Nursery Ideas and Tips

Updated on May 07, 2011
R.L. asks from Kirkland, WA
12 answers

Happy Friday, Ladies :)

Baby #1 is on the way, and we have a room we need to turn into a nursery. Where do we start? We don't know if it's a boy or girl yet, but we plan to find out. I'm working on color ideas, but aside from that, what furniture did you buy first? Did you hang stuff on the walls? What are/were your favorite nursery items? I'm looking for some ideas to get us started.

Edit: I don't plan on going all out...I'm kind of a simpleton. But I do want to make sure I've got everything I need, and maybe some cute extras.


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So What Happened?

Thanks for the advice so far! I love the idea of gender neutral, and the jungle/animal theme. We do plan to have more in the future, so I'll keep that in mind. I also wondered about changing tables, so I'm glad to know it's not a staple. This is great! Thanks!

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answers from Los Angeles on

We got the dresser that had a changing table on top so that once my son was potty trained, we got rid of the changing table pad and now its just a dresser. Also we got the crib that is a convertable one that went from crib to day bed and now a full size bed so we didnt have to keep buying all the different beds he needed. Get a comfortable chair/rocker if you plan to breastfeed-you'll need it :0) Congrats!

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answers from Philadelphia on

We had a boy, but I want more children and you use the nursery stuff for such a short time that I decided to go gender neutral. I made his crib quilt and curtains and did primary colors/animal theme. Unless you plan to cosleep for a couple of years you are going to need a crib. Changing tables are a waste of money, we bought an old dresser that was the right height, sanded it and refinished it and just bought one of the changing pads to go on top. We also found a beautiful wooden toy box at a garage sale, that we refinished to match the dresser (not necessary, but it made a nice addition to the room and now that he's two it is necessary). The last thing I got was a glider, in which I have spent hours and hours. We were renting, so we didn't paint the room, but someone gave me adorable letters that spell our son's name that she painted to match his quilt and we hung those on his wall. The primary color theme has worked well because we just upgraded him to a bed and his new car sheets are also primary colors so I didn't even have to change the curtains.

Congrats and good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Charlottesville on

If money is tight, skip the changing table and go with a bureau instead. You can put a pad on top if you need it. This gives you lots of space to change the child, will be at the right height, and can be used in the bedroom for many years as your child grows. Get one with 6-9 drawers so that you have plenty of storage space for supplies in the top one needed on the right or left (depending on your handedness). Mine had nine drawers (3 rows of 3), which gave me plenty of room on the top to stack the diapers AND change the baby. Until my DD was out of diapers the top right drawer held all of those supplies - diaper pins, A&D Ointment, box of wet wipes, etc. - out of her reach, but close at hand.
I had a standard changing table table with my ds, but the open baskets were hard to keep him out of once he started walking, and as he grew it became less stable. Plus, once the baby grew, it needed to be replaced by a dresser anyway.
As to colors, make sure your paint in the room is washable, as all babies & toddlers are messy. A lot of parents avoid the pink/blue thing by going with a yellow/green theme instead. If you are going to spend a lot of time in the baby's room, paint it in one of your favorite colors as the baby won't care what color it is.

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answers from Norfolk on

i always pick bedding first then you can pick a color from the bedding or one that goes with it. you can search craigslist for a used crib and other furniture you may want. even the bedding if you aren't picky. i got the dresser crib changing table all in one the first time but not the second time as it was so big it could only go in one spot. good luck itcan be fun if you don't stress about it. the baby won't care either way so at least they won't be dissapointed.

oh the second time i bought a dresser that was a nice hight to where i didnt have to bend over to change the baby on top of it. about wait high. then i had a changing pad that is about 1.5 feet by 3 feet that straps or velcrows onto furniture..they have them at babiesrus. i likes this alot. you can even use one of the drawers for some diapers and wipes.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Definitely the padded, gliding rocker w/ the foot stool ... a bassinet that has 3 sides and fits snug next to your side of the bed (called a co-sleeper) is really, really helpful as well if you're going to be nursing and you can find them on craigslist and in great shape for a steal since people don't use them all that long). A changing table is nice, but not mandatory. I wish we had waited on the crib; my mom and dad purchased a beautiful one for us and we ended up co-sleeping and never used it (things/opinions can change after baby arrives :)

As for furniture, we bought classic furniture that would last through our daughter's childhood and would transition w/ any color changes, etc. Congratulations and good luck!

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answers from Washington DC on

First off congrats on Baby#1 What an incredible adventure (our only is turning 1 inless than 2 weeks and I miss all the firsts already!). Anyway, we painted one wall with a soft mint green and did brown curtains which is quite neutral. We also went with a crib, rocking chair and dresser that we added the changing pad too. I didn't want the room packed with furniture and somewhat useless furniture (changing table) at that. Now maybe some would disagree with me, but our child has never slept in our room with us not even the day we brought her home, but that was our personal preference. We have video/heart monitors etc so we were pretty much aware what was going on at any given time. We also hung stuff on the walls but nothing over her crib or dresser just to be safe. Hope this helps and congrats again!

