100 Decorating Tips for a Healthy & Happy Baby Nursery

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July 27th, 2010

There are so many things to do when preparing to welcome a baby into your family, and creating a healthy, happy nursery is one of the most important ones. Your nursery should be a balance of style, functionality, and most importantly, safety. Here, we’ll show you 100 tips for creating a healthy, happy nursery for your baby.

General

Keep these tips in mind when putting your nursery together.

  1. Match your decor: Think about the colors and decor of pieces so that they will fit into your decor for many years to come.
  2. Be as simple as possible: Start with a pared-down look.
  3. Mix and match retro pieces: Make your nursery timeless by mixing and matching retro pieces.
  4. Choose adjustable lighting: A soft, adjustable light will be easy on your baby’s eyes.
  5. Create a calming atmosphere: Use soothing colors and soft tones to create a sanctuary.
  6. Make items mobile: Look for furniture on casters and interactive art that can be changed and moved.
  7. Choose a unisex color scheme: Be prepared for multiple children with a unisex color scheme.
  8. Focus on the child: Hang pictures at your child’s level and use decor that encourages exploration.
  9. Don’t try to do it all: Little details like photographs and lamps can be added after the baby is born.
  10. Create zones: Make a sleep area, nursing area, and changing area.
  11. Value functionality over style: You’ll be glad that your nursery works better than it looks.
  12. Be personal: Add a personal touch with old items from your childhood and photos of you as a baby.
  13. Add personality with soft furniture: Blankets, pillows, and lamp shades are inexpensive to replace and can add color.

Furniture

These tips will guide you for nursery furniture choices.

  1. Arrange the larger furniture first: Before adding small furniture like tables and rocking chairs, arrange your large furniture like the crib and dresser.
  2. Reupholster nursery rockers: See how you can create a newly reupholstered nursery rocker with this tutorial.
  3. Don’t be afraid of big furniture: Some nice large pieces of furniture can make a small room feel larger.
  4. Buy full size furniture: Avoid baby-sized furniture that will be outgrown quickly.
  5. Get a comfy nursery chair: Invest in a comfortable nursery chair.
  6. Use a love seat: If a love seat works for you, it can take the place of a comfy chair and even give you a place to nap.

Art & Decorations

Create fun, functional art and decor for your nursery.

  1. Birch tree mural: Get inspired with this birch tree mural.
  2. Create a border with your child’s feet: Stamp a border around the room of your child’s footprints as they grow.
  3. Action figures as hooks: Use old action figures as hooks in your baby’s nursery.
  4. Leave room for imagination: Use items that can be many different things in child’s play.
  5. Hang plenty of mirrors: Mirrors can help spread light throughout the room and create the illusion of spaciousness.
  6. Frame pages from books: Look through children’s books for photos that you can frame.
  7. Decorate the ceiling: Give baby something to look at while they lay in the crib.
  8. Frame a family tree: Use a family tree as an opportunity to talk about your family’s history.
  9. Make a mobile with photos: Create a photomobile to familiarize your baby with loved ones.
  10. Use wall decals: With wall decals, you can be ready to change your wall designs in a flash.

Storage

These tips will help you maximize your nursery’s storage.

  1. Get a crib drawer: Keep linens handy with an under the crib drawer.
  2. Use a laundry basket: Many laundry baskets on the market can double as toy storage.
  3. Get a large bookshelf: With a big bookshelf, you’ll be able to store books, toys, and more.
  4. Pick up lots of baskets: Baskets make great catch-alls and are useful for organization.
  5. Use shrinking bags: Shrink bags like Space Bags can help you store all of the too small or too large clothing items you’ll have.
  6. Add an extra level to your closet: Put in another rod in your closet to store more items at once.
  7. Use a shoe organizer for stuffed animals: Keep stuffed animals in a shoe organizer.
  8. Get a dust ruffle: With a dust ruffle on the crib, you can put extra storage underneath.
  9. Get a closet organizer: Hide your storage behind closed doors with the help of a closet organizer.
  10. Use boxes beneath the bed: Store clothing and toys in under the bed boxes.
  11. Hang a wall hammock: Store plush animals in a wall hammock.
  12. Get portable storage: Get storage systems that can move around on wheels.
  13. Look for double duty furniture: Benches or tables can double as storage chests.
  14. Make room for keepsake boxes: Put together keepsake boxes for all of the little things you just can’t get rid of.

Comfort

These tips will make your nursery as comfortable as possible.

  1. Put the crib away from light: Keep the crib where it won’t receive direct sunlight.
  2. Use a cool air humidifier: Instead of a vaporizer, use a cool air humidifier to avoid burns.
  3. Leave space on the floor: Keep a space on your floor where you and the baby can play.

Bedding

These tips will make your bedding functional and stylish.

  1. Quick zip crib sheets: Use quick zip sheets to make fast bedding changes.
  2. Embrace patterns: Use a few coordinating prints and patterns to make a space feel larger.

Saving Money

Use these tips to save money on your nursery.

