If you are expecting a new baby but living in a small space like an apartment, your nursery design abilities may be limited. Both available space and customization abilities are most likely less than they would be if you were in a house. You may feel stuck and confused about how to set up a nursery in your small apartment. Within this post, we will delve into a multitude of apartment nursery ideas along with tips and hacks to make the most of the limited space you have when adding to your family.

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apartment nursery ideas for small spaces

What Furniture Do You Need for Your Baby’s Room in an Apartment?

The first point to consider when weighing all apartment nursery ideas is how much you actually need. You do not need all the bells and whistles to raise a happy, healthy, well-cared-for baby. Not only are many items unnecessary, but realistically you most likely do not have the space for them within your apartment.

While it can be nice to have a Mamaroo, a swing, a dedicated high chair, an activity center, a diaper genie, a baby bathtub, a bouncer, a walker, and more, not a single one of these items is necessary baby equipment.

You will however need a crib or bassinette, a changing station, and a small dresser for the baby’s clothes. You do not need to invest in an entire nursery set because you do not have much space for those large furniture pieces, but you will need some baby furniture as mentioned.


First: Choosing the Right Crib

Depending on whether or not you plan to stay in the apartment that you are currently in for very long may bear some weight when considering which type of bed to purchase for your baby. A full-sized crib can be quite large.

Most cribs convert into a toddler bed, which is great because you only need to invest in a single piece of furniture for your child to sleep in until they are four or five, but this also means cribs are large enough that a small child fits within them.

If you are planning in staying in your current space for more than four months after your baby is born, there is nothing stopping you from getting a crib now and finding the best way to make it fit. Be aware, you can get a mini crib as well, which can be a great way to space some floor space.

Dream On Me Aden 4-in-1 Convertible Mini Crib In White, Greenguard Gold Certified, Non-Toxic Finish, New Zealand Pinewood, With 3 Mattress Height Settings

However, if you may be moving to a larger space soon you should consider simply purchasing a bassinet or side-car for your bed. I really like that this one converts to fill both of those rolls.

Bedside Crib for Baby, 3 in 1 Bassinet with Large Curvature Cradle, Bedside Sleeper Adjustable and Movable Beside Bassinet with Mosquito Nets, Safety Certificattion Guarantee, Bassinet Bedding Sets

You could even consider using a nice pack-n-play for baby to sleep in. Some like this one take the place of a crib, changing table, and playpen while baby is young. These items can be replaced around 4-6 months when your baby outgrows them.

Baby Trend Nursery Center Travel Crib with Removable Rock-A-Bye Bassinet, Changing Table, Organizer, and Electronic Music Center and Nightlight, Robin


Setting Up a Changing Station in an Apartment

While crib sets do have beautiful changing stations that require no stooping, they are extremely large pieces of furniture and are in no way essential to a nursery. You can lay a changing pad on the ground (which you can tuck away in a cupboard or under the crib when not in use for more floor space), get a pack-n-play with a changing bed attached, or place a changing pad on top of a dresser you already have.

Munchkin® Secure Grip™ Contoured Baby Diaper Changing Pad for Dresser, Waterproof, 16" x 31"

When you have limited square feet to work with, essential items can be downsized or purchased in pieces that are multifunctional so that you still have plenty of room when your baby comes.

Saving space by having a more creative option for your “changing station” is a great way to save a lot of room that many nurseries you see set up in big box store set-ups.


Picking the Right Dresser

When adding a new family member, it’s a good idea to get them their own piece of furniture to store their clothing. Fortunately, baby clothes are tiny, and the size of furniture that you need to store all their little items is not large.

In fact, having a small piece of furniture with very small drawers can be helpful with keeping baby clothes organized. Imagine one drawer for tiny socks, another for tiny shirts, etc. instead of having an adult-sized drawer with three different types of very small clothing items getting mixed around inside.

A small dresser like this can be perfect to double as a changing station which still fitting all the baby clothes and maybe even diapers.

HOUSUIT Dresser with 5 Drawers, Tall Dresser Chest of Drawers, 5 Drawer Dresser with Deep Space, Wood Dresser Storage Cabinet for Living Room, Hallway, Entryway, Office, White

Being creative and using a smaller piece of furniture will provide a little extra space that can make a huge difference in an apartment. You can get a small dresser (which you can set a changing pad on top of) or even a small plastic shelving unit.

Homz Plastic 5 Clear Drawer Medium Home Organization Storage Container Tower with 3 Large Drawers and 2 Small Drawers, Black Frame

Though this may not be the most aesthetically pleasing choice, the amount of space you can save and the size of the drawers make it perfect for a nursery in an apartment.


Places You Can Set Up an Apartment Nursery

apartment nursery ideas

You may have hit the apartment jackpot and still have a spare bedroom that you’re currently using as a home office or something else. If that is the case, the best decision may be to move your office into your own bedroom or even the living room if necessary. That will give you a decently sized dedicated space to make the most functional nursery possible in your apartment.

But what if that isn’t the case?

