Nursery Ideas for a Budget Nursery
The word “budget” often has negative connotations. However, I want you to embrace the word because you can have a nursery you’ll love without unnecessary spending on money-draining items. I am going to give you my best nursery ideas and tips for setting up and decorating your baby’s nursery on a budget. I am also going to share some awesome nurseries and articles that I have found to hopefully inspire you as you plan your own. Even if your baby’s nursery is in the corner of your bedroom, I think you’ll find some great nursery ideas here!
1. Decide on a Budget
Make sure you have a plan! Don’t just tell yourself you’re not going to spend too much money on your nursery. Come up with numbers and goals. Everyone’s budget is different. You might have $200 or $500 available – it all depends on your situation. You might have the money to spend but instead want to put that money toward debt or savings. Sit down and be honest about what you can afford so you can plan accordingly. I love using Mint.com for budgeting – it is really easy and free.
2. Remember What’s Important
The truth is your baby isn’t going to care whatsoever about name brands. Babies don’t care if their bedding is from Pottery Barn Kids or Walmart! The most important thing is that your nursery is full of love. It is also important to make sure everything is safe. Be careful with buying used cribs or accepting hand-me-downs as there are some serious safety concerns to consider.
3. Budget Does Not Mean Cheap!
Just because you’re planning a nursery budget, it doesn’t mean that you have to resign yourself to purchasing low-quality items. The key is to wait for the best sales, deals, and coupons. If you play it smart, you’ll be able to get an item or two you really want while staying within your budget. I did! There is no reason why you cannot love your nursery even on the tightest budget.
4. Skip Unnecessary Items
Save money simply by skipping unnecessary items. This can free up some money in your budget for something you really love. For example, skip the bumper! The AAP recommends against them due to SIDS risks and there have never been reports of babies seriously injuring themselves because they didn’t have a bumper. You can skip the crib skirt too. While they can look nice there really is no functional purpose to them that I can think of. If you really want one, how about taking a trip to a fabric store and making one yourself? All we did with my daughter’s crib was put a pink sheet on the mattress. That’s it! Because we kept it simple – I was able to get a Pottery Barn Kids quilt that I fell in love with while browsing the website one day. I hung it up on the wall over the crib and that really made my nursery look cozy and perfect.
Other Items to Consider Skipping:
- Diaper pail – While I found my Munchkin Diaper Pail quite convenient, a lot of moms will tell you just to use a regular trash can. In the first 6 months, there isn’t much odor to deal with anyway so just empty it daily or several times a week. And after 6 months when your baby is on solids, no diaper pail in the world can contain diaper odor! (Although my friend puts poopy diapers in odor-containing bags before she puts them in the diaper pail and says that works like a charm!) If you do want a diaper pail, buy it when it’s at the lowest price and remember to take into account the cost of the refills.
- Glider – These can get shockingly expensive. Wait until the baby is born and see if you are truly in need of one. I used the Ikea Poang we already owned as well as the couch more than we ever used our Storkcraft Tuscany Glider – which is the second least expensive one by the way. (It’s decent, not that cushy and it started this annoying squeak but overall it did the job)
- Paint – We lucked out because we have a painter friend but paint can get pricey. If you’re unable to find a really good deal – skip the paint and get a wall decal. You can find all kinds of stuff on Etsy to decorate the walls without breaking the bank.
- Crib soothers/Mobiles – We did just fine without either of these.
- Wipes Warmer – This is an item I have heard many moms say you can do without. Plus, they can dry out your wipes.
- Changing table – You can save a nice chunk of change by skipping the changing table and attaching the changing pad to the top of a dresser. A dresser will be useful for many years but a changing table will not. Hit two birds with one stone with a dresser.
5. Save Money by Deal Hunting!
A little effort goes a long way when it comes to deal hunting. Yes, it takes more effort to price compare and wait for a sale or a coupon but be patient. Most of the items you absolutely need for your nursery will go on sale. My goal here at The Savvy Bump is to find only the best deals on highly rated baby items. I don’t post a deal unless the item is at a low price or the best price it’s been in awhile and that includes items for your nursery. There are several ways to deal hunt:
- Check out Etsy for some great homemade items that are better deals than what you would find in stores
- Follow a few mom blogs or Pinterest boards that focus on DIY (do-it-yourself) projects
- Check out Craigslist for used items for sale in your area
- Explore garage sales to see what you can find
- Sign up for emails from companies you like to receive coupons and deal alerts from
6. Research Your Options
If you’re a first time mom, you might be pretty overwhelmed with all the baby products out there. It takes time, but you have 9 months! Research baby companies, products, and stores. Talk to other moms and learn from them! You want to use your hard earned money wisely I’m sure – so you need to get to know the baby industry. Here are some things I have learned.
- Ikea has some great budget cribs with high safety ratings – I wrote about a couple here. You might be interested in the Ikea Family program as well.
- Buy or borrow Baby Bargains – a fantastic book about saving up to 50% on baby furniture, gear, clothes and more. It is a wealth of information! I used the wedding version and it was a lifesaver.
- Graco has some really good budget options from cribs to strollers. Don’t shy away from Graco because some consider it a cheap brand. You don’t need to impress anyone. The ratings on Graco items speak for themselves. I love our Graco Lauren which used to be on sale all the time on Amazon but hasn’t been recently.
- Speaking of ratings, check out Consumer Reports. We paid for a membership to help guide us while we were expecting and it was worth it especially when it came to choosing a car seat.
- Another website I have found useful is Consumer Search. They compile ratings from several websites so you can get lots of information on an item.
7. Find Inspiration
There are lots of budget nurseries out there that can inspire you as your plan your own. Start a new Pinterest board and start pinning! Here are some nurseries, tips and ideas that I have found on the web.
- A Chic (But Cheap) Nursery
- Nursery Tips on a Budget
- Real Nurseries We Love: Get Ideas and Get the Look on the Cheap
- Nursery on a Dime
- Baby Nursery on a Budget over at BlondePonytail.com
- Baby M’s Modern Nursery on a Budget
- Project Nursery: Nursery on a Budget
- My Less-Than-$1000 Nursery
- How to Create Your Dream Nursery on a Budget
Hopefully your wheels are turning with these nursery ideas and you’re feeling great about setting up a budget nursery.