Baby’s Room on a Budget
So you’re expecting a new little bundle of joy. Congratulations! You’ve cleared out the small bedroom near yours and you’re ready to set up your baby’s room. Here are some suggestions that will keep baby safe and comfortable and not cost a fortune. Safety is the number one factor in a baby’s room. Check out the safety guidelines before buying or borrowing a crib (see Baby Crib Safety Checklist). Use your money to buy things that will last at least a few years, such as a crib that converts to a toddler bed and a small dresser.
You may choose to use a cradle in the early months and keep it by your bed, but eventually you will need a crib. Other baby furniture includes a changing table and a high chair. And don’t forget a comfortable rocking chair (with arms) for late-night feedings or to rock-a-bye baby a fussy infant to sleep. In setting up the room, make sure everything you’ll need will be close at hand, so you never have to leave baby alone — even for just a moment! — on the changing table. One of the biggest expenses in fixing up a nursery is the labor, so the best way to save money is to do it yourself! Refinish and paint (lead-free!) furniture, sew curtains (you can use cute baby print sheets), and get grandma to knit baby blankets.
Paint the walls in light shades (with washable paint) in a color that will "grow" with the child. If you love wallpaper but can’t imagine doing a whole room yourself, trying decorating with a wallpaper border on painted walls or stencil a design around the windows, ceiling and doors. The room can look "done" by a decorator if you coordinate wallpaper and fabrics for a wall hanging, quilt, and window coverings. If friends will be throwing you a baby shower, register for some things to decorate the room, such as bedding, crib accessories (bumper pads, mobiles), and bright colored toys or stuffed animals. Use baskets, drawers, and shelves to store toys, clothing, and other infant essentials. Expand storage space by putting shelves or a small dresser in the closet.