Creating a Nursery on a Budget

Creating a Nursery on a Budget

How to deck out your baby’s room without breaking the bank

When you’re low on funds, taking a stroll through a baby goods store is enough to give you heart palpitations. Cribs and changing tables and monitors, oh my! It can seem like you need a mint just to get the bare essentials. But do not despair—your sanity check is here! Outfitting a baby’s room doesn’t have to cost a bundle. Here are five mom-tested tricks for creating a dream nursery with a reality budget!

Seek out secondhand

Remember that you’ll use most baby goods for only a few months before your baby outgrows them or doesn’t need them anymore. The upshot of this is that used baby goods are typically in excellent condition, with hardly any wear and tear—and, in some cases, brand new with tags. Get hooked up your local parenting listserv, new moms group, Goodwill, or check out Ebay for gently used treasures. Not only is secondhand affordable, it’s eco-friendly!


The only thing better than cheap is free. Friends or family with older kids will probably have piles of baby stuff stashed in their closets and chances are, they’d be thrilled to help you out and thin out their storage at the same time. Before you shell out your hard-earned cash, put some feelers out to see if you can borrow whatever you’re looking for.

Think long-term and go convertible when you can

Resist the urge to purchase big items that you’ll only use for a short time. Instead, invest the money in something that will grow with your child. You can now purchase car seats, cribs, strollers, and high chairs that convert from infant to toddler-sized. Avoid baby-specific furniture like changing tables, and instead adjust general-use pieces to meet your needs—stick a changing pad on top on a low dresser.

Buy in bulk

When it comes to essentials—diapers, pacifiers, formula, wet wipes—it pays to buy in bulk. Doing bigger and less frequent shopping trips is a lifesaver for Solo Moms, in terms of cost and time. If membership to a big box store is too pricey, consider teaming up with another mom to split the membership—that way, you can do shopping trips together too!

Get creative

You don’t need a ton of cash if you’re rich in creativity. Nursery decor can cost a pretty penny, but if you make your own, you’ll not only save money but personalize your baby’s room and make it absolutely one-of-a-kind. Color-copy pages from your favorite children’s books, stick ’em in cheap frames, and voila! instant nursery charm. When in doubt, try paint! A little paint goes a long way to transform a room or gussy up an old dresser. To save money, paint just accents (one wall instead of the whole room or just the drawers in the dresser).

Though baby stores, magazines, and sites will lead you to believe otherwise, there really isn’t much babies need to be happy and healthy. As long as the nursery contains you and your love, your baby will thrive.

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Nicole C. Kear, is the author of Now I See You: A Memoir, recently published by St. Martin’s Press. Kear, who lives in New York City, is also an editor, speaker, and mother of three.

Please feel free to contact us with any comments or questions.

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