Preparing Your Baby's Nursery: Everything You Need (And Money Saving Tips)

Preparing a nursery or bedroom for a new baby doesn't have to cost a fortune; with a little interior design know-how you can save a bundle.

Even though your baby may not be spending nights in her own bedroom straight away, (the Department of Health advises that your baby should sleep in the same room as you for the first six months), it's common for expectant mums and dads to want to have the nursery sorted before welcoming their baby to their new home - and with good reason.

"Designing the nursery is an important part of the natural nesting instinct," says midwife Margarita Atieh. "It helps prepare you for the impending arrival, which can reduce stress in pregnancy."

It's easy to get carried away and be tempted to splash out on expensive furniture and accessories - à la Mariah Carey who reportedly spent £800,000 decking out her twins' nursery, or Victoria Beckham who spent £10,000 on Harrods nursery gear in just one shopping spree.

But there really is no need to break the bank, with a little forward planning you can create a beautiful baby's bedroom on a budget.

While shopping keep in mind...

The floor plan

You're going to be spending a lot of time in this room over the coming months, so it's important to get the design right. Before you even think about spending money, work out where you want everything to go.

"Once the baby arrives, you want to be able to move from cot to feeding chair to changing station without having to run around a maze of furniture," says interior designer Pia Munden.

Draw a floor plan and cut out paper shapes to symbolise the furniture you plan to buy. Play around with the shapes until you find a layout that works for you.

If possible avoid having the cot directly next to a radiator (to avoid the baby overheating) or underneath a window (to avoid draughts). Be aware that blind cords can be dangerous for young children. See The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents for more information.

Measure up

Take careful measurements of your nursery. There's no point buying a cot only to find it won't fit where you want it to.

Plan ahead

Babies grow quickly, so think about how many months use you'll get from a product before splashing out.

Baby-sized wardrobes and chest of drawers that match your cot may look sweet, but they will be quickly outgrown.

A cot that's small enough for your baby to go straight into, but can be turned into a cot bed as they grow, is a real money saver. Try the Stokke Sleepi Bed (£399, from