Tiny Nursery Reveal: Tips for Designing a Nursery When You're Tight on Space
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Tiny Nursery Reveal: Tips for Designing a Nursery When You’re Tight on Space

Expecting a baby and working with a small space? Check out this tiny nursery reveal with our space-saving baby recommendations.

Published November 18, 2020

by Mary Alice Carpenter

Licensed and Certified Midwife, Perinatal Mental Health Therapist

This article may contain affiliate links. These opinions are our own. If you buy something, we may earn a small commission, helping us keep our content free to our readers. ❤️

So you’re expecting a little one—congratulations! Daydreaming about a nursery and beginning the design process was such a fun way for me to feel connected and get excited about a brand new pregnancy. My only worry: I had a TINY nursery space to work with! Our 90+-year-old house has some pretty quirky features, and one is that our third bedroom is under 100 square feet. That is not a lot of room to work with. I knew that if I could pull it off, a tiny nursery could be perfect and so cozy. I mean, how much space can a baby take up? But we had to get creative and measure, measure, measure.

Here are my big three takeaways for planning a tiny nursery and having a newborn in a small space. Plus some of our favorite products, both tried and true and brand new!

1. Be intentional about what you put in the nursery.

If you’re short on space, you need to be really intentional about what you let through that door. Choose high-quality furniture, and make sure you measure (twice, three times!) ahead of time to be sure that everything will fit together logistically the way you envision it.

Liberty Crib
We decorated the crib for the purpose of this photoshoot. Please note AAP recommends infants should be placed on a firm sleep surface with no other bedding or soft objects to reduce the risk of SIDS and suffocation.
Purchase Mobile Purchase Blanket
Liberty Crib Details
Purchase Crib
Miranda Rocker
Purchase Rocker

I fell in love with the Liberty Crib from Million Dollar Baby Classic. It’s such a gorgeous, classic crib and I know the sweet details on the spindles will never go out of style. It also converts to a toddler bed, and living in a small house I’m all for a two-in-one product! We paired it with the Million Dollar Baby Miranda Rocker to round out a cozy, classic feel. I knew I wanted a classic rocking chair, and it was honestly hard to come by! Plus, the small footprint worked perfectly for our little reading and feeding nook.

Both of our big furniture purchases are GREENGUARD Gold Certified meaning they have been tested for over 10,000 chemicals and meet or exceed stringent chemical emissions standards. GREENGUARD Gold-certified products help reduce indoor air pollution and chemical exposure to ensure the health and safety of your home and family, which was a big deal to me.

Nook Air Crib Mattress
Purchase Crib Mattress
Nook Air Crib Mattress Cover
Purchase Crib Mattress Cover

Just as (or maybe even more!) important as the big furniture is your baby’s sleep surface. I did a lot of research before choosing an Air Lightweight Crib Mattess by Nook. We’ve been fans of this small, family owned brand for a while now and love their span of products. Their mattresses are GREENGUARD Gold Certified, and I LOVE that this mattress only weighs 9 pounds. Most of the options I looked at were around 20+. It makes it super easy to change the cover or crib sheet. Another great thing about Nook is that no crib sheet is necessary! The wrap on the mattress is designed for the baby to sleep directly on. It is totally breathable and water-resistent, but you can buy a backup for when it needs a wash or when you need a design refresh. Nook is offering Baby Chick readers 15% off their products with code Chick15!

Botanical Prints
Alphabet Print
Purchase Alphabet Print

With limited space to work with, you’ll want to choose art that really sparks joy! I actually picked out these botanical prints before I chose anything else for the nursery. I loved them and knew that I could find a spot for them no matter what direction I took the nursery.

Having an alphabet print in a nursery is so classic. I fell in love with this print by LouLou Baker. It’s just so whimsical and feminine! I picked it out as soon as I knew we were having a little girl. Her work is gorgeous, and she makes all kinds of perfect baby gifts, from onesies to embroidered blankets.

Bunny with Trolley and crib
Purchase Bunny Purchase Trolley Purchase Rug
Maileg Stuffies
Purchase Hippo Purchase Cushion Purchase Swaddle

You’re going to want to choose decor for your tiny nursery that packs a punch! I fell in love with Maileg and their classic, whimsical children’s toys browsing through a local boutique. I sort of have a thing for bunnies, and I just loved the image of my toddling daughter pulling this trolley! Maileg toys are well-made and built to last. They’re always limited release and quickly become collectibles. They believe that fewer, better-made toys open children’s minds to new stories and innovative play. I especially can’t wait to see what kind of adventures this little hippo will go on in future years!