  1. Decorate with paint: Paint is one of the cheapest ways to add interest to a room.
  2. Repaint items: Don’t be afraid to repaint items.
  3. Hit yard sales: So many people have nursery items to offload for cheap at yard sales-just make sure they’re up to current safety standards.
  4. Ask for hand me downs: Tell people you’re on the hunt for a dresser or bookshelves and you just might get hand me downs for free.
  5. Make things yourself: Create your own glider covers, curtains, blankets, or art.
  6. Pick what you can stick with: Look for items that can last past infancy and into childhood.
  7. Shop the outlet stores: Find big deals on items with minor flaws.
  8. Look on Craigslist: Find slightly used items at a great price on Craigslist.

Green

Check out these tips to build a green nursery.

  1. Consider hard floors: Hardwoods from sustainably managed forests can help you avoid the mold, dust mites, and allergens of carpet.
  2. Finish painting early and air out fumes: Avoid potentially harmful fumes by finishing painting 8 weeks before the baby comes and open windows to release the fumes.
  3. Pick up used furniture: Used furniture is more likely to have released all of its harmful chemical fumes by the time it reaches your baby.
  4. Use green products: Non-toxic cleaning products and toiletries can go a long way to going green in the nursery.
  5. Refurbish furniture: Reclaim old furniture as your own.
  6. Consider organic mattresses: Organic mattresses with organic wool are safe and flame retardant.
  7. Install energy saving lights and bulbs: Light fixtures and light bulbs should be energy saving.
  8. Use low-VOC paint: Paint your nursery green with low-VOC paint.
  9. Update your old furniture: Give old furniture new life with new handles and knobs or a fresh coat of paint.
  10. Look for eco-friendly furniture materials: Materials like bamboo are safest for baby furniture.
  11. Buy domestic: Buy a crib that’s close to home to preserve energy.
  12. Stick to organic cotton or bamboo: Look for organic bedding when choosing sheets for your baby.
  13. Display mementos in a shadow box: Create a shadow box with your baby’s favorite clothing, toys, and more.

Cleaning

Follow these tips for a clean and healthy nursery.

  1. Contain messes: Dispose of diapers and other waste in a special place to avoid spreading germs all over the nursery.
  2. Use disinfectants: Disinfectants can kill germs when used correctly.
  3. Change the mattress sheet regularly: Leaky diapers and other accidents can dirty a mattress sheet fast, so wash yours daily or every few days.
  4. Create a dedicated changing area: Minimize the spread of diaper germs with a dedicated area.
  5. Clean the diaper pail: Don’t let bacteria build up in the diaper pail-change it out and wipe it down almost every day.
  6. Keep bottles away from germ spots: Baby bottles should be kept away from places like the changing table.
  7. Air out the room: Leave your nursery’s windows open for about 15 minutes each day.
  8. Reduce pet access: Keep pets out of the nursery to cut down on germs and pet hair.
  9. Sanitize toys: Throw plush toys in the washer, and bleach, boil, or use disinfectant on hard toys.

Safety

Follow these tips to keep your nursery safe.

  1. Check your crib mattress for gaps: Be sure that baby can’t slip in between the mattress and crib.
  2. Replace door stops with removable caps: Children can choke on door stop caps, so be sure to remove or replace them.
  3. Check for decorative crib hazards: Elevated corner posts and decorative cutouts can be hazardous to a baby.
  4. Install window guards: Window guards can help protect your baby from falling out of a window.
  5. Double check hardware: Test hardware on your crib and other furniture to make sure that it’s secure.
  6. Keep plastic bags out of the baby’s room: Reduce the risk of suffocation by keeping all plastic bags out of your baby’s room.
  7. Use a firm, flat mattress: Put your baby to sleep on its back on a firm, flat mattress.
  8. Avoid loose floor rugs: Loose floor rugs can be a tripping hazard, especially if you have to get up often in the night.
  9. Store hygiene items on a high shelf: Keep baby powders, medicines, and more up where children can’t touch them.
  10. Cover electrical outlets: Use child safety covers for electrical outlets.
  11. Check crib safety standards: Ensure that crib bars aren’t wider than 2 3/8 inches apart.
  12. Keep cords a safe distance from the crib: Be sure that baby monitors and other cords are away from the crib.
  13. Secure rugs: Secure rugs to the floor with tape to avoid slipping.
  14. Keep items out of your baby’s crib: Don’t put anything in the crib with the baby, including pillows, blankets, bumpers and toys.
  15. Secure art out of reach: Avoid hanging pictures or other items over the crib.
  16. Use a safety belt or guardrail on the changing table: Prevent your baby from falling off by using safety items on the changing table.
  17. Use a safety strap for furniture: Anchor tall pieces of furniture with safety straps.
  18. Keep changing supplies out of reach: Baby powders and diaper creams should not be within baby’s reach.
  19. Keep furniture away from windows: Avoid strangulation from blinds and the risk of falling out of windows by keeping furniture against walls.
  20. Place carpet or a rug under key furniture: The crib and changing table should have carpet or a nonskid rug underneath.
  21. Get a toy chest with a safety lid: Keep lids from falling onto your child’s fingers or neck by choosing one with no lid or lid supports.
  22. Never leave your child unattended on the changing table: Babies can move faster than you think-always have a hand and eye on your baby when changing.

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