Preparing a nursery is really exciting but there’s a lot to think about beforehand. From deciding what theme and color palette will the baby room have to choosing the right furniture and setting up the nursery symmetrically, there’s a lot of planning involved.

But how do you know when to start designing a nursery, what’s the best time to buy a crib, when to buy nursery furniture and more? Well, here’s our comprehensive nursery timeline guide to help you understand all the nursery needs and embark on your stress-free journey of building a nursery.

Setting Up Nursery: Best Time To Design, How To Get Started, Checklist & Much More

For any parent, preparing a nursery is one of the best and most cherishable moments of their lifetime. It is a fun yet stressful task to come up with the best decor ideas, choose the furniture wisely, shop for other nursery essentials and plan everything as per a well-planned timeline.

From the rough plan to adding the final touches and everything in between, time flies quickly and you have your little munchkin waiting to snooze relaxingly in their cute swaddle blanket. If you are puzzled about setting up a nursery seamlessly without wasting your time, efforts and money, you are in the right place.

This article will give you budget-friendly solutions to plan nursery design and set up the baby room conveniently. From when you should start designing a nursery to by what time all the nursery needs must be ready, we’ve got everything covered!

Nursery Timeline To Get Started: Preparing A Nursery Seamlessly

The overall process of setting up the baby room might make you feel like there’s not enough time to finish it all. However, with the right timeline to plan nursery setup and a step-by-step guide, you can design your baby’s nursery most efficiently without any worries.

16th to 18th Week: Determine Your Budget

First and foremost, it is highly important to figure out the amount of money you can afford to spend on the nursery setup and accessorizing. If you don’t set your budget at the early stage, you will end up regretting it later.

18th to 20th Week: Choose The Theme

After the budget, deciding on the nursery theme should be your first step to get started with the overall designing process. After all, how could you plan a nursery setup without any design inspirations? You need to figure out the foundational details, color palette, and rough layout before you bring in the furniture. Here’s how you can find the best baby nursery colors.

The nursery theme should be a reflection of your personal style, trending designs and your overall home decor. Many parents choose gender-based nursery themes while others like to go for solid, specific color inspired, or neutral nursery themes. Parents who don’t support gender stereotype colors, expecting twins, or planning closely aged babies can also opt for miscellaneous nursery themes.

Here are some of our best nursery themes you can consider this year:

20th Week Onwards – Create Your Baby Registry List

Although you can start creating the baby registry as early as the 12th week of your pregnancy, it is still not late if you begin the 20th week onwards. Depending upon the cultural practices and preferences, many parents also choose to add essential furniture items into the baby registry list itself.

Here are some major items you should add to your registry list:

  • Clothes
  • Nursing and feeding supplies
  • Bedding and sleep accessories
  • Diapers and toiletries
  • Bathing essentials
  • Baby gear and travel items
  • Playtime accessories and toys
  • Health and safety equipment

21st to 23rd Week: Create A Checklist Of All Essential Furniture Items

Now, dedicate almost three weeks to determining the essential baby furniture you need for the nursery depending upon the availability of space, your personal preference and budget.

  • Start looking for the furniture items around you as well as online.
  • Compare prices, read and watch as many detailed reviews as possible.
  • Seal the deal on the primary baby furniture you need to get started.

Here are a few essential baby nursery furniture pieces you must buy. Remember, it is better to look for convertible, double-duty furniture pieces that offer more storage than single furniture pieces. Also, it will be better if you choose basic furniture pieces with neutral colors.

  • Baby crib & mattress
  • Diaper changing table
  • Wardrobe
  • Storage drawers
  • Nursing chair or glider

Once you’ve got all the essential baby furniture, here is a list of some non-essential, secondary stuff you can eye on and add to your registry list.