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answers from Washington DC on

We got a pack-n-play with bassinet and changing table and used that until our son was 7 mos old (he was still within the weight limit for the bassinet). When we switched him to the crib I bought a changing pad and just used that for diaper changes on our bed, on the dresser.....where ever.

I refused to waste money on a crib set since it's recommended to skip using the comforter and padded bumpers. Instead we got breathable bumpers and various sheets. I layered his mattress (waterproof pad, sheet, waterproof pad, sheet) so when he spit up in his sleep, I just stripped the top layer off and didn't have to put a new layer on the crib.

I never washed my son's laundry separate from ours. I switched to the "free and clear" detergent (any brand, whichever I could get on sale). I put baby socks in a lingerie bag so they didn't get lost. I kept a bottle of oxy stain spray in the bedroom and another on the washer.

We didn't worry about nursery furniture matching because we knew it was temporary furniture. Once we switched our son to a twin bed (at 19 months due to him climbing out of the crib) we got a matching bed and dresser.

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answers from Dallas on

since it's baby#1 - that sounds like there might be more? Go gender neutral. Pick something that will grow with baby and be able to accommodate another little one. Like for instance you could do a jungle theme. That would still look cute with a toddler bed in it and good for boys and girls, babies and toddlers. Go with bright colors to engage baby - skip the calming baby blue, soft pink or yellow that our moms did and go with colors that stimulate.

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answers from Houston on

We waited to find out the gender until our baby boy was born. So we went with an animal theme-we love animals in this house! We went with the essentials-crib, rocker and dresser/changing table. I didn't want to buy the changing table so we splurged on the dresser with the changing pad on top. I just felt like it will be a better investment, as we can use it longer. We used 2 shelves that we previously had in that room. Lucky for us my husband is a bit of an artist and he painted a mural of woodland animals and a mountain scene. We went with a dark peach background color and the mural is realistic. We love our nursery! Can't wait till he's a little older and we use it more!! Good luck with yours! It's so much fun to plan!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

For our first baby we had just a crib, dresser, and changing table with little on his wall, we did not have a lot of money so it was really simple. With our second we used the same crib and changing table and bought a new dresser since our first had the other one. We did paint the walls of his room a green with blue trim. We did a bug theme for his room. I hung on the walls his name in wood letters, some shelves, and I found some art work that worked with the theme. When he got a little older I bought one of those cube organizers from target for his toys. For our third since she was a girl and our other two our boys I painted her room a bright pink with a white trim. We got a new crib in the darker color that is a convertible one. Our boys went right into a twin bed that were handed down from my parents. So this way we don't have to worry about buying her another bed for awhile. We did not do a changing table cause I found that I hardly used it with my boys. She gets her diaper changed most of the time in the living room so I would used the ottoman to lay her on. I keep a little basket with a changing pad, diapers, wipes, powder, cream, and what ever else I might need so I don't have to walk back to her room for it. I bought a 9 cube organizer that I used for her things and now holds her toys. The theme in her room is very simple we went with a color theme in hopes that it would grow with her a little longer. Her bedding is pink and brown. She has a dresser that fits in her closet but I hang most of her clothes, this way she has more room in her room since it is small. I also made sure to have a rocker and ottoman in her room for those middle of the night feedings. My children all slepted in their cribs from the time we brought them home. On the walls she has her name in wood letters, 2 shelves, the first letter of her name with ribbion that hangs from it for hair clips, a fabric memory board for pics. She also has a lamp since there is no over head light. I always had a pack and play too that I kept in the living room for nap time when they were little. Hope this was not too long and helps you some. Good Luck.

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answers from Washington DC on

I think you would find a changing table VERY handy, especially in the beginning. You are going to be changing A LOT of diapers, and it is nice to have a changing table when the baby is really small. You may be changing diapers 12 or more times a day -- do you really want to get on the floor to do that 12 times a day? You may think you will now, but if you have to have a c-section you won't want to get on the floor to change the diapers for several weeks. Also, a changing table has a pad that wipes up easily, or washes easily, which comes in handy. The baby will pee/poop while you are changing diapers and that isn't a mess you'll want to clean off carpet if you can help it.

I was a minimalist as well, so we went with a convertible crib, changing table, a glider with an ottoman, a small bookshelf, and a small dresser. That worked perfectly for us.



answers from Utica on

I wouldnt go too crazy with everything especially if you are going to be finding out the sex of the baby and wanting to work your theme around that. I am all on board with wanting to get stuff going especially if this is your first. When I was pregnant I wanted so bad to have a nursery all set up and ready and waiting but it just came together bit by bit as we had time and such. If you think about the fact that the baby will most likely be sleeping in your room for the first few months you really dont NEED the nursery ready for when the baby comes. But if you are looking to paint and possibly recarpet they say the sooner the better so that the room has as much time to air out as possible.
Good Luck with everything and congrats

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