Nursery Design: Tips to Consider When Preparing for a Baby

Written by: L. Elizabeth Forry



Time to read 7 min

Designing your nursery when you’re expecting a new baby is exciting and fun, but it can also be overwhelming if you’re not sure where to begin. Below, we’ve written up a step-by-step guide on how to kick off and get through the design process. Read on for the top tips on designing the ideal nursery!

Find a Concept

The first step in planning for your nursery is deciding on a theme or concept with your partner. There are many ways to go about researching and choosing your main theme.


For example, some couples browse online for ideas, while others decide on a color scheme first. Try using websites such as Pinterest to search for and compile nursery ideas.


It is beneficial to start with a focal point and build your baby’s room around a particular piece, such as an area rug, glider, or wall decals. Having a central piece or idea will help focus your process.

For example, maybe you love the idea of a nature-themed nursery, or perhaps you are beachgoers and want to incorporate your love of the ocean into the room.


Once you’ve decided on a theme or focal point, choose a color palette. Then, begin by adding other ideas and pieces to your design concept. Remember, you are designing a room for a baby, so it is best to keep the design simple yet engaging.


To add some character, consider adding decals or engaging artwork to your nursery walls. These pieces can give your little one something to look at and entertain them while their vision develops.

Explore The Nursery

Start Building

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and unsure where to start, consider using a mood board to gather ideas. Mood boards can be digital renderings or a combination of photos, drawings, fabric scraps, or even paint color cards.


Once you have your basic theme decided, it is time to purchase your basic nursery decor. First, you’ll need furniture pieces like a changing table, crib, rocker or glider, and dresser. The neutral colors of the Nurture& Glider and Glider+ work well in any space, and The Swivel is ideal for small spaces.

The Glider

Once you have your nursery furniture in place, you can begin painting, hanging window treatments, and adding additional decor. If you are painting, plan ahead, so the room has plenty of time to air out before the baby arrives. You may also want to consider non-toxic paints to use for the room as well.


A final tip when looking at nursery themes is to consider the space available. It is important to avoid clutter, especially if you have a small nursery.


For example, your changing table must have everything within reach while keeping the crib far enough away from the changing table to prevent your baby from reaching potentially dangerous items.

Nursery Design Dos

Choose textiles before paint

When working in interior design, it is always best to choose textiles before paint colors. Then, once you have your furniture and color scheme in place, you can bring paint color samples to the room to see what works best. The lighting in the room may affect how colors appear, so it is always best to view paint samples in the actual room.

Decorate the ceiling

Consider using wall decals on the ceiling above your baby’s crib. These easy-to-apply DIY decals are an excellent way to entertain your baby during those late-night wake-ups. The upside of using decals is that they are removable and won’t damage walls.


If you are renting or don’t want to worry about a major room makeover as your child ages, decals are the perfect option to add some personality!

Build eco-friendly nursery

Unfortunately, many baby toys and paints used in furniture contain toxic or harmful chemicals. Consider using green products as well as purchasing an eco-friendly crib. All of the materials used to make Nurture& products are non-toxic and baby-safe.

Create a nursing station and sanitation station

When considering design tips for your nursery, it is recommended to have a dedicated space for sanitation and feeding. There will be more late-night feedings than you can count, so part of your perfect nursery should be a comfortable place to nurse or bottle-feed.


‍The Glider and Glider+ both have power recline, adjustable headsets, and built-in USB chargers, making them a comfortable and convenient place to relax while feeding your baby.

Keep storage in mind

One essential part of any kid’s room is storage. You will need a safe place to store clothing, supplies, and toys. Large, soft baskets are ideal for storing books and toys and prevent accidental entrapment.


If using a changing table and dresser combo, use the top drawer to store extra diapers, wipes, diaper cream, etc. To babyproof, you can place child safety latches on the drawers to prevent your child from pinching fingers or getting into supplies.

Leave room to grow

While it seems impossible to imagine your baby girl or boy as a full-blown toddler, it will happen in a blink of an eye. Therefore, you should think long-term when designing your nursery.


Look at cribs that convert into toddler beds. Also, consider purchasing gender-neutral nursery pieces like a Nurture& glider that stays timeless or could be repurposed in your home decor as a piece of living room furniture.

Say yes to an accent piece

Interior designers recommend “saying yes” to an accent piece such as an oversized stuffed animal or an accent wall with old-fashioned wallpaper.


Perhaps a mural of the New York skyline or a wall decal of a map of the United States. All of these statement pieces work just as well in a baby boy nursery or a girl’s room and provide a pop of personality.

Nursery Design Don'ts

Neglecting your windows

Windows are great for letting in natural light and providing your nursery with a cherry, sunny disposition; however, all that light can make it difficult for your baby to nap or fall asleep. So add blackout curtains or cord-free blinds to block out unwanted light.

Using harsh lightning

Along with sunlight, harsh lighting can be your enemy when trying to get your baby to sleep. If possible, add a dimmer switch to your nursery to control light levels. In addition, opt for bulbs with natural lighting effects.

Forgetting the nightlight

A nightlight is an essential piece of nursery decor. Soft, gentle light can keep your baby calm when they wake up late at night by providing a comfortable glow that allows them to recognize their surroundings.


A baby who recognizes where they are and is safe, especially as they begin learning how to sleep through the night, is less likely to cry and wake up mom and dad!


A nightlight also allows you to enter the room without turning on additional lights, especially for the middle of the night diaper changes, keeping the room’s atmosphere calm and sleepy.

Waiting to baby-proof

Before you know it, your adorable baby will be walking and then running. So it is never too early to begin baby-proofing. It is recommended that you start child-proofing before your baby is even born. Waiting until your baby is here and you are a sleep-deprived parent facing a host of new challenges makes it more likely that you will miss a crucial step.


When child-proofing, make sure you secure all cabinets and doors, put all cords and wires out of baby’s reach, and fix all heavy pieces of furniture to the wall, including televisions.

Forgetting to stock necessities

Before your baby is born is the best time to stock up on necessities. Your third trimester is a great time to get all that last-minute shopping completed. 


Make sure you have plenty of diapers, wipes, diaper ointment, etc.


You should also have clothing in different sizes since you won’t know how big your baby is until they arrive!

Waiting until the last minute

A major no-no is waiting until the last minute to put your nursery together and organization. Furniture takes time and patience to put together, and you don’t want to be caught off guard by a baby who decides to arrive early!


Your baby shower is the ideal opportunity to ask for some of the items needed for your nursery, so make sure you fill up your registry list with all the needed supplies!


Once you have a central scheme in place with your partner, begin by gathering your ideas on a mood board and put together a checklist of your must-have items. Keep in mind the size of your room as you begin your design plan, and our recommended list of dos and don'ts as you finalize your nursery design.

Shop the baby furniture essentials you need to care for your baby on Nurture&. Click here to shop now.

L. Elizabeth Forry

L. Elizabeth Forry

L. Elizabeth Forry is an Early Childhood Educator with fifteen years of classroom teaching experience. She earned a Master of Science in Early Childhood Education from The University of North Dakota and has a Bachelor of Arts in English and one in Music from Lebanon Valley College. 


She has taught children in Japan, Washington D.C., Chicago, and suburban Maryland. She is trained as a reading therapist, has a TEFL certification, and has done extensive work with children regarding mental health, social-emotional development, gender development.