7 Ultra-Smart Baby Nursery Ideas That Even Your Baby Will Coo About

Baby Nursery Ideas

Preparing to welcome a baby into the world is an incredibly exciting time. Part of the fun is designing and setting up the nursery.

You may have plenty of baby nursery ideas in mind, but flexibility is key if you only have a small space to work with. Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can adapt and modify your ideas to make sure everything fits. Share on X

Don’t allow yourself to be overwhelmed by all the options. Rather, think clearly about what’s important. Such as creating a room that can grow with your baby or having everything you need within easy reach.

To help you along, I’ve created a list of 7 super clever baby nursery ideas that are specifically aimed at parents working with limited space. 

Relax. Enjoy the experience. And use this guide to help you create a comfortable baby room for you and your little one.

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Baby Nursery Ideas for Essential Items

Although it can be tempting to buy everything for your baby’s nursery, a minimalist approach works better. Avoid creating unnecessary clutter and completely overwhelming yourself by keeping things simple. Figure out exactly what the essential items are for your nursery and then stick to them. This will help you to better optimize the limited space you have as you’ll know each item in there is essential. Prioritize what goes in the nursery and store anything that isn’t needed regularly (e.g. toys meant for another stage, clothing that’s too big for now) somewhere else in your home. 

Select Smaller Multi-functional Furniture

Baby Nursery Ideas

The best baby nursery ideas are the ones that take into account both space and function. That’s why multi-functional furniture that can change as your baby grows is a smart investment. If space is really limited, you may opt for a mini crib that has scaled-down frames and flexible features. However, convertible cribs that can convert from a crib to a toddler bed and then finally to a full-size bed are the smartest most cost-effective option.

You can also save space by skipping the bulky changing table and using the top of the dresser with a changing pad instead. The same thing goes for the glider or rocking chair. These are bulky items that take up a lot of space. Look into purchasing a smaller nursing chair that leaves room for you to move around in your small nursery.

 Organize with Smart Storage Solutions

The way you organize and store items in your small nursery is important. The idea is to have storage that can hold a lot of items but without taking up too much space. However, the storage solutions you use need to be easily accessible. When you’re caring for a newborn, everything you need should be within arm’s length to make life easier as you change diapers, clothe your baby, or even while breastfeeding.

For example, you could pack a sturdy rolling cart full of baby essentials such as diapers, lotions, creams, wipes, and more to make diaper changing simpler. Make sure it’s safe because in no time at all, your little one will be crawling, pulling, and grabbing. For items that you need but not as regularly, you can make use of the space under the crib. Buy storage boxes that fit in this space (measure in advance) and put things such as extra crib sheets, blankets, and mattress pads in them.

Always Use Closet & Door Space

Make the most of any closet or door space in the room in order to save valuable floor space. Hanging things on the door is a great way to stay organized and save space. An over-the-door storage organizer is super useful for a variety of extra baby items you’ll need on hand. Use it to stow away rolled-up baby blankets, extra pacifiers, bibs, and whatever else you can think of. If your nursery has a closet, you can maximize space by adding a second pole to double the amount of clothing you can store. You can also use the top closet shelves and floor space to tuck away storage bins or baskets with extra items you need.

Fold Baby Clothes & Store According to Age

Before you’ve even brought your baby home, you’re likely to have piles of clothes gifted by well-meaning friends and family. You can ensure that all these piles don’t take up your much-needed space simply by organizing and storing them well.

First, you’ll want to separate all the clothes according to size/age. You’ll need the newborn clothes first but that size doesn’t last long. Store the larger clothes that you won’t be using immediately by folding or rolling them up into storage boxes. Then neatly fold or file fold Marie Kondo style and store the clothes you’ll need right away in dresser drawers or in the closet. If you think you’ll struggle to keep the drawers neat and tidy, separate the folded clothes using drawer dividers or divider boxes.

Make the Most of the Wall Space

There are tons of excellent baby nursery ideas, but one that I’d really recommend if you’re short on space is to maximize wall space. There are plenty of things that you can hang on an empty wall to create a more functional nursery. By making the most of the wall space, you can keep a tiny room organized.

For example, using a pegboard to hang baskets from is a handy way to store clean diapers, wipes, creams, and more within arm’s reach from your changing station. Plus, this tool can later be repurposed in your crafts room once your baby becomes a busy toddler. Another great option is to mount big colorful knobs to hang clothing or baskets filled with toys and extras and ledge shelves to any open wall space. These thin shelves don’t take up much space and are perfect for books, pictures, stuffed animals, or décor items. 

Decorate with Light or Bright Colors

Your nursery space won’t necessarily look small if you’re clever about the way you decorate it. Keep your decor in mind when considering baby nursery ideas. Color makes a huge difference and you can drastically change the perceived size of a room by using the right colors. Light or bright colors such as whites, grays, and pastels can make any room look larger.