Tiny Nursery Reveal: Tips for Designing a Nursery When You're Tight on Space
Purchase Bookshelves
Tiny Nursery Reveal: Tips for Designing a Nursery When You're Tight on Space
Purchase Monitor Purchase Mouse Purchase Suitcase Purchase Side Table

We didn’t have any room for bookshelves, but my husband and I are huge readers and couldn’t imagine a nursery without a children’s library. These acrylic wall shelves fit perfectly into this small corner and provided a convenient perch for our baby monitor. We chose the SpaceView Monitor from Eufy. It gets amazing reviews, and I have several friends who love it. I knew I didn’t want a monitor that connected with my phone or wifi and preferred a classic handheld option. The Eufy has a 5″ 720P screen with a great, clear view! The night vision, signal, and ability to pan and tilt are amazing (we’ve been testing it on our dog!).

Hatch Baby Rest
Purchase Sound Machine and Night Light
Nook Crib Mattress, Lorena Canals Rug
Purchase Area Rug
Rocking Chair in Nursery
Purchase Pom Pom Bin

We talked about measuring, right? So important in a tiny nursery! We knew that this little corner could be a gem or a headache. Because of the room’s odd size, a standard rug wasn’t going to work for us. Thankfully, perusing the social media of Lorena Canals, one of our favorite kid-friendly rug companies, inspired us to layer this washable, Pine Cone Ivory Rug on top of an inexpensive sisal. Lorena Canals is known for its buttery soft, machine washable, kid-friendly rugs. I knew I had to find a way to work one into our nursery! I love how this will provide a soft play area for our daughter to explore the world around her.

Day bed
Purchase Coverlet Purchase Shade Fabric
Mouse Wall Hook with Towel
Purchase Sleepy Mouse Hook

Is this Sleepy Mouse hook from Fiona Walker not the cutest thing you’ve ever seen? Her felt animals are so whimsical and truly a work of art.

Weezie Towels Baby Shower Bundle
Purchase Baby Towels

Weezie makes some of my favorite towels everrrr. If you’re looking for the perfect gift for a mom-to-be, go ahead and go for either the short or long-sleeved Weeize robes. I, admittedly, have both and am obsessed with them. I also feel like they’ll be perfect for nursing—no matter the temperature! So I was particularly excited when they announced the release of their new line, Lil’ Weezie for littles! This is the baby shower bundle and includes a baby hooded towel, two washcloths, and two bibs. You can choose between striped (pictured here), gingham, and solid piping and can monogram in a variety of super fun colors and fonts. They really do have the perfect gifts for both mom and baby.

Elephant on bed
Purchase Eloise the Elephant Purchase Striped Pillows Purchase Pink Shams

I fell in love with Eloise the Elephant from Cuddle + Kind.  She’s handmade with the softest yarn and the sweetest face. Better yet? Cuddle + Kind donates 10 meals to children in need for every doll sold. Their range of animals and friends are available in classic 20″ (pictured here) or little 13″ sizes. I’ve seen the cutest photos on social of babies growing alongside their Cuddle + Kind friends who make great yardsticks!

diaper change station
Purchase Dresser Purchase Colorful Knobs Purchase Changing Pad and Baby Scale Purchase Strawberry Print Purchase Peg Rail

Putting your changing pad on top of a dresser is a great way to get a lot of use out of a little furniture. I had to search high and low for a dresser that would fit in this small space—actually the only place in the room for a dresser! (Bringing me back to the importance of measuring!) It had to be the perfect height for a changing table and fit between the built-in bed and the door. I fancied it up with these adorable knobs from Etsy!

Embroidered tote bag
Purchase Embroidered Tote

Another favorite from LouLou Baker is this embroidered classic LL Bean tote bag. I can’t wait to throw all of our goodies in it and take the baby for a walk in style!

Tiny Nursery Reveal: Tips for Designing a Nursery When You're Tight on Space
Purchase Swaddle
Tiny Nursery Reveal: Tips for Designing a Nursery When You're Tight on Space
Purchase Bibs Purchase Burpy Bibs

You’ll want to keep your necessities for changing baby’s diaper and clothes in the dresser, but you’ll also want some swaddles and bibs close at hand! I’ve devoted the entire bottom drawer to my favorite muslin products from aden + anais. I love that you can get a range of products in a matching print, from sleep sacks to stroller blankets, snap bibs to swaddled, all in their muslin that gets softer with wash. One of my favorite products of theirs are the burpy bibs—is it a burp cloth, is it a bib? It’s both!

