Most of us don’t have the occasion to create themed rooms very often, which makes decorating your baby’s nursery a fun project!
But it’s easy to get carried away. At some point between the caffeine-fueled Pinteresting session and loading up your Amazon shopping cart, you may begin to realize that opting for the matching furniture and rug and curtains and decor for your Star Wars baby nursery probably wasn’t the best idea.
Let’s avoid the hassle of online returns, shall we? Use these simple tricks to theme your nursery without going overboard and ending up with an explosion of licensed fabrics that are overwhelming to the eye (and the wallet). (Not ready to plan your nursery yet? Head over to our baby checklist to sort out your budget and find other tips, then come back and pick out some awesome nursery items!)
- Safety first.
This one’s a bit of a no-brainer, but still very important to remember. Make sure that the furniture items you purchase are highly-rated for safety, and ensure that they can be fastened to the wall. This is equally important for decor items, which should be securely fastened when hung. Don’t forget about smaller safety items too, such as outlet plug protectors and cabinet locks.
- Find the perfect space.
When trying to pick a room in your home to convert into a nursery, you may not have a ton of options. It may also be tempting to just set up the crib beside your bed and call it a day.
But your baby will have many essential items that will take up space and need their own homes. Not to mention, babies sleep better and better in their own rooms as they age.
When choosing the nursery space, make sure it is optimized and ready for a newborn. The space should be well-ventilated, not too hot or cold, and should have a ceiling fan to circulate air (proven to reduce the risk of SIDS).
- Get a head start.
As the due date draws closer, the stress will start to build. The last thing you want to do is spend the final days before baby’s arrival panicking about furniture deliveries and paint colors. Making small purchases gradually over a few months will lower your stress, and give you plenty of time for returns or exchanges if something isn’t quite right.
- Stick with your theme.
It happens to the best of us. You fall in love with a theme, put tons of cute decor items on your baby registry, start painting and assembling furniture, and then you see it- that Instagram shot of the nursery you didn’t even know you needed until that very moment!
Try not to give in to your desire to completely change your theme after you’ve already begun. If you’re uncertain about your theme, you can begin with some neutrals or a color palate like cool blues, and then as the due date nears, make some more specific decor decisions and finalize your theme. (But honestly, is there really a better nursery theme out there than your favorite fandom?) We’ve put together a post for you Potterheads so make sure you read our Harry Potter baby nursery ideas guide for tips on creating a little Hogwarts in your home.
- Pick a focal point.
To help prevent your nursery from looking cluttered and visually noisy, select one area or item that you want to be the focal point of the room. This could be a unique rug, the perfect set of curtains, or a hand-painted mural. Whatever it is, allow that piece to be the object of attention, and choose colors, textiles, and decor items around that focal point.
- Make the nursery work for your baby, and for you.
Of course, the baby’s nursery should be tailored to their unique needs. But parents spend a lot of time in nurseries too! Find furniture items that are not only stylish, but comfortable. When you’ve been up all night with a screaming newborn or you’re changing the 17th diaper of the day, you’ll be glad you splurged on the cushy chair and the better changing table.
- Pick items that won’t age out quickly.
It may be hard to imagine as an expectant parent, but your baby won’t be a tiny newborn forever! In a matter of months, some of the nursery items you choose might need to be replaced with larger versions. Once your little one is a toddler, they definitely won’t want their “baby” items anymore!
Fortunately, this is a little easier to manage with nerdy items, because lots of fandom decor would look equally cool in a nursery as it would in an older kid’s room. Make sure you check out our list on the most essential things a newborn baby needs.
- Find a storage system that you love.
Don’t underestimate the importance of organization! Babies require a lot of stuff, and you don’t want to end up tripping over piles of clothing or rooting through plastic bags trying to find the right pacifier or the unscented wipes.
Dedicate storage space to all of baby’s necessities before the due date, so you can easily find things as soon as you need them. This will also help you feel less overwhelmed when you bring home all of those baby shower gifts and suddenly your nursery is full to bursting!
- Pay attention to placement.
Echoing tip #6, when organizing your nursery you should make things as simple and streamlined as possible.
Your wipes, diapers, wastebasket, hamper, and changing table sheets should all be stashed within arm’s reach of the changing table. That way, you don’t have to rush around the room collecting everything you need while your baby is wailing.
- Buy washable everything.
If you’re about to be a first-time parent, I promise that whatever number of diapers, linens, clothing, wipes, etc. you think you will go through on a daily basis, you can safely double, if not triple, that number.
And after the third time stripping the crib sheets to launder them within a 24-hour-period, you’ll be grateful you picked the durable, washable option.
Don’t stop at the obvious things- you should also look for washable pillows, curtains, rugs, even wallpaper. No, we’re really not kidding.
- Stay away from white.
Pro-tip: your beautiful white chair, soft ivory crib sheets, and plush white rug won’t stay that way for long.
Rather than crossing your fingers that they don’t get stained and then being heartbroken when they do, try to find flattering neutrals that match your theme but also hide stains and dirt.
- A little logo goes a long way.
While fandom items are awesome and nerdy nurseries are the coolest, it can be very easy to tiptoe into the realm of “tacky”.
To avoid this, try picking a neutral color scape that will match the decor items you have in mind. Then pick one or two areas to use licensed fabrics or bold designs- such as the curtains or a rug. Your wall decor or sheets could be more minimalistic to complement those bolder pieces.
- Mind (what’s above) your head
This one may sound silly on the surface, but it’s actually kind of genius. Your baby will spend a lot of time lying on their back, especially in those first weeks and months before they can support their own heads, roll over on their own, or sit up.
Give them something interesting to look at by decorating the ceiling! Even just a soft pastel color is more interesting than white, but you could also opt for a unique mural or adhesive decals.
Regardless of what furniture and decor you choose, as long as your baby’s nursery has all of the essentials you need and is comfortable and safe, that’s all that really matters! But keeping these tips in mind will help you create a nursery that you love spending time in.