(Some of these budget-friendly IKEA nursery ideas are affiliate links. You can read more about that here.)
Too pregnant to shop for your baby’s nursery? Have a middle- to small baby budget?
You’re here in right place!
It sounds ridiculous when I say that one of the most difficult projects I’ve ever done as an architect was designing the nursery for our boy/girl twins. What sounds even more ridiculous is that I decided to use IKEA nursery furnishings. I mean, it’s the same thing as telling a client to buy a pre-fab house instead of having one designed and built by an architect! It’s like selling out! But there is a time and place for IKEA and pre-fab houses…when you want the most bang for your buck!
Make a list
Here I have listed all the items you need for creating a beautiful, gender-neutral nursery for your newborn baby. First, come the basics and then I put some of the matching accessories at the end if you still have some play in your budget. Note – IKEA has more inexpensive items that serve the same purpose (like mattresses and shelving) but I chose these items because they harmonize with each other and I don’t mind spending a little extra for better quality (especially in the mattress department!)
(By the way, you do have an Amazon Baby Registry don’t you?)
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Planning your baby’s nursery
When planning a space of any kind, it’s important to check if the furniture you want to buy will actually fit in that space! If you don’t have CAD (computer-aided-design) software, there are tons of freeware programs online that will help you spend way too much time planning in way too much detail, or you can try this method:
- Measure your space.
- Make a rough floor plan: Get a piece of gridded paper and make a rough sketch of the room to ensure that the proportions are more or less correct.
- Go online and find the measurements of each furnishing.
- Sketch them on grid paper and then cut them out so you can move them around within your floor plan.
Plan with the user in mind
Newborn babies can only perceive the difference between light and dark until they’re several weeks old and can see their first primary color – red. It takes quite a few months until they can distinguish between similar colors like pink and white. That is one of the reasons why I chose white & black-brown for my nursery colors, the other reason is that those colors are gender neutral and easy to match.
Plan for long-term use
Most of the furnishings can be used until the kids move out of the house and I didn’t want my little girl to be stuck with a pink dresser until then. It’s also incredibly easy to match things in a black & white room, and a color accent here or there can be very eye-catching.
I have been using all of these products for over a year and a half now and still love them dearly! You really do get great quality for what you pay for at IKEA.
I want you to know that I’m not making one cent from IKEA for this post – I’m just so pleased with the way our nursery turned out (and grown up with us for the past 3 years!) that I wanted to share it with you.
+ is made of solid beech instead of flimsy veneered-plywood
+ you can adjust the height of the mattress to save your back when you have an infant and then later to prevent your bigger baby from escaping.
+ it converts into a toddler bed.KRUMMELUR Crib Mattress $60
+ good, middle-class mattress
+ removable mattress cover for washingLEN Mattress Protector $5.99
+ it really is waterproof and has saved me from having to remove & wash the mattress cover many times!
LEN Crib fitted sheet / 2x $9.99
+ white bedding can be bleached when it gets stained.
+ wash up really well – even after 1.5 years of weekly washing in hot waterRÖDHAKE Wearable blanket $12.99
+ Zipper at the bottom allows for quick nightly diaper changes
LEN Crib Comforter $14.99
+ can be used all year round
+ washes up beautifullyLEN Crib Pillow $5.99
+ provides just the right amount of cushion for baby’s head
+ washes up beautifully
+ wash & wear really well!
I’d buy two sets so you have a clean one while the the other set is being washed.
KLAPPA snuggle blanket with soft toy – $3.99
+ IKEA knows what they’re doing when it comes to baby toys!
HIMMELSK Bed canopy $14.99
+ for that little extra useless nothing that adds a finished look to baby’s crib
Changing Table / Desk
Using a workstation as a changing table may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but you wouldn’t believe how much storage you have with this solution!!! The table always looks tidy & clean and it’s highly efficient! Everything is within arm’s reach and most importantly, you can get everything one-handed.
Consider the height
The disadvantage to this solution is obviously the height. It is very low for standing next to and changing a diaper – it’s a desk! It is also really painful to reach down this low if you just had a x-section or have back pain. I diapered my babies sitting in my office chair for the first few months and it worked out great. My better half is over 6 feet and I’m only 5’4″ and we both love this workstation. Oh, and did I already mention how awesome it is having all this storage space? I’m using every square inch of it!
Plan long term
When your babies are done with diapers you still have a useful piece of furniture that you don’t have to throw away or sell.
KALLAX Workstation $110.98
KALLAX Insert with 2 drawers / $22.00
DRÖNA box / $3.99
Here you can see how I added drawers and boxes to both the KALLAX Workstation and the KALLAX Shelf Unit. LOVE!!!
Don’t know what supplies you need for your changing table? Check out this post: “The Most Important Items You Need for Diapering Your Newborn Baby”
KALLAX Shelf Unit – $29.99
Sofa & Ottoman
I know, it’s a little unusual to have a 3-seater sofa in your nursery. Luckily we had space, as I have no idea how I would have tandem fed my twins alone in the middle of the night without it.
A sofa is also great for cuddling and story time before going to bed – especially if baby has an older sibling or two. Some of our best times have been mommy & daddy lounging on the sofa with our feet up and feeding, holding, and playing with our babies between us.
Love seat or arm chair
IKEA also has some great arm chairs or 2-seater sofas when you have limited space.
You can remove all of the cushion and frame covers and they wash up like a dream! The only thing about the fabric is that it loves to collect lint, which can be quite annoying if you’re OCD (like me ;-))
EKTORP Sofa – $399.00EKTORP Ottoman – $149.00
SKARRILD rug – $79.99
STOPP FILT Rug underlay with anti-slip – $11.99
TUPPLUR Blackout roller blind – $18.99
LEN Curtains with tie-backs – $12.99
PLUMSA Laundry bag – $12.99TJUSIG Wall/door rack with knobs – $12.99
STOCKHOLM Cushion $19.99
LACK Sidetable – $9.99
Shopping at IKEA is not for big pregnant girls, you say?
I HEAR YA!
Shopping at IKEA can be a lot of walking, lifting, standing in line, etc. THEN you have to load it into your truck (if you have one,) drive it home and assemble it! That’s a lot of work and can be so exhausting! I couldn’t do it when I was 6 months pregnant with twins!
Pick it up or have it delivered
IKEA offers a variety of shopping, delivery and assembly services. The extra expense is comparatively low if you consider buying all of these furnishings at other stores.
With this shopping list, you can create your own beautiful, clean, modern, gender-neutral nursery on a budget. These timeless design elements will make it a room you won’t have to remodel for years to come.