Wondering when to set up the nursery? If so, you’re probably expecting, in which case, congratulations!
Setting up the nursery is one of the first major undertakings parents-to-be will experience; along with installing a car seat and assembling the baby stroller. If you’re understandably a little bit concerned about nursery planning and when to set up nursery furniture and decor, then this guide is for you!
We will talk about when to have the nursery ready, how to arrange a nursery, and what do you need in a nursery. So while you can, sit back and put your feet up, and let’s get started on the nursery know-hows!
- When Should You Have Baby’s Nursery Ready?
- How Long Does It Take To Finish The Nursery?
- When To Start Baby’s Nursery, and Which Room Should Be The Nursery?
- Getting Nursery Done Just Right
- Which Room Should Be The Nursery?
- A Nursery Room Setup Timeline and Nursery Checklist
- Timeline to Begin Planning and Working on Your Baby’s Nursery
- Nursery Preparedness Checklist
- Tips to Design Your Nursery Before Baby Arrives
- Never-Ending Nursery Options
Ah, the baby room. Whether you’re excited to design it or overwhelmed, it’s an important to-do on your list. If you’re feeling the latter, you’re probably wondering how long you can wait before you have to complete your baby room setup. The answer?
Aim to have it completed a few weeks prior to your due date. If you’re starting from scratch, you will probably want to get started ordering furniture for your nursery room setup by month six. Then, when it arrives after a few weeks you can arrange, decorate, and put the final touches on your baby’s room.
Your little one probably won’t use their room immediately after birth as most parents room share. However, they will likely spend time there in the day, be it napping, playing in the baby gym, or getting changed.
Additionally, when you’re in the thick of the postpartum stage, setting up baby’s nursery is the last thing you will be worried about or want to be doing.
How Long Does It Take To Finish The Nursery?
The completion of your nursery timeline depends on how much you plan to do. Ordering, receiving, and assembling furniture can take weeks. As can painting, decorating, and designing.
However, if you already have a children’s room and just need to add a crib or a changing table, it shouldn’t take too long. Building a nursery can be as labor-intensive or as easy as you want.
Whatever you decide, make sure to plan accordingly so that the baby’s nursery is finished a few weeks before your little one is expected to make their debut. 
You probably don’t need to start thinking about how you want to design your nursery the day you get your positive test. However, you don’t want to wait too long either. There isn’t any perfect time to start assembling your child’s room, but there are a few considerations.
Don’t start too early.
The start of your pregnancy is a time to relax and relish the news. While you can start daydreaming about your nursery, you likely don’t need to order furniture ASAP.
When you are only a few months pregnant, you generally won’t know your baby’s sex, which can make it hard to design their space; especially if you want a gender specific theme for a baby boy nursery or a baby girl room.
Don’t overdo and stress yourself.
Additionally, you may not feel the best due to morning sickness and physical changes during the first trimester. Don’t over-tax yourself with trying to find or move furniture, paint the walls, hang pictures, or do other tasks. If you really want to start on baby’s room, try making an idea board or building your dream nursery on Pinterest.
Don’t wait too long.
Much like those first weeks of pregnancy when you experience morning sickness, headaches, and more, the late second trimester and end of your pregnancy can be tough. Pregnant women commonly shouldn’t be lifting heavy furniture, breathing paint fumes, or using power tools. Don’t wait until months eight or nine of your pregnancy to start constructing baby’s nursery.
Also, babies can come early or late. You want your nursery to be done when the baby arrives. Even if they won’t use it immediately, adapting to having a baby is a huge change, and worrying about finishing their room shouldn’t be something you have to deal with during postpartum. Nobody wants to be doing nursery work on their maternity leave.
Getting Nursery Done Just Right
Is there a perfect time for when to start your baby nursery? It’s different for everyone, but usually in the early to mid-second trimester, around months five to six is a good time to start picking out and ordering furniture.
Many mothers will also experience nesting around this time and will have a natural urge to make a welcoming space for their baby.
Starting during the middle of your pregnancy also gives you plenty of time to find items, arrange them in the room, and decorate. This way you don’t have to rush or stress. Instead, you can enjoy the process.
Which Room Should Be The Nursery?
How to set up a nursery starts with deciding which room should be the nursery. There is actually a lot that goes into this, however, it largely boils down to the parent’s preference.
First, consider the size of your home. Do you have an available room for the nursery? Will your baby need to share the nursery with a sibling? Are you converting an office or even a closet into a nursery? What room you will use as the nursery depends on how much space you have to work with.
After you’ve figured out what type of area you will use as your baby’s nursery, you can narrow it down further. If you have a choice of rooms or spaces, think about which one makes the most sense.
Ideally, you will want the nursery to be close to your room. Babies and even young children wake a lot during the night. You don’t want to have to traverse sets of stairs or long hallways in the dark to get to your child, even with the help of a sophisticated baby monitor such as the Nanit or Nanit Plus.
Some parents want to put their baby as far away as possible to cut down on noise for those who are trying to sleep, but this usually isn’t the best idea for safety purposes and monitoring.
Use of space and safety is also key. If you’re sleeping upstairs, you may prefer that your child sleeps upstairs too. You likely won’t want to choose a room that leads out onto a patio or one that has street access.
Pick a room that has a consistent temperature, safety monitoring devices like a CO2 detector  and smoke alarm, and one that allows you to easily access your little one during an emergency.
If your child is sharing a room or using a combined space, you have a few more considerations.
- How will the nursery be shared with the room’s other purpose?
- Can you fit all the furniture in?
- Will the room need to be used when your little one is trying to nap?
It’s a good idea to make the nursery your first concern and then decide if the space still is suitable for dual use.
The final consideration comes down to things of preference. Maybe you want to choose a room with a lot of windows, but be wary of one that will get direct sun. This could overheat the room and make it difficult for the baby to nap.
