Written by: Isabella Caprario
It’s almost a rite of passage for parents to build out a baby’s room when expecting a child. But it can also be a source of unnecessary stress if it’s not a well-planned project.
When it comes time to create a nursery or children’s room, the limitations of time, space, and money are usually big limitations for many parents. There’s also the issue of safety and childproofing. But choosing nursery room decor and baby’s room decor you love can be a fun, rewarding, and successful undertaking even with (and sometimes even because of) those significant considerations.
If you’re thinking about creating a newborn room for your infant, read on for some great nursery room ideas, newborn baby room decorating ideas, along with our best tips for what to consider and include in your newborn room project.
How to get started
Knowing where to start can often be the biggest challenge when creating a nursery or kids’ room and childproofing your home. Ask yourself the following questions to give yourself a roadmap for how to build the best spaces for babies, toddlers, or young children.
What kind of space do you have?
The very first thing to consider is how much space you have and what room you want to transform. Confirm the following before you do anything else:
- Make sure the space is big enough for all the furniture and storage you need. If it’s not, what can you pare down?
- Make sure there’s enough light, adequate ventilation, and suitable heating and cooling in the space.
- Think about safety, for example, is the room on a second floor or higher and whether you need to put on window locks, outlet covers, or if you want to install ceiling lights to replace floor and table lamps.
- Think about the room in relation to the rest of the house. Will you be close enough to hear the baby or will you need to install a baby monitor?
What’s your budget?
The next thing to consider is cost. The sky’s the limit when it comes to creating nurseries and kids’ rooms. You can go all out with high-end baby furniture, a newborn room set, or elaborate nursery room decor, but that’s not at all necessary. If you have a budget for the basics, concentrate on key pieces first: for babies and newborns, that would mean a crib, changing table, dresser or other clothing storage, and a comfortable chair for adults, such as a rocking chair.
What kind of theme do you want?
One of the funniest things about planning out a nursery or kids’ room is choosing a theme. Is it trendy or not? Nursery room decor and baby’s room decor can be whimsical, modern, traditional, conservative, or outrageous… the options are limited only to your imagination!
Choosing nursery room colors is also a fun part of the project. You’re not limited to pink for girls and blue for boys anymore, but in general, the best colors are soft and tranquil to soothe and comfort your baby. Walls can be painted, stenciled, or wallpapered, and you can make a big and easy designstatement with charming nursery room prints and nursery room wall pictures.
Don’t forget to decorate the ceiling, too! Pro tip: choose soft furnishings and textiles like sheets, curtains, blankets, rugs, and upholstery first and match your paint colors to those fabrics.
Is your style less traditional? Read “How to Create a Gender Neutral Nursery” on MyRegistry.com.
What to consider and features to include
Once you know where the room will be and what theme you want, then you can then hone in on the design features you want to include and decorating for babies and kids. Here are some design considerations you should keep in mind:
Plan the layout before you begin
The best layout is planned in advance and works well for both you and your baby. Choose a nursery room layout that will work best for you and always consider what’s safe and practical. Don’t forget storage for all of the many items you’ll need for items like clothing, changing supplies, cutie cocoon, toys, and books.
Choose the best furniture and materials
As previously mentioned, it’s wise to focus on big items like furniture first. Choosing complete nursery room furniture sets is an easy way to get coordinated items that can often cost less when purchased together rather than individually. A newborn room set usually includes:
- crib, mini crib, or co-sleeper
- nursing or rocking chair
- changing table
- (And don’t forget the high chair, too!)
Think about furniture that can do double duty, such as a dresser that can double as a changing table. You’ll also want to consider a space-saving nursery room wall shelf with lots of storage for toys and books. Lastly, think about your child’s age and plan for them to grow into their room with cribs that convert to toddler beds and changing tables that can double as a future desk.
Not only is the furniture important, but the materials it’s made from matter, too. When possible, choose eco-friendly furniture made with natural fabrics and non-toxic materials.
