Having a baby is an expensive endeavor: babies born in 2015 to middle-income parents from the U.S. will [price at least $242,000](http://www.whattoexpect.com/preconception/preparing-for-baby/work-and-finance/what-babies-really-cost.aspx) — every one — to increase to age 18. Babies, like weddings, are big business. Estimates vary by demographic and region, but new parents spend about [$6,000](http://www.parenting.com/article/the-cost-of-bringing-up-baby) about nursery furniture, strollers, car seats, clothing, toys and more. That is a lot to wrap your mind around for such a little man, but a design budget of $50,000 can be spent only as easily as a more modest $1,000. Make a list of needs versus wants and set your budget before you begin.
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
Chances are good that you know someone with kids past the nursery phase of existence who’s willing to sell or give you furniture. If the nursery items are in good shape, offer to buy one or more items. Some people could only give you their hand-me-downs. You may also visit consignment stores or thrift stores, but you probably won’t find any cribs because of stringent security criteria. All recent crib versions, regardless of brand or cost, must pass safety criteria to be sold in stores. Even with a brand new crib, it is possible to furnish your nursery for under $500 — if you shop carefully or buy used furniture that you paint.
Know When to Splurge
A safe crib and crib are a requirement; diaper bins, fancy switching tables and high-tech baby monitors aren’t. Yes, you can spend $1,000 on bedding, however, if your total budget is $1,500 — be smart. As long as your baby is clean, dry and warm, the baby won’t understand the difference between the ultra-luxury bedding along with also the big-box store variety. By sticking with the fundamentals of a crib, mattress, coordinated bedding, dresser, changing table and glider or rocker, the [average price](http://www.babycenter.com/baby-cost-calculator) in the time of publication is $1,079. This specifically includes: * Crib – $230 * Crib Mattress – $99 * Coordinated bedding set – $150 * Altering table – $120 * Glider or rocker – $230 * Dresser – $250
**Look in nursery purchasing as an investment by buying furniture that grows with your child**: a crib that transitions into a toddler bed, a daybed and finally a complete size bed; a bassinet that transitions into a toy container and bookshelf — and after a table and seat, and a changing table that can be taken out from the dresser top. While there are crib transition choices that can cost upwards of $2,500, there are also many that fall near the average crib cost. Take wall decor, accessories and lighting to consideration here, also. Opt for a more sophisticated look that rises with the child rather than cutesy for greater budget friendliness.
Wait Until After the Shower
New babies mean presents. If you want the more lavish things like the $5,000 crib, then the $1,000 chandelier and the $2,400 monogrammed area rug, place your wishes on a baby registry and wait until after the baby shower to purchase anything still missing you feel you have to have. First-time grandparents, aunts and uncles often pitch in for items that you need — such as that fantastic glider for nursing your baby. Baby showers bring clothes, toys, accessories and other little necessities. Signing up for a registry additionally prevents repeatedly answering what you need; only send the link and say thank you.