Preparing Baby’s Nursery: Setting Up a Soothing Sleep Space

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Preparing the nursery for a newborn’s arrival is one of the most exciting tasks for expecting parents. This special room will be the baby’s haven for rest, comfort, and care in the coming months. While decorating with cute colors, furniture, and accessories is enjoyable, the most important consideration is creating a soothing, safe, and functional environment tailored to the baby’s needs.

Thoughtfully planning out the nursery during pregnancy ensures this essential space is fully ready for when the baby comes home. Here are some key elements to focus on when designing the nursery during preparation for the baby’s arrival.

Preparing Baby’s Nursery

The Bassinet and Crib: Safe Sleep Spaces

One of the biggest decisions expecting parents make is choosing where the baby will sleep. Having options that allow the baby to sleep both nearby and independently offers flexibility. Many parents opt for two key pieces – a bassinet for the newborn months when close proximity is ideal and a crib for babies transitioning into their sleep space.

Co Sleeping Bassinets

For the earliest months, many parents choose a co sleeping bassinet that attaches right to the adult bed with a lightweight divider in between. This allows for extremely easy nighttime care and breastfeeding access simply by reaching over to the attached bassinet to tend to the baby. Co-sleeping bassinets allow newborns to be soothed and settled quickly by their parents without having to leave the comfort of bed. This convenience makes those sleepless newborn nights easier to manage.

When choosing a co sleeping bassinet, be sure to select an option that securely attaches to the adult mattress with no dangerous gaps. Carefully follow all manufacturer guidelines for safety and use. Allowing baby to sleep close by but in their own protected space reduces risks compared to bed sharing.


When looking at crib options, safety is the number one priority. Be sure to choose a crib that meets or exceeds all current safety standards and regulations. Many modern cribs have features like adjustable mattress heights and convertibility to a toddler bed that allows it to evolve along with your growing child. Location is also key – place the crib in the baby’s nursery for independent sleep in those early months.

Once you’ve selected the perfect safe crib, the options for personalization are endless. Choose coordinating crib bedding, sheets, and accessories to match your nursery theme and style. A mobile or music player attached to the crib rail provides soothing sounds and visual stimulation.

Having both a bassinet and crib allows you to meet the baby’s evolving sleep needs in the coming months.

Designing A Soothing Sleep Environment

Creating a soothing, safe sleep environment should be the focus when setting up a baby’s bassinet or crib. Here are some key elements to include:

Crib Bedding

Outfit the crib mattress with fitted sheets designed for use with infants. Avoid loose blankets, which pose a suffocation risk. Instead opt for sleep sacks or wearable blankets to keep the baby warm while eliminating hazardous loose covering.

Sound Machine

A sound machine that plays soft white noise helps drown out household sounds for undisturbed sleep. The soothing sounds mimic noises babies hear in the womb, lulling them into deeper sleep. Place the sound machine near the crib or bassinet.


Install adjustable night lights and blackout curtains to control lighting for sleep. Newborns are extremely sensitive to light disruptions. Creating a dim, darkened sleep space will help the baby sleep more soundly.

Setting up a bassinet and crib focused on safety, comfort, and soothing will ensure the highest quality of sleep for the baby.

Diapering Needs

Having a dedicated diapering station in the nursery makes care efficient. Please set up a changing table or pad on a dresser and outfit it with all the essentials for frequent diaper changes.

Stock up on diapers in the first newborn size. You’ll go through 6-10 diapers daily in the earliest months. Diaper cream,

changing pad liners, and unscented sensitive wipes should also be close at hand. A diaper pail and refills will help contain messes.

Organization is key for quick and easy diaper changes. Having all supplies within reach saves time and effort during groggy overnight care.

Seating and Storage

Beyond the crib and changing station, there are some key furniture elements that complete the functional nursery:

Rocking Chair or Glider

A comfortable rocking chair or glider provides:

  • The perfect spot for rocking baby to sleep.
  • Overnight feedings.
  • Bonding time.
  • Take those rare moments to yourself.

Look for cushioned padding and ample room to find a comfortable position.

Additional Seating

Seating for yourself and others allows space for care and assistance. An upholstered chair, pouf, or ottoman gives your partner or another helper a place to sit during overnight needs or baby care.

Storage Furniture

Dressers, cabinets, and shelving keep everything organized while providing easy access when you need it. Look for storage pieces that coordinate with the crib and other nursery furniture. Changing table dressers is a space-efficient option.

Furnishing the nursery with seating and storage makes care more comfortable and efficient. Having essentials on hand and places to sit and hold the baby facilitates rest and soothing.

Finishing Touches

Adding finishing touches brings everything together into a warm, inviting environment:

Decor and Accessories

Make the space feel like home with wall art, lamps, rugs, baskets, and other decorative accessories. Choose items that tie into the nursery’s color palette and theme. Focus on the wall space above the crib – an accent wall, mural, or wall decals personalize the sleep space.

Electronics and Gear

Consider electronics like a baby monitor, a white noise sound machine, and a night light projector. Baby care gear like a diaper caddy, changing pad, and hampers help keep supplies organized. Mounting shelves provide quick access to essentials.

Include any special pieces of sentimental decor to infuse the nursery with meaning.

Preparing an Ideal Space for Your New Arrival

The key to designing a nursery is finding a balance between decorating a stylish and functional space tailored to your newborn’s needs. Selecting the right bassinet and crib ensures safe sleep. Diapering and furniture facilitate care and comfort. Details and accessories add cozy style.

Personalizing the nursery with colors, themes, and decorative details makes the space unique. But remember to also focus on the sleep and care essentials to set up the safest, most functional, and comforting space for your newborn. Take the time to thoughtfully prepare so your baby has the best place to sleep, play, and grow in those earliest months. 

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