10 Nursery Decor Essentials

What does a nursery really need? Comfort for baby, convenience for you, and sweet touches for both. We break it down with these essential decor picks

Joanna Linberg
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A Bit of Whimsy

If ever there was a time and place for a big cheerful decorating moment, a nursery is it. Must-haves like cribs, rockers, and changing tables are most often available in a limited palette, so look to the walls to fulfill your fanciful fantasy. Wallpaper offers color and pattern, and something nice for you to look at during those hours spent rocking your wee one; a rug or large mural can fill this role, too.
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A Classic Bassinet

Allow us to make a pitch for a bassinet over a crib in the nursery for those first few months. It’s small enough to fit bedside and portable for when you want to keep an eye on your newborn while you’re making dinner or, let’s be real, catching up on Netflix. Once the baby transitions to the crib, repurpose it as a decorative corral for stuffed animals or blankets.
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A Glider That Holds You Close

You’ve seen those stunning bentwood rocking chairs on Pinterest. Now forget about them. They won’t love you during the 1 a.m. feeding like this upholstered glider and ottoman will. It features a high back so you can rest your head comfortably, tall arms that make it easy to prop up the elbow supporting the baby, and a smooth glide that will have you both back to sleep in minutes. Not for nothing, but this mid-century-inflected piece is just as Pin-worthy, too.
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A Roomy Dresser

Skip the changing table with its built-in obsolescence in favor of a dresser that will grow with your child and offer plenty of closed storage. To make it work, strap a changing pad to the top and fill the top drawer with diaper supplies. While shopping, make sure the dresser is at a comfortable height for diaper changes. The top should be right around waist level.
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A Gentler Night Light

Cute nursery nightlights are aplenty, but this oversize gummy bear does them all one better: The soft pink light is supposed to be more gentle on a baby’s young eyes (and your older, tired ones). When you squeeze the belly to turn it on (we know, so adorable), your little one won’t be startled by the sudden brightness.
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Cute Crib Sheets

Once the baby transfers to the crib, a trio of crib sheets will keep you covered: classic white, a playful pattern (perfect for framing those sweet photos of a sleeping infant), and a stripe in a color that complements the pattern. Then every other bedding element can stay the same regardless of what’s in the laundry. (Remember, stick with a sheet only for sleeping. Bumpers, pillows, and blankets are fun for playtime, but are a sleeping safety hazard.)
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Blackout Curtains

Help your baby catch a few more zzzz’s with blackout curtains or shades. If you have in mind those dark, stiff curtains of old, let us ease your mind with these beautiful panels. Their subtle Southwestern motif sits on a white background and all the hard-working blackout material is sandwiched within.
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Outward-Facing Book Display

Picture books are practically nursery decor and storing them with the fronts out both shows them off and entices children to crawl over and take a look. We love this leaning display because the bottom shelf is low enough for kids to reach and it can stand in for a changeable art gallery as kids age. (Includes mounting hardware for safety.)
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Soft Toy Storage

A crocheted basket means that when your baby inevitably reaches for a toy and it tumbles down on top of her, there won’t be tears. This bucket-style basket is handmade from t-shirt yarn and fits perfectly on standard shelves and in cubbies.
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A Cheerful Mobile

As babies begin to notice the world beyond Mom, a mobile is a sweet way of capturing their attention. This felt number turns up the sweetness of a cloud scene by adding rainbow felt balls in hues that will make you happy, too.