Having a baby is an exciting, life-changing moment, and one of the things you have to look forward to is designing their nursery. If this is your first child, there's the added thrill of doing it all for the first time—so exciting that shopping for diapers can seem like fun. Remember that your baby will spend several hours in this nursery, and it's where you'll experience most of their formative moments together. From changing diapers to hearing your baby's first laugh and seeing their first attempts to climb out of the crib, there's a lot of fun things to anticipate.
Even though decorating a nursery is fun, it can be an overwhelming task for a first-time parent. You don't want to spend your pregnancy trying to determine whether you need a bassinet and a crib and whether a changing table is essential. If this is your first time buying things for a baby, you're probably wondering whether you need all the accessories, like wipe warmers, diaper genies, and baby swings. You also have to think about the color palette, whether you want a specific theme or an evergreen look that you can quickly transform into another room later.
All the options may make it seem like too much to handle, but there's a way to make it a fun, easy task instead. Make a list of everything you may need before you start, and incorporate the rest slowly after the baby is born. If you want to design your dream nursery before bringing your newborn home, here are a few great ideas.
1. Invest in the right crib mattress.
The bed that your baby sleeps on may not have anything to do with whether they sleep soundly through the night. There's nothing wrong with your baby waking up several times through the night—sleepless nights are part of life with a newborn. Still, there's no reason why your baby shouldn't have the best bed you can get for them. So, start your nursery-decorating by buying a great crib, and follow that up with a comfortable crib mattress.
Consider a durable mattress that you can get custom-fitted to the sort of crib you're thinking of buying for your baby's room. Reliable mattresses from a reputable brand—like one from the Stearns and Foster mattress collection—are the best option. Make sure you consider whether you need the new mattress to have an adjustable base and what the warranty covers before making your decision.
2. Dress up your walls.
If you're planning to paint the walls of your nursery, consider using color psychology to pick the best shade for your baby. While you may think it doesn't matter much to your baby, babies are exceptionally perceptive about color. It's also important to consider texture and durability when you're picking paint or wallpaper for your nursery. You don't want rough wallpaper to scratch your baby's skin or chipped paint falling where your baby could accidentally ingest it.
Go beyond paint or wallpaper when you're decorating your baby's room and add some character to the walls. Cartoon character-themed wallpaper is excellent, but consider adding paintings, framed letters, or other wall accessories to the room. Commissioning a canvas painting or buying a ready one is a great way to perk up the nursery. You can also get a DIY canvas kit from an artist website like Paint Loose. You'll be surprised at what you can create with a canvas, a palette of watercolors, oils, or acrylics, and your newborn as inspiration.
3. Personalize your baby's room.
Whether you're shopping for curios, toys, curtains, or pillows, think about how you can personalize them to fit in with your baby room décor. A well-designed nursery deserving of space in a home-design catalog sounds good, but it isn't as cozy as a personalized space. Add a touch of familial warmth with knick-knacks from friends and family, a wall of pictures, or a customized photo-blanket.
You can get a custom activity play mat, put your baby's name up in lights on the wall, or create a custom baby mobile to hang above the crib. If you don't already have wallpaper or freshly painted walls, consider leaving one wall blank so you can create a mural on the wall for your child.
4. Make babyproof items look good.
While it's fun to focus on the aesthetics of your baby's room, remember to focus on safety as well. It's crucial to know how to keep your baby safe from accidents, whether you're in the house or outside. Before you spend too much on toys and accessories, invest in quality babyproofing products.
Remember that babyproofing doesn't have to be boring. You can customize everything from a door latch cover to a crib bumper to make it match your design theme or to look more attractive. You can also create many babyproofing items yourself. For example, consider making a wall of softness inside the crib with thin pillows or thick fabrics and foam, so your newborn isn't hurt by the bars on the side of the crib.
5. Plan to convert it into a toddler room.
You may be decorating it as a nursery now, but your baby will eventually need a more grownup room. Since not everyone can afford to update their interiors every few years, it's a good idea to ensure that things like furniture and wall color are evergreen. This way, you can switch the room around to suit your child as they grow without any major renovations.
Pick removable wall accessories, easily removable wallpaper, and consider buying a crib that has space for a larger mattress than your baby needs as a newborn. You can put up a bed frame as your baby grows old enough to sleep outside the cot and still save on having to get a new mattress immediately.
You can also build a changing table on top of a dresser instead of buying a dedicated table to hold diapers and baby products. Once your baby is potty-trained, you can still use the dresser or chest of drawers. Do the same with the pattern on your rugs, and consider ditching character-themed curtains. Instead, pick curtains in durable fabrics in a variety of different colors that will look great in a baby's room as well as a toddler's.
6. Choose fun lighting options.
A great way to add a little fun to your baby's room is to focus on the lighting. Pick overhanging lights with fun, hanging fixtures, lamps with cartoon characters on the shades, and nightlights in fun shapes. You can also have some fun with ceiling lights—buy LED lights in various shapes and colors to fix to the ceiling instead of tube lights or recessed lights. You can use light-up letters as a nightlight for your baby or get a soothing night light that doubles up as a sound machine to help your baby fall asleep faster.
7. Consider durable furnishings.
Are you already worried about all the spots and stains on your rugs, furniture, and walls? You won't have to think of any of that if you get durable furnishings. Use outdoor or washable fabrics on any furniture in the room. If you're using old furniture, add removable covers to it so you can switch them out when there's a spill. Another good idea is washable wallpaper and putting plastic sheets or mattress protectors under your bedsheets to avoid ruining the mattress.