Make sure the space is safe and comfortable year-round
This means you should consider your climate and how to create the best climate conditions for your little one. The ideal newborn baby room temperature and the optimal room temp for newborns are between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s important to regulate the temperature and ensure the space is cool enough in the summer and warm enough in the winter through the use of fans, air conditioning, and strategic heating. Still, safety is paramount: avoid using or installing potentially dangerous space heaters and window A/C units in nurseries, baby rooms, or kids’ rooms.
In addition to maintaining a comfortable temperature, supporting good hygiene is also an important consideration and not something you should overlook when planning out a kids’ room. That means using washable materials, embrace surfaces that are easy to clean and disinfect, and avoid using wall-to-wall carpeting if possible.
If you ask yourself, “What should the humidity level be in a newborn’s room?”, the basic answer is between 50-70%. You can lower humidity by turning up the heat or using a dehumidifier, and raise it by using an infant room humidifier.
It’s also a good idea to install a ceiling fan, if possible. In a recent study, infants who slept under a ceiling fan reduced their risk of dying from SIDS by 72%. A ceiling fan will also help regulate the newborn room temp, thereby saving on energy bills, too!
DIY your unique baby room
Consider what DIY nursery crafts you can do to add a personal touch to your new space. Better yet: if your kids are old enough, get them involved in decorating their space with projects that are age-appropriate. Not only will you have fun and put your own stamp on the decor, but it can also save you a lot of money! Painting, sorting and organizing toys, and laying out the room are all things many kids can help out with to one extent or another.
How a well-planned space will make your life easier
Creating a space that features safety, practical organization, the best materials that aren’t harmful to a newborn, and fosters good sleep and relaxing activity for your baby is the goal. A space that works for you and your baby is going to make everyone’s life easier and more enriched.
Organization: the key to useful baby room
You may not think the organization is a big deal when planning out a nursery, but that’s far from the truth! Parents can accumulate a surprising amount of baby supplies and necessities that can take over your entire home if you’re not careful about storage. Here’s how to stay organized:
- Create a system for sorting and storing clothes based on size and item type. Inexpensive drawer organizers are great for separating small baby clothing items for easy organization.
- Upgrade to a smart lighting system and make use of a newborn lighting system presets a fast and easy way to set the tone for sleep, calm, and play.
- Make clever use of dead space under beds and cribs for added storage.
Safety first: childproofing 101
It’s important to remember the unique needs of babies and kids mean that safety is paramount, which means you need to think about childproofing when planning and building out a baby’s room or nursery. It will be easier to childproof from the get-go before your baby starts crawling. In a nursery, this means you have to adapt many things, including:
- Avoid using soft and fluffy bedding such as pillows, comforters, or sheepskins under a sleeping or napping baby
- Protecting babies from corners and hard or sharp surfaces
- Avoid clothing with drawstrings
- Keep small items that are choke hazards out of baby’s reach
- Hide electrical cords behind furniture and install outlet covers on unused outlets
- Ensure your nursery has worked and tested smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- Keep hanging items like mobiles out of reach
Childproofing is a huge undertaking, so if you’re unsure, don’t have the tools needed for childproofing, or just want the peace of mind knowing your home is as safe as possible for your little one, it can often make sense to call in a pro to help childproof your home.
Relax, play, and enjoy together
Remember that your child won’t be the only one using this space: you’ll be spending a lot of time in there, too. So make sure it’s a space that’s also comfortable for adults: include comfy chairs or rockers, use good lighting, and are calming for caretakers, too. You’ll create a room that will be a place you’ll want to enjoy with your kids for years to come.
Putting it all together
When you put some time and effort into thinking about what’s best for the unique needs of you and your kids, you’ll be poised to create a fun and safe room for them. Planning ahead before you take action will also save you time and money in the long run, and will make it easier to build the nursery of your dreams.