Decorating the nursery can be fun and exciting. But before you dive in and start filling up the shopping cart, consider the future as well. It’s hard to imagine that your little baby will ever outgrow that giant crib but babies tend to become toddlers, pre-schoolers, and even teenagers before you know it! Unless you want to change the paint, furniture, and rugs every time they hit a milestone, it pays to plan ahead.
Ditch the theme
The most common advice you will hear about the nursery is to select a theme first. Stores even have giant 30 piece sets you can buy in the same theme. But kids can outgrow a baby theme pretty quickly. So instead of going all-in for a particular theme like baby animals, choose a more neutral design that will easily fit a school-going kid as well as a baby.
It doesn’t mean you can’t buy cute stuff but splurge on accessories and toys that you can replace instead of paint colors and animal wallpaper. The same goes for paint colors, try to avoid pastel shades that will look dated in a toddler’s room. Experiment with bold colors and vivid patterns and explore shades beyond blue and pink.
Choose versatile furniture pieces
Don’t think that you should only buy nursery furniture for the baby’s room. You can always repurpose and reuse furniture from other parts of your home. This way the nursery becomes a part of the overall decor and not a separate space. If you have a high-quality piece from the grandparents or an antique dresser, they can go into the nursery as well.
Another advantage to selecting convertible furniture is that you can continue to use it for years, even after your baby grows up. If you’re planning for multiple children, then good-quality furniture will also stand the test of time.
Future proof the nursery
If you’re planning for the future, here are a few items that can help you transition the nursery into a toddler’s room and even into the teen years.
This is not something you will see on most nursery shopping lists but it can be quite useful in the room. You can put it next to the changing table for extra space. You can use it as a place for a lamp or just to place drinks and snacks. When your baby is finally ready for a toddler bed or daybed, the nightstand can hold their toys or books within reach.
A convertible crib might be the best investment you will ever make for your child. Purchasing a good-quality wooden crib that can convert into a toddler bed, a daybed, and finally a full-size bed lets you get a few more years of use out of it. It’s a great alternative to simply throwing away an expensive piece of furniture.
Some cribs come with complete conversion kits while others only offer specific attachments. Choose a style that fits your needs and budget. For instance, toddler rails are a good idea if you are planning on a second child who will need the crib again in a year or two. Then you can buy a full-size bed for the older child.
Washable rugs with pad
Rugs are another must-have for a nursery, especially if you have wooden floors. While it’s tempting to buy a shaggy high-pile rug, it can be a choking and tripping hazard for little kids. Instead, opt for a washable rug with a thick pad that will last you much longer. Try getting a larger rug so it can double as a play area and a soft landing pad for just lounging around.
Dresser with changing pad
Another item to consider is the traditional changing table. Once your baby outgrows diapers, it’s quite useless and will only take up precious floor space. Consider getting a dresser that can fit a changing pad on top. Once your little one is potty trained, you can remove the pad and use it as a normal dresser. Opt for a good-quality wooden dresser that will last you for years. Select a classic design that does not need to be replaced once your child grows up.
You can never have too much storage in the nursery or a kid’s room. For example, low-profile storage solutions are a good idea to encourage young kids to put away their toys. They are more likely to play with their toys or read their books if they are accessible and easy to store. Once your child grows up, you can put some cushions on top to create a seating area.
With these tips, you won’t need to paint or swap furniture every few years. Just swap out some accessories or update the sheets/curtains and your toddler is set to move in!