You've got a baby on the way! Congratulations! It's time to start building your nursery, but you don't want a standard baby blue and rosy pink, either because you don't like gendered baby toys and decorations or maybe because you don't even know the baby's gender yet. If you don't want your nursery to be boy or girl themes, try some of these Gender Neutral Nursery Ideas instead!
Yellow is one of the most classic gender neutral baby colors since it isn't generally associated with either boys or girls. It's a warm color that will make the space feel happy, and it makes for a pretty nursery. Make sure to use a pale yellow because brighter yellows can be too energetic and make it harder for your baby to sleep. Once you've picked the right yellow, use these instructions from Eco Paints to safely paint your nursery furniture.
2) Black and White
A lot of people don't realize that newborns can't see color. This means that while you'll want pretty colors for yourself and your baby as they get older, you'll need some black and white like this that the newborn will be able to see. Try to get patterned stuff like this to stimulate your baby's mind. You can also get something with a pattern with one dark color and one light color since this will look black and white to them, but it'll have pretty colors when they're old enough to see them.
3) DIY Nautical
If you don't want "baby boy" or "baby girl" to be your nursery theme, try a different one, like "nautical nursery." Design your own pirate ship, or create a nautical or underwater room for your new baby. You can use this video tutorial by Madeline Dominquez to make shiplap walls for the nursery and install them yourself for less than $100. This is a great way to impress anyone and create a wonderland for your baby to live in.
4) Polka Dots
When designing a gender neutral nursery, you don't want a blue or pink theme, but that doesn't mean you can't use blue and pink. Paint the walls and furniture with polka dots in various colors so that you can include any and every color they might like without creating a gendered theme in your nursery. You can use the instructions in this article from Jennifer Allwood Home to learn how to paint polka dot furniture and walls. Then, either make pieces that are a single color with white dots or paint multicolored dots on each item.
5) Cloud Castle Playpen
Instead of buying dollhouses for girls and toy cars for boys, get gender neutral baby toys. This cloud castle playpen will keep your baby from getting into trouble, and you can fill it with gender neutral toys or with a mix of traditionally male and female toys. This way, your baby can decide whether they like dolls better or whether they prefer to play with cars or action figures. Castles and clouds are a great theme because they encourage imagination as kids get older and begin imaginative play, though they may not be in a playpen anymore by that point.
6) Farmhouse Theme
Since you won't have a gendered theme, you can create another gender neutral theme. Try making an old fashioned farmhouse theme for your baby by building traditional furniture out of wood. Use these woodworking plans from freewoodworkingplan.com to make a farmhouse crib, and buy or make other farmhouse or old fashioned furniture to fill out the nursery. Think about repurposing an old washbasin as a changing table, and include farm- and ranch-themed toys and old fashioned toys to match your farmhouse theme.
7) Classic Toys
Classic toys like wood blocks and riding horses have been around for a long time, and there's a reason those have survived so long. Buy or make old fashioned blocks, rattles, and other toys to fill out the nursery in a homespun manner. Sometimes simple wood toys are better than the bright and loud plastic toys that are common nowadays...at least until they run out of battery and need to be replaced. Wood carved toys, in particular, are beneficial not only because they're gender neutral but also because they last longer and won't break easily like most plastic toys.
8) Patterns and Textures
A nursery needs to be a place where your baby can get restful sleep, but it's also where they'll spend a lot of time, so it needs to be stimulating. One way to do this is to have a variety of patterns and textures, like the striped blanket in this picture. Include things like this blanket with one soft and fluffy edge and one frilly edge to create unique textures, then add a variety of patterns like the blanket's stripes and the chair's patterns. Black and white or contrasting patterns are great for newborns because they can't see color.
Patterns are great for stimulating babies, and they don't necessarily have to be ornate patterns. Get striped blankets and sheets like this to provide some variety for your baby. This is important for your newborn in particular since a single-colored sheet would look bland to them because they can't see color. With these stripes, they'll have something interesting to look at when they wake. Put stripes in other places to provide some gentle texture without overstimulating your baby.
