Nursery Redone, Broke-Ass Mom style

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I read an article this week about the “Must-Haves” for a nursery. What really caught my attention was the fact that the author was claiming that these were the “essentials”. And I thought, “Why not Broke-Ass this up for my readers this week?”

Here is the list of essentials provided and an estimate of the costs:

$170 = Jenny Lind Crib

$25 + ??? = Changing pad + dresser (preferably antique according to the article)

$180 = Glider or Rocking Chair

$200 = Cowhide rug, or any soft rug

$100 = Dark Window Shades

$50 = Lamp (just a guess, but seems reasonable)

$150 = Guest bed or futon (for those nights when you’re too tired to crawl to your own bed)

$875 = Grand Total (only includes my estimates mentioned above)

Now let’s Broke-Ass Mom this bad boy! This article assumes that you have a large enough space for a baby room. Not all of us have that luxury (see my first article). But let’s, for argument’s sake, assume you do have this luxury. Then I suggest, as a Broke-Ass Mom, to get rid of the rocking chair, the cowhide rug, the lamp and the guest bed.

A rocking chair would be lovely, really it would be, but you don’t NEED it. The baby isn’t going to let you sit down that long anyhow, except to feed and you could do that on the back of a pickup truck for all they care. Just live with whatever rugs or carpets you already have in your house/apartment. If you have all hardwood floors, just throw down a thick blanket for a few months. The idea behind the rug is for your child to have a soft surface once they start moving. Well, you’ll have plenty of months to think about what kind of soft surface you want before you’ll actually need anything. I’m saying to get rid of the lamp because I’m assuming you already have lighting in your house/apartment and you don’t need any more. A guest bed, huh? Wow, now that’s luxury. Not only do we have a spare baby’s room, but now we have enough space for an extra bed? Okay, well, you don’t need this, you already have a bed to sleep in, and it’s hard enough keeping your adult relationship happy without having the excuse of a separate bed.

That leaves you with the crib, changing table/dresser, and dark shades. For the crib, you could get away with a used twenty dollar Moses basket for a few months before deciding what kind of crib to get. I recommend the Stokke convertible crib, and this is a rather large purchase, but your child can sleep in it until they are about seven years old. Brand new, the Stokke crib will cost you $1,000, but it can be found used for $400. A dresser you could borrow from a friend, buy at IKEA for cheap, or find used on Craigslist. The changing pad will still cost you $25, but now the dresser could cost you about $200 (assuming you buy new from IKEA).

That leaves us with the dark shades. This is a tough one because I’m not convinced that these do anything. The theory is that you make your child’s room as dark as possible, they’ll never know whether it’s night time or day time, and therefore will sleep longer and later. Pretty sure this is bullshit, but I can’t prove it. I think the truth is that this may work with some kids, and won’t work with others. So I’ll leave it up to you whether you want to purchase these.

Your new Broke-Ass Mom Nursery total is $625, we’ve saved multiple trips to Babies R’ Us, a couple of headaches, a few calls from the bank, and $250 (and you could probably go lower!). The truth is that babies need very little; it’s the adults that feel like they need things. Babies only need two things in my opinion: Milk, and someone to love them.

Photo by: my husband

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Jennifer White - Mommy No Bucks

Jennifer White - Mommy No Bucks

Jennifer has been a bit of a nomad having lived in seven different cities. Her life as a gypsy has settled down for the moment in San Francisco with her husband and two-year old son. Recently, she decided to throw caution to the wind, quit her job as an analyst to be a full-time mom while chasing her dreams (and the Pulitzer Prize). When she's not writing, she's aspiring to be a luddite (although blogging isn't helping), knitting the occasional hat, or running in the park with her son and his secondhand compost truck in tow.


  1. January 13, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Why on earth would a baby need a cowhide rug?

  2. January 16, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    my sentiments exactly!