You can opt for a light neutral palette for the walls and furniture such as the crib and rocking chair. Then add pops of bright colors for smaller accessories to complement the look. You can even get creative with accent pattern wallpaper. For example, vertical stripes can make narrow spaces seem taller while horizontal stripes can make a room seem wider. Try your best to ensure that the nursery gets as much natural light as possible which will also help it look bigger.


Setting up the nursery for your baby can be such fun. And there is no need to worry or to go without things you need simply because you only have a small room available.

There are plenty of baby nursery ideas that can be adapted to work in small spaces. Use this post as a guide to get creative with how you set up this special room in your home.

By designing it for its purpose, you’ll create a nursery that both you and your little one love to spend time in.

What are your best baby nursery ideas?


Comments 14

  1. Love the idea of smaller furniture, everything is so big now….! my daughters crib turns into a twin bed…I know its functional but large!!

    1. Lisa,
      My first grandson has a large crib that converts to a bed. So does this new baby and it takes up a third of the room. I have to say, the room is adorable we made sure that everything fits and we made best use of the space. It’s just that no one can gain weight or we won’t fit in the room.

  2. What a fun post to read! Nurseries are so much fun, so full of optimism and happiness:) I always suggest clients keep a “one size up” bin in the closet. When they are tiny, babies grow so fast – you are right that those newborn clothes don’t last long! My girls were both preemies, and talk about tiny clothes! They really didn’t last long at all.

    If I were decorating a nursery today, I agree that I would go for a regular/lower dresser like the double one in your photo, with a changing pad on top as opposed to a traditional changing table. It just is versatile and can stay in the room much longer.

    1. Seana,
      This is such a joyful time. It’s going to get really,really busy very soon!
      I love your idea about keeping a “one size up” bin in the closet. That’s so smart! I already prepared a basket of clothes from 3 to 6 months, in a less accessible place. Babies do grow so fast.
      My twins were preemies too. The only place I could find preemie clothing was Carter’s. Now I think Carter’s is the best kept secret around. Their stuff is fantastic!

  3. Congratulations to your daughter, Ronni. She is so lucky to have you there to help her. These nursery pictures, ideas, and tips are so valuable for new moms. I particularly love the idea of using multi-purpose furniture. Furniture that can change functionality as the baby grows older.

    1. Diane,
      I think it is so smart to have multi functional furniture. And, it’s not just limited to the nursery. It works for the entire home.
      Having a baby is such an important time in a young woman’s life. (Grandma‘s get to reap all the benefits.) But I do think it’s a time when a young mom needs her mom or aunt, sister or dear friend for guidance.

  4. As always, I love your photos! Designing a nursery brought back memories from when we created one for our first baby. I remember struggling with the cost, and then we figured out how to make things work by being creative with paint and repurposing. In fact, just like you suggested, instead of buying a changing table, we retrofitted a dresser. It was even better than anything that was market-ready, and it was within our budget too. Babies need less stuff than you think. What they do need is lots of love and care.

    1. Linda,
      How right you are! What babies need most of all is the love and care from their parents.
      I remember when my twins were born we were living in a 2 bedroom apartment in New York City. My older daughter had the 2nd bedroom. Our dining room was so huge, I decided to divide it in 2 and give my newborns one side, leaving the other half for dining.
      I recall a friend of mine saying, the space might be small but it’s just the right size for them. And of course they didn’t know the difference anyway.

  5. Great tips! I found that small rooms are even more challenging for the parents-to-be. I love that you mentioned vertical space. It’s so important when the nurseries are small.

    1. Sabrina,
      It was very clear that we had to use vertical space. Between the crib and the changing table, we created floor to ceiling shelving that holds everything. It’s really a good thing that I’m skilled at folding!

  6. These are all great suggestions! Furniture and storage that can grow with your baby is so important. It’s tempting to get all the special, trendy baby stuff, but that phase is so short. Love cube storage too!

    1. Melanie,
      The baby’s room is going to be a bit small so we had to be very clever with the design. I opted for a lot of baskets to hold the myriad of baby items. All within arms reach. Later on, they will make perfect storage for toys, books,LEGO’s etc.

  7. Mazel tov on the new grandbaby; too bad these comments aren’t audio versions, or you’d have heard me cooing over the teeny, tiny socks. Because newborns spend so much time sleeping, they’re not missing anything if the nursery starts out with just the essentials, and you’re right that tinier furniture and wiser, multi-use storage will ease the burdens. And I just love the ledge shelving for creating a practical, decorative look!

    1. Julie,

      Thank you for the congratulations! I am on cloud nine, a tired cloud nine but nevertheless, elated!

      I know these tips work because I’ve used them in client’s homes and recently with my daughter.

      Babies don’t need too much. However, I advised my daughter to keep an extra of everything for burping and changing in her bedroom where she often nurses and puts the baby down in a cradle for a nap.

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