  • Mirror for adding more dimension to the room
  • Diaper pail
  • Laundry basket
  • Baby bouncer, rocker or swing
  • Rug
  • Nightlight
  • Blackout curtains

21st Week Onwards: Make Major Repairs & Babyproof Your Home

If required as per your home layout and requirements, hire professionals to make necessary repairs before you can start the actual room decoration. It is at this point you can also babyproof your entire home.

24th Week Onwards: Decorating & Storage Solutions

By this time, you must have your rough design layout and major furniture pieces ready. It’s time to start positioning all the pieces properly and symmetrically, decorating additional items and incorporating storage solutions.

  • It is at this stage you will find yourself doing the most DIYs of your life.
  • Try to look for more and more hidden storage and optimise each space in the most efficient way.
  • Also, look for additional statement accessories that can bind your nursery theme with the standard furniture pieces.

28th Week Onwards: Add The Final Touches

Since the decoration process will take about four weeks, you’ll still be left with countless tiny details by the time you reach the 28th week of your pregnancy. From acquiring last-minute decoration pieces to some unexpected loose ends, fittings and fixtures, you will find yourself still busy till the 36th week.

29th to 30th Week: Organize The Baby Shower

The most exciting and memorable time for you! This is the best time to get done with the baby shower because your baby bump will make you very tired later on. Also, by this time, most of your work should be done to enjoy a carefree baby shower party!

36th Week Onwards: It’s Time to Rest

Yes, mama! Your baby might arrive anytime soon now. It’s time you take enough rest and take care of yourself as much as possible. Even if some last-minute work is left, let your partner, friends and family take care of that!

Some Other Factors To Consider While Designing The Nursery

Now that you have a basic nursery timeline on your mind, here are a few major things you must consider before you get started:

1. Do Not Be Overwhelmed

The biggest mistake most parents end up making is buying unnecessary stuff or adding items they won’t even use enough to their registry list. Remember you don’t have to purchase everything you come across on the internet. Babies seem to require a lot of items but trust us, they are always the essentials – clothes, diapers, and feeding stuff. You don’t need to clutter the space with countless items.

2. Define Your Budget

Most importantly, you should set a budget in the early days of planning your nursery layout and design to not exceed it. Remember, your baby’s nursery can be as basic as imaginable – with just the crib, diaper changing station and wardrobe. It is us that makes the overall process more complicated and expensive as per our needs & wants, lifestyle, and preferences.

Don’t forget, designing the nursery is just the first step. So many more expenses are awaiting you as you progress your pregnancy journey and wait for the arrival of your baby. From hospital bills to insurance and much more, there are countless expenses on the way. You cannot mess with your budget and spend all you own on the nursery itself.

3. Never Buy Stuff That Has Been Recalled By The Inspecting Authorities

Whether you are purchasing new furniture items and baby gear or reusing hand-me-down items, it is important to check whether the models still meet the safety standards as set forth by the JPMA, CPSC, and ASTM.

4. Assemble The Furniture & Inspect Everything Very Carefully

Before the arrival of your baby, it is really important to assemble the furniture pieces properly and inspect them very carefully so that your baby’s safety is not hindered at all.

When Should You Start Planning The Nursery?

Planning your nursery can be as early as your first trimester, whenever you feel ready. From the basic design inspiration to the theme, color palette and symmetry, you can make a rough plan from the third month onwards. Deciding on the theme also becomes easier around the 18th to 20th week of pregnancy once you’ve peeked at the baby’s gender.

If there’s some major refurbishing work pending at your home to get the room ready, it is always a good idea to start early. However, if your intended nursery room is already perfect without needing any major professional construction work, aim for the second trimester to get started with the actual implementation of the design and decor.

When To Buy Nursery Furniture?

Most expecting parents wonder how early they can start buying or ordering their nursery furniture. According to most parents, the second trimester, usually the fifth month, is the best time to buy a crib and other major furniture. This is because once you have the main furniture at home, only then you can figure out the actual design and symmetry.

Aden 4 in 1 Convertible Mini Crib

Featuring : Aden 4 in 1 Convertible Mini Crib

When To Start Setting Up A Nursery?

