How to Design A Nursery: The Dos and Don’ts

Are you working on your baby’s nursery and feeling a little lost? In this article, we go over the dos and don’ts of building a nursery and share our favorite product picks!


Arguably one of the funnest elements of ‘nesting,’ getting to create your baby’s nursery is one of the most exciting parts about becoming a parent.

However, with so many options to choose from, the task can become quite overwhelming. As parents who want to help other parents, we decided to combine our years of baby-raising wisdom and create a Dos and Don’ts of creating a nursery. We also wanted to share our favorite nursery picks!

In this article, we’ll go over:

  • The dos of nursery design
  • The don’ts of nursery design
  • Our favorite nursery picks

Scroll down to learn more.



The Dos of Nursery Design

#1 Do invest in pieces that grow with your child.


One of the most frustrating things about baby products is how quickly they grow out of them. Thanks to incredibly innovative brands like Million Dollar Baby Classic and Oeuf, this is happening less and less. For example, a crib doesn’t just have to be a crib. Opt for one that can transition into a toddler bed or even better – a full size bed!


#2 Do think about the floor.


Babies and kids spend a lot of time on the floor. Whether they’re doing tummy time, crawling, stacking blocks, reading (or possibly even napping), you need to ensure you have a soft and SAFE space for them to play. And let’s be honest: it also needs to be easy to clean. Luckily, Lorena Canals has all of these bases covered with their machine washable rugs. Free from harmful glues and fibers that could potentially off-gas, they’re wildly soft, incredibly versatile and of course – machine washable!


Lorena Canals Washable Rug Kim


#3 Do think about big and little seats.


Wile it might be obvious that you’ll need a rocker to hold, feed and read to your baby, it’s easy to overlook the fact that sooner than later, your tot will need a little seat of their own too! When children have furniture that’s the right size for them, they’re able to establish independence much earlier.


#4 Do find pieces that can do double time.


Sleep, feed, dress, change, play. These are all things that happen in a nursery. When choosing your nursery layout, think about what pieces can cater to one or more of these things. For example, instead of buying a change table and a dresser, find a dresser that you can add a changing tray on top of.


#5 Do include visually stimulating pieces.


When babies are born, they can only see about 8″ to 12″ in front of them (and usually in black and white.) By providing high contrast artwork, wallpaper and other decor for them to look at while their diapers are being changed or they’re drifting off to sleep, you can help them strengthen their eyesight.



The Don’ts of Nursery Design

#1 Don’t buy things that are overly ‘babyish.’


In the blink of an eye, your baby is suddenly a toddler with quite an opinion! Opt for neutral items that will stand the test of time.


#2 Don’t perpetuate gender stereotypes.


While it’s certainly fun to embrace femininity and masculinity, try not to get caught up with sticking to just pink or just blue. For starters, it makes it a whole lot harder to hand down to other siblings and/or friends and it’s also not necessary!


#3 Don’t forget to check what something is made of.


While you might be mindful about the ingredients in skincare products and food, you also need to be vigilant about checking materials. From cribs to dressers to rugs to rockers, nursery furniture can often contain potentially harmful materials that contain heavy metals, VOCS, phthalates, BPA and more. At the Tot, we never recommend anything we wouldn’t use with our own families, which is why we ensure everything here passes The Tot Test.


#4 Don’t underestimate how much storage you’ll need.


It’s shocking just how many burp cloths, diapers, bodysuits, blankets, and wraps a baby needs. That’s why we’re all about ensuring our nurseries have enough storage space for the abundance of baby accoutrement that one attracts when entering motherhood! We love dressers, but we also love canvas hampers because they are so versatile. They can go from storing diapers to toys to books to sporting gear to laundry with ease.


#5 Don’t fill every inch of space.


Babies need room for tummy time, while babies and toddlers need room to play! Be sure to leave lots of floor space for them to explore!



Our Favorite Nursery Picks

Oeuf Sparrow Crib


Oeuf Sparrow Crib



Available in more colors




Coco & Wolf Liberty Quilt Betsy Blue, Rose Quartz, & Capel Turquoise


Coco & Wolf Liberty Fabric Heirloom Quilt




Available in more colors




Oeuf Sparrow Dresser


Oeuf Sparrow 3 Drawer Dresser



Available in more colors



Ollie Ella Reva Basket


Olli Ella Changing Basket – Reva






Ollie Ella Cotton Insert

Olli Ella Organic Cotton Liner






L'amour Fou Print Shop Safari Nursery Prints - Set of 4


L’amour Fou Print Shop – Safari Nursery Prints (Set of 4)


Ranging from $49 to $79


Available in multiple sizes



Lorena Canals machine washable rug - kim


Lorena Canals Washable Kim Rug






Lorena Canals Bubbly Floor Cushion Olive


Lorena Canals Bubbly Floor Cushion



Available in more colors




Pehr Printed Cube Storage Bin Navy


Pehr Printed Cube Storage Bin



Available in more colors




Franklin + Emily Two-Seater Sofa - Champagne


Franklin + Emily Two-Seater Sofa




Available in more colors




Nursery Works Sleepytime Rocker in Blush Pink Velvet


Nursery Works Sleepytime Rocker


Available in more colors




Anewall Bird Paradise Mural Wallpaper


Anewall Bird Paradise Mural Wallpaper



Available in more prints




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