Woman holding her child in a nursery room.

How to Set up the Perfect Nursery

Setting up your nursery is one of the more fun-filled activities on your pregnancy to-do list. It gives you an opportunity to transform your baby’s space into an inviting environment that will welcome your newborn into the family. Rather than getting overwhelmed with all of the details, we’ve compiled a guide on how to set up the perfect nursery.

Make a Plan and Determine Your Needs

Before doing anything, take some time to plan out the room. Create a preliminary floor plan identifying where you’re going to put the big items and try to envision what everything will look like. You’ll want to consider different furniture that you’ll need, the type of bedding you want to use, and any accessories that you plan on incorporating. Positioning the furniture should be done first, as it allows you to make sure that your room is fully optimized for safety, comfort, efficiency, and sleep. Make sure your crib isn’t going to be near any windows and if your home doesn’t have good insulation, keep it away from an outside wall.

Once you’ve determined where you’re going to put your crib, move on to the changing table and nursery chair. You don’t want to overcrowd your nursery, so starting with the essentials gives you a better idea of what extra amenities you can include. Make sure that the chair you choose is comfortable, as you’ll likely be spending a lot of time in it for nursing sessions. If you don’t want to utilize a changing table, don’t. The plan should be based on your specific needs and vision for your newborn’s life, not based on friends or family recommendations.

Purchase the Essentials

As mentioned, some of the essential aspects of a nursery include a crib, a changing area, and somewhere to sit while nursing. The type of furniture that you use for each of these areas depends on your preferences, but you should opt for furniture that you’ll be able to use for years to come.

Sleeping Area

The nursery’s sleeping area will be one of the most used parts of the room for the first few years of your baby’s life. To make sure that your baby is comfortable and safe while sleeping, it’s important to be strategic about the environment you create. While you can keep toys and pillows in the crib for decoration leading up to your delivery day, always remove everything from the crib when you put your baby down to sleep. Pillows, bumpers, stuffed animals, and toys can create obstructions to the airway and increase the risk of SIDS. Similarly, make sure that you have a firm mattress and tight-fitting sheets.

For further comfort and safe sleeping measures, consider using a swaddle or sleep sack. This helps to make sure your baby’s temperature is controlled without the risk of suffocation from extra materials. Make sure your blackout curtains are installed and, if you’d like, place a baby sound machine nearby to help muffle outside noise and soothe your baby to sleep.

Changing Area

Newborns spend their time sleeping, eating, and pooping, so make sure that you have a changing area set up and ready before your delivery date. You don’t need a fancy changing table, but you should have an area where all of your supplies are organized and easily accessible. This will make the process of changing diapers much easier. Some great items to include in your changing area are a changing table or portable changing bin, a diaper hamper, diapers, creams, wipes, clean clothes, and more. Keep an eye on the color of your baby’s diapers for signs of their health and if they’re experiencing constipation, contact your pediatrician.

Sitting Area

The sitting or feeding area is another important place where you should prioritize attention to detail. Since you’re going to be spending a lot of time here breastfeeding your newborn, you want to make sure that you have a chair or glider that is comfortable to you. Pair this with a side table for easy access to water, books, burping clothes, and whatever else you may need and you’re ready to go. For optimal organization, choose a side table with plenty of drawers so that you can keep all of the essentials close by and easy to access during breastfeeding.

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Consider Using a Theme

Some people love decorating according to a specific theme, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to. You don’t need to have seamlessly matching furniture from the same collection or art that makes your nursery feel more like a museum. Decorate however you want. As long as you create a space that feels warm and welcoming to you, you’ll be successful.

If you have no idea where to start, consider using a basic theme to help give you some direction. Start with one piece of furniture, art, or décor that you absolutely love and go from there. Build your nursery around that one item and utilize complimentary color schemes, accents, and lighting. Prioritizing blue or pink colors are fading out of popularity as more parents opt for gender neutral designs that can be adapted to grow with your child’s interests. For more inspiration, turn to Pinterest or your favorite design blogger.

Control External Stimuli

The theme and overall décor of your baby’s nursery isn’t going to matter much to them at first. What will matter is how comfortable and secure they feel in the room. To achieve this, take the extra effort to try and control external stimuli as much as possible. This includes blocking out excess light, soundproofing the nursery as much as possible, and creating a comfortable temperature for your baby to sleep in. Thanks to advancements in products, you can accomplish this without using professional services. All you need are black-out shades, ambient noise machines and thick rugs, a humidifier, and dimmable lights.

Utilize a Few Space-Saving Nursery Tips

One thing that you’ll quickly come to realize is that babies go through a lot of supplies. Newborns can go through up to 12 diapers a day and blowouts can require several outfit changes. While their things are small, they add up and many new parents quickly find their nursery overrun with clutter and excess. To help you keep your nursery organized and actually accessible, consider incorporating a few space-saving tips.

Consolidate Your Baby’s Wardrobe

Your baby doesn’t need a million different onesies, so don’t buy them. You will likely get plenty as gifts from friends and family but try to resist splurging on those adorable outfits that your baby is only going to wear once. As your child grows out of their clothes, put a few outfits and essentials aside in case you want another baby and donate the rest. You generally don’t need more than a week’s worth of anything, unless you plan on never doing laundry.

Consider a Crib with Built-In Storage

By choosing a crib that has built-in storage, you’ll keep the usable space in your nursery open for activity. You can keep extra sheets, backup diapers, toys and stuffed animals, and more in your crib’s storage, thus eliminating the need to purchase unnecessary furniture.

Rotate Decorations

Consider changing your nursery decorations with the seasons to avoid having your space feel cluttered. Display fewer decorative items and instead, use them as accents or statement pieces. This makes cleaning and dusting easier while creating less of a chaotic, cluttered environment.

Use Baskets and Open Shelves

For storage, consider getting a few open shelves and using baskets or bins. You can label them for easy access and swap out things as needed. To add a decorative touch, mix and match storage with pictures, décor, or books for a more cohesive, yet efficient, design.

Avoid Hoarding

Finally, as hard as it may be, try to avoid hoarding baby items. This includes outfits that are outgrown, toys, books, accessories, and more. While it’s tempting to put every single keepsake into a box, doing so adds up quickly and can create a storage catastrophe. Instead, be selective about the things that you keep and only store a few mementos as your baby grows.

While your nursery is going to be a great place for you to bond with your baby and breastfeed, every now and then you’ll need a little break. To supplement your feedings and make sure that your baby is getting the essential nutrients they need to develop and stay healthy, breast pumps can help. Byram Healthcare has a wide range of insurance covered breast pumps available at zero out of pocket cost to you. Get started with our simple, three-step ordering process today.