How to Create a Gender Neutral Nursery

A baby laying on a play mat with black and white outdoor print.

Image via Rookie Humans

Is your style less traditional and more modern when it comes to baby decor? If so, a nursery that’s neither “boy” nor “girl” might be for you.

As you start to browse nursery ideas, you’ll notice that a lot of them trend toward boys' rooms or girls'. But what if you don’t know what you’re having? Or what if you just don’t want your baby’s nursery to be quite so traditional? Then gender neutral is the way to go.

What Makes a Nursery Gender Neutral?

A gender neutral nursery refuses to stick to gender norms. That means it doesn’t house heavily gendered toys like dolls or trucks, and it doesn’t conform to traditional color schemes of pink or blue.

Why Are Gender Neutral Nurseries Popular Now?

Child-development experts say that gender-based socialization happens before a baby’s even born. If you’re trying to avoid instilling gender norms in your baby’s early years, a gender neutral nursery is a great place to start.

A gender neutral nursery is also more modern, plain and simple, and it can lend itself to a baby room more in keeping with a home’s grown-up style. For parents who’d prefer not to relegate a room in their home to full-on baby decor, going gender neutral in the nursery creates a cohesive look that’s still plenty family-friendly.

How to Create a Cute Gender Neutral Nursery

A gender neutral nursery takes all the components of a traditional nursery — from furniture, bedding, and storage to lighting, accessories, and decor — and rethinks them in gender neutral colors and themes. Think friendly animal and nature prints, geometric patterns, stripes, polka-dots, a sky full of stars.

Which Colors Are Considered Gender Neutral?

Although you might think green and yellow are the only gender neutral color options, there really are a number of choices. Any color other than soft pink and baby blue is up for grabs. Any color other than soft pink and baby blue is up for grabs. Check out these great gender neutral nursery hue ideas.

Green

Even if you just stick with one color, like green, you’ve got a wide range of choices. For example, the Green Dino Throw Pillow features a warm shade perfect for a tropical jungle or island paradise. By comparison, the Good Read Mint Book Caddy adds a touch of frosty mint to cool down your space. The Djeco Fawn Snowglobe/Night Light creates a pop of color for a fall forest theme.

Bonus: Green is versatile, great to pair with outdoor themes like a day at the zoo or camping.

Gray

Perfect as the base or the spotlight, gray is the neutral we never knew we needed. Unlike white, gray is less likely to show spills or stains, which makes it extremely friendly for new parents. And just look at these soft styles! Bloomie's Cashmere Elephant Blanket lends the perfect theme to your soft, squeaky little one. For a classic children’s book or woodland look, consider Hoppy Tails Bunny Crib Bedding and the Bunny Throw Pillow.

Bonus: As the color that is probably the most neutral, gray will coordinate with any other color you choose.

Black and White

Who said cute gender neutral nursery colors had to be pastels? The black-and-white combo offers bold shades that are larger than life, just like your baby. The Wee Gallery Safari Organic Playmat lends a rough, rustic look to the room. The Woodland Dreams Crib Sheet helps your new baby’s dreams come true, featuring a wild print without all the extra bedding. Looking for something a bit softer in this theme? The Aden and Anaïs Swaddle Blanket Set has you covered.

Bonus: Big color contrasts are great for helping newborns learn to focus.

Yellow

Those who say yellow is too soft or boring haven’t seen these bright, cheery designs. The A-BEE-C Watercolor Alphabet Crib Sheet features soft bees and a pop of bright yellow here and there. This Yellow Chevron Rug contains 100% wool, which means it’s easy on the feet as well as the eyes. For something a little deeper in color, try the Lunar Gold Padded Play Mat. It’s made with natural foam, perfect to protect little heads and knees.

Bonus: Darker yellow hues aren’t common among nursery ideas, which means your baby room decor will be the most unique on the block.

Brown and Beige

Chocolate. Mud pies. These are the colors of childhood. That makes brown and beige an ideal complement to your baby’s first years. Oilo’s Cottontail Crib Sheet features pencil-drawn bunnies on a soft beige background, creating a hint of interest in your baby’s bedding. Pair it with this Numbers Rug for a soft surface made of eco-friendly cotton. On the shelf, this Felt Elephant Bookend keeps storytime organized.

Bonus: This color contrast provides eye-catching transitions without shocking the system the way black and white can.

Gender Neutral Looks That Will Inspire the Designer in You

Bedding and Blankets

While the only thing that should be with an infant at night is a crib sheet, don’t think you’re left out in the cold with these gender neutral nursery bedding options. Colby Animal Baby Bedding and Dakota Woodland Baby Bedding have a crib sheet and crib skirt that you can use right away; coordinating decorative pillows and changing pad covers are available too.

For cuddles with mom and dad, try the Star Throw Blanket or Baa Baa Baby Blanket. Want something simpler? The Cotton Muslin Crib Sheet has several color/pattern options that allow you to accessorize your way.

Bonus: This bedding is designed to grow with your baby, perfect from infant sleep to toddler naptime.

Storage and Organization

Keeping baby’s things organized is a snap with these options, with styles ranging from rustic to modern. For a woodland feel that keeps the floor free, check out the Booksmart Read & Play Shelf. Shaped Tiger Nursery Storage adds whimsy to a woven basket, this one made from water hyacinth. As a seat that contains hidden storage, the As You Wish Upholstered Storage Bench is well worth the investment. Hoping for something more traditional? Consider this Mid-Century Bookcase or Acrylic House Bookcase for a baby-friendly decor station.

Bonus: Keeping the room tidy can unify your theme or make it more fun.

Lighting

Keeping little ones safe and comfortable at night starts with gentle lighting. The Little Lights Star Lamp and Crescent Moon Wall Night Light bring elements of the night sky to your little one. The Hot Air Balloons Night Light adds a color pop and illumination with a wood base. The Campfire Night Light provides a tabletop alternative perfect for an outdoor-themed room. Looking for something just right for reading before bed? The Birch Table Lamp is a safe bet.

Bonus: Subdued lighting helps you make your way to the crib without rousing baby.

Rugs

The nursery gets a lot of foot traffic, starting with your nighttime rocking and finishing with the patter of little feet. The right rug makes a huge difference in coziness and comfort, but it doesn’t have to be boring. The Charley Harper Nature Rug features bright colors and eye-catching patterns. This hand-tufted Rainbow Dot Rug can be the star of the show on its own. Soft geometric shapes in the Kaarol Rug draw the eye, and it’s also machine-washable. Want something for toddler playtime? The Interactive Kids Road Rug and Play in the Park Rug have you covered.

Bonus: Tight weaving and a short pile make these rugs easier to clean.

How to Create a Gender Neutral Nursery, Rainbow Dot Rug
Rainbow Dot Rug | Crate and Barrel
$429.00

Decor

Nursery ideas that are fun for grown-ups too are one of the most engaging parts of preparing to be a parent. The Geo Wood Garland mixes colors and shapes for attractive wall decor. The Planet Ceiling Mobile and Woodland Animal Mobile are ideal for the scientist-in-training. Looking for something you can personalize? Custom Heart Letter Blocks and Personalized Growth Charts are easy to tailor to your little one.

Bonus: These decor options don’t take up valuable floor space, leaving plenty of room for play.

Just Getting Started?

For a more in-depth look at how to set up a nursery from scratch, head to Porch.com and read “The Ultimate Checklist: How to Create the Best Baby Nursery.”

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