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When you are getting ready for a baby, it is so easy to search for a beautiful nursery. I am a believer in having a lovely nursery. The little woodland themes. The owl lamps. The crib sheets with arrows on them! So adorable.
What you need to know though is how fast things change. Your baby turns into a toddler to a child before you know it. You have more babies, are crammed for space, and add your next baby into the same room.
Your little one is growing up, walking, climbing, falling….
Did you plan for this?
While it is easy to get swept away with adorable baby things (and you should!!), you need to have a plan in place to make your beautiful baby room practical.
So, before you even start thinking of adorableness, think of function. Let me walk you through a functional nursery.
Get Rid of Unnecessary Nursery Furniture
It is pretty easy to know you need a crib, changing table, dresser, night stand, a lamp, and rocker. Those are considered the stables to a good nursery.
Just because every pregnant woman and her friend are putting these in their nursery doesn’t not mean you have to travel down the same road. We want to be trendsetters right?
Do you need a Crib in Your Nursery?
Okay, this is an odd one. Most likely you will need a crib. I honestly am not going to advocate for not having a crib. I just want to help you think of alternatives.
First, I actually sidecarred my daughter until she was 7 months. First it was a bassinet for the first couple months, then it was sidecarring. She is in her crib now (that was a rough transition…only because she is spoiled/we spoil her).
So, if you use a bassinet then go to say, floor sleeping you don’t need a crib. (a mattress on the floor in a COMPLETELY baby proof room with a video monitor...only way I would recommend it.) Love my motorola baby monitor by the way. Any others out there you guys like?
With sidecarring, (a crib hooked up to your bed to provide a safe area for baby) I needed the crib in our room. Our room looked ugly 🙁 but we got to cosleep with our baby in a way that felt safe to us. Please don’t cosleep without reading the research to make it safe!
Do you need a Rocker/Glider in Your Nursery?
First, if you get one, make sure it does not make odd noises. A little noise won’t be bad, but you never know if your baby is a light sleeper. Luckily, mine is not because my rocker makes a slight noise. It is annoying to me though. Creeeaakk, creeaakk…. Make sure you can handle it too.
This might not even be necessary in your nursery. I had one in mine and decided that I hated it in there. My husband would go in and rock my daughter to sleep. He would then play on his phone forever while rocking the sleeping baby. I would not want to disturb him because I wanted her to fall asleep. Turns out, he was just hanging out in there. Gotta love him right? 😉
The rocker is now in the living room. This is where we will rock our little ones from now on. So I can be in the room with him when he wants to rock her. The problem is that I did not plan for a rocker in the living room. That changes what I would have picked out. Eventually we will be getting two matching gliders for when we have more babies to rock. We can both just rock away. AND they will look good in the living room.
Do You Need a Changing Table?
For me, I wanted a changing table because my husband and I are both tall. He uses it whenever he changes her, so I am glad we got it. (though I change her more often 😉 ) Me? I change her willy nilly, here and there. I know, some of you may find that gross. But….I am gross. I have suffered the consequences of needing to clean the floor. But, because I know this is who I am, I realized that a changing table wasn’t quite as necessary as a decorative basket with all the diaper changing essentials that could move room to room with me.
I got my changing table and really regret that it is not sturdier. We have to fix it and make it more sturdy. It has already fallen appart. I love it though. I just want it to last! It is too cute….not functional though.
A dresser may be the right thing for you. If offers more storage and also ages better with the child. No need to replace it.
If you do opt for a changing table, get a trash can in close proximity. Don’t want to turn your back to baby while changing a diaper. Also, clothes tend to need to be tossed in the hamper if there is a blow out, make a hamper near by (or in tossing range).
Do you have enough Storage?
Besides the crib the most important part of a nursery is storage. Storage for clothes. Clothes that fit. Clothes that are too small. Clothes that are too big. Toys for the future. Toys that baby has outgrown. Keepsakes. Linens. Etc. etc.
We all know babies come with a lot of stuff. Some unnecessary yes. A lot of it is helpful though.
