Planning alert. Baby incoming!

So… it’s well and truly sunk in. A brand new baby is actually on their way, they’re going to need a nursery and you need to get on the case. Because gathering nursery ideas, planning your nursery decor and creating the perfect baby room has got to be one of the best parts of being pregnant.

Now’s your chance to practice your interior design skills and shop till you drop (literally!), filling your ideal nursery with everything your newborn needs, and with everything you need to make your life easier. We've put together a few nursery ideas to get you started.

What do you need in a nursery room?

You’ll want to make sure your beautiful baby room is also a safe sleeping space, and one where your baby will happily sleep all night long (eventually!).

Here’s a handy checklist of nursery ideas for your perfect nursery.

  • Cot or crib
  • Cot mattress
  • Baby changing table
  • Baby changing mat
  • Nursing chair
  • Nursing and support pillows
  • Nursery furniture
  • Plenty of storage for baby essentials
  • Dimmable lighting and low light lamps
  • Blackout blinds
  • Newborn sized swaddle sleeping bags
  • Care basket of essentials

How can I make my nursery look good?

Naturally, you want your precious baby's nursery to be amazing. It's never too early to start looking for nursery ideas and checking out what your perfect contemporary nursery might look like.

Pick a calming colour for your nursery

The nursery is where your baby is going to learn how to sleep on their own. So make it easy for them by basing your nursery decor around soft, calming colours and pastel shades.

Opt for warm neutrals

Nursery decor has moved with the times. Pink for a girl and blue for a baby boy is ancient history now, thank goodness! It's all about the gender neutral nursery. Nowadays you’re free to use all the colours you love in your other rooms and create a truly contemporary nursery. Warm neutrals create a calming atmosphere and welcoming space in your living room – so why not in your child's room?

Set the neutral shades off with subtle pops of bright colours for a little extra fun.

Paint the ceiling

Paint the ceiling of your baby's room a sunny blue sky, or a starry night. Fill it with flying things like birds and butterflies. Or if you've opted for a subtly shaded, neutral nursery, what about furry creatures or maybe just soft, swirly patterns.

Create a colourful feature wall

Bold colours could be overpowering if used in the whole room. But a feature wall can really add the wow factor to your little one's nursery. Pick a deep, dramatic shade, find an amazing wallpaper or even get one of your own photos blown up to fill the space.

If you feel like channelling your inner artist, paint a mural. Or if you want the easy way to create large scale wall art, vinyl decals and wall stickers are quick and simple to use (and to change when it’s time to move on).

Pick a fun theme for your nursery

You could make your baby room your own by picking a theme – a favourite nursery rhyme, children’s book or even just a unique-to you colour scheme. An animal theme always works well and introduces your little one to the natural world. Think jungle creatures or brilliantly coloured birds. Cartoons, movies, fairy tales… They're all great sources of nursery ideas. Set your imagination free!

Make it your own with sweet accessories

Your nursery doesn’t have to have a grand scheme. Start with a plain, simple room and fill your baby's room with love and personality by adding cute accessories like lampshades and cushion covers, pretty storage baskets, hanging mobiles, framed photos and pictures. And so easy to refresh whenever you feel like a change of look.

Find inspiration, make a mood board...

Where do you go to for baby room ideas? There’s no end of nursery décor inspo and info online and you’ll find plenty to swoon over in every mother and baby magazine. And browsing nursery ideas is a great way to take your mind off your aching back! Put a mood board together of all the things you love. You can do it on screen or the old fashioned way – cut and paste photos, fabric and paint swatches. It’s a great way to pull all your nursery ideas together and see what works with what.

Make a baby room with room to grow

It’s easy to get carried away kitting out your baby's nursery. Especially first time around. But if you plan wisely, the nursery furniture you buy for your newborn today could still be being used when they’re a toddler or even older. Whether you're drawn to the idea of nursery furniture sets or you're going to mix and match, choose pieces that will last.

And don't forget, your little one is soon going to get bigger and start moving around. So try and plan your perfect room with enough floor space to allow for a bit of exploring.

Invest in clever furniture

Buying nursery furniture is going to be one of your biggest outlays when you’re kitting out your baby room, especially if you're looking at full nursery furniture sets. So it’s well worth investing in good quality pieces that will last well beyond babyhood.

Look for baby wardrobes that easily convert to adult size clothing or a changing table that converts to a dresser later on. Or pick a design style that will look good anywhere in the house, so that when that baby storage unit is no longer needed in the nursery, it can enjoy a whole new life in the living room, for example.