Maybe you want to use a room that is the smallest so that you can leave larger rooms for yourself, guests, or siblings. But just know, that baby can have quite a bit of gear. All of these things, preference, safety, availability, and location are important to think about.
Now that you have your room picked out, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of preparing the nursery checklist that will include things like when to start buying baby stuff and when to start decorating the nursery. We’ve organized it by months of your pregnancy to make it super simple.
Many parents find that the whole process takes a few months, but don’t worry, that’s perfectly fine! If you’re working with a blank canvas, you may feel overwhelmed, but we’ll take you through the process from your second trimester to the final month. You can do this!
Timeline to Begin Planning and Working on Your Baby’s Nursery
Months 4-5: Second trimester and time to start planning!
Morning sickness is in the past, you may know your baby’s gender, and by this point, most new parents are raring to go. The most important thing now is to know your budget, room, and theme.
By this point, you should have three things solidified; which room is the nursery, how much you have to spend on it, and what the theme will be for decorating.
If you made a vision board or a Pinterest board, now is the time to break it out! You can see how many things you will need to buy and what you can reuse or what would work well as DIY nursery furniture. While you don’t need to know the exact sheets or paint color, having a general idea of the theme or color scheme can go a long way.
Knowing these things should also help you with creating your baby registry for your likely upcoming baby shower. Theme, budget, and space available will affect your furniture, fabric, and decor choices.
Months 5-6: Time to get your hands on baby nursery furniture.
Debating on when to buy nursery furniture and when to buy a crib? It’s now! It takes time to receive your furniture after ordering, sometimes several weeks.
Whatsmore, much of that furniture will have to be assembled and set up before you can arrange it in your kid’s bedroom. If you will be the one doing the assembly and setup, think about how far along you will be when it arrives. This could help determine if you should opt for a professional setup or enlist friends and family members to help out.
Months 6-7: Keep calm and work on the nursery walls.
Before all that furniture arrives, it’s a good idea to tackle the walls. Paint, trim, hang up wallpaper, or whatever else you have decided on. This gives the space lots of time to air out and ventilate before you will need to use it.
You can also start putting up wall decals, protective tracking for cords that run up or along walls, and install permanent lighting if you need to. Because pregnant women shouldn’t be exposed to harmful paint smells or stand on ladders, it’s a good idea to enlist your friends and loved ones when it comes to painting.
Months 7-8: Assemble furniture and decorate!
Place your furniture, assemble your crib and storage options, then add all those special extra items like rugs and decor. You can try different layouts before your little one comes and see what will work best. Don’t forget about the closet, now is the time to organize and arrange those first few tiny outfits.
Month 9: Baby Nursery Completion.
Hopefully, when the third trimester and month nine roll around everything will be finished! It’s a good idea to have it complete a few weeks shy of your due date, just in case your baby’s arrival comes sooner than expected.
We suggest planning a baby shower and nursery decor timeline around one another. Chances are that most of your baby nursery essentials will come from your baby shower, so you won’t be able to truly set up and organize until you have the party. This means, schedule your party early enough to leave you enough time to properly plan, organize, and decorate
Looking for inspiration on what your nursery and new baby will need? Check out our helpful list that covers all the “bigger items” you will fill with things like clothes, towels, lotions, and more.
- Crib (or crib alternative)
- Crib Mattress
- Fitted Crib Sheets
- Rocking Chair
- Baby Monitor
- Diaper Cream
- Trash Can or Diaper Pail
- Baby toy box
- Lamp or night light
- Breastfeeding Station (for dream feeding your child)
- Dresser/Changing Table
- Blackout Curtains
- White Noise Machine
- Wall Decor/Pictures
- Play Mat
- Baby Swing or Bouncer
- Clothes Hamper
Now that you know when to start the nursery, let’s discuss when should you start decorating the nursery. After the walls are painted and the furniture has arrived, it’s time to start thinking about how to organize the baby nursery which includes things like where to put a crib in the nursery and which of the popular baby themes you should choose.
#1 Check Out Pinterest or Other Room Design Websites for Ideas
You can start by reviewing themes on Pinterest or other design websites. You can choose a complete theme, like nautical, or go with just a color scheme. This will help you to choose fabrics, pillows, bedding, and more.
We suggest picking a theme that will age well, meaning your child will still love it as they grow. For some parents, the possibility of a sibling or two kids sharing the same room means they want a gender-neutral theme. Additionally, pick one that you as the parents can tolerate or enjoy as you will be spending quite a bit of time there.
#2 Move In Your Furniture
It’s a good idea to try multiple layouts with the nursery furniture. Pretend to actually use them and see which works best for you. This is especially true of your breastfeeding or pumping station.
Is the table close enough? Is the chair comfortable? Do you need somewhere to set a drink? Also, check back at different times throughout the day to see where the sun falls if you have windows and how easily you can navigate the space in the dark of night.
Don’t forget about storage either! Once it’s assembled and in place, you can start adding their clothing and belongings. When you have the furniture and storage arranged, go wild with your decor!
While you’ll probably want to spend the most time adding adorable touches, think practically too. Be sure to add in a lamp, check the location of your furniture compared to outlets so that you can plug in a noise machine, and set up the camera to ensure you have a good view.
#3 Check If Nursery Is Safe For Baby
Finally, babyproof your space now so you’ll be ready when your child starts crawling and exploring. You can take a look at the baby proofing essentials list shared by WebMD.
With these tips in mind, then voila, you’re ready!
We hope that you found this article useful in finding out when to set up the nursery and have a great time perusing all the fun options for setting up your nursery!
If you need more inspiration, check out and follow our Pinterest account at @babyjourney0183. Be sure to leave us a comment with your nursery thoughts and ideas!