How to Put Together a Nursery on a Small Budget – Fun, Functional, & Frugal

How to Put Together a Nursery on a Small Budget – Fun, Functional, & Frugal

Every parent wants to create a great space for their little one but designing a nursery can be pricey!  With a little creativity and a few basic guidelines, you can put together a nursery that is fun, functional, and frugal.


Big Ideas – Small Budget

There are so many things to consider when planning a nursery.  If you are starting from scratch, the cost can quickly grow beyond your budget.  It is important to remember that you don’t need every item to have a nursery that you love.  In fact, too much stuff is just more to keep clean and can make a small space feel cluttered.  By simplifying your choices, you can achieve a dream nursery that any baby would love to sleep in and won’t empty your piggy bank.

Have you been swooning over that perfect nursery you saw in a magazine?  You are not alone.  Before you break out the credit card and start spending your hard-earned money, consider if that “perfect” nursery suits your needs.  You may realize that it isn’t so perfect, after all.  For example, do you really need a bedding set complete with monogrammed pillowcases and lacey crib bumpers?  No, you do not.  These items are not only unnecessary, but also unsafe to use.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that there be no soft bedding in babies’ cribs; this includes that adorable (and expensive) bedding set. 

So, what do you need in a bedding set?  A simplified and less costly bedding set will be safer for your baby and will help you to stay on budget.  A firm crib mattress, a properly fitted sheet, and soft swaddle, like this one by Mini Scout, will save you a bundle and the whole family will sleep better. 


Keep it Simple - Keep it Neutral - Plan Ahead

 There are many ways to simplify your nursery design.  By carefully considering each choice and focusing on essential items, you can design a functional room that will serve your baby for years to come.  Let’s talk about easier ways that you can put together a nursery on a small budget.


Keep it Simple:

Like the bedding example, there are other items that may not be functional in your nursery.

  • Mobiles are cute, but plenty of babies sleep fine without one. A small nightlight and a white noise machine are less costly and more conducive to sleep.  Some noise machines even come with a light already included.
  • Changing tables are expensive, take up space, and pose a fall hazard. Consider changing your baby on the floor.  A changing pad and a small shelf, to store diapers and wipes, may be all you need.
  • Matching furniture sets look good in a magazine but are cumbersome and expensive. A safe crib, a dresser, and a chair for late-night feedings are enough.  The dresser and chair are items that you can easily get secondhand from other parents or garage sales.  If you choose a used crib, make sure it is in good condition, meets the current safety guidelines, and has not been recalled.
  • Expensive wooden storage options are easily replaced by alternatives that will help you to stay on budget. Canvas bins, particle board shelves, and fabric closet organizers are easy to find in an array of fun patterns and colors.  As an extra bonus, they weigh less than traditional wood options, making it easier to rearrange a room or remove items for cleaning.
  • Toys are wonderful, but your baby does not need the entire catalog. A soft play space and a few classics will keep your baby occupied and happy.  Skip the fancy electronic toys and opt for basics like colorful blocks, tactile balls, and soft books.


 Keep it Neutral:

 Themed nurseries and bold patterns are difficult to match and become expensive to achieve.  Instead, paint the walls a soft neutral color that will pair with many décor options.  Choose blinds or curtains in a solid color to avoid the need to buy a new set when you redo the room.  Avoid buying nursery furniture that is too “matchy” or brightly painted.  By assembling a collection of essentials that are neutral, you ensure that you can add new pieces to the room without having to overhaul the entire space.

That is not to say that you shouldn’t have any fun, bright, or patterned items in your nursery.  With a neutral base, you are free to purchase any extras that you like.  You can go wild choosing area rugs, wall décor, and any other extras you fall in love with; making it fun and easy to buy items for cheap on sale without worrying that they will clash with your other items.


Plan Ahead:

Babies grow so fast! Too fast!  Keep this in mind when putting together your nursery.  Skip items that are cute but have limited function.  Crib skirts, for example, will only be used for as long as your baby is in the crib.  They are cute, but short-lived, extra that can derail your nursery budget if you are not careful. 

Choosing neutral items is a good way to plan ahead and get more use from each piece.  Your child will not outgrow neutral choices the way that they will be more juvenile or themed options.

If you have the storage space, consider buying things ahead of time.  This will allow you to take advantage of great sales and thrift store finds, plus you will have what you need when the time comes.


Final Frugal Thoughts

With careful planning, you can have a nursery that your friends will envy.  Especially after you tell them how much money you saved! 

These are just some ways to put together a nursery on a small budget.  Do you have a great nursery planning suggestion that is fun, functional, and frugal?  Please share it in the comments section. 


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