How to Set up a Nursery: What You Need to Know to Create a Beautiful Space for You and Your Baby How to Set up a Nursery: What You Need to Know to Create a Beautiful Space for You and Your Baby
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How to Set up a Nursery: What You Need to Know to Create a Beautiful Space for You and Your Baby

By Pehr
Mar 24, 2023  •  Last Modified Apr 21, 2023

So you have a little one on the way. Congratulations! Pregnancy is an exciting and busy time for new parents who are often filled with questions about how best to prepare for the arrival of their newborn. One of the most common questions first-time parents have is how to properly set up a nursery that’s both functional and beautiful. If you’ve been asking yourself that same question, you’ve come to the right place! Today, we’re sharing our step-by-step process for how to set up a nursery in your home with tips and tricks to help you along the way. 

Table of Contents

  1. How to set up a nursery step-by-step
  2. Tips and tricks for designing a nursery

How to set up a nursery step-by-step

Designing a nursery can be really fun, but it can also be a little overwhelming, so take things one step at a time. Here’s our step-by-step approach to help you check everything off the list before your little one arrives. 


mobile hanging in baby nursery


Gather inspiration 

The best way to start your nursery design process is by gathering inspiration.Having a  clear vision for the space will then guide the rest of the nursery design process. The good news is, there are so many great places to gather inspiration. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Create a Pinterest board with images of rooms you love or furniture items you want to check out later.
  • Peruse design magazines, cut out your favorite looks and keep them all together in a folder you can reference as you shop. 
  • Select one item to inspire the rest of the design. This could be a pillow, mobile, blanket or a wallpaper design. 


Lay it out

Now that you’ve settled on the overall look and feel you want to create in your nursery, it’s time to start executing! Begin by getting a good sense of the space you’re working with. Take out your measuring tape and draw a rough floor plan, so you can play around with the layout of key furniture items: the crib, changing table, dresser and chair. Don’t purchase any large furniture until you’ve double-checked it’ll fit and compliment the other pieces you’ve selected.  


minimal baby nursery set up


Live in it 

Once you’ve purchased your key furniture items, it’s time to set them up. Get your crib, changing table, dresser and chair assembled and placed in your nursery. Before you dive into buying accent pieces and lighting, live in the room a bit. Move the furniture around and visit the room at different points during the day. By doing this, you’ll get a sense of what else you need to make the room more functional: a floor lamp for nighttime feedings, a fan for hot days, a white noise machine to drown out street noise or a black-out shade for daytime naps. Whatever the case may be, spending time in the nursery before you bring your little one home will help you make the right design choices to create a functional and safe environment. 


Have fun

Now that you’ve safely and effectively laid out your key furniture pieces, it’s time for the exciting stuff! You can now begin to add fun design elements to help bring your vision to life, so you’ll love spending time in the space. 


Stock up  

Last but not least, before your little one arrives, you’ll want to stock your nursery with all the key essentials you’ll need on hand. As any parent will tell you, the first few weeks with a newborn can be both magical and exhausting. So, make sure you have everything you need on hand in your nursery and lots of it! Here are some key steps to take:

  • Make sure your change table is well stocked with diapering essentials
  • Organize your dresser with all your little one’s clothing so that everything is easy to grab during changes.
  • Find a place to stow away extra supplies so your nursery doesn’t feel cluttered, but you’re prepared for the first few weeks at home.


hideaway storage containers under baby crib

Tips and tricks for designing a nursery

  • Don’t forget storage. Parents can often become so focused on the big furniture items or the overall aesthetic of the nursery that they forget it also needs to be functional. Babies need a lot of stuff; from clothes to diapers and everything in between. The list of nursery must-haves you’ll need is not exactly short, so you’ll want smart storage built into your nursery design. Here are a few toy organization ideas to help you plan ahead. 
  • Take your time. It’s tempting to rush through the nursery design process in an effort to check everything off your to-do list as quickly as possible, but this can lead to issues down the line. You may end up with furniture that doesn’t fit in the space or miss opportunities to make the nursery more functional. Create a work-back schedule and check things off as you go to finish on time without rushing through the process. 
  • Consider light, air and noise. You want the nursery to be a safe and comfortable sleep environment for your little one, so keep lighting, ventilation and noise in mind as you plan. Make sure you have window coverings to block out light during the day and place your crib away from heating vents to ensure a comfortable sleeping temperature for your baby. Finally, think of ways to keep the space as quiet as possible. Rugs and drapes are an easy way to help reduce noise in the nursery. 
  • Choose a versatile theme. If you’re taking a thematic approach to your nursery design, we suggest bringing it to life with accent pieces that can be swapped out as your little one gets older. This way, you can easily change the look and feel of their room without a full redesign
  • Add a personal touch. You’ll have a lot of special moments in this space with your baby, so be sure to add some meaningful items to the room. Whether it’s framed photos or a family heirloom, having these pieces in your baby’s nursery can help you stay grounded and present during important bonding moments with your child. 
  • Embrace the process. Creating a space for your baby is a very special thing. Don’t forget to take a moment to embrace this process as you prepare for the beautiful new chapter ahead. 


baby's legs and feet wearing pajamas on changing table

We hope this step-by-step approach has you feeling excited and well-equipped to start your nursery design process. We can’t wait to see what you create! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Many infant daycare centres will accept babies as young as 6 weeks, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right time for you to send your child to nursery. This is a personal decision that parents should make based on their own individual circumstances. It’ll vary depending on the length of your parental leave, whether or not your partner can take parental leave, your financial responsibilities and the childcare options you have available. Remember that nothing is perfect and there are always pros and cons, so focus on what’s right for you!

Child safety experts recommend placing your baby’s crib at least one foot away from the wall and other pieces of furniture. This is meant to prevent them from becoming trapped between the crib and the wall if they climb out. This is less of a concern for newborns, but it’s something to keep in mind as your child becomes more mobile. You should also keep the crib at least two feet away from heating vents and windows to avoid the space being too warm or too cold for your little one. It’s also recommended that you keep the crib away from cords, drapery and wall lamps which are all potential safety hazards for your baby.

Every family is different and it’s up to you as a parent to make the decision that works best for you and your child. It’s very common for babies to sleep in a crib or bassinet in their parents' room during the first few months of life. If you’re trying to decide whether or not it’s necessary to set up a nursery in your home, you can ask yourself a few simple questions:

If I don’t have a nursery …
Where will my baby sleep?
Where will I feed my baby?
Where will I change my baby?
Where will I store my baby’s stuff?

If you can find suitable alternatives to a nursery that you think will work, you have your answer! If not, it might be best to move forward and set up a nursery in your home.

There is really no right or wrong answer to this question. Every parent has their own unique way of preparing for their little one’s arrival and it’s important to do what works best for you. Our only advice? Don’t wait until the last minute! You don’t want to be scrambling during the final stages of your pregnancy. Many parents find that beginning to plan their nursery set-up at the start of the second trimester of pregnancy gives them enough time to slowly but surely complete the space before their baby’s arrival.

The cost to set up a baby nursery varies widely depending on the furniture and finishes you choose. You can expect to spend anywhere from $2000 - $6000 to set up a nursery, though with higher-end finishes and furniture, you can certainly exceed this budget. With cost-saving measures, like buying second-hand items, it’s also possible to spend less. Remember to focus on setting up a comfortable, safe and functional space, then spend your remaining budget on fun design elements that bring the space to life.