby furniture, it’s important to prioritize safety and comfort – both for your baby and for you. After all, it might be your baby’s room, but you’re sure to spend a lot of time in there too!
Before you splurge on a bassinet or brush on that bold paint color, make sure to read our top tips for designing a nursery.
1. Go for Neutral Colors
While many parents like to choose a color theme and stick to it, going too matchy-matchy for your nursery decor can end up looking contrived and twee. That said, bold prints and bright colors can often be too over-stimulating for a newborn baby’s room.
Instead, we recommend a neutral color palette. Newborns find a room decorated in hues like buttermilk, cream, soft grey, and light beige easier to sleep in. Muted tones also offer the perfect base for adding pops of color with stuffed toys, blankets, and other temporary design elements.
What’s more, neutrals lend themselves to a convertible nursery concept much better than deeper hues. This way, as your little one grows, they’ll be able to introduce their favorite colors and objects into the room without you having to redecorate.
2. Prioritize Safety
While your head might be full of color palettes and baby shower gifts, the most important consideration when designing a nursery is safety.
Babies are very curious and determined, and they often learn to open drawers and climb up to reach things a lot sooner than first-time parents might realize. To avoid having to change the nursery decor around every time your baby picks up a new skill, aim to baby-proof their room from the offset.
This means covering sharp corners, installing drawer locks, and anchoring furniture to the wall. And, while you may want to keep items like scissors and medicines within easy reach for your own convenience, make sure that they’re hidden away from baby’s view and reach.
Lighting and heating also contribute to the safety of the room as well as how well your baby sleeps there. Hot and stuffy nurseries can increase the risk of SIDS, so make sure your baby’s room is well-ventilated all year round. And, while babies often sleep better in dark rooms, installing an LED night light can help make those 3 am feeds and diaper changes a lot safer for you.
3. Choose Adaptable Baby Furniture
The key to designing a convertible nursery is choosing baby furniture that adapts to your baby’s growing size and needs.
Mini cribs and bassinets can look adorable, but cute soon becomes cramped when your baby outgrows these temporary sleep solutions. Instead, opt for a crib that is big enough for your baby to use for several years. Many also come with removable sides so you can turn it into a toddler bed with ease. And, the standard size mattress that comes with a larger crib also means you won’t have to splash out on a whole new set of crib sheets after a few months either.
The same goes for any other baby furniture in your child’s nursery. A changing table is often safer and more convenient than changing diapers on the floor, on a bed, or on top of a chest. But, the smart choice is a changing table that converts into a child’s desk. You won’t regret making the space for such a bulky piece if it also serves as your child’s homework space for at least their first few years of school.
4. Cover the Floor
Once you view these baby loungers, you’ll see that they offer the perfect solution for those times when you want your little one close but need your hands free. Setting your baby down in different places around your home also helps stimulate them during awake times.
When your baby is a little older, however, feel free to place them on the floor for optimal exploring and transitioning. Of course, whether the nursery floor is carpeted or wooden, covering it with soft rugs is the best way to protect both your baby and your floor.
A soft floor covering in the nursery allows babies to start tummy time, transition to crawling, and then practice walking in safety. And, throwing down machine-washable cotton-weave mats and faux sheepskin rugs avoids your pristine carpet getting ruined with accidents and ‘art experiments’.
5. Make Room for an Armchair
If you’ve scoured the internet for nursery decor inspiration, you’ve likely seen a lot of nurseries with an armchair tucked into the corner. But beyond being a stylish design choice, an armchair is a very practical element to include when designing a nursery.
An armchair serves as a place for you to nurse your baby during the night while they’re small, offering a comfortable and convenient solution for all you sleepy moms out there. Later, it becomes the perfect spot to enjoy reading stories to your baby, or for giving them a bottle before bed.
That’s not to say that the armchair has to be all function and no form. This is a great piece for introducing a subtle hint of color within your neutral scheme. Or, you can throw a couple of bright cushions on the chair for added comfort and visual interest.
Design Tips for Planning a Nursery
Planning a nursery means so much more than picking out baby furniture and deciding on a color palette. It means carving out a special place in your home for your future baby and the child they will grow into.
With this in mind, prioritizing your baby’s comfort and safety is the best way to ensure that the nursery decor is as stylish and cozy – but also as practical and adaptable – as possible.
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