Designing a nursery on a budget? Make those dollars stretch with these helpful money-saving tips.
Buy a convertible crib.
A convertible crib may cost more than some regular models, but these talented transformers are well worth the initial investment. With a few relatively simple adjustments, a convertible crib becomes a charming, toddler-friendly day bed. Add a few spare parts, and what was once a crib transforms into a full-size, adult bed, taking your little one from cradle to college and beyond. More tips: http://nurseryorganization.com
While some manufacturers will include all the hardware and accessories necessary for conversion, others will require you to buy additional pieces separately, so be sure to factor in any extra costs up front.
If you do need to purchase parts, buy them as soon as possible. It may be tempting to save your money until baby is ready for an upgrade, but it’s hard to say whether or not the parts you need will be available in the future. Don’t sabotage an otherwise budget-savvy investment.
Resist the urge to buy baby bedding.
Crib bedding is the biggest racket in the baby business, with some sets costing upward of $200. (That’s enough to buy a whole crib!) What’s more, they’re dangerous. Despite their popularity and widespread availability, crib blankets, bumpers and pillows pose a risk of suffocation and should never be used in a crib. Alternative bumpers and other so-called “safety products”, like sleep positioners and wedges, may also put your little one at risk. You don’t need them.
All your baby really needs to be safe and comfortable is a firm, well-fitting mattress, a thin, waterproof mattress cover and a few changes of sheets. Worried about cold weather? A safety-approved sleep sack or swaddle wrap is more than enough to keep your little dreamer warm and cozy..
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Skip the changing table.
While a place to change your little wiggle monster is a must have, a changing table is definitely not. Changing tables quickly outgrow their usefulness – if used at all. Most babies bunk in with mom and dad for the first couple of months anyway, and once your baby can roll, you’ll likely feel more comfortable changing them on the floor.
Read to Your Child
Before your child can even hold his own head up, reading to him helps him learn better communication skills and begin to recognize letters. Adjust your reading style to your child’s age, and as he becomes capable of recognizing letters, use reading as an opportunity to embrace his new skills. A 3 year old, for example, could help find the letter his first name starts with, while a 4 or 5 year old can help you sound out simple words.
Sing Alphabet Songs
According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children, singing songs can help children learn more effectively. In addition to teaching your child the ABC song even before she can understand its meaning, try making up other alphabet songs. For example, you might sing a song that helps your child spell her name, items around the house, or the name of her sibling.