8 Nursery Design Tips Every Parent Should Know

July 12, 2023 4 min read

nursery wall decor customized with baby's name and birthdate

Welcoming a new baby into your home is at once exciting and nerve-wracking! For one, it may be fun to design your little one's nursery -- choosing baby furniture, decor, and more. But at the same time, it requires extra care and thoughtfulness. You want your baby's room to be safe, practical, and nurturing -- conducive for your little tyke to grow up in, and for you to parent efficiently, too.

Read these essential nursery decorating tips to help you create a child-safe, parent-friendly, and beautiful baby room.


1. Mind the paint labels.

It's fun to pick paint colors for the nursery, but be picky about the safety of the paints as well. Many paints in the market contain substances that can be harmful to infants and toddlers. For baby-safe paints, look for these in the labels:

  • Zero-VOC. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can cause headaches and dizziness, even to sensitive adults. Paint brands that strictly adhere to the zero-VOC policy have a certification in the label, such as Green Seal or Greenguard Shield Gold.
  • APE-free. Alkylphenol ethoxylates (APE) are compounds linked to endocrine disorders and developmental issues.
  • Water-based. Paints can be solvent-based or water-based. The latter reduces your baby's exposure to industrial chemicals. Common water-based paints include latex and acrylic.


2. Soundproof all nursery doors.

Getting your baby to sleep will be an incredible achievement. Don't ruin it with outside noise, creaky hinges, and door-banging! Soundproof not just the nursery door but also cabinet doors and windows. We found a helpful list of DIY soundproofing methods from Soundproof Guide. It can be as easy as sticking weather-strip tape!

Wall art pictured above: "Let Him Sleep" Premium Rustic Canvas


3. Opt for non-permanent items.


Whether we like it or not, cute little babies grow up fast. The nursery will be needed for just a few short months, then it will be time to transition to toddler phase. Design the room in a way that makes it easy for you to change furniture (like cribs to kiddie beds), switch up decor, and accommodate your little one's growing need for space. They'll be crawling and waddling in no time!

In this regard, our favorite decor trick for nurseries is to hang canvas artwork prints. They're lightweight and durable, so you can easily move them around. P.S. We have tons of customizable canvas prints on GearDen.com. Check them out!

Wall art pictured above: Personalized "Now We Have Everything" Premium Canvas


4. Cushion edges and corners.

You'll want to soften hard furniture corners and edges even when baby isn't crawling yet. It's about minimizing the risk of bumps and stubs while you (or someone else) is tending to the little one. Then, when baby starts to move around on their own, your nursery will already be ready and safe.

You can find lots of corner guards or corner protectors at hardware stores. They're usually made of foam, rubber, or vinyl. Make sure to install them correctly to prevent detachment.

Wall art pictured above: "I Prayed For This Child" Premium Canvas


5. Hang your decor high.

Whenever you hang an object, make sure it's away from baby's reach. Look around the room and double-check the height of curtains, curtain pulls, mobiles, cords, and lamps. Also take into account that your baby will have a taller reach as time passes.

This is one more reason we prefer canvas prints for nursery decor: you don't need to frame them in glass, minimizing the potential hazard for your little one.

Wall art pictured above: Personalized "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" Premium Canvas


6. Arrange your storage by use.

You likely already have storage bins and drawers ready in the nursery. For the most efficient organization, think of which items you'll be using most often such as diapers, baby wipes, and pacifiers. Place these in a super accessible spot for easy reach, like the top drawer of your cabinet. Items that you grab periodically, such as beddings and extra toys, can be relegated to bottom bins.

Of course, don't forget to set up secured storage for breakables, electronics, and potential choking hazards. Stow away such items in a locked box in an area your little tyke can't reach.

Wall art pictured above: Personalized "More Than We Wanted You" Kid's Premium Canvas


7. Be cautious of hand-me-downs.

On one hand, using secondhand baby items is cost-efficient and environment-friendly. On the other hand, older kiddie things can actually present dangers to babies!

For instance, those beautiful wooden chests that used to store toys turned out to be deadly. There have been horrifying cases of little children getting trapped inside after the outside lock automatically latched on!

Vintage toys pose another risk. Many of them contain lead, arsenic, and cadmium, which are all toxic to babies. And it's not just antique toys either -- some of them are from as recent as the 1980s.

To be fair, lots of handed-down items are perfectly okay for children, such as clothes, blankets, and strollers. But when you're offered items you're unsure of, practice politely declining. You can say, for example, that your baby's closet is already bursting at the seams.

Read our blog post on the best and worst things to use secondhand.


8. Designate space for play.

In no time, your little one will be actively crawling and walking everywhere. Make their room conducive to play and movement by leaving lots of cushioned space. Lay down rugs and play mats on the designated space, and surround it with softer objects such as plushies and pillows instead of hard furniture. You can expect that this area will be littered with toys, so keep your toy bin nearby.

Also, since your little tyke will be spending lots of time at floor level, ensure that this space is free of dirt. No outside shoes allowed!

Blanket pictured above: Personalized Name Premium Child And Baby Blanket


We hope this list is helpful to you in designing your child's room! What nursery tip would you share with other parents? Leave a comment!

For more of the nursery wall art and bedroom decor featured here, browse GearDen.com!

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