By Ande Waggener
What is the best nursery room layout? Answering this question is easy when you think about what you are going to do in your baby’s room.
The best nursery room layout is based on function and necessity. Although of course, you want your baby’s room to be beautiful, and sure, it’s fun to create design schemes like nautical nursery themes, it’s far more important that your nursery be usable.
So to create an optimal design for your nursery, start with your baby care. What tasks do you routinely do in this room, and what do you want for your baby in this room? The room must purposefully serve these routines and desires, so use these as the basis of your design.
Generally, a baby’s room serves five purposes:
- Feeding (at least until your baby is no longer breast or bottle feeding)
- Playing and Learning
- Storage and organization
Here are seven baby room layout ideas that are based on optimizing these purposes.
1. For Sleep
Keep Cribs Away From Windows
Photos by shutterstock
One of the basics of baby nursery layout that serves the sleep routine is keeping the crib away from windows. Sometimes, parents get so caught up in fun nursery room designs, they forget baby care basics. One of those basics is do everything possible to be sure your baby can sleep well.
Windows are not conducive to good sleep. Unless you have expensive room-darkening shades, light from the window can disturb your baby’s sleep. Also, windows let in heat in the summer and cold in the winter. This is not only disruptive to good sleep, it can be uncomfortable for Mom when she’s attending to her baby.
Ideally, you want to position your crib on a wall opposite to or adjacent to the room’s window or windows.
2. For Feeding
Combine Chairs with Cribs and Storage
Besides the crib, one of the most essential pieces of baby room furniture is the easy chair. Momma, you’re going to be spending a lot of time in this room. You need a comfy place to sit while you feed or watch over your baby.
You don’t want to position your chair any old place. Put it where it will be the most convenient for you. For economy of motion, you’ll want your chair near the crib so you don’t have to go far with a crying baby wanting to be fed. One lift and a sit, and you’re settled if the chair is near the crib.
Once you’re seated, though, you’re going to want some things within reach. You may need a spit-up cloth or a pacifier. So either place your chair near a chest of drawers or place a storage basket or container near or under the chair.
3. For Changing
Pair Changing Tables and Cribs
Just as you don’t want your chair too far from the crib, you don’t want your changing area too far away either. A quick shift of an unhappy, smelly baby to the changing area is always a good idea. For additional convenience, be sure your changing table includes drawers or other types of storage so you have all you need to clean up and diaper your baby.
4. For Playing and Learning
Put Fun Within Sight of the Crib
All nurseries should have elements of fun, but the fun shouldn’t just be in the look of the room as a whole. That fun needs to be within sight line of your baby while he or she is hanging out in the crib. An engaged baby is a happy baby. So arrange your nursery so that playful items like plush toys can be easily seen from the crib.
5. Surround the Crib with Color and Contrasts
Keeping fun nursery elements near the crib good, but placing bold color and contrast near the crib is even better. When a baby is born, its nerve cells aren’t yet well-connected. Creating these connections comes from sensory input. So visual stimulation is crucial to your baby’s development.
Research has shown that stark color contrasts like black and white or other bold colors paired with white work best to stimulate your baby’s senses. Stripes are also important to developing nerve connections.
Because newborn babies see best up to 12 inches away, surround the crib with sharp color contrasts and striped patterns.
6. Get Soft and Fluffy on the Floor
Although you can have any type of flooring you choose in your baby’s room, at least part of the floor should be covered with a plush, fluffy rug. When your baby starts to crawl, both baby and you are going to spend a lot of time on the floor. Cushion baby knees and your own with a crawling-friendly space in your nursery so your play routine will be enjoyable for all. Including some floor pillows will also help with your playtime routine.
7. For Storage and Organization
Keep Shelves Low
When it comes to a list of nursery decorating hacks, keeping shelving relatively low to the floor is right up there at the top. Although this might seem counterintuitive to someone who doesn’t want to bend over all the time to get and store needed items, think about what’s going to happen when your child starts to crawl and toddle around.
It’s fine for larger nursery furniture, like chests and wardrobes, to be at adult height, but shelves are a special case. When your baby starts exploring, tall shelves can look like a mountain that would be fun to climb. Shelves also aren’t the most stable pieces of furniture; they can easily be pulled over by inquisitive toddlers.
Incorporating low shelving and other low to the floor storage containers into your nursery room layout is not only safe, it’s also helpful for teaching children to pick up and put away their toys and clothes. When storage is accessible to them, they can learn to use it.
Taking care of a baby is one of the most joyful and rewarding of life’s gifts, but it can also be one of the most exhausting. The above seven nursery room layout ideas should help you optimize all your baby care routines so baby care will be as easy as possible.