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Decorating a Baby-Friendly Apartment

You’re a single mom. That means, in the most simple of terms, you are watching every dollar. If you’re not fortunate enough to have help from friends or relatives, you are pinching every penny. Either way, you’re not alone. According to Buzzle.com, there are almost 14 million single parents in the U.S., 84 percent of which are mothers and more than one-third have never been married.

The fact is, your baby is now your roommate. So, what are some cheap ways to give your adorable new “roomie” the best environment possible on a very tight budget? We’ve found some practical and creative ideas to help you create a child-friendly apartment.

(Almost) Never Buy New

Moms with multiple children understand how fast expenses can pile up with each successive child. It’s likely that you will want to give your first baby the best of everything, but the reality is that the temptation to buy expensive products eases with the second child. Understanding this now with your first baby can help save a lot of money.

  • Online classifieds, yard and garage sales, secondhand stores, and friends and relatives are great resources for gently used items; including changing tables, bathtubs and baby room décor. Some items should be purchased new, but much can be bought used.
  • If you have a young child, buy dark window shades or blinds at Blinds.com, or your local store, because they are important for a good night’s sleep. Keep a shopping list that includes window sizes, in case you get lucky enough to find these used.
  • If you haven’t been already astounded by the growth of your child, you will be. It’s why used clothing makes the most sense.

Think Outside the Box

Thinking outside the box means not just looking at what a used piece of furniture is, but what it can become.

  • Paint inexpensive adult furniture in bright colors.
  • A dresser and a changing pad can be combined for a makeshift changing table.
  • A worn coffee table doubles as a comfy ottoman, with the addition of a pillow.
  • Check with your local home improvement store. Many times they offer deep discounts on custom-colored wall paints that have been returned. You may just find some fun, baby-friendly hues.

Safety First

When furnishing an apartment with an infant roommate, always take the child’s safety into account. Items like cribs and car seats have ever-increasing safety standards — these you should consider purchasing new. Use your newly acquired motherly instincts to guide you. What potential hazards are there? Where are the pointy edges, electrical outlets and unlocked cabinets? Are those cords for blinds or window shades in reach? Think like an inquisitive child and you’ll babyproof your new pad in no time.

A Roommate To Adore

With your baby as your roommate, approaching life from a creative, can-do frame of mind can be empowering and help you stick to your budget. Remember, your current living situation may not last forever, but your child will always be your child.

PhoneLiving Talking Apps for Android Phone

Need a new best friend for your child? There’s an app for that. Talking Apps for Android Phones from PhoneLiving are the new standard for educational technology!

Each 3D character talks and interacts with your child! When you speak to the character, the character will actually speak your words back. Cool! And you can interact in other amazing ways: slide a finger to make a character laugh or giggle, tap the character to make them sad or silly, press a button to make them sing or play an instrument…the possibilities are endless. You can even “feed” them to increase their hunger meter.

There are over 100 3D characters available currently for droids, and iPhone apps will be available in 2012. And no matter your OS, the free downloads do NOT have in-app ads.

PhoneLiving Talking Apps are perfect for long car rides, having company over or any other time mom needs a little break from screaming kids. Its education, interaction, friendship and tranquility all in one app. We’re down with that download!

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Any T-Mobile new cell phones with Android OS can support these amazing talking apps.

Decaf Plush Denim Sundress

If you didn’t know better, you’d think it was 1951. The Denim Sundress from Decaf Plush ($54) is retro-chic fun with a modernist sensibility. This pink owl motif is an original design, with eco-friendly felt appliqué. It’s all denim, with hot pink, orange and brown owl pockets for major pop. Runs from 6-12m to 4T, and is so retro it will never go out of style.

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Pot O’ Gold Wood Swing Set

No more trips to that skanked-out public park for your kids! The Pot O’ Gold Wooden Swing Set ($2,499) delivers crazy fun at the end of the rainbow in your background. All pieces are pre-cut for easy assembly. The set features a tire swing, trapeze, rope swing, steering wheel, wave slide, rope ladder, climbing wall and tons more. You put it together, they play. No walks to the park, no lines, no waiting.

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Child Frog Hoodie Shirt

You HAD to wear hoodies. Your kids will want to wear the Child Frog Hoodie Shirt from Mouth Man. ($29.99) This 100% polyester sport fabric hoodie, which is made with recycled fabrics and eco-friendly inks, is full of bold fun. The frog on the front has a closed mouth, but that changes to an open mouth when they fold their arms. Cool! It’s definitely not your lameass Sears hoodie, and we’re all glad for that.

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Pod Cot with Sabi

This is a cot?!? Really?!? Yes! The Pod Cot with Sabi (contact for ordering information) ain’t no roll-out canvas job. This gorgeous plywood cot has clear acrylic sides so baby will remain visible at all times. It’s shaped like a cozy cocoon, with fixed sides and full mattress adjustability. And it’s eco-friendly in construction and bar free for a chic, elegant look. Roll out the cot? Why yes, please! It’s shaped like a cozy cocoon, with fixed sides and full mattress adjustability.

 

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Matching Father and Son Neckties

There’s no excuse for not looking your best, nor for being uncoordinated. Good thing for the Matching Father and Son Neckties from My Favorite Pal. ($12.99 – $16.99) These adorable sets ensure that dad and junior will match! They are made from kid-tough microfiber, so they’re ready to take any pre-event mischief. And with 33 patterns available, you’ll both look your best for any occasion. Look sharp, together!

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Milo Table and Bench

Your kids will be acting well older than their age with the Milo Table and Bench from Jennifer Delonge. ($647) This birch or walnut veneer table with high-gloss black legs is the size of a regular coffee table, and is probably even more elegant than the table in your living room. It’s a great way to bring a little sophistication down to their level. And it won’t mess up your décor in the process…

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Feedaway

Cardboard: it’s not just a nuisance anymore. The Belkiz Feedaway (check website for ordering info) makes feeding time green and portable. This heavy-duty chair is perfect for road trips and outings, when bringing along the high chair is impractical. Just unfold the Feedaway and you’re good to go. Being cardboard, of course, it’s sustainable, and being cardboard, of course, it’s light, but tough enough to hold your little one. Great for the earth, your recycling crew and your back and not a big hit on your savings account.

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Uptown Crib

It’s like middle ages luxury, without the scurvy and beheadings. The Uptown Crib, designed for Nurseryworks by House of Honey ($1,500), puts a modernist twist on 15th century English design. Bold and whimsical, the Uptown Crib features high contrast reveals and brass hardware for major pop. It offers three mattress heights, huge drawers underneath and, of course, fixed side rails and full modern safety. Choose from cream with black molding or black with cream molding, and sleep like it’s 1499.

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There are a lot of fun and functional baby products to choose from. Save time by going to HSN online shopping to find a great baby gift.

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