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Tips for decorating baby’s first room

Nesting in full effect

decorating the baby's nursery

Whether you are bringing home your first baby or your fifth, as you stare into the empty space that will become your baby's first room it is easy to feel overwhelmed. First-time parents may worry over the need to purchase everything at once. And although parents with a large age gap between children may feel less pressure, they may also be more than a bit overwhelmed by the newest trends.

Thankfully, modern technology and access to planning services makes dressing the nursery much easier. A simple web search or Pinterest spree can uncover a plethora of must-haves for the nursery.

Getting started
It's easy to assume that not much has changed as far as prepping for a new baby goes, but new trends come and go on a regular basis. According to nursery planner Veronica Holmquist, there are four main categories to focus on when planning a nursery: color scheme, lighting, furniture and textiles.

Current trends include using neutral colors (pink and blue are no longer the standard options in nursery decor), cordless lighting, convertible furniture and breathable, organic fabrics. "Think gray as the main color with small pops of gender neutral colors thrown in as accessories," Holmquist says.

READ MORE: Create the perfect teen space

Parents today have a wide range of choices for space saving and convertible furniture - from dressers that double as changing tables to cribs that convert to toddler beds and eventually the headboard and footboard of a full sized bed.

"Multi-functional furniture that takes baby from crib to college will grow with your child," Holmquist adds. For Kingston first-time mom Jennifer Malloy, Pinterest was the go-to research tool for planning her nursery. "I selected woodland creatures as our theme because I wanted something gender neutral," she says. "It was so easy to find what I wanted online and build our nursery from there."

Take two
Parents with children born years apart may feel blown away by how many choices there are. "It is exactly eight years since my last pregnancy and I feel way less overwhelmed this time," Liz Westinghouse of Saugerties says.

"Now there is video surveillance instead of just audio monitors and bottles that resemble breasts. The new availabilities are endless it seems." Marissa Vetere Siracusano of Saugerties, also a second time mom with an eight-year age gap, said she sought help from a local shop for furniture and shopped around for accessories. "I looked in places like Home Goods, Marshalls and Michael's for pieces to pull the room together," she says.

READ MORE: Tips for painting your child's room

Safety first
One trend that never changes is the concern for safety. Things like making sure large furniture is securely fastened to the wall and safe from toppling onto an exploring toddler take priority. Most baby furniture sold today includes safety straps, or safety kits can be found in many store baby sections. Outlet covers once babies start crawling, and using overhead lighting vs. lamps with cords that little hands can tug on are also important details in the nursery.

The Internet may have changed the way parents plan a nursery, but no matter how cute the decor, many babies sleep in their parents' room for the first few months. If you are a parent feeling rushed to decorate the perfect nursery before baby arrives, relax! You still have plenty of time.

Roxanne Ferber is a freelance writer and Hudson Valley Parent blogger living in Saugerties with her husband and 5-year-old twins.