Decorate your nest
Your dream nursery doesn’t need to break the bank.
(Getty Images)
When I found out I was pregnant with twins I got very excited about transforming my study into a sparkly new designer nursery. But after a trip to a few of the larnie kiddie decor stores, my hopes quickly dwindled and transformed into financial nightmares!

With plan A out the window I had to resort to a plan B. With a bit of research and clever thinking I managed to get my dream nursery for half the price and it turned out to be more practical than plan A anyway.

There are 2 important things to remember when setting up your nursery. The first is that your baby is only going to be in a nursery for about 2 years. After that they are going to want a ‘big kid room’. The second is that everything needs to be practical. You really need to make it as user-friendly for you as possible and safe for your baby. This doesn’t translate into fancy and expensive.

  1. Most kiddie decor stores have a factory shop counterpart. Generally the stuff in the factory shop is either shop soiled or last season’s style. Your baby wasn’t around last season - I don’t think it will know.
  2. It doesn’t need to be new! Cots are only used for about 2 years so a second hand one will generally be in excellent nick. So accept that hand-me-down from your cousin! A fresh coat of paint to make it look brand new. All you need to do is buy a new mattress.
  3. Get a waterproof mattress protector or two. Babies vomit and nappies leak. It can get expensive if you need to replace your mattress often. It’s also uncomfortable and unhygienic for the baby.
  4. Try to get cotton linen. It doesn’t need to be Egyptian cotton, but 100% cotton is much better for your baby’s sensitive skin.
  5. Reuse your existing furniture. A compactum is actually a fancy word for some drawers with a changing mat on top!  As long as it’s big enough to fit a change mat on comfortably - it will do the trick.
  6. Get a change mat with a waterproof cover. Seriously, some places sell fabric ones.
  7. DIY with decor. My mum-in-law is quite creative so she painted some pictures I found in a kiddies book onto canvas. I still have them up.
  8. Don’t forget a cosy rug for the floor. I got mine made at my local builders warehouse from some regular fitted carpet stock for half the price of a fancy rug store.
  9. Although those light flowy voile curtains will look gorgeous in your little princess’s room, they don’t do much to block the sunlight. Get some curtains or blinds made up with block out lining. Babies like to rise with the sun, and if you, like me, live in Cape Town, that’s before 5.30 in summer.

Chances are you will land up having great fun getting your baby’s room ready, and then you get to do it all over again when they want a ‘big kid’ room in 2 years time.

Share your decor tips and disasters in the comment box below.

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