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Ready to Set Up A Nursery At Home? Here's How To Minimise Costs

Now that you've scheduled a due date for baby's arrival, it's time to set up their first room. Here are some ways to make your dream nursery affordable.

Setting up a nursery at home is an exciting feat for new parents everywhere. You may spend months planning every detail of your child's first room, from the color of frames on the wall to the material of the mattress. However, even if you do qualify for Singapore's baby bonus, you'll find that the upfront costs of a nursery at home can reach sky high prices if not planned beforehand.

Here are some ways to buy affordable nursery products, so that you don't break the bank for your baby's new room.

Don't Overbuy Bells and Whistles

When you think of your dream nursery, you may imagine a cutely themed room decked out with the latest baby gadgets and brand name products. However, you can still give your baby the same care and quality upbringing with a few low-cost pieces.

Table comparing low and high cost nursery products

After comparing over 50 baby products, we found that you can reduce your total costs by almost 86% if you stick to the non-name brand basics – that's S$3,641 cut off from an otherwise hefty bill. With this in mind, make sure to prioritize essential nursery items like a crib, nursing chair, and storage unit to hold all of your baby's clothes, diapers and toys. Less essential items like a white noise maker or mobile can be taken off your list for now, since they rarely end up matching their intended value.

Consider These Alternatives to Popular Products

While bells and whistles aren't vital to the development of your baby, they still have a strong appeal for parents who want to spare no expense for their baby's arrival. Even so, it doesn't hurt to consider cost-effective alternatives to popular nursery products.

Table of nursery products and their DIY alternatives

Where you can do it yourself, you should definitely try. DIY decorations and furniture can significantly reduce your nursery costs, as long as you plan ahead and execute your projects with your baby's safety in mind. For instance, you can buy one pink picture frame for S$31 or you can buy a single wooden frame and lead-free spray paint, totalling to S$10. By mixing and matching different products, you can easily save hundreds of dollars on your nursery.

Let Your Family and Friends Help You Foot the Bill

The most affordable way to secure items on your nursery checklist is to have someone else pay for them. When you're setting up your baby registry, prioritize essential items so that your friends and family can help you foot the bill for more costly products like a baby crib, cot, or bassinet.

Your baby registry can also be your chance to secure free decor, baby clothes, diapers and wipes. While high upfront costs don't apply to products like diapers, for instance, the total cost will build up over time. An 80-pack of diapers for newborns checks out to S$20, but an infant should be changed up to 12 times per day. Over the first few weeks of your baby's life, you'll spend about S$100 on diapers, alone; however, you should keep in mind that your baby will grow over 5 sizes in 3 years. Therefore, when it comes to your baby registry, it's best to include an array of diaper sizes to save for the years ahead.

Lastly, you can also borrow or buy old nursery products from your friends and family. As long as you sanitize the items beforehand, second hand baby products can make a huge difference for your bank account.

Shop Early For the Best Deals

If you plan at least a year ahead of your baby's arrival, you'll have ample time to find the best deals online or in person. Many stores have seasonal sales, which may even result in you scoring a huge discount on your dream crib. Similarly, spending time in consignment stores can lead to great finds like unique, vintage baby furniture at a marked down price.

Something good to also keep in mind is your mode of payment. Credit cards not only allow you to make big purchases and pay the cost over time, but some also offer you rewards for online shopping. For instance, the Citi Lazada Card offers 4 mile points per S$1 spent on Lazada fashion, which is a great source for maternity wear and children's clothing. By taking advantage of credit card schemes like this, you can end up saving money on other costs like travel, dining, entertainment, and transportation (which will surely come in handy once your baby is settled in their new home).

Start Saving For Your Baby Now

Setting up a nursery at home doesn't have to break the bank. However, it's still important to save money before you rush to the nearest baby furniture store. While Child Development Accounts (CDAs) will help you save for your child's future, they are meant to cover the costs of education and healthcare.

To save money for other costs like your nursery, you can consider opening a high interest savings account. By placing money into a savings account like the UOB One Account, for example, you can grow your lump sum amount at an interest rate of 2.50%, with a maximum cashback of S$1,200 per year. Considering the long term cost requirements of welcoming new life into your family, another avenue of cash growth will be extremely helpful to you and your new baby.

Natalia Sanchez-Kumar

Natalia Sanchez-Kumar is a Research Analyst at ValueChampion. She is a History graduate of New York University and has worked in the area of social impact, Future of Work and socio-technological research in the US and India. She has co-authored policy proposals alongside the International Labour Organisation in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, as well as hosted a data privacy conference with Facebook in New Delhi.

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