Preparing the Nursery: A Checklist

Preparing your baby room checklist is an exciting task, from finding ideas on Pinterest or Instagram to selecting all the adorable nursery items on your baby's list. It's easy to focus on the good stuff, such as choosing baby bedding, toys, and wall art, but when considering all the basics of the nursery, there are other practical things to keep on the nursery checklist.

Your baby's room should not only be cozy and cute, but also safe and functional so that everyone - baby AND parents - can sleep peacefully at night. And if you're well prepared and the nursery is ready to go in plenty of time, you'll have one less thing on your mind as the big day is approaching.

Remodeling the nursery can be time consuming and should be started approximately 3 months before the baby arrives. Better if you have the time and energy to work on it faster. Follow the baby room checklist when assembling your baby room so you don't miss anything.

Safety first

Ideally, you should complete all painting and decorating at least 8 weeks before your baby is born. Occasionally leave the windows open for ventilation until the baby actually arrives. These activities emit potentially harmful fumes and should be eradicated early to eliminate the risk to the baby.

Make sure the crib slats are no more than 2 inches and 3/8 inches apart, and that all bolts and screws are tight. Check that there is no gap between the mattress and the crib, and pay attention to small parts and plastic covers. The mattress should be solid, in shape and flat.

Do not put duvets, pillows or bumpers in the crib, as these items could cause suffocation. If your bedding set comes with a cute blanket, hang it on the wall or drape it over a rocking chair.

Nursery wall signs and art prints should be installed properly and out of reach from baby's hands. If you're in an earthquake-prone zone, extra precautions should be taken to be sure that wall decor can not fall down into the crib.

If possible, go with wood or cork floors or rugs instead of wall-to-wall carpeting. They're easier to clean and are less likely to provoke allergies. Secure the carpet to the floor with double-sided tape - you don't want to take a tumble on a slipper rug while baby is in your arms!

Use window guards, and keep the furniture away from the windows. Also, cut the blinds and curtain cords or keep them out of reach.

Secure heavy furniture to the wall to prevent it from tipping over if accidentally bumped into.

Smoke and carbon monoxide alerts are essential in nursery rooms.


Pay attention to where the light enters the room. Do not place the crib in direct sunlight or other lights in the morning.

Consider where you'll be sitting and whether you can feel comfortable in that spot. You will spend a lot of time reading and rocking in this chair.

Keeping all diaper items near the changing table eliminates the need to walk far from your baby to get something.

An illuminating nightlight is not only to reassure baby, but also to prevent sleepy parents from stubbing toes when going into the nursery in the middle of the night. If it's plugged into a floor-level socket, disconnect it as soon as your baby starts moving.

The importance of keeping an indoor thermometer in your baby's room: overheating can increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). So make sure the nursery is at the right temperature. Ideally, it should be between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mobiles don't just provide decoration - find something with gentle movements as it can help calm baby down as they fall asleep.

Looking to the future 

Think about the amount of storage space you need ... then add more! Parents most often underestimate the amount of what they get.

When your baby is ready, make sure there's enough room available to replace the crib with a bed.

It may seem like there's still a long way to go before your baby starts crawling, but nurseries need socket covers. Connect all the sockets so you don't have to worry about it later.