Ideally, preparing a nursery should begin as soon as you’ve got all the major furniture shipped at your place. Also, most mommies are quite energetic in the second trimester to help get things ready and fully involved in the nursery decoration process with their partners.

If you start late (say – at the beginning of the third trimester), your big belly might exhaust you quickly. This might further make you panic looking at the slow progress of the nursery set-up. And what if your baby decides to show up early? It is always wiser to start setting up the nursery in the second trimester.

By When Should The Baby Room Be Ready?

As a general rule of thumb, all the nursery needs should be accommodated until the 32nd week and the final touches should be done by the 36th week of your pregnancy. After all, the baby can come at any time after the 36th week. Remember, there’s no harm in setting up a nursery earlier but rushing at the last moment will give you unwanted stress.

How Long Will It Take To Fully Set Up The Baby Room?

Usually, a nursery setup takes about six to eight weeks to finish completely. However, it is recommended to start early just in case there might be some delays in the shipment of some important furniture pieces, or there might be some unexpected issues. Moreover, if you get started in the third trimester, you might not feel the most energetic and your baby could also arrive at any time.

Steps To Building A Nursery For Small Spaces Or Room Sharing

If you cannot dedicate a private nursery to your newborn because of a small apartment or personal preference, it’s completely okay! Not all babies have their own nursery and they don’t even care for real. All they want is their comfortable and cozy sleep space to slumber all day long.

Moreover, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) actually recommends room sharing with a newborn until at least six months so that it’s easier to reach them in the middle of the night. Also, you could stay alarmed about everything going on and be sure of your bub’s safety throughout the night.

So, if you’re going to plan a nursery in your bedroom, it is even easier than designing an entire room. Here are some ideas to accommodate basic nursery needs in your room for maximum convenience.

1. Create a Distinct Corner

Just because your tiny tot doesn’t have a whole space designated as their “own” doesn’t mean they don’t deserve their own sweet little corner. Some parents with a large master bedroom might prefer setting off the nursery space with a physical divider, usually a cupboard for baby’s stuff or curtains.

However, many parents with limited bedroom space cannot use partitions or else the room might end up looking cluttered and even smaller. Remember, dividing the room is your personal choice depending upon the availability of space and your preferences but creating a distinct nursery corner is possible in either case.

2. Position The Crib Well

Since a crib is the centrepiece of a nursery, it is crucial to choose and position it wisely. Consider purchasing a convertible crib or one with drawers that can serve multiple purposes in the long run.

  • Figure out the right and the safest spot to set up the baby’s crib.
  • Paint a statement wall behind it to bring in that nursery aura without much effort.
  • Don’t worry! The accent wall doesn’t have to be too different. You can choose a shade that complements the interiors of your bedroom and still make it look baby-ish.

3. Decorate The Crib Corner

  • Adding some fairy lights, net canopy, windchime or faux plants can also give a clear definition to the baby’s space.
  • Even if you’d like to go for a plain wall, a net canopy is sure to bring in a whimsical ambience and banish pesky mosquitoes.
  • However, make sure to choose the right circumference and diameter of your canopy so that it can cover the crib perfectly, without any gaps.
  • Install some hanging lights or a chandelier so that it can serve as decor as well as provide enough light for you to reach your baby at midnight.

4. Invest In A Spacious Diaper Changing Station

While many people would recommend ditching the diaper changing station, we won’t. After all, you cannot risk any poopy mess on your bed. Can you? However, it is a smart idea to pick the right diaper changing table that offers plenty of space to accommodate most of your bub’s belongings. Position the diaper changing table near the crib and thank us later.

5. Share Your Closet

There’s no harm in sharing your closet if you can get slightly more creative with pulling more storage out of it. There are endless tips and tricks to reconfiguring a master closet for babies everywhere around the internet. All it takes is a tad bit of research and inspiration.

