When you finally find out that you’re about to have a baby, life starts moving pretty quickly. There’s so much to plan for when you’re going to have a child that many people don’t even realize you have to think about. On top of all of that, you can get easily overwhelmed thinking about the cost of everything and how you’re going to handle all of it with your current budget. 

The key to surviving this first phase of parenting is to start small. Focus on the basics and build up from there. That means before you start thinking about your baby shower or how you’re going to introduce everyone to the new, tiny love of your life, you should think about what your baby will need. Above anything else, they’ll need a nursery. 

Designing your nursery from scratch isn’t as difficult as you might think it is. All you have to do is think through a couple steps and day dream. Collect ideas and compare them before settling on anything. Check out some of the first things you should consider about your nursery that might help you get started. 

Think of Themes 

Lots of new parents choose themes for their nursery. Some common ones you might have seen before are things like zoo animals, boats, ballerina decorations, or you can even go for an eco-friendly nursery. Look around online to find great nursery themes you can try to see if any of them will feel right with you once they’re finished. Imagine furnishing your nursery space and think about how it will look once your baby is six months, a year or two years old. Themes that work for your baby in the long run are the ones you want to keep. 

Find a Focal Point 

When interior designers try to redesign a kitchen or living room, they’ll often choose one focal point to work off of. This might be curtains or furniture, so think about the baby furniture you really need. To start, look around for a good crib. You’ll want to look for a crib that can be converted into a small bed when your baby turns a couple years old. The style of the crib would easily work as your focal point for the rest of the room’s design. 

Blend It with Your House 

What kind of design does the rest of your home have? Did you decorate with a minimalist edge or is it country chic? Maybe you like more modern designs or something rustic. You can always build your nursery off of how the rest of your home looks. Look around for furniture pieces that will flow with your other rooms. This might help you ease into parenting if you don’t have to make everything entirely new. 

Aim for Long Lasting Pieces 

Even though you’re thinking about how much everything costs right now, you’ll be spending even more money in the future. Your baby is going to grow rapidly, so you’ll have to replace everything from clothes to shoes. That’s why it’s smart to look for long lasting pieces of nursery furniture. You can even check out some of the best nursery sets to get everything all at once. If you don’t get the cheapest options now, you’ll actually save yourself time and money down the road. 

Only Get What You Need 

The most important thing to remember in your journey of being a parent is that you’re not alone! Friends and family will be there by your side every step of the way to help you with whatever you need. You’re going to be getting a lot of baby gifts in the coming months, so don’t go out and get everything all at once. If you choose your nursery’s theme and the furniture, all the little things will fall into place once you’re closer to really needing them. 

Becoming a parent is one of the most exciting times in life, so you may feel ready to jump in the car and get started on designing your nursery. While you should definitely start that sooner than later, take it slow. Think everything through and try to always get what will last you a long time. And never forget that you aren’t carrying everything on your shoulders. The people who love you will be with you too, so you can always ask them for help after you focus on getting the basics of your nursery together.