Create a Nursery With Limited SpaceKatlyn Joy | 2, November 2013
When you have a growing family, it seems a bit unfair that you have a shrinking home but that's how it works. What is a parent to do? That depends on your situation, needs and priorities.
When to start preparing the nursery?
On her due date you say? Hold on there. Not all babies get the memo on when their due dates are, so give yourself a cushion time-wise. You want to be finished with the nursery at least six to eight weeks before your due date . Many parents keep the baby in their room for at least the first several weeks—sometimes longer. You will be exhausted getting up for those round the clock newborn feedings if the room is down the hall. Add in all those, "just checking," visits, and you may wish you had a bassinet by your bed.
Creating a nursery with limited or no space
If you don't have a budget, go crazy but for all the rest of us, read on. Look at what you current home layout offers you. Do you only have a one bedroom with a den? Bye-bye den; hello nursery! Does your bedroom have a walk in closet? Hmm....time to downsize that shoe collection, anyhow. Do you have an office that you need to work out of? I see a multipurpose space in your family's future. Remember, you can do it; if there's no budget for a bigger home then you have no choice but to make this work.
Take inventory of your space and your current furnishings. Have a great alcove? That would be perfect for a crib. Small square footage but very high ceilings? Think of the space in vertical terms. Do you have a big old armoire you keep meaning to refinish? The time is now. Trade furniture that you no longer will use such as that big glass coffee table with the deadly sharp corners. Arrange a trade with that childless couple who has the big set of shelves they don't use.
Consider every extra bit of space, every charming nook or corner no matter how outlandish it may seem at first. Harnessing the potential of your space can make the difference between feeling cramped and feeling homey.
6 Ways to Make the Best Use of Your Space
1. Make everything, or almost everything, do double-duty.
It can't just be an empty ottoman; it needs to open up for storage. If there is space under the bed, it is crying out for a rolling storage unit. It's a daybed/couch in the office until your Mom comes in to town; then it's a guest bed. Look at every piece of furniture as needing to serve as many purposes as possible.
2. Floor space at a premium? Go up the walls.
Get shelves and get busy. Shelves can hold storage files, packages of diapers and wipes, and stacks of photos as well as those you manage to get into frames.
3. If it's a multipurpose room, keep the colors and theme neutral.
You can add decals and touches of babydom to the baby side of the room, but don't go gingham lavender if your hubby has to work in that room.
4. Can the office resettle in a corner of the dining room?
Instead of sharing rooms, as in a nursery/office or nursery/guest room allocate the whole space to the nursery and put the displaced area elsewhere. Maybe you won't have a dedicated guest room now, but you could get a hideabed in the living room. Perhaps your desk and shelves will work in that corner of your bedroom now.
5. Consider the never-nursery option.
If baby is sharing your sleeping space, via bassinet or other early option, and you have an older child, maybe baby will never have a room of her own. It won't scar her or her sibling to share. It might even create the best family stories.
6. If it's a duo/nursery/office set up, set up zones.
Use a screen, a curtain hanging from a suspended rod or a wall of shelves to create a separate space. Consider a white noise machine to keep noises from bothering either occupant. It's especially crucial you consider vertical space as you will not want any choking hazards in baby range. Keep blinds, curtains and such far from baby's reach.
Remember, it's OK to keep it simple. Babies rarely choose to move to a new apartment if their parents' spot is disappointing to them. Baby has safety needs, sleep needs and eating needs. The only other real need is you!
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