Anyways, your baby’s outfits aren’t going to acquire a lot of space if you optimize your closet correctly. Also, this is the best time to declutter the clothes you haven’t touched for years, get rid of unnecessary items and reallocate your existing storage.

  • If your bedroom closet doesn’t seem to offer any space, you can use closet rods to hang the baby’s clothes below your shorter garments.
  • Move your out-of-season clothing items to another room or tuck them in vacuum-sealed bags to store them in another room or under-the-bed bins.

6. Look For Dead Spaces

Sometimes, you might not even realize you have dead spaces in your bedroom. Look for them wisely and try to incorporate additional storage solutions. After all, storage is never enough with babies.

  • If there seem to be no corners where you can add the laundry basket or toy storage, consider the walls.
  • Add some shelves to bring more symmetry and dimensions in the room while getting enough storage for your bub.
  • You can also utilize storage at the back of the door by mounting storage pockets or statement metal racks.

7. Lay A Beautiful Rug

Rugs are a sure-fire way to add a decorative touch with a hint of colour and texture in any room. However, they become a must when you are sharing the room with your little bundle of joy as they help in reducing the noise on the floor as you go in and out of the room. This will ensure your bub sleeps comfortably and isn’t cranky because of any noise disturbances.

8. Invest In Blackout & Soundproof Curtains

While many people would recommend investing in a white noise machine, we’d not really suggest it once you’ve got the rug we outlined above. But what about the natural light that enters your room throughout the day? To ensure your tiny tot gets maximum sleep, make sure it is dark and quiet enough for them. Invest in durable blackout and soundproof curtains so that your baby is undisturbed during their nap time.

9. Weatherstrip The Windows & Doors

Babies need the right amount of moisture and temperature inside their room to not get disturbed by hot or cold weather conditions outside. Hence, the best idea is to weather strip the windows and doors inside the bedroom without much time or hassles.

  • Rush to the nearest department store near you and purchase some window sealing strips.
  • Seal all the tiny gaps that might let bugs, cold air or moisture inside through the doors and windows.
  • This will further ensure most outside noises are blocked.

Frequently Asked Questions About Preparing A Nursery

Still have any questions about nursery needs popping up in your mind? Here are our answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about setting up the baby room.

What do I need to set up a baby nursery?

To plan a nursery set up for your baby, you need the following things:

  • A well-determined budget
  • Nursery theme, color palette and overall layout plan
  • Essential nursery furniture items such as the crib, diaper changing station, storage chest, etc.
  • Some secondary stuff for accessorizing, if your budget allows

When should you start decorating the nursery?

Once you have a proper vision to plan the nursery setup and have all the essential items, you can start organizing the stuff and positioning the furniture from the 24th week onwards. As for decoration and accessorizing, you can look for statement pieces and second items from the 28th week onwards.

How do you share a room with a baby?

Sharing your bedroom with your baby is really easy. All you need is to create a distinct corner for them, optimize the space for the baby’s essential stuff, and noise proof & weatherproof the room to give your bub a comfortable environment.

The Bottom Line

While you start feeling like a parent as soon as you hear the baby’s heartbeat for the very first time, setting up a nursery sets the reality that there is soon going to be a lovely addition to your family. However, it is common to feel slightly stressed and overwhelmed by the amount of work you need to do while setting up the nursery.

However, to ease the stress, it is always a good idea to start preparing a nursery early and create your basic checklist of tasks. This will help you prioritize tasks as per the number of days they are most likely to occupy. Moreover, you can stay organised about your nursery needs amidst all the chaos and schedule everything properly without any delays.

Remember, the baby room doesn’t have to be full of accessories but just a comfortable space where your bub can sleep and hit new milestones without any discomfort. Whether you are on a tight budget or cannot have a private nursery but a shared one in your bedroom, the main goal of setting up a nursery should be to feel involved in your baby preparations and ensure you have all the essentials for your bub.