A crib that grows with your baby

Pick your cot or crib with longevity in mind. If you have the space in your nursery, you could buy a clever cot bed that starts life as a traditional barred cot, and then, as your baby grows, is easy to change into the perfect toddler bed. All you have to do is take away the removable sides and adjust the height – giving you around three years more cot life out of your investment.

Long-life storage for all those nursery must-haves.

Sleek and stylish built in nursery storage might be trendy, but freestanding nursery furniture will have a longer life as your child grows. You can move it around when baby moves up to a bed and the nursery needs a fresh look, add to it when you need more space and then simply trade it in when it’s done its job.

Floating shelves or wall mounted shelves can be a cost-effective way to create loads of storage space – and to display all those toys your little one has already been given but is still too young to play with!

For those middle of the night wake-up calls (and during the day, too, when your sleep-deprived self is running on automatic!), a ‘care basket’ can be a lifesaver. It makes sure you’ve always got the essentials to hand. Fill it with diapers, baby wipes, a water bottle and snacks for you. Then it's easy to move all you need from nursery to next to your bed, so all you've got to do is roll over!

The best flooring for nurseries

It could get messy in that nursery! And goodness knows you’ve got enough to do looking after your baby without worrying about a stain on a carpet. Choose a floor for its easy cleaning ability. Anything smooth, waterproof and washable will do – wood, laminate, vinyl. Even that old favourite linoleum has made a come back recently.

And when your baby starts crawling, exploring the big wide world and discovering the hand to mouth trick, you'll be super glad you chose a flooring that's easy to keep spick and span and germ free!

A comfortable chair

It may be your baby's room, but don't forget the nursery is your space, too. Whether you're nursing your little one, reading them a bedtime story or simply taking a few moments and staying close, you'll want somewhere comfortable to sit, with lots of lovely cushions to support you.

Window dressing

There’s nothing wrong with pretty curtains. But did you know your baby is born with no sense of night or day? So fitting good blackout curtains or blinds is a good way to start teaching them that there is a difference. They learn to associate darkness with sleep time right from day one, and maintaining a constant low light level at night can help them to sleep deeper and longer.

Natural light during the day is just as important – getting just the right amount will actually help you little one sleep better when you want them to.

Think safety first in your nursery

Naturally, you don’t just want your nursery to be a beautiful space, you want it to be a safe space for baby to sleep as well. Here's how to make sure your baby is sleeping safely:

  • Choose a firm mattress that allows your child to breathe freely and to stay at the right temperature.
  • Always put your baby down to sleep on their back.
  • Position your baby at the bottom edge of the mattress, with their feet near the foot end of the cot.
  • Use a sleeping bag.

The right mattress

Shop around for a firm mattress such as those made from polyurethane or cold foam, which allow air to pass through and wick away moisture. Team this with a permeable mattress protector like those made by AeroSleep and you have the perfect combination of breathability, temperature regulation and moisture control.

The safest sleeping position for Baby is on their back. But for extra peace of mind, AeroSleep mattress protectors let your little one breathe freely even if they roll over. So you’ll really be able to sleep easy!

Sleeping and swaddling bags

Putting your baby to sleep near the foot of the bed, and tucking the sheet in at the bottom are both recommended as ways of preventing your little one slipping down underneath their bedding. Or you could pop them into a soft, soothing swaddling or sleeping bag. Your newborn will have got used to being snugly cocooned in the womb, so a swaddling sleeping bag is a great way to make sure they sleep soundly from day one. Puckababy has a great range for all ages from newborns to toddlers.

Safe sleeping all around the house with a travel cot

Maybe not an obvious choice for your nursery from day one, but you may want to think about buying a good quality travel cot. Many new parents find them incredibly useful at home as well as away. It means you’ve always got a safe sleep space for your newborn, not just in your baby's room but whatever room you’re in. Giving you more freedom to live life while keeping them in plain sight.

And unlike a carrycot or Moses’ basket, a well-designed travel cot usually has a life beyond the first few months – making it a very good investment. The AeroMoov Instant Travel Cot, for example, doubles up as a play space once baby is big enough to stand up and move around, and can even be used outdoors.

We hope you've found our nursery ideas inspiring! Happy hunting for all your baby room essentials! Have fun with your nursery design and creating the perfect soothing, safe place for your little one to come home to.