More likely than not, if you’ve found your way to this post you are looking for more ingenuitive tips when attempting to make a new baby room within your small home. There’s a good chance you do not have a spare bedroom or dedicated office space that you can easily convert into your new baby’s nursery in your current apartment rental space.

If that is the predicament you’ve found yourself in you don’t have to worry. We have found plenty of creative hacks and tips that you can use to make the most of the space you currently have and still create a cute and functional nursery.


Consider Using Your Own Bedroom

turn the corner of your bedroom into an apartment nursery

If you are in a one-bedroom apartment and your bedroom is large enough, you could convert the corner of the room into a nursery. Baby’s need tended to regularly throughout the night for at least the first four months (and most likely well past the first year). Having your baby within the same room is more convenient than you might think, especially for those first few months known as the fourth trimester.

If you want the room to give off vibes of two distinct spaces consider using a room divider.

Best Choice Products 6ft 4-Panel Folding Privacy Screen Room Divider Multipurpose Decoration Accent for Bedroom, Bathroom, Office, Salon, Shade w/Steel Frame, Lightweight Design - Black

You can further make the spaces feel different by adding peel-and-stick decor to the wall, hanging a custom name plaque over the crib, and adding a small area rug to the space. 

As mentioned before you don’t need to have a huge amount of baby supplies that take up a lot of extra space. If you would prefer your baby be in a separate room, read on for more great small nursery ideas.

RELATED: How to Set Up an Airplane Nursery


Use a Walk-in Closet as a Nursery

walk in closet apartment nursery for baby

If your apartment has a walk-in closet you already have a small room that you may have not even considered. Transitioning a walk-in closet into a nursery is an easy way to create a dedicated tiny nursery as a new parent in a one-bedroom apartment.

There are pros and cons to this setup.

It is very rare for a closet to have windows so there is most likely no natural light. This is a benefit. Many parents find that black-out curtain window treatments are the only way to get their babies to nap well during the day. If you’ve converted a closet into a nursery, it will already be quite dark so you won’t have to worry about blacking out your baby’s nap space.

You also will be able to customize the space more than setting up the nursery within your own bedroom because it really is its own dedicated space. Consider adding in some sweet baby wall decals and a soft rug for a perfect little apartment nursery.

decalmile Forest Baby Animals Wall Decals Elephant Lion Giraffe Wall Stickers Baby Nursery Kids Room Daycare Wall Decor

A small crib and all of your baby’s essentials will fit into one place, which is very convenient and can turn out very cute.

The biggest downside to converting your walk-in closet into an apartment nursery is that you will be missing out on a lot of storage space that you previously had. This is when you may need to get a bit creative with adding more storage into your apartment.

VTRIN Portable Closet Wardrobe for Hanging Clothes with 2 Hanging Rods and 8 Storage Organizer Shelves,Sturdy Large Wardrobe Closet for Bedroom Free Standing Clothes Rack with Cover,Grey

Consider getting a portable closet or an extra tallboy dresser for maximum clothing storage without eating up too much floor space. You can even add in an entire wall of cubbies if you need a lot more storage after losing your closet space.

ANWBROAD Cube Storage Organizer, 16-Cube Modular DIY Book Shelf with Doors, Closet Clothes Organizer, Plastic Storage Cubbies Cabinet for Living Room Bedroom Office Black ULCS16BM

You can also make your furniture pieces work harder for you by converting your ottoman into a storage ottoman or your sofa into a storage sofa.

RELATED: How to Design an African or Safari Themed Nursery


Set Up the Nursery in the Living Room

Though this is probably not your ideal scenario, it could be the most functional one for your life. Depending on how many people reside in your apartment already, where you live in the world (determining how much time you spend indoors), and the hours your family keeps, this setup could work for you.

The entire living room space doesn’t need to be converted into a giant nursery. Much like setting up small nurseries within your bedroom, expectant parents can make just a corner of the common space their baby’s nursery.

This can be done with or without room dividers. One advantage to this setup is that it provides a lot of space for your nursery and baby things. The living room can be a great place for extra items that you might want to own such as a rocking chair or baby swing to fit in one single space along with the crib and baby’s dresser.

Of course, you don’t want to take up too much of the precious room of your living space with the nursery items, but you can still make a cozy space that allows a bit of extra room when compared to the previous suggestions. 


Wrapping Up Apartment Nursery Ideas

When deciding how to set up a nursery within a small apartment, you need to be a bit creative, but it can be done! The goal is to be a minimalist when it comes to baby items, find new pieces of furniture that you can repurpose as storage, and keep things organized in a way that doesn’t make you feel too crowded.

There are creative ways to give your little baby their own space within your space, even with minimal square footage. Perhaps one day you will be able to expand your home, but for now you can easily add a new small life into your small home comfortably.

One final tip I’ll leave you with is that you should sort through and sell or donate baby items at least every other month when living in an apartment. Babies grow and change rapidly and if you keep on top of your necessary baby items, your apartment will be much more comfortable with your new little one for much longer.

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