Your baby nursery is a truly magical place, and you and your bub will spend a lot of time here in the near future! If you have space it’s def worthwhile setting one up in your home.
But how to get started when decorating your baby nursery? Things get a bit overwhelming, especially for first-time parents.
To help you out, we have reached out to experienced Moms and Dads, interior designers, nurses etc. We asked them for their ONE tip when decoring a baby nursery.
Without further ado, here are 17 tips to decorate your baby nursery.
1) Fill your baby’s nursery with warmth
“I’ve always been pretty hands-on as a parent to the point that I really take my time in making sure that my child feels the best at home. When it comes to decorating nurseries or any room for that matter, you want to make sure that your decorations and overall theme radiate the kind of energy you want the people staying in there would feel. That’s why it’s best for nurseries to have great lighting, organized and simple. Making sure that your baby’s nursery is filled with warmth will definitely create the loving atmosphere you want your nursery to have.”
2) Add decoration details using wallpaper
“Using wallpaper in baby nursy decor is an interesting tip for parents. The stores work with very different options from different children’s models – with that, the choice can be very difficult. Therefore, remember to consider your other desires for space, preventing this item from attracting all attention or bringing imbalance to the environment. The ideal is to use the paper only in decoration details.
For example, placing a strip with marine prints in a space painted in white or light blue. That way, the wall is fun, without bringing weight to the other elements chosen. It is possible to make various compositions using paints and wallpaper. But don’t forget the lightness of the colours. Focusing too much on painting or pasting decoration on the entire wall can leave the nursery full and uninteresting.”
3) Choose a theme (and stick to it)
“An initial step that helps a lot in the task of combining several objects in the same space is the choice of a theme. This has even become a very common attitude among parents, due to the ease and comfort it offers. However, deciding on a theme also involves some risks. For example, it is necessary to be very careful not to fill the nursery with repetitive things, which leave the environment heavy and with “too much information”.
Thus, each choice related to the main point must be made carefully. In general, the theme chosen for baby nursery decor comes from some family preference – like a Disney story they like or some striking character for the couple. It is also possible to take advantage of items that you already have: an old toy or an object that decorates the house can be the inspiration you need.”
4) Give the walls and ceiling an interesting spark
“A baby’s vision improves and widens from a very young age, so it is incredibly important that the things they begin to focus on first will contribute positively to their development, enhance and facilitate their awareness.
My number one tip would be to give the walls, and especially the CEILING, something for the baby to focus on, not just plain colors, no matter how soothing they may be (another very important consideration).
Decorate the ceiling with brightly coloured stars, shapes – squares, circles, triangles – flowers, cartoon characters, or stylized animals. Characters from nursery rhymes are a particularly good option – as you can associate them with the nursery rhymes themselves as the baby grows.”
– Leo Young, Editor @ OptimizedFamily.com
5) Don’t forget about yourself
“When designing your nursery, remember to give yourself some space. Don’t overcrowd the room with several large pieces of furniture. Parents want to have space for floor time and to walk around when the newborn is fussy. While toys boxes and swings are fun, prioritized space for the crib and changing table. No one enjoys crashing their side into the edge of a dresser at 3 am.”
– Elizabeth Malson, President @ US Nanny Institute
6) Don’t be afraid to tackle nursery projects yourself
“Don’t be afraid to tackle nursery projects by yourself. While discretion is advised when it comes to getting up on ladders and painting walls, you’d be surprised what you can accomplish even when you’re expecting. Ask for help when you need it, but putting your personal stamp on the nursery will help you feel prepared and satisfy those natural nesting urges. You’re going to be spending a lot of time in this space, so you might as well make it your own. That is, his or her own….”
– Erin Devine, Mom of 2 and blogger at Top Shelf DIY
7) Resist the urge to cram
“Most new moms will be eager to swamp the nursery with super cute items, toys, wall hangings, night lights… Not to mention grandmas, aunts and other relatives, each of whom will want to contribute, hoping that their gift will turn out to be the baby’s favorite!
So my ultimate tip is to resist the urge to cram loads of baby stuff into the nursery. To make your life easier, you should do the one thing that you don’t want to – declutter! You only really need three items for your baby’s nursery: a crib, a nursing chair, and a (smallish) dresser that is going to double as a changing table. Before you know it, a gazillion different items will make their way into the nursery anyway, and you’ll end up with piles of diapers, clothes, pacifiers, toys and bottles all over the place.
I learned this lesson the hard way, and I had to learn it twice. I wanted to have a bassinet, two shelves for all the cute baby books and toys, as well as a changing table. These furniture pieces didn’t help me in the long run. On the contrary – each of them is another chance to trip over or bump into when you’re trying to put your baby to sleep at 3 am.”
– Stephanie Thompson, Mom of 2 and Founder of PregnancyLoop
8) Think ahead
“My biggest tip when it comes to decorating a baby’s nursery is to think ahead about what will make things easier on you as a parent in the middle of the night, rather than just what looks pretty. When you’re trying to soothe a crying newborn in the middle of the night and are exhausted, you want to be sure that everything you need is not only close by, but easy to access when you’re running on empty. Are the dresser drawers easy to open? How about the trashcan you chose? Are extra diapers and wipes close by in case you’ve run out? How about extra baby clothing in case of a surprise blow out? Be sure that your nursery set up will make things as easy as possible in those crazy moments!”
Siobhán Alvarez-Borland, Mom of 2 and Writer @ Mimosas & Motherhood
9) Add a beautiful wall decal
“Decorate the wall behind your baby’s crib with a beautiful wall decal. Etsy sells some spectacular watercolor ones that look just like murals. Not only does this make for a magical nursery, but it’s also much safer than hanging hard frames or name signs above the crib. (Save those for another wall!)”
