Should You Paint Your Baby's Nursery While Pregnant?

If you're pregnant, you likely have a lot on your mind. And while you could be researching ways to save for college or making a birth plan, your mind is likely wandering towards things like your baby's coming-home outfit or how you will decorate the nursery. (Here's a couple of the most stunning celebrity nurseries for inspiration, by the way). The list of items you need for a nursery can add up. 

According to The Bump, you need a crib, a rocking chair, a changing table, a diaper pail, plus so much more. But before you start adding these items to your registry and rushing out to the store to purchase them, you'll need to consider how you want the room to look.

According to Project Nursery, some of the biggest nursery theme trends of 2022 include marble walls, the color blue (for a boy or a girl), animal prints, and bright, playful colors. If you are choosing one of these themes or one of your own, you may need to paint the room that is designated for the nursery to achieve the look. If you are a DIY-er and planning to do it yourself, you might be wondering if the work is safe while pregnant. 

Before you grab that paintbrush, here's what you need to know.

Painting while pregnant should be avoided, but it can be done

According to The Bump, painting while pregnant is often a discussion because there is no definitive answer. Not much research has been done on the effect of household paint during pregnancy, but, overall, doctors do recommend you avoid paint products when possible during your pregnancy. Luckily, per Healthline, modern household paints have low toxicity levels and your exposure to the toxins is also low (especially if you crack a window), but the actual amount you may ingest is hard to know. Because of this, it's best to let someone else do the painting.

If you do have the urge to paint the nursery yourself, be sure you aren't peeling or removing any of the old paint that is currently on your walls. The American Pregnancy Association says that both sanding and scraping paint are things all pregnant women must avoid, no questions asked. To get around this, hire someone or have a family member do the sanding and scraping, and be sure to stay clear of that room until they are completely finished. Once the dirty work is complete, you can go in and get to painting. 

Even with this precaution, there is still more to know before painting while pregnant.

Things to consider when painting the nursery while pregnant

If you just can't wait to paint that accent wall above your baby's crib, at least wait until you are out of the first trimester. According to The Bump, while it is not necessarily safer to paint during the second or third trimesters, the first is the most sensitive as it is the time your baby is forming their vital organs.

Once you've hit that second trimester and get that much-needed boost of energy, you can pick up a paintbrush and get to work. Still, Very Well Family recommends avoiding ladders, choosing your paint wisely (find one that has low or zero VOCs), opening the windows, avoiding eating or drinking in the nursery or near the paint, and protecting your skin with goggles and long sleeves.

Otherwise, consider some other ideas for decorating the nursery, like a peel-and-stick wallpaper, a gallery wall full of wall art, or non-toxic wall stickers.