The mistake most first time parents make is filling their storage up before the baby is born. If you have already utilized all your storage before you baby is born, you don’t have enough storage. I would have at least an additional 50% storage on top of what you have when you are getting close to your due date. We definitely did not have enough storage. I am all about the storage now! I am a huge supporter of cubed shelving organizers. So much hidden storage that is easy to categorize and put away!
Clothing and Toy Storage
These two are the biggest problems for parents. That is why I am tackling the issue separately. Everything else seems to find its place pretty easily. Why are these the biggest problems? They are constantly changing as your baby grows.
Most parents do not create a system that accounts for this. You have to create a system that has room for the things baby is in now, was in, and will be in.
How do you do this?
- Have a designated area for outfits your baby fits in now. Separate them by category (pjs vs. day clothes vs. dressy clothes) or by weekday. Make them easily accessible without having to squat down to get them or reach too much.
- Have a bin designated for clothes your baby no longer fits into. A large bin. Large enough that you can store clothes for a while without having to go through them too much. Small enough that you will not let it pile up for months and never want to go through it. You ideally will go through this to find what you want to keep, donate, or trash. Whatever you keep then goes into a designated storage box that goes into storage (in the attic or wherever out of sight). This bin should be pretty easily accessible since you will be trying to fit the clothes on your baby and realize it doesn’t fit. I constantly just chuck clothes into an open, cute fabric bin.
- Have a bin designated for clothes too big for baby now. This bin has to be large enough for at least a few different sizes. Check your stock pile now. Make sure you have enough room for all of it now. Do not think that as your baby gets older that this pile will shrink. It actually gets larger. Once you have your little baby, you want to buy even more. You know the colors that compliment your little one. You can just picture the clothes on them, and it is to cute not to buy. All your relatives will be doing this too. You see how clothes pile up!
Still having a baby clothing problem? Well, take the challenge and get it solved today!
Toys are that weird thing that you don’t think you need a lot for a newborn baby then suddenly your closet, floor, and living room are overflowing with them. What happened? That is a mama without a plan. Don’t be that mama!
Nothing kills a beautiful nursery faster than toy clutter.
You control what toys come into your home. Be intentional. How much will you have? Will you only keep so many boxes full? Will you not allow any in the living room unless they can be easily hidden away in the tv cabinet? Create areas that the toys will be stored. I love those fabric storage bins. I also have talked about this open storage bin. How many large toys will you allow into your home? Where are the spots for them to be stored? This is going to constantly change as you have more children.
This is something that has been blogged about a ton. I love every toy rotation I see. It gives me so many ideas. Those ladies are intentional about the toys in their homes.
My main point here is. Before your baby is born have one in place. It may seem silly, but your little on will quickly grow into a 6 month old crawling around, and you will want to have things to entertain her. She will need to be entertained in the car, on the ground, in her playpen, in her crib, etc. They get sick of the same old same old fast.
If you do not think this is necessary, at least have a toy rotation set up for her developmental age. 0-3 month toys are way different than 6-9 month toys. That way once she is not interested in those 0-3 month toys as much, you can just grab the box and store them out of the way. They won’t be just thrown on the ground, cluttering the area.
Less is More
Less toys = more intentional play and better learning. Believe me, now a days, parents tend to have way to many toys for a child. They are too entertained by items that companies make. They need to be able to look around and find their fun. They need to feel boredom a little bit and search for fun. This may make your little one a little more difficult to watch, but it is worth it for them to explore their world. Besides, chances are that you have plenty of toys to entertain your little as long as you rotate them out and keep the age appropriate toys in view during play.
Bringing all the Beauty together
There you have it! Ways to make your nursery practical that won’t stop it from being a beautiful nursery. Of course you know about tying furniture to the wall, not putting a crib by an outlet, covering outlets, etc. But hopefully these tips make it possible for you to have a room that is not just baby safe, but works for you! If you liked this post, subscribe to my blog. Your privacy matters! I don’t share it with anyone. I just want to keep you informed about what is happening over here at A Wife and A Mother.
*This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure for more information.