Lauren Levy, San-Francisco-based Mom and Founder of AdensMom
10) Add a piggy bank
“As a mom who is so very relieved to be getting my child through college debt-free, I recommend incorporating a piggy bank into the nursery decor as a natural reminder to save in advance for the child’s future.
My husband and I were still paying back tens of thousands in student loan debt when our son arrived and we were determined to find a way to have a better outcome for him. As we look back with pride at what we’ve now accomplished (our son will graduate in June 2021 with no student loan debt), we can say with certainty that small amounts can add up and reminders to save, like a well placed piggy bank in the child’s nursery or bedroom, can make a meaningful difference. That same piggy bank also helped us to teach our son about the value of saving and how to accomplish big goals with small consistent steps over time.”
11) Personalise the baby nursery
“A nursery is your baby’s first home, so it has to be memorable. You want the space to be inviting, calming, and a fun atmosphere because this is where the baby will make a lot of memories. One tip I’d suggest to parents when decorating their nursery, is personalizing the room with pictures of family, friend’s and pets. Consider adding a personalized paint by numbers canvas of a special memory the baby will one day notice and get to admire.
You’re able to personalize it by uploading your own picture and choosing the canvas size. Acrylic paint and brushes are also included in the kit, so all that’s left to do is paint the masterpiece and then it’s ready to be displayed on a bookcase next to your child’s keepsakes, or hang it on the wall to exhibit.
It’s also an affordable way to paint memories no matter the age or experience. Displaying this in a nursery is sure to be a statement piece.”
12) Use washable wallpaper
“If you wish to decorate the walls, do not use traditional paint. It’s better to put up washable wallpaper because the baby and everything that comes along with it will lead to messy walls. It is better to prepare for this with beautiful washable wallpapers.”
13) Be smart with the space you have
“If your nursery space is small, focus on furniture that can do double duty. A changing table is awfully cute, but it’s not necessary. Purchase a simple changing pad instead, and store it on the end of the baby’s dresser. The changing pad can be relocated for changings quite easily.”
– Whitney @ Mama Manages
14) Use soft lighting for your baby nursery
Decorating a new baby’s nursery deserves a great deal of careful thought – this is where your precious one will grow and experience so much that is new and fundamental to their development.
My Number One tip would be about lighting. The baby needs to be able to see as their vision develops and widens. Strong or bright light will be harsh on young eyes (and brains); too dim will impede the baby’s field of vision – which will grow daily by increments.
So soft, but clear lighting – warm light, not blue/white bulbs – and translucent curtains that will filter out bright daylight but allow enough light in to enable the baby to see.
Dave Pedley, Proud Stay-at-home Dad and Editor @ YourCub.com
15) Think in terms of functionality
“The best thing you could do to decorate your nursery is to think in terms of functionality. Like placing the diaper genie by the changing table, having burp cloths by your breastfeeding basket and of course having the sound machine in the opposite side from where the baby is sleeping.”
– Rosaura Rodriguez, Mom Blogger @ Solutions Mommy
16) Invest in sturdy furniture that can be multi-purpose
“A good investment for a baby’s nursery is a chest of drawers that can also be used as a nappy changing station when baby is small.
There are chests of drawers that have changing tops built in or get one to suit the decor and put a changing pad on top. This ensures you have all your changing needs in the drawers and close at hand.
Once your little one can roll over, however, it is no longer safe to use as a changing station… But the chest of drawers now becomes a perfect store for clothes and bedding for years to come!”
– Paula McLaren, Norland Nurse NNEB RSH
17) Add organisation to your nursery
“Babies while tiny sure have a lot of stuff! Here are a few ways to add organization to the nursery so baby’s clothes, accessories, gear, toys are organized and you can actually “see” the overall design and theme vs. a room of clutter.
Maximizing your space by ensuring that your nursery furniture also offers storage is one effective way to reduce clutter. For example, a nursery ottoman that opens up to house stuffed animals or books.
Use closet dividers such as a a different color hanger to see different months/sizes at a glance. It makes it so much easier to pick out your baby’s clothes! You can also use different baskets for the same purpose, each basket is for a different age and functions as storage until baby grows into that size at which point you can hang the items instead.
Because baby clothes don’t take up a lot of room, a good way to maximize space in a nursery closet is by hanging multiple levels of clothing bars, adding cubbies, drawers or shelving. That way you have a place for baby’s shoes, foldable items, and even gear or toys.
Baskets are your friend. Add decorative baby storage baskets, boxes, or cubes to help with organizing your baby’s accessories, great for toys, books, diapers, and much more.
Use vertical space. Adding a long shelf near the top of one of the nursery walls to store, for example, baby’s books (especially ones he or she is not ready for yet), is a good use of space that normally does not get used.
Make sure you make use of the space on the backside of the door. A shoe organizer is a great option to store onesies, bibs, changing table items and other small baby things. It’s an easily accessible area and you can keep like items together in an organized way.
If a separate baby closet is not possible, one easy way to get the storage benefits while still maintaining a serene feel is to hang full-length nursery-themed curtains from the ceiling in front of the shelving — just slide them closed, and all of your storage will disappear.
Adding a corner hammock is an ideal way to store baby’s stuffed animals while still having them in sight so baby can choose which cuddly friend they want to play with in the moment. Bedroom corners are typically unused so this is a great way to maximize your space.”
– Marty Basher, Designer and Home Improvement Expert @ Modular Closets