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Baby Rooms On A Budget

By Tresa Erickson

If you have ever wandered through the infant's section of a particular store, you know how much stuff is out there for decorating a baby's room. From wallpaper to furniture to bedding, you can find all kinds of products to decorate a baby's bedroom, and if you don't watch it, you can wind up spending a fortune. If you have just found out that you're pregnant and you're concerned about the cost of decorating your baby's room, don't despair. You can still create a wonderful room for your baby without breaking the bank.

Paint is the one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to transform a room. If you have the skills, you can draw a mural on one or all four walls. If that's not your style, you can use stencils, stamps and paint pens to create a happy room. You can paint the walls light yellow, for example, and add some happy faces with a black paint pen or stamp on handprints in various colors. Numerous faux painting techniques are available that will allow you to create any number of textures and designs from puffy clouds to paint splatters. While you're working on the walls, don't neglect the ceiling. Remember, this is area the baby will see the most in the beginning when they are lying on their backs.

If you don't like paint, you can try wallpaper. Keep in mind, though, that wallpaper will probably cost more than paint, and if you don't apply it well, you may find your little one picking it off when they get older. If you go this route, select a wallpaper pattern that will grow with your child and make sure the wallpaper can be scrubbed for those inevitable sticky handprints, stray crayon marks and more.

For inexpensive wall hangings, you have numerous options. You can hang up special baby blankets or quilts that you receive, or shop around for inexpensive prints and frame them for instant art. If you have kids already, you can have them draw pictures for the baby that you can frame and hang up. If not, you can use kid's placemats, baby cards and even family photos for art. Inexpensive wooden shelves with old baby shoes and bottles are another idea. Whatever wall hangings you create, make sure you don't hang anything above the baby's crib. There's too much of a risk that something could fall on the baby or the baby could pull down something on themselves when they get older.

With floors and windows, you have several options. If you can afford it, you may want to put down stain-resistant carpeting or laminate flooring. Babies tend to spit up, and the older they get, the messier they are likely to be. Instead of traditional carpeting, consider putting down carpet tiles, which you can easily change out should they get terribly stained. If you already have carpet and can't afford to replace it, consider adding an inexpensive rug to protect the carpet from stains, or make a floor cloth out of canvas. With window coverings, you can keep it simple and top inexpensive mini-blinds or shutters with a corniceboard or valance, or you can go all out and purchase or make drapes. Whatever you do, keep in mind that the more light the window coverings block out, the better your baby may sleep.

When choosing furniture for your baby's room, think sturdy and try to buy pieces that will grow with your child. As your child learns to walk, they will start to climb and you do not want them climbing onto a rickety chair or table that could break and injure them. You also do not want a room full of furniture that you will have to change out within a few years. While your child may adore their white dresser with the heart-shaped mirror when they are little, they might not like it so well when they turn five or six and are into sports. Look for furniture pieces that will appeal to your child throughout their life.

As for bedding, the choice is yours. You can buy or make a layette set, complete with bed ruffle and bumper pad, or you can pick up some inexpensive sheets and add a nice quilt. Whatever you select, keep in mind that it will be some time before your baby is actually old enough to use all of the bedding and enjoy it. Experts recommend that newborns be placed into a crib with as little bedding as possible to protect them from accidental suffocation.

Remember, your baby will not be able to tell the difference between a rug that cost $1 or one that cost $50, so don't sweat the price of the stuff you use to decorate their room. Stick to your budget and create a design that will appeal to your baby. A room filled with inexpensive tactile objects will appeal more to a baby than a room draped in silk and other expensive fabrics. Let your imagination run wild and have fun!



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