By Stephanie Thomas

Published on November 16, 2015

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Photography by Barry of my-full-house

Invest in a convertible crib

You probably have just a couple of years before your little one scrambles up, over, and out of the crib. Then you’ll have to decide on your next purchase: a toddler bed or a twin bed. With a convertible crib the decision is made. Remove one wall and you’re toddler-bed ready. If you really do your homework you can even find a bed that converts from crib to toddler and later extends to a twin. 

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Photography by Land of Nod

Include a mix of bright and sophisticated colors

Allow yourself to step outside the baby-color basics. A girl’s room can pop with accents of kelly green, and it’s totally okay to take a boy’s room beyond shades of blue. Keep the overall tone subtle and add color in ways that feel calming and fun.

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Photography by Angelina Lopez

Choose art with character and quirk

If the art looks good to you and could make a five-year old smile, you’re on the right track. Remember, you’re searching for prints that work now and later. Animals, the outdoors and creative color combinations are good places to start.

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Photography by Ashley Capp

Hang lighting you’d use in any room

This is the best place to go for form over function—although if you’re really smart you can have both. Just out of reach for little hands, wall sconces easily bump up the beauty beauty factor of a baby room. Plus they add another dimension to your wall accessories.

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Photography by P’Kolino

Find storage that doubles as a bench

Cram toys, books, and stuffed animals in a chest for easy cleanup. Pile a few pillows on top and your little one has a comfy place to read, nap, and play pretend.

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Photography by INT2 Architecture

Go for a streamlined rocker

Yes, plush rockers are great for nuzzling newborns after middle of the night feedings. But! They’re also clunky and take up lots of space. Make room for play and give your kids an almost me-sized chair to climb, sit and relax in on their own.

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Photography by Brooke Ogilvie

Put up a display for the prettiest of things

Choose shelving that stands out, either for the shape or the brackets. Early on, fill it with toys too small for young babies or too fragile for rough toddlers. As time passes, you can exchange the space for favorite books and later for big collections—of dolls, dinosaurs, cars, or stuffed animals.

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Photography by Land of Nod

Lay out a rug with cush and charm

Look for a soft rug with plenty of pile, bright colors and fun shapes. The key here is to set aside a large area comfy enough for little ones learning to roll, crawl, walk and play.

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Photography by Design Improvised

Create a gallery to capture all the growth

Layer frames on the wall for holding newborn photos, toddler cuteness and all of your favorite family moments. Update the gallery regularly, rotating in your kid’s artistic creations and maybe even photos they learn to take themselves.

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Photography by Hello Hue

Add accessories that encourage kids to learn

Globes, maps, clocks, a print of the abc’s—these all add character to a room and tap into a child’s curiosity. Look for ways to inspire learning through decor. It’s an easy win win!