There’s a lot to do to get a home ready for a new baby — and getting the nursery finished on time and budget is one of the hardest tasks. How can parents in the Chicago area get a room ready prior to baby’s arrival without breaking the bank? Here are some tips to help expectant parents.
1) Shop for furniture four to five months before the due date. Mark Lazar, owner of Lazar’s Juvenile Furniture in Lincolnwood, recommends that expectant parents start looking for furniture early in the second trimester. “You’ll want to order early on, especially if you want something that’s handcrafted or will be shipped in from overseas,” Lazar explained, noting that while some furniture is available in-stock, other styles can take as much as 12 weeks to arrive.
2) Paint while you wait. While waiting for your furniture to arrive, clear the nursery of any extraneous furniture (the mom-to-be should not do any heavy lifting). Now is the time to paint the room without worrying about getting paint on the new furniture.
3) Buy used as much as possible. Scope out garage sales and secondhand stores for deals on furniture and accessories. In addition to saving money, you’ll have the benefit of purchasing furniture that is already assembled. However, keep in mind that numerous recalls have been issued for baby products. To ensure you are purchasing a safe piece of furniture for your newborn, such as a bassinet, check out the US Consumer Product Safety Commission’s page on infant and child product recalls.
4) Stay away from specific themes when decorating the nursery. While a room decked exclusively in Winnie the Pooh wallpaper, bedding, furniture and accessories might look attractive, it will also take quite a bit of time and money to find pieces within the theme to furnish the room. Instead, consider painting the nursery a pastel color, then hang a few pictures to tie in your theme.
5) Plan for the long-term. Parents are looking for the best deal on nursery furniture by thinking of how it can be used down the road. According to Lazar, many cribs can be converted into beds when the child outgrows the original piece. Select furniture with neutral, natural finishes for long-term use, and purchase conversion kits when you buy your crib.
6) Get the roommate ready. For some families, the newborn baby will share a room with an older sibling. Set up the shared bedroom with a crib ahead of the baby’s arrival so the older child will get used to the new roommate. To ease the transition for the older sibling, Lazar recommends having the newborn sleep in a bassinet in the parents’ bedroom for the first few months. “You really don’t want to wake up a small child when it’s time for the late-night feedings,” he explained.
7) Don’t sweat the small stuff. “New babies basically just need bassinets to sleep in, a car seat and a place for their clothes. For the baby’s first few weeks, that’s all they really need,” Lazar said. “If furniture doesn’t arrive on time, or if the nursery isn’t set up, it’s OK.”
Below are some local businesses that may be able to help you get started.
Lazar’s Juvenile Furniture
6557 N Lincoln Ave
Lincolnwood, IL 60712
Offering a variety of furniture for babies and children, Lazar’s products include cribs, dressers, gliders and nightstands, and also offers delivery and assembly.
Roomz 4 Kidz & Teenz
1302 N Rand Road
Arlington Heights, IL 60004
Roomz 4 Kidz & Teenz’s products for newborns include cribs, gliders, bedding and décor, and mattresses are also available for sale.
Twinkle Twinkle Little One
3224 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
Located in Chicago’s Roscoe Village, Twinkle Twinkle Little One carries cribs, armoires, dressers and bassinets. The store also carries wall art, including growth charts, paint and letters.
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Megan Horst-Hatch is a mother, runner, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in “-er.” She loves nothing more than a great cupcake, and writes at I’m a Trader Joe’s Fan. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.