There seems to be a flurry of people around me having babies and with a newborn comes decisions on furniture, the colour of the room and whether you will have the baby in your room or play tough love and make sure they stay in their own.
I can definitely say that if you create the rules before the baby when they arrive they will almost certainly bring them all undone in a very short space of time.
Here are a few fail-safe tips that I know work (and the baby will be too young to object - in their first 12 months anyway!):
Stay away from bold and bright colours. Yellow might seem like a sunny, happy colour but it actually promotes wakefulness and creates restless sleeping patterns. Stick with peaceful colours such as pale green, blue and off-white for your main colour scheme and add your bold colours in your toys, pictures and bed linen. Make sure your wall paint and timber finishes are coated in a VOC free paint so there are no toxic surfaces and fumes in the baby's room.
This will always be about practicality - keep the head of the bed away from light filtering through an open door so you don't wake the baby as you are checking up on them. Also, if the cot is near a window make sure the blinds or curtains go past the frame to reduce the amount of light that creeps in during daylight naps.
Keep furniture to the perimeter of the room, so there is a clear path from bed to door at all times to keep your child safe if they happen to wake up through the night.
You will be bombarded with toys and clothes from all your adoring family and friends. Don't feel the pressure to put them all on display. Instead invest in some good quality storage boxes and put a lot away in cupboards and rotate them.
If you try to put everything in the baby's room it will resemble your local toy store and it can become dangerous if things fall off crammed shelves.
Use the same principal for all those adorable outfits you buy on sale or the presents from enthusiastic relatives. Look for hidden areas for storage such as roller drawers under the bed or cot, nappy/clothes 'stackers' that hang on the back of doors and toy boxes that double as a reading stools.
Spend the majority of your decorating budget on the items that will give you good bones for a bedroom such as beds, book shelves, chairs and window treatments in simple colours. Then spend the 'fun-money' on bold rugs, pictures, linen and lamps.
Now back to whose room the baby stays in! There will be nights when your child won't sleep and they will crawl into your bed. To ensure this does not become habit, nurse the baby in their room so you don't have far to take them back to bed.
Try to see if you can fit a chair or small day bed in the baby's room for nursing and those long sleepless nights when they have colic or just won't settle. A throw rug is not just decorative but it will be your best friend when you need to keep warm on those long nights you are stuck in the chair.
Decorating a baby's room is a fun and exciting time but try not to go overboard and spend too much money on items that aren't needed for the long-haul.
Looking for more inspiration? Check out our kids rooms section.