If you’re a parent-to-be who’s in the process of outfitting a nursery or sleeping area for your new baby, you may be wondering how something so small requires so much stuff — and expensive stuff at that. Still, it’s hard not to get swept up in the excitement of creating the perfect space for your precious baby, from the right shade of paint for the walls to a cozy rug for the floor — and then all of those important pieces of furniture that fill the room: a crib, changing table, dresser and rocker. And don’t even get us started on the fun extras, like crib bedding, decorative wall art, mobiles and baby toys.
The fact is, you could go bonkers decorating your baby’s nursery — and you could go broke. But you really don’t have to spend a small fortune (or sacrifice safety and quality) to outfit your baby’s nursery with the essentials. There’s a sweet spot where you can get the major pieces — a crib, changing table, rocker and bookshelf — all for under $500. And (most) of those items can grow with your new baby, as well.
We’ve rounded up the essentials that can help you outfit your baby’s space without breaking the bank. Take a look!
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1. Graco Benton 4-in-1 Convertible Crib
There are lots of gorgeous cribs out there, but some of them cost a fortune. That’s not the case with Graco’s Benton 4-in-1 Convertible Crib, which blends classic style with a chic, modern pebble gray color — and a price tag that won’t break the bank. It’s an even better deal when you consider the fact that this crib will grow with your child: The mattress can be adjusted to three levels as baby gets bigger, and the front guardrail removed when it’s time to transition to a toddler bed. It’s also certified safe by The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association and American Society for Testing and Materials for both construction and non-toxicity.
2. Windsor Glider and Ottoman
A rocking chair is a gift for both parent and baby. Whether you’re feeding, soothing or just cuddling, gently rocking your baby can help keep things calm. Traditional rockers can roll onto fingers and toes or tip backwards, making gliders a more user-friendly alternative. Plus, the foot rest lets you kick up your feet and relax. And if your baby happens to spit up on one of the comfy, heavy-duty cushions? No worries — they can be removed and spot-cleaned.
3. Graco Changing Table
Made to go with the Benton crib, this changing table from Graco has the same no-frills, classic look. Two shelves give you ample room for storage and can be used for changing supplies (read: all. the. diapers.) as well as clothes. The changing surface has a safety strap as well as guardrails for additional security. An included water-resistant pad provides a soft spot for baby during changing. It’s also compliant with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission as well as ASTM.
4. Sauder Pogo Bookcase
Finally, round out your baby’s nursery with a way to keep toys and books neat and organized. The deep shelves will hold lots of books, and the cubbyholes at the base make storage for stuffed animals and other toys a breeze. Even better: the height makes it perfect for toddlers to be able to pick out their favorite books and toys on their own (and eventually, put them away!).