Lovevery Mobile
Lovevery Mobile
Purchase Lovevery Play Kits with Mobile

This mobile comes in the first Lovevery Play Kit (more on these in a minute!!) and can be turned one way for a bold black and white pattern accessible to newborns and the other way once they’re ready to look at something more complex and colorful!

Esembly Cloth Diaper System
Purchase Esembly Try It Kit
Esembly Cloth Diaper System
Purchase Esembly Skincare Kit

One thing I’m super excited about for myself, the environment, and my baby is the opportunity to cloth diaper! As a postpartum doula and a midwife, I’ve had the opportunity to educate hundreds of families on the benefits of cloth diapering, and I can’t wait to try it out for myself. Esembly is a new company to the cloth diaper market, and they’ve streamlined the process with their simple inner absorbent, outer protective layer system; cloth-diaper friendly skincare products; and laundering routine and products that have been perfected after years in the cloth diaper laundering business. It’s weird to say you’re excited about diapering, but I am! Esembly is offering a 10% discount for our readers with code Baby*Chick*1020, and I highly recommend the Try-It Kit with everything you need to see if cloth diapering is right for your family!

Ubbi diaper pail
Purchase Ubbi Diaper Pail

My mom recently asked me, “What do you do with the diapers while you wait to do laundry?” Well, put them in an Ubbi diaper pail, of course! I have two cloth diaper pail liners from Esembly that fit perfectly inside my beautiful Sage green steel Ubbi Diaper Pail! I’ll throw all of the cloth diapers and wipes in the pail, take the cloth liner out every 2-3 days, turn it all inside out into the washer, throw the liner in and wash it right up! Meanwhile, I know the Ubbi will do a great job of locking out odors, and its footprint is slim enough to fit in my tiny nursery!

2. Get creative and organized using other spaces in your home

If you’re working with a tiny nursery, you’ve got to be creative about using the other spaces in your home. It’s necessary to have a good set-up in your bedroom (probably for everyone it is!). You’ll want somewhere for baby to sleep if you’re planning to room-share, and you’ll want a way to keep the feeding and baby care essentials close at hand for middle-of-the-night purposes.

Bugaboo Stardust
Bugaboo Stardust
Bugaboo Stardust
Purchase Travel Crib and Playard

From Bugaboo, a company known for its exceptional strollers, comes the Stardust, a new playard and travel crib to the market! Having a travel crib to keep in your bedroom is a great, multi-functional alternative to a bassinet. It allows baby to stay close for as long as you want them in your room, but folds up compactly for travel, days at grandmas, or even trips downstairs! We’ll be able to use it for up to two years for our daughter to play in or sleep in safely. I love that it folds up with a handy carrying case, unfolds in one move, has a height-adjustable mattress, and a streamlined look.

Ubbi Diaper Caddy
Purchase Diaper Caddy
Braun Thermometer
Purchase Thermometer

You’ll want somewhere to conveniently store some baby-care necessities. The Ubbi Diaper Caddy is explicitly made for this purpose and is one of my favorite gifts to give new parents. I recommend stocking it with a thermometer, nursing pads, nipple balm, a NoseFrida, burp cloths, a swaddle, diapers, and wipes. It perfectly holds the Ubbi wipes dispenser, which is AMAZING complete with a weight for easy one-handed pulling out of wipes and a little peep window to check on your supply.

I recently discovered this Braun no-touch thermometer, and it is the best thermometer I’ve used both personally and professionally. It requires no touching so that you won’t wake your sleeping baby, and it has fever indicators you can adjust based on age. I also love that it can check surface and water temperatures. I really have never been so hyped about a thermometer.

Nook Niche Nursing Pillow
Nook Niche Nursing Pillow
Purchase Nursing Pillow
Nook Niche Nursing Pillow
Purchase Nursing Pillow Cover

If you’re planning to nurse, I definitely recommend a good nursing pillow to keep on hand in your bedroom in the early days. I love the Niche from Nook. Not only is it non-toxic, but it also has a changeable cover. Plus, I find that it’s the perfect combination of fluffy and sturdy enough to raise baby to breast, but malleable enough to move around into the best position for each mom and baby. And the discount code Chick15 works for 15% off the nursing pillow, mattresses, and all of the other wonderful Nook products!

