8 Nursery Hacks & Shortcuts That Save Time & Stress

mother holding newborn
Joana Lopes/Shutterstock

Decorating your baby's nursery can be overwhelming to say the least. The possibilities of how to clothe, swaddle, diaper, rock, entertain, read to, and cuddle your little one are freakin' endless. (Not to mention expensive.)

The good news is that while you can drop thousands on hand-stamped wallpaper and cashmere throws for babies, they truly need a lot less.

Here, eight experts -- moms who've been there, done that -- confide what you really need in your newborn's room, what you can skip with a clear conscience, and how to save yourself a little money and time when you do make a purchase.

  • "Paint the walls a soft cream or gray. Your baby's toys will bring so many pops of color, you'll be happy with the neutral base!" -- Michelle F.

    kids nursery
    mmphotographie.de/Shutterstock

    Chill colors will also "grow up" with your kid ... meaning you'll be able to postpone repainting for a few more years.

  • Advertisement
  • "Get a crib that converts into a toddler bed. Ours stayed in great condition and was used for our second daughter as a crib and bed." -- Zaida K.

    kid nursery
    Andrey Armyagov/Shutterstock

    When the opportunity arrives to move your baby into a "big kid bed," you already have what you need to make the switch.

  • "Cheap out on things that you're going to find are disposable, like washcloths or basic onesies." -- Olivia H.

    teddy blue
    avtk/Shutterstock

    $60 washcloths knitted during the eclipse from the tender wool of organic grass-fed llamas? Gwyneth, please. If something's going to get spit, puked, and possibly pooped on, don't break the bank. There are plenty of affordable options made of soft, safe fibers.

    More from CafeMom11 Ways to Create a One-of-a-Kind Nursery for Baby

  • "Diaper genies sound like a great idea -- until you have to empty them. Think: poop sausage." -- Chrissy B.

    changing baby's diaper
    Odua Images/Shutterstock

    Skip the cost -- and grossness -- and just throw dirty diapers in a regular diaper pail or trash can. Sometimes "old school" does win.

  • "Use secondhand items available to you, such as a dresser. It can be painted and it's easy to add decorative pulls to make it look new." -- Erika J.

    iStock.com/StefaNikolic

    What's more sentimental than a piece that's been passed down through the family? And you can get solid wood furniture for what seems like a steal at thrift and antique stores.

    By the time the tween years hit, your offspring will want to pick out new furniture anyway.

  • "Not only is a baby wipe heater an added expense, but it creates a high expectation for your child when heated wipes aren't available!" -- Shelby R.

    baby rosy cheeks
    ucchie79/Shutterstock

    Chances are your little one will never miss this contraption.

    More from CafeMom6 Common Nursery Decor Mistakes Parents Make & What to Do Instead

  • "Clear plastic tubs are the answer to everything. You can store clothes your baby needs to grow into, extra toys, and books." -- Bee M.

    clear plastic bins storage kids room
    Iulian Valentin/Shutterstock

    Don't forget to buy the "see-through" kind or create a labeling system. Otherwise, you'll never find what you're looking for.

    "Buy all the same color and size and you don't have to hide them in the closet," Bee adds.

  • "The crib we spent so much money on sat unused for five months because our baby only wanted to sleep in the bassinet in our bedroom." -- Kelsey D.

    baby in bassinet
    FamVeld/Shutterstock

    If you're short on funds -- or time to shop around -- remember that a crib purchase can wait while you stock up on necessities like onesies and diapers. A smaller, safe sleeping space is all your baby will need for the first few months.

baby prep nursery baby clothes