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Making a Nursery on a Budget {realistic tips for new moms}

Making a Nursery on a Budget {realistic tips for new moms}

Baby Room on a Budget

Finding out that you are expecting is a wonderful feeling, but then you start worrying about where your new arrival will sleep, and designing an amazing nursery for them to come home to and grow in.

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You might even be worried that you won’t be able to afford all of the things their nursery will need with your budget, but you can.

Here’s how you can how you can make a nursery on a budget:

  • Ask friends and family for baby gear or furniture they’re not using.
  • If you do have to buy, shop secondhand.  
  • Add expensive things to your registry.
  • Less is more.

How do I start a budget nursery?

 You can design a beautiful nursery without having to spend a lot of money. You don’t have to buy everything brand new. Babies aren’t especially rough on their things so you can frequently find great baby gear second hand

Look online in places like Facebook Marketplace, or in a consignment or thrift stores for good deals on second hand baby gear. You can also look for consignment sales in your area, typically these will be very large and held at a church or other large venue and you can find anything that you need for your baby there. Strollers, bedding, clothing, toys, cribs, and nursery décor, a consignment sale can be your one stop shop for baby gear. 

Before you rush out and begin buying items for your nursery, make sure that you check with friends or family members. They may have some gently used baby furniture that you can have for free. 

How much does it cost to build a nursery?

You can spend as much money as you would like on building your baby’s nursery, but you don’t have to spend more than you are comfortable with. If you are buying some of the key pieces of your nursery second hand like a swing, crib, dresser, or bounce seat you can get everything you need for several hundred dollars or less. 

If there is an expensive item that you really want for your nursery, but can’t really afford, make sure that you put it on your gift registry. Friends and family members may decide to go in together to get it for you. 

Mommy To-Do:

Sign up for your free baby registry and receive a 35$ welcome box for free!

What do you really need for a nursery?

Despite what the salespeople at the baby store would have you believe, babies really don’t need a whole lot of things, especially not at first.

Your nursery needs a safe and sturdy crib, a comfortable chair that you can nurse or bottle-feed in, a dim lamp or nightlight for nighttime feedings, and a dresser, closet, or bookshelf to hold all of your baby’s clothes, diapers, and wipes.

 A portable bounce chair is also a nice nursery addition, and so is a baby swing. You might not necessarily need a swing or bouncy chair in the nursery itself, but it is nice to have a safe place for you to put your baby in other rooms of the house.

For example, your little one can nap in the bounce chair while you hop in the shower and you can still keep an eye and ear on them. A swing can be a fun and safe place for the baby to explore while you make dinner or load the dishwasher. 

When should I start putting the nursery together?

Generally, the 36th week is the latest you’d want to have it set up.

You can begin setting up your nursery anytime that you like after you discover that you are expecting. However, many expectant mothers prefer to wait until after the first trimester is complete.

 You may want to see what the gender of your baby is before you start planning how to decorate the nursery and that usually doesn’t happen until about halfway through the pregnancy around 20 weeks. 

While you don’t have to be in any rush to put your nursery together, it is a good idea to plan on having it completed by your 36th to 38th week of pregnancy. This is so that everything is prepared for your new baby just in case they decide to make their appearance a little bit early.

You don’t want to find yourself coming home from the hospital with a newborn, and having no place set up for them to sleep. (unless you’re co-sleeping!)

What furniture does a nursery need?

  • A safe crib
  • Dresser
  • Comfortable chair for feeding
  • Change table (optional)

Safe Crib

Your baby’s nursery will need a sturdy, safe crib so that your baby has a comfortable and safe place to sleep. Some of the cribs available today may have solid sides, if you plan to use a baby monitor with a camera in your nursery, you may want to skip those, because they can make it difficult to get a good visual of your baby inside of it. 

RELATED: The Best Mini Cribs (from birth to toddler)


The nursery also needs a dresser or shelving with cubbies to hold all of your baby’s essentials like clothing, diapers, burp cloths, blankets, and more.

When you are placing all of these items inside of your nursery, remember that you may often be operating with just one hand while you are holding a fussy baby. Make things easier on yourself by placing things in a way where they can be easily found and picked up with one hand. 

Comfy Chair

If you are planning to feed your baby in the nursery you will need a comfortable chair to sit in while you nurse or bottle-feed them. Some moms choose to feed the baby in other areas of the home that may already have a super comfortable choice, and that is fine it is totally up to you.

The most important thing is that the chair or area you plan to use be very comfortable because you will spend a lot of time in it. 

Change Table

Your nursery will also need a place for you to safely change your baby’s diapers and clothes, however, that does not necessarily mean that you need a changing table. If you have a dresser that is the correct height, you can buy a changing pad station that sits on top of it and save that money you would have spent on a dedicated changing table.

If you don’t have a dresser that could also function safely as a changing table you might consider adding one of those to your nursery furniture list as well. 

There are also portable change tables you can move from room to room that are less expensive and don’t take up so much space.

Cheap Nursery Décor Ideas

There are lots of inexpensive ways that you can decorate your nursery to make it look just the way you want:

  • Wall decals
  • Art printables
  • Framed pictures
  • Curtains
  • Inexpensive rug
  • Matching light switch and power covers

Wall Decals

Wall decals are easy to apply, won’t damage the walls, and can be found in lots of designs and colors. They are also easy to change as your baby grows, or if you want to change the look of your nursery. 

