Designing your baby’s nursery can feel both exhilarating and daunting at the same time. While it’s easy to get caught up in picking just the right colors and Pinterest-worthy aesthetics, it’s equally important to create a space that’s functional and can grow with your baby. We’ve come up with nine smart strategies to help you design a room for you and your little one that is fun, functional and even budget-friendly.

Arrange Furniture for Function

When designing a nursery, think about what your baby and you will be doing most in the room. Hopefully sleep tops your list! Remember that light and temperature affect sleep, so one of the basics of baby nursery layout is keeping the crib away from windows and heat and air conditioning sources.

Also, you'll be spending plenty of time in the nursery during the first few months, so be sure your glider or rocking chair is in the most convenient spot. For economy of motion, you’ll want your chair near the crib so you don’t have to go far with a crying baby wanting to be fed. Once you’re seated, though, you’re going to want some things within reach. Place your chair near a chest of drawers or place a storage basket or container near or under the chair that's stocked with spit-up cloths, pacifiers, rattles, etc.

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Put Up Wall Decals or Removal Wallpaper

Wallpaper is totally in right now but you're not sure you want to commit—we get it! An easy and adorable fix is removable wallpaper or wall decals. See Chasing Paper's removable wallpaper in the image above, and check out Tinyme for wall decals. Not only do they add a fun touch to the nursery, they’re perfect for commitmentphobes who love to change up their spaces often.

Keep Shelves Low

Recognizing that your tiny baby will soon be able to crawl and access toys on their own is key in designing a nursery you won't need to re-arrange in six months. As your little one grows, you'll want to encourage them to explore. Unfortunately, tall shelves can look like a mountain that would be fun to climb. A safer alternative is incorporating low shelving and other low-to-the-floor storage containers so, as your baby becomes a toddler, they can easily reach their toys AND learn to put them away!

Put Everything You Need in Reach of the Changing Table

One thing new parents learn quick is that once your baby is on the changing table, squirming and naked, you're stuck! It's vital that everything you need to get the job done is in arm's reach of that table so you don't risk baby falling off.

Choose Transition Furniture

Choosing a crib that transitions to a toddler bed is a surefire way to make sure you'll get more bang for your buck. There are a lot of convertible crib options out there, so you have lots of styles to choose from. Once you find "the one," deck it out with adorable crib sheets that pop. Now there you have it—functional and fun!

Hang Art That Grows With Baby

Wall hangings and artwork can really bring your nursery together and give it the special touch that makes it unique. Artwork is one thing that can be swapped out easily, but choosing art that grows with your baby helps keep your budget in check. We love pieces like this pear artwork from Darling Clementine.

Opt For Durable Fabrics

While images of gorgeous all-white nurseries may catch your eye on Instagram, keeping that white glider clean may be more work and time than it's worth. Remember that babies are messy, and the last thing you want is to be stressing over whether the fabric on your new chair is ruined. There are plenty of fabrics that are built to withhold stains. The Clair Slim Nursery Glider Swivel Rocker Chair from Delta Children, above, comes in a durable navy microfiber fabric that is easy to clean.

Conserve Space with Dual-Use items

For such tiny creatures, babies come with an enormous amount of stuff! So no matter what size your baby's room is, conserving space is always a top priority. That's why dual-use items like a dresser/changing table or built-in storage is so helpful. South Shore's Cotton Candy Changing Table, above, features a removable changing table topper, so when your child is done with diapers, they can still use the dresser below.

Get Lighting Right

Lighting in a nursery is often overlooked, but it is key to creating a functional room for you and your child. Avoid harsh lighting and control natural light so your baby can sleep better. Also, be sure to put night-light bulbs in your nursery lamp (we love this owl lamp from Lambs & Ivy) so you can check on a sleeping baby or change a diaper without waking them up.

—Aimee Della Bitta

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