As I enter the last few weeks/days of my first pregnancy, I’ve been struggling with answering a simple question from so many people. No, it’s not about the name, the due date, where I’m delivering, or if “I’m ready.” It’s regarding the nursery. You see, we don’t have one. The look on people’s faces is priceless when I tell them I’m not doing a nursery. It’s incomprehensible! It seems to me to be more controversial than homebirth, vaccines, co-sleeping, or placenta eating. For the record, I’m doing the latter. Post to come.
Designing and decorating a room for baby seems to be what many women look forward to most about pregnancy (besides the new addition to the family, of course). I’ve seen some stunning nurseries! It’s not that I don’t like decorating or that we don’t have the room. We have a big, beautiful house with a plethora of bedrooms to choose from. The main reason I’m choosing not to decorate a nursery for baby? I plan to breastfeed, and the thought of traipsing down the hall and up the stairs in the dark several times a night seems silly. Plus, I’ve read all sorts of really interesting research that shows that babies that sleep close to their mothers are influenced by her heartbeat and breathing patterns, lowering the risk of SIDS.
I’ve had several people tell me, “Good luck sleeping in the same room as a baby. They’re noisy.” People adjust to noises (as do babies). My friend lives on a busy, bright street and the first few weeks she found it difficult to sleep. Not anymore.
I’ve had several people ask me, “What about intimacy?” Again, babies get used to noises!
Another shocking revelation? We haven’t bought a crib yet. Baby will sleep in a bassinet or pack n’ play close to my bed for the first few months. From one of my favorite baby sleep sites (I’m reading up now!):
“About 0% of newborn babies will sleep happily in a crib. You and your peanut will be much happier and will get a lot more sleep if you accept that most babies aren’t sleeping in the crib until sometime between 2-6 months of age (and sometimes later).”
I really wanted an Arm’s Reach co-sleeper, but we have a bed with a wrap-around frame and learned it’s not compatible with a co-sleeper.
We painted Karl’s old dresser and turned it into a changing table. We hung some bookshelves and moved our recliner into the master bedroom for feeding. At 6 months, we plan to re-evaluate the whole situation. If baby is sleeping through the night (Ha! A pipe dream I know…) we may move her to her own room. Who knows.
This situation totally works for us and our house, but I realize it might not work for everyone. I just think it’s so interesting how surprised everyone is when I tell them! Most of the pediatric recommendations I’ve read are on board with the baby being in the same room as mom for the first 6 months. Why all the shock and awe?
Am I missing out on some sort of first-time-mom rite of passage by not decorating a nursery?