Etsy has some unique options, but Amazon definitely has less expensive ones.

Nursery Art Printables

Did you know that you can print wall art for your nursery for free? It’s true, just spend some time looking for free nursery wall art, print them out, and put them in a frame to hang on the walls. Etsy also has so many choices for cheap.

Framed Pictures

You can also decorate the nursery walls with framed pictures of your family. Grab some inexpensive frames and pop in some pictures of family.


Curtains are an inexpensive way to change the whole look of your nursery or add a pop of color and they won’t break the bank. Make sure to choose room darkening curtains for those daytime naps! 

Area Rug

Rugs are also an inexpensive way to add color to your nursery or to tie the whole look of the room together. Plus they make a great place to sit and play with toys as your baby gets older.

Check out Wish, Amazon or Etsy for some affordable options.

Matching Light Switch Covers

Another very inexpensive way to decorate your nursery is by buying light switch plates and outlet covers that are decorated in a theme or color that matches the room. 

Cheap Nursery Ideas DIY

There are so many inexpensive ways that you can decorate your nursery with do-it-yourself projects. You can purchase wooden letter blocks that spell out your little one’s name and paint and decorate them yourself to hang on the wall or sit on a shelf in your nursery for just a few dollars at your local craft store.

You can also find picture frames and all kinds of amazing wooden cutouts to go with your nursery theme at the craft store and decorate them however you like. 

Do you have a dresser or bookshelf that could go in the nursery, or maybe you found one at a yard sale that just needs a little work? Sand it down and paint it, and now you have a beautiful fresh-looking, and functional piece that you can use in your baby’s room. 

Making a Nursery on a Budget 

Making a nursery on a budget is not difficult as long as you know where to look for the furniture and other items that you may need. Not every item in your nursery has to be brand new, second hand items can still have a lot of life left in them and come at a significantly lower price than brand new items. 

You can also often find new nursery items online for less than you might pay in a retail store. Etsy, eBay, and Amazon are all great places to look for great deals on nursery furniture and baby gear. Big box retailers like Wal-mart, Target, and Babies R Us typically have large sales on nursery furniture, strollers, swings, play yards, and infant seats two or three times a year. Keep an eye on the sales papers and you may be able to get some good deals when those sales are going on. 

Something to consider when designing your nursery on a budget is furniture that will grow with your baby. For example, a convertible crib can be transformed into a toddler bed, and in some cases a twin-sized bed as your child grows. You can also find changing tables that can be converted into a desk or media stand as they grow, or a high chair that converts into a chair they can continue to use as they grow. 

Baby Nursery Ideas for Small Spaces

Is your nursery on the smaller side? In many older homes, the bedrooms are not much larger than a closet, but you can still design an amazing and functional nursery even if you don’t have very much room to work with:

  • Use a mini crib
  • Floating shelves
  • Wall hooks
  • Hanging storage

Mini Crib

If your nursery is going to be in a small space, consider purchasing a mini crib instead of a full-size one. Your baby will still have plenty of room to sleep and grow without having a crib that takes up most of your space. 

Floating Shelves

Floating shelves are another amazing way of giving you the storage space that you need, without having to give up a single inch of your floor space. Floating shelves offer you a place to put a lamp or night light in the room, as well as a spot to put stuffed animals or diapering accessories like wipes, and cream. 

Wall Hooks

Wall hooks are another great way to take advantage of the vertical space you have on the walls without having to give up any floor space. You can hang tote bags from these hooks to keep toys, books, clothes, or extra diapers, whatever you like. 

Hanging Storage

A hanging shoe organizer with clear plastic pockets can be hung over the top of your nursery door to keep all types of things in easy reach and organized. You can use the over-the-door organizer to hold creams, diapers, wipes, socks, baby clothes, pacifiers, toys, and more.

There are 24 pockets in one over the door organizer, which means they can hold a lot of baby stuff in one convenient location. 

RELATED: 11 Small Nursery Hacks You Haven’t Heard Before

Chic Yet Cheap Nursery

Do you want to make your nursery look chic, while still staying on or under budget? Then consider decorating the nursery with neutral tones and a few accent pieces in the color of your choice like a lampshade or chair.

You could also forget about the baby blue and pink pastels for your nursery and use a bold black and white color scheme for a sophisticated, and gender-neutral look. Don’t be afraid to add a piece of furniture like a chair or lamp that you really love to the nursery and then decorating around that piece.

You will be spending a lot of time in the nursery with your baby, after all, you should feel comfortable there too.

There are lots of great ways for you to design the nursery you have always dreamed of while still sticking to your budget. Babies are expensive, and they grow very quickly, so it makes sense to get the items that you want and need for your nursery in the most cost-effective way possible.

Do you have any other tips to share for creating a nursery on a budget? 

More Nursery Ideas:

Boho Nursery Decor {31+ ideas for a super cute bohemian baby room}

11 Simple but Clever Small Nursery Ideas {#3 is genius!}

Woodland Nursery Decor: Ideas For A Woodsy Baby Room

Convertible Mini Cribs Reviews and Buying Guide (the BEST mini cribs of 2021)

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