Stain-resistant carpet or hardwood floors are worth every penny when you consider the types of abuse the floor is likely to encounter during your baby's first few years. If you've already got wall-to-wall carpet down in the nursery and you're concerned that it might not weather your child's babyhood particularly well, an area rug might be a good investment.
Similarly, when you're selecting window coverings for the nursery, aim for washable fabrics or blinds that can be wiped down easily with a damp cloth.
Because some babies need to be taught the difference between night and day, you may find that a room darkening blind of some type may help save your sanity in months to come. An added bonus is that these blinds tend to be relatively inexpensive (unless, of course, you opt for a custom drapery service or select a pricey fabric for the blinds).
When you are decorating, remember that as the months go on, your baby is going to spend a lot of time lying on his or her back. Doesn't it only make sense then to pay attention to the ceiling as well?
Inexpensive ways to jazz up the ceiling include suspending fabric kites, or allowing fabric to billow through a series of hanging rings -- well out of reach out of the floor or crib. You can also hang cute baby-safe mobiles around the room.
Some stores also sell special nets (like the one shown at right) which allow you to hang stuffed animals from the ceiling -- and if your baby is like most children, he or she will have a fairly formidable collection of stuffed animals by the time his or her first birthday rolls around!
A nursery can be decorated beautifully without costing the earth if you are willing to be innovative and let your imagination run wild. Your nursery needn't look like something out of a decorating magazine -- what's important is that it's practical and cheery! After all, you're likely to spend a lot of time in your baby's room during those first few months. Turn that space into something that makes sense for your family.
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