Tiny Nursery Reveal: Tips for Designing a Nursery When You're Tight on Space
Purchase Play Mat

Like so many of us right now, I’m working from home. With such little space to work with in our house, I knew my home office (which is in our bedroom!) would need to double as a mini nursery/ playroom. This playmat from Toki matched beautifully with my decor and provides a cushy place for baby to explore and play in my little office area. Toki mats are made of natural foam and have a super soft organic cotton cover that’s completely machine washable. They are a GOLS-certified organic product, so you know that they’re totally safe for baby!

Tiny Nursery Reveal: Tips for Designing a Nursery When You're Tight on Space
Purchase Baby Lounger Purchase Lounger Cover

I’m a huge fan of the SnuggleMe Organic infant lounger, and I highly recommend them to all of my postpartum clients. It’s great to know that baby has a GOTS-certified organic safe place to hang out, leaving your hands free! This gorgeous cover in Sugar Plum matches our decor beautifully!

Tiny Nursery Reveal: Tips for Designing a Nursery When You're Tight on Space
Purchase Play Kits

Lovevery is one of the new baby brands to have come on the market in the past few years that I am most excited about! Their Montessori-inspired products for babies and toddlers are designed by experts and are fun for kids and gorgeous for parents to look at. I was given a year’s subscription to their play kits at our shower, and I am honestly not planning to buy any other toys in the first few years! Play kits with developmentally appropriate, encouraging, and eco-friendly playthings are sent to your house as your baby grows, taking the stress and work out of providing toys for your little one. Each kit also comes with a play guide to help you understand the developmental significance of each play item. The items pictured above are from the first kit—The Looker—and are designed for newborns taking in the world around them through bold patterns! We couldn’t be more excited to try them all out.

3. Invest in products that have multiple uses and/ or grow with your baby

This is a big one for me! Not only are we short on space, but I also want to be conscious of over-consumption. I am constantly on the lookout for multi-use products that will cut down on our consumerism and grow with our family.

Lovevery Play Gym
Lovevery Play Gym
Lovevery Play Gym
Purchase Play Gym

Like the aforementioned Play Kits, the Lovevery Play Gym is a miracle of aesthetics meets research meets a play gym your little one will actually use and learn from! Designed by child development experts, the Lovevery Play Gym has five development zones that encourage your baby to learn to focus, make sounds, explore how things feel, hide and find objects, and explore colors. It also comes with a play space cover to turn the gym into a cave of imagination for older babies and toddlers! I knew we’d want a play gym for our baby, and with precious little space in our tiny nursery, I was strategic in choosing a product that would be pretty to look at, developmentally encouraging, and would grow with our child!

Bloom Coco Bouncer
Bloom Coco Bouncer
Purchase Bouncer

The Bloom Coco Go 3-in-1 Bouncer is another multi-use product that I am super excited to try out with our baby. I knew I wanted to keep the baby container products to a minimum in our house—we just don’t have room for a bouncer, a swing, and a rocker. The Coco was the perfect answer for us since it’s a lounger, a bouncer, and a fixed stationary upright seat for baby! Depending on the position of the little feet on the bottom, you can rock the seat, bounce it, or turn on a two-speed vibration. It also folds flat (!!!) and fits beautifully into a storage bag with handles for easy transport to and from grandma’s house, or just out of sight when not in use. I love that it can be used for newborns up to baby’s weighing 25lbs. It will be perfect for having a safe place to put baby while I work or even on the bathroom floor while taking a shower (if we’re being real)! Bloom is offering Baby Chick readers 10% off their entire line of beautiful baby items with code Babychick10 at checkout!

Doona Infant Carseat and Stroller
Purchase Infant Carseat and Stroller
Doona folding down

The Doona Infant Carseat and Stroller is the classic, tried-and-true multi-use baby product. Saving you time and money, the Doona is the world’s first infant car seat with a completely integrated mobility solution (aka, stroller!). It easily packs down and clicks into a base with the wheels attached, and they pop back out with a push of a button. Known for being incredibly safe and practical, the Doona was at the top of my list for space-saving, multi-use baby products in a small space.

Doona unfolding

Phew! Putting together a nursery is super fun, but it is hard work! Are you working with a small space to design a tiny nursery? Share with us the tips and tricks you’ve learned along the way!

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Mary Alice Carpenter Licensed and Certified Midwife, Perinatal Mental Health Therapist
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Mary Alice is a midwife and mom living in Houston, Texas! She loves to work with families during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum to educate them about their choices and facilitate… Read more

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