Craft a Colorful Space for Your First Child Without Breaking the Bank
First-time parents are super excited, and who can blame them? Their understandable exuberance often makes them easy targets for advertising about all sorts of products and ideas for their child's first bedroom. They get easily swept up in making their little one's room an ideal environment.
But trust this grandma: Any search for the perfect solution is much more for the parent's edification than for the baby's. Your baby doesn't know how much you've spent putting together a room worthy of the magazines. No infant can tell the difference between you blowing the budget and you taking a more logical approach to decorating your first nursery.
Many new parents live in a starter home or a rental, so the idea of spending a great deal on wallpaper, custom murals or fussy window treatments needs to be examined in the cool light of day.First-time moms are hard to convince otherwise, and want everything under the sun for their precious babies. It's possible, however, to create an adorable environment while also watching the budget.
First of all, safety rules the day. A sturdy and safe crib and changing table are a must. That's the place to spend some cash. A very comfortable rocker and footstool for Mom are also necessary. Make sure that you get a rocker model that locks in place for when your infant turns into a climbing toddler and wants to sit in the chair and rock at a wild pace!
Following the rocker, get good organization tools, such as baskets or drawers for tiny socks, bibs, onesies and washcloths. My kids hung a CD player on the wall once they discovered how much their little ones were soothed by tunes. It was worth the money.
Also, remember that paint is an inexpensive tool that goes a long way. There are many gender-neutral colors, such as lime green, sunny yellow or cheerful aqua. You can simply do one paint job with these colors, and it will work for the second baby as well, no matter the sex.
One of my favorite ways to decorate a baby's room is using a peel-and-stick design, such as the pictured whimsical tree with woodland creatures. Not only is this concept a way to introduce a fresh theme but it's also so affordable! This particular design is 64 inches by 58 inches and costs just $40.49. A whopping 80 individual pieces peel off the backing with ease, and are simple to stick onto a wall. The best part is that when you're ready to move houses or change rooms around you can simply peel the pieces from the wall surface.
It's nice to know that the dozens of companies that offer decals also offer easy and bright decorating themes. They range from nursery rhymes to Thomas the Tank Engine to good ol' farm animals. We know that vibrant color stimulates infants and helps their young eyes develop, so that's another reason you'll want to include colorful objects for the baby to see. Hanging mobiles work. So do wood letters, fabric wall hangings and wallpaper borders.
An old favorite is a high shelf with stuffed animals perched upon it. It's good to introduce creatures and figures to your child, that you can use during teachable moments, as you change your baby's diaper or rock him to sleep. Choose items that can be changed without much effort, as your child will quickly grow out of the infant stage.
Photo credit: Luis Dávila