Written By: Casey Marsch, interior designer at Signature Homes

A first-time mom’s guide to creating a meaningful nursery.

To me, a nursery symbolizes the passage of time. It’s the place you read to your baby, rock your baby, and spend countless nights awake. Less than a year ago, I was watching my husband put up our crib, and just last week, we had to lower the mattress down for the next phase.

Let me start by saying I align on the side of mothers that believe a nursery should be practical. Don’t feel like you need to spend a lot of money. Utilize offers for hand-me-downs and find things on sale. As much as you want your little one to stay little forever, babies grow quickly, and you will be replacing furniture faster than you think.

Choose a theme that’s personal. For our family, it was farm animals, because our farm is such a beautiful place that exhibits so much life. In the spring, everything blooms and the mama cows start giving birth to their calves. That meant so much to us, and we wanted to translate the warm feeling of our farm into the nursery.

I also used my favorite color (blue) on the walls, though I think before we know it my son will have his own requests for wall colors, which means I’ll be re-painting.

When it comes to furnishing the nursery, a nice large changing table with storage for diapering supplies is key. I insist on keeping these things in one place so you don’t have to search for them every time you need to change the baby. A good diaper pail is also a must! Diapers can be unpleasant, but keeping them in a solid diaper pail keeps things fresh and tidy.

Window treatments are very important. For me, blackout curtains are a great option, as they make both day and night sleep schedules much smoother. Installing a good baby monitor is also a helpful tool in regards to your baby’s sleep patterns. My husband and I installed ours on the wall and have the monitor on our night stand. We often wish we each had a monitor so we didn’t have to share the screen because we both like to check on him and watch him sleep.

A comfortable chair with an ottoman is essential; as a first-time mom I didn’t realize how important having a good chair was. I also think it’s very important to have good books handy for reading.

As far as storing clothes is concerned, Whaley’s Mommy & Me offers great infant closet dividers so you can organize clothing by size and hang them in the closet for easy access. My organizers are labeled 0 to 3 months, 3 to 6 months, etc.

I also created a basket and labeled it “Outgrown” so I can have a holding area in his room for things that are too small. Maybe this is my way of admitting to myself that he’s growing too quickly. (I should call it my “lessening the blow” basket.) The difference between something fitting and being too small seems to be minutes apart.

My last advice is to enjoy each moment. I’ve always heard that the great paradox of parenting is that it moves both in fast and slow motion. It’s true!