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In a past career, I was an interior decorator.  It’s fun to combine my love of design with my crunchiness.  Preparing an affordable and healthy nursery can be a challenge.  I found a few tricks that helped me achieve my goals, and I’d like to share them with you.

  • Avoid outgassing by using pre-loved items.  In our nursery, I opted for used furniture, including an antique lamp table, an antique book rack, and used changing table and crib (which wasn’t used until our baby moved into her room at 6 months).   We did paint a little, and did so well ahead of our due date.  We left the windows open during good weather to allow the paint to outgas.  We looked for used toys and books, washed them, and stocked our play area.
  • Wash all new textiles before using.  Before the baby was born, I took all new clothing, bedding, towels, curtains, blankets, Boppy pillowcases, sheets, burp cloths, and any other fabrics out of the their packaging and washed them in chemical and fragrance-free detergent.  New textiles can be laden with harsh manufacturing chemicals, and these can be quite toxic if breathed into little lungs or absorbed by the skin.
  • Re-use free items for décor.  My husband’s grandma gave us a box of children’s picture books from the 1940’s, and some old wooden grocery store lettering from the family business.  I selected and framed my favorite pages of a book about animals, and with the letters, we spelled “baby.”
  • Our nursery is gender-neutral.  If we have another baby, we won’t have to worry about changing the theme or colors for the opposite gender.

Are you decorating a nursery?  Share your tips with us in the comments below.