Throwing Together A Nursery On A Budget

We’re incredibly lucky to be able to live off one income now; however, that doesn’t mean that we can afford much more than groceries sometimes. Sweden isn’t a cheap place to live, everything costs a little bit (or a lot) more than in the States.

Except for Ikea, where prices are pretty comparable and why I devote so much love to the big, beautiful, blue Mecca. And also why it plays such a starring role in this post/our lives/Sweden/etc.


The nursery is coming together, but still a work in progress because we’ve got some time. Nothing gets me more excited than decorating our home, and if you’d ever told me I’d get to play around and decorate my baby’s room in Sweden I’d probably slap you for trying to get my hopes up. But, here we are!

I present to you some of our basic/necessary nursery goodies:


  1. This mobile from, where else – Ikea – about stopped my heart. I’m not much on “themes” but if I were to gravitate to anything it would be aviation and a hot air balloon is obviously a flying contraption. 
  2. This light is from Ikea as well, but we don’t have it specifically. Matt’s mom gifted us a light kit that we can build to look like this, or another shape if we like, and includes colorful mood-lighting options. So, it’s basically way cooler.
  3. Ikea Gulliver crib! It’s a classic crib that everyone loves, if they love an inexpensive crib. Which I do. And I sort of judge people for spending as much as they can on cribs, because…oh my god, your infant doesn’t need an $800 bed, alright?! Then again, see the next two items I picked out…
  4. Aden and Anais muslin swaddle blankets. They come highly recommended from everyone so I threw it on the baby registry, and one of our kind family members gifted them to us. Matt said he would’ve just brought home some cheesecloth from work had he known it was the same thing. Men, am I right?
  5. Sophie the Giraffe! The lovable French teething toy! Guess what!? It’s an honest to god squeak toy. I had no idea! And I’ll kill one of the dogs if they ever even think of looking at it because not only is it an expensive baby teether, it’s an even more expensive dog toy. It was a gift too, because Grandmas like to spoil their grandchildren 🙂
  6. Ikea lambskin, because Viking Swedish babies are swaddled in them and so shall ours be. Wouldn’t you like to be wrapped up in a lamb hug? Yes. Don’t deny it.
  7. This is the Ikea Poang rocking chair, which is what we were originally eyeing before finding a 100:- ($15) “fätölj” (please tell me how you think that sounds), or armchair from the local flea market. It is the same shape as the Poang, but built a little better, and a little wider, with a very nice and comfy linen cushion and head rest. Good for tall folks like us.
  8. When we moved to Sweden, Matt had to leave his taxidermy back in the States but he’s always wanted a cow hide, so it has been one of our rare housing splurges during this move. People against this sort of thing will probably think, “So, you need the remnants of a murdered animal in your home?” and the answer is, “Yes.” We’ve moved it from the living room to the nursery because it’ll be less trampled on in there.
  9. Last, we have the matching Ikea Gulliver changing table. It’s way more expensive than the crib, so we’re holding off on this purchase until we’re sure we need it. But it’d look nice if things matched a bit, ergo, it’s on the list.

The thing that I’ve noticed living here is there’s not many places to buy baby goods, and not a lot of options in those few stores. Like, you get what you get, I guess, and some of what you get is cheap quality and still expensive. We also haven’t really talked to anyone with kids about where they get things though…so we maybe should get on that, find out what the locals do. This is certainly not suburban strip mall America! And…I’m actually happy about that, just confused where the stroller gang gets their stuff?

Another way of avoiding the cheap-crap/expensive-cost trap has been to order from Amazon. Since I speak English, my first thought has always been to go to amazon.co.uk whilst in Europe, but when I found a great travel crib that didn’t totally break the bank, it couldn’t be delivered to Sweden, so I thought to look on amazon.de. Germany to the freakin’ rescue! The travel crib is German anyway, they will deliver it to me, and the Euro/Dollar conversion is pretty great right now, so we got the crib for over $20 less just ordering from a different country anyway.


It has yet to be delivered, but we’re excited for this piece. I have no idea how realistic it will be to use as a bassinet in the first few weeks, or how easy it will be travel with, but where there’s a will, there’s a way (my Grandma always said that, sounded appropriate). But it’s a blind investment we’re willing to make, especially since it has great reviews from both the UK and Germany.

So, it’s expensive to house a sleeping kid (understatement). But we’re looking to use what we already have, buy used where we can, and find the cheapest, safest, prettiest items that we must get new – and we’re not purchasing anything until we know we need it for sure. Plus, having generous family members helps a ton, right?!

Nursery looks good on that mood board so far, huh? Because in real life, it’s still in boxes and piled in corners waiting for a burst of nesting energy to be unleashed. I have worked on some art for in there, successfully sticking to one of my new year’s resolutions! I already love it and I’m only 25% done.

Very soon I will share pics once it has all come together!


***Nej, Ikea doesn’t know me, and I’m not working for, nor have I been perked by them. I just really like their stuff, and I’m happily swimming in it 🙂 

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