Up Your First (Inexpensive) Nursery
A nursery you would be proud to show people even if you would
never want to admit what you paid or where you purchased it from.
By: Rebecca Bahlmann
After looking at many websites, high brow and low brow, and after having
trepidations about buying on the web, we took the leap and ordered a
“Nursery in a Box” from Wal-Mart. Nursery in a Box includes a
very good crib, excellent changing table and a
ok chest of drawers, is made of smooth finish wood, and comes in 3 different
finishes – we chose matt white.
Having never in my entire life bought anything from Wal-Mart (no I have
never lived in any suburb and prefer the city absolute – or the country
absolute with no neighbors, that includes Wal-Mart stores) and knowing it’s
corporation status, it’s policy to import cheap items from China, I was
skeptical. However I saw the photographs and knew it was made of real wood
and being simple and white, thought ‘how bad can it be.
Nursery in a box, White
3-Piece Nursery in a Box, White
Cost: ~$209 [BUY]
Pediatric Crib Mattress
Cost: ~$36 [BUY]
In Light of the discontinued Simplicity (which was a great value), we
equally like the following as they individually provide all the same
benefits of the Simplicity, but require you to purchase the nursery
Lauren 4-in-1 Convertible Crib, White
Cost: $145 [BUY]
Changing Table, White
Cost: ~$75 [BUY]
5-Drawer Chest, White
Cost: $259 [BUY]
Pediatric Crib Mattress
Cost: ~$36 [BUY]
Clearly buying separately ends up being over twice the cost of the
Simplicity (all in one box), but if you do any research at all you will find
that you could easily spend over $1,000 for the basic nursery pieces. Yet
your child will only need this for 4-5 years, after which it will be time to
upgrade again, so unless you are a garage sale shopper, your options get
first choice had been a $2,000 crib, from a store in England that converted
into a nice sofa or cupboard after it’s life as a crib, but we decided
against it. Let this be a testament to some of the less expensive options.
It is made of wood, looks beautiful and according to my husband, was easy to
put together. He liked the fact that the base that holds the mattress is
steel so its very sturdy as well as adjustable. There were 2 dark planks of wood, that we could not find any
use for and the box arrived in somewhat of a tattered state at our
apartment, but nothing was damaged. The truck company assured us that they
could return it, if we found anything damaged inside. It looks very handsome
and exactly the same as many $800 versions I saw in the shops.
CHEST OF DRAWERS
The chest of drawers is also quite good, although I would rate it as the
lesser of all the three items in the box. The drawers needed some sanding
along their rails (which are also made of wood) as they were sticking and
could not be opened easily. At the price of around $200 for all 3, I felt like this
was a free item and after sanding it works fine. It looks very nice, and has
a classic feel.
The changing table is fabulous – ample space on top to put wipes for baby
and a toy to distract her while changing the diaper, it also comes with a
plastic changing pad. Underneath are 2 large shelves which are great for
storing diapers, clothing and creams and spare supplies.
Note: I have found, that sometimes, all one needs is simple furniture
with an understated classic style (no bells and whistles) – it can then be
dressed up with colorful items that are on it or around it. The crib for
example, while rather plain, looks very handsome with cute and simple
bedding and with the colorful curtains around it. It is the bedding that
draws the eye, not the crib itself.
KOLCRAFT CRIB MATTRESS
arrived in good condition, came from Wal-Mart, but could be bought at K-Mart
or most other websites that carry baby things. It has a plastic cover with
nice little images on it, the plastic being the important thing, as your
baby will occasionally leak at all ends. As she grows older we will report
back, but so far she has not developed any back problems from it! It seems
just perfect. Having it delivered was nice in that we neither had to go pick
up the Nursery in a Box or the Crib Mattress as they were both delivered to
our door saving us the extra trip. One recommendation is that the
mattress comes with a large tag which we just pulled out - however in doing
so some of the seems came with it. A much wiser (via hindsight) method would
be to get very sharp scissors and cut the tag off as close to the mattress
as possible - in this way you won't pull out any seems.
BLACK OUT ROOM
Baby rooms are always cute, bright, and offer a virtual playground for
babies. In our case, the baby room is NOT a place where the baby plays but
rather a place where the baby sleeps - and sleep is what she does. Blacking
out the room was advice we read in the
Gina Ford books, essentially we taped black construction paper over the
window in our baby's room to black out the light. We also make sure that no
light gets into the room through the top or bottom of the door to the room.
The result of these measures is a completely blacked out room where little,
if any, light gets in - even during the brightest of days. While this may
seem strange to our friends about this behavior, all we can say is:
"A friend of ours has to walk half an hour with their stroller to
get their kids to fall asleep or have a nap. Their kids also wake up at
the first stream of sunlight ~ 5AM"
Our baby naps like clockwork alone in her dark nursery, so we can rest or do
whatever we please. She has slept through the night solidly for 12 hours at
a time from 4 months onward (and sometimes before that) and is generally
happy (7PM to 7AM) while sleeping. Most babies are cranky because they are
either hungry, overtired, or bored and we have been fortunate to figure out
which one it is most of the time. Our baby also does not use a dummy
(pacifier) or a security blanket and hardly ever cries more than a few
minutes. She plays happily alone for surprisingly long periods of time and
enjoys attention in spurts, before occupying herself again.
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