You’ve gotten everything ready that you need for the baby nursery from furniture to the wall hangings. The paint is on the walls and you’re ready to move everything in. But there is one problem…you’re not sure how!
Arranging the furniture in the baby nursery should be fun, right? It can be a difficult task at times, trying to balance what looks good with what will be practical. There are a few key things you need to keep in mind when choosing the layout for your nursery.
First of all, you need to keep the room’s function in mind. Function trumps fashion in the nursery. I know what you’re thinking, “I want the nursery to look cute.” I struggled with this myself over and over again when trying to decide on a layout for our nursery. But when you’re up with baby at 2 am and trying to find your way around in the dark, you’re going to want a natural flow and practicality to the placement of each piece of furniture and accessory.
So if function is so important, what key things should you keep in mind to make the nursery practical? Try running through your head the different activities that will take place in your nursery; sleeping, feeding, changing diapers and clothes, grooming. Now think of the furniture that will be involved with each of these activities. Try to act out in your head how you will use your furniture and accessories to accomplish these things, and how the placement of the furniture will make it go as smoothly and the least awkward as possible.
Here are some examples of function and furniture placement: It may be best to group the crib and a chair close together, as it makes it easy to grab baby in the middle of the night and sit down to feed. You may also want to add a small nightstand with a dim lamp in this grouping for a quick source of light if needed and a place to set a bottle or pacifier.
Another grouping that works best together is a dresser and changing table. As much as babies go through their clothes, you will be happy to have placed these two items within an arms reach of each other. With these items, also keep a clothes hamper close by to quickly and easily discard dirty laundry. The same goes for a diaper pail if you are using one.
You also need to keep in mind baby’s safety as you plan the nursery layout. Many experts recommend that you keep a baby’s crib away from windows as it tends to be cooler near a window, and also a safety hazard when baby is able to reach any blinds or curtains. Keeping baby’s crib on an inner wall of the house will be a warmer placement and quieter from any outdoor noise. Also make sure for safety that you don’t place any lamps or accessories that baby could pull down, or could possibly fall while they’re sleeping.
Of course, on top of all that, you want your nursery to look perfect and have that “aw” factor. That’s what makes nurseries so fun to design! The crib is really the key focus in the nursery. It’s what they eye is drawn to. I recommend, if other factors allow, to place the crib somewhere where it can be seen within view of the doorway. As soon as you step into the room, it should grab your attention. There are a few different options for crib placement, depending on the size of your room and the desired look. First of all, you can place it with the back flat against the middle of the wall. This is probably the most common placement and allows you to put other pieces of furniture on both sides. The crib can also be placed in the corner of the room either flat against the wall or kitty-corner. In large rooms the crib can be placed in the middle of the room, or against a wall but sticking out the “long” way. No matter what way you choose, the crib will be the main attention.
Much of what makes a nursery look great are the little touches, or the accessories. A tastefully placed piece of artwork, some pillows, and a rug will be the icing on the cake in any nursery once you have the structure in place. Or even add a few out-of-reach plants or hang a grouping of paper lanterns!
One suggestion I would make to visualize a layout before you start moving furniture around is to either draw it out to scale or find a room planner on the Internet. One I found online that was especially quick and easy is the Baby’s Dream Visual Nursery Planner. It is simple to use, and it is free. I actually used the planner to show four different options that I considered for my son’s nursery. See below for the layout and description:
Pros: The crib is the first thing you see as you walk through the door. The chair is right next to the crib. The changing table and dresser are next to each other. The crib is not next to the window.
Cons: Very basic layout.
Pros: Love the uniqueness of the kitty-corner crib. Necessary furniture still in close proximity to each other.
Cons: One side of the crib is near the window. Baby items can easily drop or be thrown behind the crib in the corner. Corner is wasted space.
Pros: Crib is the main focus from the doorway. Love how the changing able is framed by the window.
Cons: Chair is across the room from the crib. The changing table by the window could mean pee-spattered blinds or baby can grab them as he gets older.
Pros: Easy access to baby with the crib close to the door. Nothing blocking the window.
Cons: Aesthetically dislike crib placement. The dresser and changing table will be the room focus.
So after seeing each of these side-by-side and listing the pros and cons of each, we decided that Plan A would be the most functional and the best looking layout of the four. It seemed to have the best use of the space we had while being aesthetically pleasing at the same time.
The true test is not just when you get the furniture set up, but when baby arrives and you are actually using it. You may discover you need to make little adjustments to the plan along the way, but mapping it out ahead of time will make choosing your nursery layout easier and more enjoyable.
What factors did you consider when choosing a nursery layout? How did you make the best decision?
And it may seem like a long ways away, but it’s never too early to start thinking about your child’s education! Have you considered homeschooling? Read about why homeschooling has been an amazing and freeing choice for our family!
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