When I found out we were expecting our little babe, I hit Amazon and started building the registry of my dreams to include every product I had read was a MUST have. Between the items purchased for us by loved ones and the things we bought ourselves, the amount of money that was dropped to give this little love all of the items the internet told me I had to have, was hefty.
There will always be big-ticket items that are worth forking over the dough, but the money savvy mama knows there are plenty of ways to cut cost when baby is on the way. Here’s the rundown of items worth the splurge, and others worth saving.
The walls in a nursery are pretty much the most visual aspect of the room, and one of the least expensive to decorate. Whether it’s paint, wallpaper, decals or a combination, none of these items need be expensive, and a little goes a long way.
Start by choosing a color scheme you’re drawn to, then decide on a theme or pattern. Maybe you imagine your little one sleeping in a playful jungle, or you want something serene and sophisticated in gray. The key is to layer your overall color and theme with different textures and complementary hues.
In a gray room, try accessorizing with shiny silver accents, such as an inexpensive shimmery pillow. For a vibrant jungle room, choose a piece of furniture with a wood-grained texture to emphasize the nature theme in the room.
Nursery bedding runs the gamut in pricing. With eye-popping price tags for fancy blankets and pillows, you may be asking yourself, do I need to spend a lot on something that will get soiled or spit up on? Not at all.
Your baby doesn’t need 800-thread-count sheets or the most expensive and popular brand of muslin bedding and swaddles. For as little as $10, you can get soft crib sheets and textiles in adorable prints and lovely colors. After making sure that any textiles for your baby are nontoxic and nonflammable, the next most important thing is to marry style and function. Look for colors and patterns that are complementary to your overall design scheme, and that are healthy, safe and soft for your baby. Muslin, jersey knit and cotton poplin are the most popular and recommended fabrics because they are breathable and durable.
Tip:Try placing beautiful textiles and bedding throughout the nursery for an added decorative element. Colorful swaddles folded in a basket add a splash of color to a room.
When considering your storage in the nursery, think of shelving and cubed furniture (also known as cubby furniture) to store your baby’s toys, books and sundries. Both of these choices are cost-efficient and extremely versatile as your baby grows. Toys become bigger and then smaller again. The same for books. Shelves on a wall can accommodate many sizes. Cubed furniture not only gives you the ability to use small or large storage containers, but also the flexibility to swap out storage baskets if your color or theme changes.
Tip:Wall-mounted shelves are also great as decorative accents, especially for small spaces. Arrange shelving in an artful way that creates visual interest in the room. Similarly, curate each shelf with personal and themed accents that highlight the decor of the room.
Chances are your little babe is going to be spending a lot of time in their crib. You are going to want to find a crib that is safe and is able to grow with your child. I recommend investing in a Milk Street Crib! They are safe, have an incredible design, and can grow with your child as far as their adult years!
2. Window treatments
One thing to keep in mind is that babies sleep better in the dark. Although pretty cotton curtains are often inexpensive and eye-catching, ask yourself if they also sufficiently block the light. If not, add a roller shade underneath. Other options are to pay a little extra for room-darkening blinds or blackout drapes. Roman shades with a blackout liner are also a great option. Ensuring that your little one sleeps soundly — or just that he or she sleeps — is priceless!
Tip: If you live in an area that gets cold in the winter, definitely splurge for a heavier fabric. This will absorb any cold air that might find its way into your little one’s room.
In most cases, mattresses it will be used for about three years, so you want to invest in something that’s great for a small baby and an active toddler. A good crib mattress should be certified by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (note that the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association does not certify crib mattresses) and should be sized exactly for your crib. Specifically, the dimensions of the mattress should not leave a gap when placed in your crib, but instead fit snugly and securely.
Look for a mattress that’s also firm and supportive for your baby’s growing and delicate spine. Other top considerations for a quality crib mattress are a waterproof casing, and the breathability and toxicity of the materials used. While there isn’t a set standard for these last three criteria, if your budget can handle the top-rated mattress for all these measures, go for it. Ensuring a safe and comfortable night’s sleep for your child is crucial.
Tip:Select a mattress cover that is well-padded, soft and waterproof. This will not only protect the mattress, but will make your little one’s crib even cozier too.
Spending a little extra on a changing table may be worth your while. The key things to look for are its safety, functional height and storage options. A safe changing table is sturdy and wide enough for a changing pad, and allows the pad to be secured to the table or dresser itself. A functional height means that it’s at a comfortable height for your arms, back and neck. Anything too low or too high will be physically challenging. And finally, optimal and accessible storage is paramount when you have a squirmy little one in front of you. Easy-to-open drawers or well-placed shelving will conveniently store your diapering sundries while making all those diapers changes a bit easier.
Tip:When choosing a changing table, look for something that isn’t too age-specific. As your little one grows, a changing table with drawers can get a little more mileage as it becomes a dresser for an older child (or even you). Swapping out the hardware for something more elegant is another way to add to its flexible and enduring use.
5. Rocker or daybed
Many new parents imagine sleepless nights to be a part of the first few months of a baby’s life. Unfortunately, 2 a.m. wake-ups happen long past that. The bottom line is, exhausted parents need to be comfortable for two years and counting. So if you have the space and budget, go for that gorgeous daybed decked out with a million pillows. Likewise, invest in a rocker or glider that is extra comfy and stylish. There’s nothing worse than sitting in an uncomfortable chair in the middle of the night. Choose a chair that not only suits your nursery style, but that you look forward to sitting in too. Because the person for whom it’s really important is you.
Tip:Whether it’s a daybed or rocker, invest in something that is a little sophisticated (not too gender- or age-specific) so that it can be used as your child gets older or repurposed in another room of the home.
What are some of your saves or splurges?
Comment them down below!
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This month is Crib Safety Month! So in honor of that, everyone here at Milk Street wanted to share with you some facts about Nursery safety! I know as a mom I forget all the ins and outs of nursery safety. So I freshen up on it is always needed!
As many of you know life can get pretty busy. With work, crazy kiddos, family needs, etc. The last thing you probably want to think about are recipes.
Like many new parents, I ask myself: “What are good meals for toddlers?”
I don’t really care to stand in the kitchen for hours on end to make the perfect meal, and even if I wanted to there just isn’t enough time in my day to do so.
So, I always find myself wishing we had something quick on hand!