How to plan a nursery

Planning a nursery is an exciting time, but also a little overwhelming. There can seem to be hundreds of ‘must have’ products on the market. In reality, babies need very few items and with some planning, you easily can create a warm and inviting nursery for your child.

Draw a simple plan of the room

Sketch out the room by hand and where you will place the key items. Start with the cot first and then the other essential items like:

  • Bassinet
  • Change table
  • Storage for nappies and changing accessories
  • Feeding chair
  • Storage for baby’s clothing and blankets


Babies quickly accumulate possessions from birth, so think about including storage areas in the room like:

  • Places to add shelves which are great for storing precious items you won’t want baby touching as they start toddling about.
  • Toy storage – how much will be out in the room and how much will be stored in cupboards?

For the most of their first year, a baby will be in the nursery to sleep.

Safety in mind

Baby’s safety is paramount, so when you are planning your nursery take into account things like:

  • Heating vents – you will not want the cot placed too close to them.
  • Cords – from curtains and blinds – can be dangerous. Install proper safety devices to keep them out of the way. Electrical cords and power points can also be dangerous once your baby starts to move, consider furniture placement to cover them.

Zone the room

When determining furniture in the room, a logical approach is to zone the room into activity areas like:

  • Sleeping – keep it free from distractions.
  • Changing – have the change table in an area that allows you to easily access baby without overreaching. Have your nappies and changing accessories near the change table so you do not have to leave baby unattended.
  • Feeding – near the feeding chair, think about having a small table to sit a drink for mum and put items like burp cloths.

Setting the mood

For the most of their first year, a baby will be in the nursery to sleep. You do not want the room to over stimulate the little one.

Choosing calming colours when decorating the room is important, softer colours work well as a base. You can always add splashes of colour with accessories like bright rugs, wall decorations and the like as they grow older.

Lighting for the room is also important. At midnight feeds you won’t want glaring bright light, so include somewhere for a lamp or nightlight, to keep the mood of the room one for sleep.

Music can have a calming effect on baby and can also provide white noise to block out the household noise for the baby during the day. Find a safe place to include a stereo device in the room to provide gentle music for baby.

Originally published as How to plan a nursery by Nicole Avery.