Thursday, October 05, 2006

Planning A Frugal Nursery

Congratulations, you are having a baby! This is a very exciting time while you are getting ready for the arrival of baby and setting up a nursery can be part of the fun while waiting for the baby to arrive.

Some people can afford to buy the best of everything, including both what the baby needs and does not need. But for most of us, we are strapped financially and want to set up a functional yet cost effective nursery for the new addition.

Theme ideas are almost endless when it comes to the nursery. Not just the classic pink or blue anymore for the little ones, you can choose a fairy room; a truck or train room; a Winnie the Pooh or Beatrix Potter room, or even balloons, why the ideas are endless. If you are fortunate to have an artist for a friend, you can have them paint a mural on the wall or just paint the wall a solid colour and pick a cool border.

But besides the wall coverings, there are definite pieces of furniture that baby cannot live with out. Items such as a crib (be careful about how old the crib is and how it is finished; are the bars close together? Is the paint that it is painted with lead based?); a mattress for the crib (make sure that it fits the crib securely so that arms and legs will not get caught; a change table, we used one that was given to us and had been handed down through several different families (you can use a dresser with pads on it for this also and a dresser (I got my dresser for free for my youngest daughter – it happened to be a throwaway from a boarding school that I stripped and repainted and since it was an older model, it was quite sturdy). Other than that, the sky is the limit when it comes to the nursery and its decorating scheme if you are talented, you can even make the drawer pulls yourself!

Window treatments can be stylish yet provide the utmost safety for baby. In regards to curtains and blinds, you will want to stay away from long cords that can choke baby and long flowing fabric drapes that the child can pull on, thus pulling the hardware down on them and possibly injuring themselves. The best idea is to keep it light and airy, dark enough to keep outside lights out (such as street lighting) but light enough to let the sun in.

A rocking or other type of comfortable chair is a great addition and most moms would say a definite must have. Not only can the chair be used for nursing now, but it can be used for snuggling and reading stories together later. Shop at thrift stores and recover if necessary.

A few other possibilities you will want to think on are these:
-You need to plan the room for all of childhood in mind. Furniture for Kids is cute but will be outgrown in time, so possibly being a waste of money. You may want to think twice before you buy that princess dresser, because you child will outgrow it.

-Plan for lots of storage space with baskets and cupboards because as the child grows so does their wardrobe with shoes and outer wear, not to mention toys and you need a place to stash everything.

-Avoid wall to wall carpeting. Wall to wall can harbour allergens that could be harmful to your child. Instead consider area rugs and wood flooring

-If you are crafty, the sky is endless to what you can accomplish in the nursery. How about making your own mobile? You can make it out of heavy cardboard into any shape you want like butterflies or footballs. You can purchase some cards or use old calendars and buy some frames either at a dollar store or thrift store to use for decorations for the wall. When I was nearing the end of my pregnancy, I cross-stitched a sampler for the room, so if you are handy, you can do just about anything.

One idea is to scour garage sales for furniture, bedding (and clothing), go to thrift stores (you never know!) you also might want to try dollar stores. Dollar stores have great craft stuff that is inexpensive that you can use to decorate walls/furniture with.

The key is to plan ahead and do your homework before you spend all your money on one item, remember, your baby really does not care what the room looks like at this point because it is going to sleep most of the time. The baby does not care if you spend a fortune or very little but if you are willing to think outside of the box, you can have a great looking nursery and still have cash left over for the diapers.

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