nursery decor, including a crib and nursing chair

In a perfect world, a newborn’s first room is a sanctuary—for baby and for parents! To get you inspired, we’ve rounded up ten easy and totally affordable baby room ideas, including functional furniture and organizing hacks that will help you enjoy the long days and nights together. We know it’s hard to think beyond the baby years when you’re waiting for your precious bundle to arrive, so don’t worry—we’ve done that too, with ideas that easily transition from nursery to toddler room and beyond.

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1. Create a playful space with unique wallpaper or decals.

Your partner may not agree on that statement wall you’ve been itching to try in the living room, but your newborn surely won’t mind a splash of colour behind their crib while they sleep. Wallpaper or wall decals add playfulness to your baby nursery without breaking the bank. From textured to printed varieties, there’s something for every taste, so select one that you think will stand the test of time. Remember, soon enough your child will be calling the shots, so revel in the opportunity to choose while you can.

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2. Consider a calming neutral colour scheme.

They say babies pick up on the energy of their parents—and there’s science to prove it! Studies show that newborns not only sense their mother’s stress, they also exhibit corresponding physiological changes.[1] A serene nursery decorated in warm, neutral colours won’t do the laundry or diaper changes for you, but it may help to soothe your mind. A baby nursery in beige, ivory and muted white—proven to reduce stress responses[2]—will do the trick. Complete the room with soft knits and woven items, for added warmth and texture. Simple and cute!

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3. Organize your newborn’s toys with cute and functional storage.

Legos and toy trucks and books—oh my! We all know how much babies and toddlers love to play. Unfortunately, we also know the mess becomes their parents’ responsibility. Invest in cute storage baskets that you can simply toss toys into at the end of the day. (Cue “Ten Second Tidy.”) Tuck the baskets onto shelves so they stay organized but within reach for your kid’s next play session.

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4. Organize baby’s change table drawers.

As a parent to a newborn, you will be juggling many tasks—the last thing you need is to rummage through a drawer for a onesie. Invest in drawer organizers (or add them to your baby registry!) to keep your baby’s belongings tidy and visible. This cost-effective and simple solution may even inspire you to use drawer organizers of your own. Bonus: less searching means more quality time with your little one.

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5. Add small, personalized details to make the space cozier.

Personalized touches go a long way in creating a warm and inviting environment. Welcome your newborn into their space with adorable details like a framed ultrasound or footprint—simple ways to add sentiment to any baby nursery. If you opt for the footprint, you’ll need to wait for baby to arrive, but you can always plan ahead by purchasing the frame and supplies beforehand.

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6. Pick a corner and create a comfortable spot for yourself.

Because mom and dad’s comfort matters, too! Pick a corner of the baby nursery and choose a comfy glider and ottoman to help soothe you through the sleepless nights. Once your little one is older than three months, an ultrasonic diffuser with essential oils can calm you both as you rock baby to sleep—just remember to test out a small amount of each new oil for an hour to ensure it doesn’t cause your child any irritation.[3]

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7. Consider a daybed so you can "sleep when the baby sleeps."

We know, we know. This advice is good in theory, but it doesn’t always play out. That said, with a daybed you are at least one step closer to getting some much-needed shut-eye while your little one sleeps. Create a cute and cozy setup with decorative pillows that match the colour scheme of your baby’s nursery, and snooze away. Another great payoff: the daybed can become theirs after their second birthday—just be sure to follow Health Canada’s best practices and install a bedrail to keep them secure![4] Bonus if the daybed has a trundle for sleepovers and late-night chats with siblings.

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8. Create a cozy reading nook for you and your baby.

Not only is cuddling up with baby and a book a fun bonding experience, reading aloud to newborns has been shown to expand their vocabulary and grammar[5] and foster a positive attitude toward reading later on. Create a space in your newborn’s nursery for a reading nook, complete with invisible hanging shelves, a swivel recliner and stuffed animals. The books can double as wall décor, while the swivel chair can function as a nursing spot.

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9. Spruce up plain walls with framed art.

Prints can take a plain wall from drab to fab in seconds! Use framed art to animate areas of your baby’s nursery that you would like to highlight, like the space above their crib. Find playful prints, like animal designs (perfect for a jungle theme nursery) and arrange them as you’d like. For a sweet personal touch, frame family photos and hang them around the nursery. Point at a photo of “mommy” enough times and you might even get your first word out of your newborn!

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10. Invest in stylish, multipurpose furniture your child can use long-term.

After all, they grow up so fast! Selecting nursery décor for future use may seem odd, but, in retrospect, you will be thankful you won’t have to spend twice on investment pieces. Timeless multipurpose furniture such as this classic dresser that doubles as a roomy changing station can store you child’s belongings for years to come. Other stylish décor like mirrors, lamps and plants will not only dress up your baby’s nursery, but also grow with your child.

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