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I Need It, I Want It, I Have to Have It: Getting the nursery you want on a budget that works.
When it comes down to absolute basics, the list of nursery must-haves is relatively short. You'll need a place for the baby to sleep, and a place to store all of the stuff that isn't the baby. You can have a great nursery, even if you don't have a lot of space, or a lot of money, to work with.
There are many choices for your baby's bed. Cribs are the standard, but you can choose anything from a simple, portable mini-crib to a hand-carved, custom-made beauty. Beyond cribs, there are cradles, bassinets, baby hammocks, co-sleepers, and even the family bed. Consider your lifestyle, your budget, and your design sense when making your choices.
For a tiny little person, that baby is going to have a lot of stuff. You need somewhere to put it all. Closet shelving, dressers, baskets, and bins are all useful tools in creating an organized and functional area. Try to group things so that they will be easily accessible. For example, you want to store the diapers, wipes, creams, and some clothes within an arm’s reach of the changing table. You'll also want ample storage for towels, blankets, burp cloths, bibs, socks, and toys.
Working with a small space, or a limited budget?
You don't have to spring for the pricey nursery set with a matching changing table. Any dresser can stand in for a changer, with a simple foam pad on top. You can also use a counter, a couch, a bed, or the floor as your changing area.
You don't need the expensive glider and ottoman. Any chair will work for snuggling with your baby. Park it on the couch, re-cover an old rocker, or use a bouncy exercise ball to soothe your baby – and work off that extra weight at the same time.
Buy pieces instead of sets for your bedding. Blankets in a baby’s crib are a big no-no, so that quilt will go unused. Diaper stackers and crib bumpers have limited usefulness, if at all.
Find a set-up that works for you. If you are in a small apartment, a closet or a corner of the bedroom can serve as a cozy space for baby. You can put the crib in the bedroom, the glider in the family room, and the changing area in the bathroom. Your baby's favorite place in your house will be wherever you are.