10) Bold Patterns
Your nursery is a place for your baby to sleep, as well as the place where they'll have their first experiences learning about the world. You'll want them to have a stimulating environment during this time. Paint your walls with fun and exciting patterns in bold colors. You can use this video by Isan to learn how to make an accent wall to intrigue your baby while you're changing and caring for them. Use blue, brown, and green to make it look like a forest, or use bold and interesting gender neutral colors like yellow and orange.
11) DIY Nursery Rhyme Decor
What were some of your favorite nursery rhymes growing up? Did you love Mother Goose poems? Bring those old favorites into your child's life with nursery rhyme decorations like the ones in this article by Sharon Kuplack from Whimsical Wall Murals. You can paint a silly elephant in a circus to entertain your child or have their favorite nursery character leaning down over their crib. When they're younger, the images will be fun and silly, and as they grow, they'll remember growing up with nursery rhyme friends.
12) Lion King
Did you grow up watching The Lion King or fall in love with it as an adult? Try designing a The Lion King-themed nursery with decorations like this The Lion King mobile. The yellow lions will be a warm and happy color, and as your child gets older and watches the show, they'll have a new appreciation for the old decorations. Little kids typically love animals, so your baby should love the decorations even before they’re old enough to see the show and become friends with Simba and the other lion cubs.
13) Humpty Dumpty
Humpty Dumpty is a great nursery rhyme to put in your child's room because there are so many creative ways to paint him as part of a mural or place a Humpty Dumpty doll on a shelf to mimic the wall he sat on in the old nursery rhyme. Paint his picture on a wall just above a shelf or the side of a changing table or crib against a wall so that your child can see him every time you change them or fall asleep next to this silly character at night.
14) Winnie the Pooh
If you didn't grow up watching Disney princesses or don't want to encourage Disney's classic misogyny in your child's room, try decorating with characters like Winnie the Pooh characters. While they're owned by Disney now, these characters were created with respect and are a great addition to a gender neutral nursery. Your baby can grow up with friends like Tigger and Pooh with a mobile like this one, and all the characters in this mobile are fun and happy looking characters even if your child never watches the show.
The moon and the stars are a popular nursery theme because they fascinate children from infancy into preteens. This means that you can keep some decorations for a long time instead of replacing all the nursery decorations when your baby grows older. Stars and the night sky are perfect for newborns, too, since they’re black and white, and newborns can't see color. Try getting night sky blackout curtains like these that have the potential to last for years to come.
16) DIY Mountain Mural
Murals are a beautiful way to decorate your baby's nursery. You can paint three walls in a soothing color to help your little one sleep, then paint a neat mural on the fourth wall to entertain your baby when they're awake. Murals could be expensive if you hire somebody to do them, but you can use this video tutorial from The Adventures of a Bird and a Fish to paint a simple and easy baby room mural. After all, it doesn't have to be a complex and realistic picture, just an image that will entertain the baby.
17) Soft Grey
Color choice is a big part of making a nursery gender neutral, and while it's obvious that you don't want a pink girl's nursery or a blue boy's nursery, it may be harder to decide which colors do work well. One color people rarely think of for a nursery is grey. Grey is a soft color that's soothing, but like a pale blue, but it's gender neutral. Get grey bins like these from Amazon and paint the nursery walls in grey patterns or solid grey. You can also mix grey with pink or yellow if you want a little color.
18) Woodland Animals
Most babies, toddlers, and children love animals, regardless of gender, making themes that include animals a perfect way to decorate your gender neutral nursery. This bedding set from Amazon includes wall decals and bedding, so you won't have to hunt for everything you need to make a woodland animals-themed nursery. Instead, you can get this single package to create your theme. Then, you can add other details if you want them or buy a set of stuffed animals.
