Things to Consider When Designing the Nursery

pretty neutral nursery

With my first child on the way, I have found myself trying to plan for the nursery and searching for panda-themed items as well as items I will need for day to day care. I’m also desiring items that can serve for many years and possibly be used in an older kid room.

I want to create a nursery with items that can transition as the kid transitions that I can keep for as long as possible instead of planning on future buys.

The initial goal is minimalist style as I imagine when Little Bit hits her teen years she will desire a room makeover anyway.

I’ve spent a long while researching, here are the top things I’ve taken into consideration.

Transitional Crib 

This was supposed to be the most costly item on my list, so costly it would have made a great addition to my registry. I was pregnant during several holidays and a birthday so it would have been worthwhile to ask the family to help cover the costs.

We were fortunate as my partner and I located an excellent condition lightly used crib for around $48 through Facebook Market Groups (crib originally sold in the 200 range and is very sturdy) instead of something in the realm of $250-$320 like we were expecting.

solano graco 3 in one crib
Our temporary nursery space and our fake covid “baby” we use to test stuff

The final cost ended up around $60 as the buyer did not supply us with all the supplies required to put the crib together. The crib is a 3 in one and depending on child growth should last us around 4-5 years for a bed option. Then can be altered and used for something else or packed away.

Spare crib supplies we needed for assembly

If you get a transitional crib you can expect to buy additional pieces as you transition the child’s bed to suit their needs.


Many people like getting various styles of bassinets. Most recommend a pack and play because they are handing when you need to travel around and you will likely be able to use it a lot during the baby’s first year.

This will probably be stationed in your room, so you have to consider size and convenience issues. I’m getting one on loan so be and the future hubs have been experimenting with moving furniture around.

Bassinets can go for over $200 or range around into some crazy prices, so if you can locate someone with a hand-me-down and find a good deal somewhere, I’d advise you bounce on it. I expect this item not to last that long and repurposing it will not be likely.

I’m getting one because I located someone in the family who offered me the use of theirs for a bit and I plan to return it after.

Rocking Chair 

There is some debate about rocking chairs. They are cute and useful when dealing with babies into the night, though they often don’t suit other areas of the house. Some people choose to throw them out after their child is older.

My mother turned her rocker into her crochet chair and it was a staple of her hobby room after my brother and I were grown. Before that, it was where she would sit when she would read books to me or my brother or both of us, depending on the sort of night it was.

This is a great item to also locate at a garage sale or a hand-me-down. Most of the old decent wood kind looks beautiful after minimal furniture restoration. The main thing is that it rocks smoothly and any flaw it might have matches the skill level you have access to if a repair is in order.

Changing Dresser

 I read some past accounts of other mothers and many of them seem to agree that a crib with an attached changing table is all well and good until their children outgrew them. Then it was just another thing in the way and wasting space for the most part.

I talked to my partner and we arranged to use a dresser he already owned and fix the top with a changing pad. We didn’t need to buy anything and the dresser will be good to use through most of the child’s young life.

Dressers can be a good addition to a child’s room as you can use it to store things like clothing, books, toys, or maybe even supplies for art if you want to create a playroom.

Rolling Station

One of the concerns new parents have is making sure they have an easy-to-work station of supplies. Some parents buy several of these rolling storage stations and keep a couple in different rooms of the house.

The main thing is it can store some diapers, creams, and various supplies. Maybe even pack it with snacks and nipple guards or bottles or maybe even pumping supplies or whatever seems convenient there.


Part of my strategy is to try to work in decor with a high probability the child will enjoy the art as they get older. I’ve been resisting the overly childish art and decor and have been trying to locate fun pieces that will look good and be enjoyed for many years.

Only so much planning can go into this though as there is no telling what the child will end up preferring.


The consensus many parents have is that baby mobiles don’t really function for long. During the first few months when it is supposed to help entertain the baby, the baby is usually sleeping anyhow. This item seems like a non-critical expense so I will cut it out unless I find a good free option.

Black-Out Curtains 

Many parents swear by black-out curtains or seem to be strongly urging a room with good control over lighting. They say that children will black-out curtains don’t get disturbed by very bright sunlight filtering in and that their children choose to keep them in older age.


Lamps are another thing where you can set it up to be a long-term item. Something neutral, simple, and attractive will do, and even better if it comes with dimming options.


 Even aside from any of the usual stuff that comes in a crib set, it helps to invest in sheets and mattress guards. Kids pee and they pee a lot. Any soft foamy comfortable goodness gets ruined if they aren’t waterproofed or at least given basic protections from children.

They are also handy as you can usually throw them into the wash and keep the child spaces sanitary. These often aren’t transitional items when you are guarding baby and toddler mattresses, but the waterproofed things purchased for full-sized beds can last a long while.


Paint is a nice way to spruce up the walls, but you may consider keeping things neutral. Your kid may grow to hate the baby blue wall you picked and might prefer the white, creams, or grays that are out there.

white nursery paint

You never know what your child will prefer as they age. A solution here is to opt for some colorful furniture options or small accents.

You might not be feeling the urge to build the nursery before the baby arrives. Though the checklist here is useful even if you implement things after birth. The general consensus is they won’t need a nursery right when they arrive and some parents set things up after arrival.

Other parents prefer to make sure things are ready right away, which is what I hope to do. The main thing is making sure the hospital bag is ready about a month in advance and the car seat is installed as well.

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