Splurge and Save Series: Nursery Edition


When it comes to outfitting your nursery, the options are endless (as most things are when choosing baby gear).

It’s easy to go overboard on your nursery and spend A LOT of money. After nannying for several kiddos and having two kids of my own, I’ve gotten a better handle on what items I find worth investing in and what things I can save a few bucks on. Hopefully, the list below will help you save some cash and feel good about your decisions when it comes to your little one’s room!


Let’s just jump right into the biggest item first: the crib. So many new parents can’t wait to buy a beautiful crib for their little one! It officially makes the room a nursery, and it is where your little one will rest their head for the first few years. All that being said, I think the crib should be a major SAVE item. So many new parents rush to huge baby stores and drop large amounts of money on a crib. Sometimes, it’s because it comes in a set. Sometimes, it is because it changes into a full-sized bed. A few things to keep in mind, however. Will you pass the crib down to subsequent children? If so, the full-sized bed factor doesn’t matter. Will your child be a human beaver and try to eat their way out of the crib? Mine did…
We chose to get a crib for under $100 from IKEA. Now I know what you’re probably thinking… is it safe? Is it ugly? All cribs must pass safety standards in the United States. The most important part is to make sure your mattress fits tightly in your crib with no gaps. We have had two Ikea cribs- one for each child. They have perfectly matched their bedrooms each time, and we have gotten several compliments from people when they come to visit. I’m happy we chose to save on this one.

Changing Table

There are so many options when it comes to changing tables. Many new parents get sucked into the set where the table comes with the crib. I chose to majorly SAVE in this area instead. We purchased a standard dresser and put a changing pad and topper right on top. We bought a dresser that my son can use for years to come and stocked the top drawers with diapers and creams when he was younger. Those changing tables are so convenient with the open shelves and baskets, but they are short-lived. By purchasing a dresser instead, you ensure that this piece of furniture will live a nice long life.

Crib Mattress

As far as this one goes- I say SPLURGE. So many new parents are concerned with the crib being safe and attractive but then get a cheap mattress for their crib. When it comes down to it, this is the most important safety feature in my children’s nurseries. They spend over ½ of their day on it. I chose to get a Naturpedic Organic Mattress. This puppy carries a BIG price tag, but it was worth it to me for a bit more peace of mind. There are several options from this brand and many others at different price points with different features. I liked this model for its breathability and construction, ensuring it stayed firm for my children.

Rocking Chair

This one is tricky. There are SO many comfy gliders out there in the world. You will spend HOURS feeding (and probably sleeping) in this chair. It will also probably take a beating considering the amount of fluid that comes out of tiny new humans. All of that being said, we chose to SAVE on this item, but it could be worth the SPLURGE. We got a chair and ottoman from IKEA.

I tested a bunch of gliders from popular baby stores and randomly sat in this chair. I found it to be most comfortable because it was easy to get in and out of as well as clean. The most important thing I found when purchasing a glider or comfy chair for the nursery- make sure the chair goes high enough to support your head! The last thing you want to do is strain your back and neck at 2 am because you’re dozing like a bobblehead.


So it is no secret that I have an obsession with all things baby. This, unfortunately, extends to bedding. I majorly splurged in sheets for my first and was gifted a few extras from target at my shower. Honestly, I liked the cheapies better. The print was cuter, and after 100 washes, the inexpensive sheets wore just the same. My tip- find something you love! Pottery Barn Kids runs great sales a few times a year if you’re looking for something fancier, but Target has great options that have stood the test of time with both of my boys as well!

Diaper Disposal

I know I will get some push back for this one but SAVE. Those fancy diaper garbage cans come with a fancy price tag and even more expensive liners that seem to run out the second they get replaced. Also, there are few worse smells than those puppies once they are opened when the bag needs to be changed. After changes thousands of poopy diapers at this point, I can confidently say stick to something simple. A stainless steel garbage or a plastic can with a locking lid will work perfectly fine with a regular old garbage bag in it as long as you take it out every few days.

Diaper Caddy

SAVE, SAVE, SAVE! They are pricey and so short-lived. If you use a standard dresser, the top drawers will work just fine. If you like to have things like creams, ointments, and meds out on the top, so they are easy to reach, hit up the target storage section. That way, you can get something cute that can be repurposed once you’re out of the diaper stage.

Hopefully, by following these few tips, you can create the nursery of your dreams while saving a few dollars because, let’s face it, kids are expensive!!!

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Erin is a recently returned Wisconsin native currently living in Shorewood with her husband Bradley, dog Sheldon, and two kids, George and Francis. Her background in childcare and education have led to a borderline obsession with all things kid including safety gear, equipment, clothing and toys. This type A mom is learning to embrace the chaos and welcome that challenges that parenting brings. With a husband who travels often for work and two kids nineteen months apart, Erin relies on her mom tribe, Hulu and a heavy dose of caffeine to make every day a success.


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