Many colors and decorations are associated with one gender in particular, such as superheroes in bold colors for boys and princesses in pastels for girls, but you can avoid that mess by avoiding painting your furniture. Instead, design your nursery with sleek and neutral furniture by making or buying wood furniture like this crib from Walmart. Wood is gender neutral and looks classy, making it perfect for an old fashioned and attractive gender neutral nursery.
If you like the idea of a colorful nursery, but you don't want the typical blue boy's nursery or pink girl's nursery, you can still have a bright and colorful space. Instead of choosing one or two colors, make a rainbow nursery like the one in this picture. This way, you can use any and all colors you like, but the nursery will work for any baby. While you can do complete rainbows, you can also pick a few colors you prefer and paint them in stripes like the ones in this picture.
Gender neutral themes are always an excellent way to make a beautiful nursery that doesn't conform to gender stereotypes and works for either a boy or girl if you don't know the gender of your baby yet. Elephants are a common and fun nursery decoration that both boys and girls can enjoy. Get an elephant hamper or other decoration like this for your nursery, and add other decorations in pastel colors since grey goes well with many pastel colors that look good in nurseries.
22) DIY Polka Dot Letters
Polka dots are an excellent idea for gender neutral nurseries because you can use all different colors on them. If you like pink and blue, you can't use them on their own in a nursery, since people will assume that they reflect the gender of your baby, and they may create confusion. Multicolored polka dots give you the chance to use traditional colors like that in a way that doesn't reflect gender. Try making polka dot letters using the directions in this video. Spell your child's name to reflect their individuality or spell lovely words like "dream" and "smile."
Dreamcatchers are a beautiful decoration, but they also have spiritual value. These weblike decorations catch dreams as they float by and help you baby have a good night's rest. You can get a traditional Native-Made one from Amazon, or look around for pretty crescent moon or other shaped ones like the one in this picture. There aren't any gender themes for these unless you choose to get a blue or pink one, and they're made with natural materials that promote natural intelligence in young children as they grow.
24) Harry Potter
Are you a part of the Harry Potter generation? You watch Harry run flat out into platform 9 ¾, and maybe your wish they'd included Peeves in the movies. Think about making a Harry Potter nursery. While it'll be more for your entertainment at first, you can create beautiful contrasting patterns to entertain your newborn and build a fantasy world to fascinate your toddler. Check out this article by CITYOFCOMP from Project Nursery to see how you can design a Harry Potter nursery that your child will love as it transforms into a child's bedroom.
25) Both are Neither
You've probably been avoiding pink and blue as you try to create a nursery that doesn't suggest one gender over the other, but you don't have to. Instead, embrace the pink and blue! Find toys, furnishings, and decorations like this mobile that have both blue and pink on them. Since it includes both colors, it doesn't suggest either gender more than the other. This is a great way to reject gendered stereotypes if that's your goal. Otherwise, if you might have another child in the future, you don't have to worry about having decorations of the wrong color.
Instead of making your child's gender a theme, make a theme that any child could love. Animals are always one of the best choices for a child's bedroom or nursery, but you can go a step further and create an entire jungle theme. Start with a bedding set like this that brings bright colors and entertaining monkeys into your child's room. Your baby will have plenty of stimulation with this neat jungle set, and you can paint trees on the walls and place shelves where the branches should be to complete the theme.
Clouds are one of the most beautiful and beloved baby room decorations for a reason. People strive to create a lovely and dreamlike environment for their babies in the hopes that the infants will sleep well and allow restful sleep for their caregivers, as well. Clouds create this amazing dreamlike feeling for a nursery. Use these instructions by Katerina Buscemi from Apartment Therapy to learn how to make a cloud mobile so you and your baby can have sweet dreams.
Why are you creating a gender neutral nursery? Are you being frugal, or avoiding gender stereotypes, or do you have another reason? Tell us about it in the comments below.