A Timeline for Planning Your Nursery
Designing the perfect nursery might not be rocket science, but if you’re starting from scratch, it does require some consideration. A nursery needs to be practical, functional, and of course, safe – but it can still look good too. Our handy guide covers everything you need to get your nursery sorted before your new little lodger turns up…
Jump ahead to a relevant section:
Your nursery timeline | When to start planning
So, you want to get the walls stripped and the paint splashed already? Don’t forget, you’ve got a good few months before baby arrives (hopefully). So, take this time to plan and figure out what needs tackling and when.
When should I start planning my nursery?
The honest answer is whenever you’re ready. Ultimately, it depends whether you want the nursery ready for when baby arrives or if you’re giving yourself a little more time when they arrive. With bedside cribs and small cots, many parents prefer to keep baby in their room for those first few months – it’s easier for those night-time feeds (and tends to minimise the amount of time you spend worrying how they’re doing when you can’t see them!)
If you want to have your nursery ready for baby’s arrival, then it’s better to get on top of it before you get too far through your pregnancy. When your body gets tired and achy, the last thing you’ll want to do is be putting up wardrobes, so it’s good to get a head start on things.
Is there a timeline for planning a nursery?
There’s no hard and fast rule for when you should start planning your nursery, but it’s important to ensure that you give yourself enough time to get it all done. Also, you’ll need to factor in time for saving up your budget and waiting for furniture to arrive.
We’ve created a rough timeline that looks like this:
We’ll go into more detail on each of these tasks over the rest of this blog. Scroll down to find out more.
Planning your nursery | Mapping out what you want
Once you have an idea about when to take on the bulk of the work, you can get started with the basics – just remember budget, board and measuring. OK, so that would be better if they all started with ‘b’ but never mind. This section will help you get to grips with what you want to get out of your nursery.
Defining your budget
A gentle heads up, with excitement building it’s easy to let nursery spends spiral and, before you know it, they soon add up. You wouldn’t be alone if you’re feeling a little clueless as to what you need, let alone how much it all costs. If this is the case, a good starting point is completing a quick baby costs calculator. You can then create a list of nursery essentials, most notably a cot or cot bed, bedding, changing unit, baby monitor and storage. You’ll then know how much you have left to spend on the soft furnishings – and your pushchair and other essentials!
Creating a mood board
You may lose hours (or maybe days!) to Pinterest but time spent gaining inspiration and creating your dream nursery mood board will result in a coordinated and personal room theme. Look at including examples and samples of the following – your preferred base and secondary colours, an accent colour, floor covering, wall coverings, wall art, furniture, soft furnishings, and accessories. Are you a fan of neutral pastels? Or maybe you’d prefer a bright and colourful space that will help engage your baby’s senses as they grow? For instance, removable stickers are ideal for a temporary but effective wall art feature as these are easy to replace. Creating a visual aid for your room will prove invaluable for the next steps.
Not everyone can fit a complete room set into their nursery, so now’s the time to grab the tape measure and create a room layout. A quick and easy trick for sizing up the room is to check furniture dimensions based on the pieces you’re thinking of investing in, and then position cardboard templates of the same size onto your flooring. Essentially, you’ll be left with a nursery mock-up so you’ll be able to envisage how the room will be used and understand how creative you need to be in terms of storage!
Building your nursery | Putting it all together
Now you’ve got everything planned out and a firm idea of what you want, it’s time to put it all together. But before you whip out your allen key, first you need to find your furniture…
Ordering your furniture
You may be tempted to postpone the bulkier items until a later date but ordering the key pieces to furnish your little one’s room with will start you off on the right foot. Sleep will occupy a lot of baby’s days, so one of the primary things to consider is their cot or cot-bed and mattress. The mini cot bed is a great option for those with more compact space who don’t want to compromise on longevity. Other space-saving options include a combined chest of drawers and changing unit, as well as a cot top changer and under drawer that sits under your cot on castors. Don’t forget to air out your mattress when it arrives.
Decorating your nursery
Whether you’re thinking of decorating the space with wallpaper, water-based paints or a mix of both, your main goal should be to create a calming environment that’s simple, and ideally interchangeable to allow for longevity. This room should be a relaxing place not just for your newborn, but for you as a parent too, since you’ll be spending many precious hours here. Once you’ve fully decorated the room, you can make a start on building your furniture purchases.
Accessorising your nursery
Time to add the beautiful finishing touches and put up your feet! Soft furnishings like blankets, cushions and rugs are all fun things you might like to use for texture and to add a little more personality into your new room. Also, why not choose a baby mobile and some cute cuddly toys to lend an extra layer of comfort? These little additions will help you create a welcoming atmosphere that’s dedicated entirely to your newest family member. Alternatively, if friends and family want gift inspiration you could always create a wish list of accessories to share with them.
Other things to consider
Creating a nursery is a perfect change to let your creativity and imaginate go wild. But there are also a few things to think about when planning.
A word on safety - safety should always be at the forefront when planning your nursery design, and this can be achieved with a few simple but effective baby-proofing measures. Things like covering any sharp edges with safety padding or bumpers, concealing wires and plug sockets, and fitting high shelving units are all important precautions to consider. Also, since babies react to their environment, it’s a good idea to place any objects that could be a potential choking hazard safely out of reach before they start crawling.
Storage is a big thing to consider. A baby means lots of extra things and no matter how much you try to police the number of blankets and cuddly toys that come through the door, there will be lots. And that’s before you consider all the outfits that people buy for baby to ‘grow into’. Spend some time considering what storage is right for you – a smaller nursery will limit the number of wardrobes and drawers you can have, so consider underbed drawers and cubes on shelves to maximise the storage space in your room.
As much as this is baby’s bedroom, you’re the one who’s going to be utilising most of it for the first year, so consider how you’re going to use the space. As with storage, smaller spaces require a bit more thought so that you can be optimise your space for what’s practical. Consider where baby’s changing unit will be and plan for all the nappies and wipes to be stored near-by, if you have space for a nursing chair then it’s a worthwhile investment, as you may spend a lot of late nights rocking your little one to sleep. Create a room that gives you space to move around and get to the things you need – not least your little one.
When designing your baby’s nursery, above all the process should be enjoyable and memorable. This is your time to nest and create a welcoming home for baby. We hope these tips will help you on your way to creating a space that’s just right for your little one’s earliest moments in life.