First, make a plan. Before you start buying, figure out a budget, theme, and shopping list. This will help avoid impulsive purchases like that impossibly adorable toy chest that just doesn’t go. (And remember, we’re dealing with baby stuff now. Everything is impossibly adorable… time to toughen up.) And, start early. The sooner you begin working on the nursery, the more time you have to spread the costs over.
As you plan, think about the future. Though baby blue might seem sweet right now, your little one could have different ideas once he hits preschool. Go for themes, colors and decorations that will grow with your child to avoid going through the decorating process again in three years. This applies to furniture, too. Look for a crib that turns into a toddler bed or a changing table that converts to a dresser. The longer you can use an item, the better its value. Area rugs are a better choice than wall-to-wall carpet, because they are easier to clean and cheaper to replace. And, if you’re even thinking about having another child, make the nursery (particularly any major investments) gender neutral… just think, next time, all these decorating questions will be taken care of!