There can be quite a few expenses associated with having a baby, but creating a beautiful and comfortable nursery room for your child doesn't have to cost a fortune! Imagination and inspiration are far more important than spending a lot of money when it comes to decorating a cozy space for your new arrival.
Once you've decided on the space you'll be using for the baby, you'll need to determine what furniture is necessary. The size of the space or room doesn't really matter, since the baby won't care, but for a small room you'll want furniture that can serve a dual purpose. For instance, a low dresser or chest with a wide enough edge on top can double as a changing table. Plus shelves can be used for extra storage, as long as they aren't placed over the crib so items on there won't fall on the baby.
The next important step is deciding where to place the crib. This should be a convenient spot that's easily accessible because your baby will be spending most of his time there. Don't place the crib in front of a window where the sun or street lights might create a problem. You should also avoid placing the crib near or over any air conditioning or heating vents.
No nursery is complete without a comfortable rocking chair or glider. Be sure to make padded seat covers for your chair if it isn't padded already as you'll likely be spending a fair amount of time rocking your child in it.
Storage is also a key element in the nursery room. You will accumulate quite a bit of baby paraphernalia, so you'll want to decide well ahead of time how to best store it. If floor space is limited, you might consider a hanging diaper bag or laundry hamper. Portable drawers could also be placed under the crib and hidden with a dust ruffle for additional storage.
Decide on a theme or a color scheme for your nursery room and carry it out in the bedding, wall coverings, draperies, framed prints, etc. Don't just limit yourself to the usual and ordinary ideas when deciding on a theme. Nothing against teddy bears and bunnies, but you may also want to consider other theme ideas like outer space, ocean, rainforest, garden, angels, race cars or a rustic cabin.
Try stenciling your favorite nursery rhymes on the walls or furniture for a unique style. Another neat idea is to paint two opposite walls one color and the other two another color, or wallpaper the other two walls. A wallpaper border around the top of the room can add just the right splash the color, or you can cut designs from the wallpaper and place them strategically around the room. Vinyl-coated wallpapers are best for the nursery, and removable self adhesive wall stickers and borders are also widely available.
Instead of using a traditional growth chart, try stamping a border around the room of your child's footprints as they're growing. Use non-toxic, water based paint and mark the date in each set of footprints.
Hang a coordinating mobile over the crib to add character to the room, and visual stimulation for the baby. You might also consider hanging another mobile over your changing table to help keep your baby's attention while it is in use.
Any painting you have planned for the baby's room should be completed at least a month before the child's arrival to avoid any problems with fumes.
Repair any broken window panes and patch any holes in the walls. Put safety plugs in all outlets in the room.
Replace any old or unsafe lighting fixtures. Torchieres and floor lamps should never be used in the nursery room due to risks from trailing cords and of being knocked or pulled over.
Babies and small children should not sleep with pillows due to the risk of suffocation.
Only use a mattress that fits snugly in your crib. You should not be able to insert two fingers between the mattress and crib or your baby's arms and legs could also get caught between them.
Be careful with any pull-cords on blinds or draperies. Be sure to cut the knots off of multiple strand pulls and securely loop up any slack, far out of the reach of your baby.
Used furniture is fine for the baby's room but be sure to check it out thoroughly as inspections were not required on some older furniture. Be especially careful with used cribs - we recommend that you not buy one that's been painted, has cutout shapes in the headboard, any loose joints or bars spaced more than 2" apart as they can be harmful to your baby.
Secure all bookshelves, changing tables and dressers to the wall with brackets or screws. Secure wall hangings to the wall at both the top and the bottom.
Hang mobiles, and all other room decorations, securely and out of the reach of your child.
Visit http://www.cpsc.gov for more child safety tips and updates on juvenile product recalls.