Why We Don’t Have a Nursery

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?

6 thoughts on “Why We Don’t Have a Nursery

  1. Annemarie

    Why not just co-sleep? Mitch can buy Karl some ear plugs and then baby and you guys will be snug as a bug in a rug. Babies sleep better that way. Just don’t have a bunch a foofy big fluffy blankets or pillows around her or take xanax or some knock out drug and she’ll be fine…

    1. Nicole Post author

      If I lived in California or someplace warmer maaaaybe. But it’s about 7 degrees here and we have about 5 blankets on the bed. Not the safest sleeping arrangement! Her bassinet is pretty high and right by me. Best alternative for now.

  2. Holly

    I so enjoy reading your blog! Goodness, we are all to motivated by what everyone else seems to be doing, right? Kuddos to you two for doing what is best for your family, even if it isn’t main stream.

    1. Nicole Post author

      Thanks Holly! Just subscribed to your blog! Love your recent rabbit post. I might have to get into raising rabbits!

  3. Verena

    Finally a post I can relate to. We had our baby in March 2014 and we also decided against a nursery. We have a big Master Bedroom and were able to fit a dresser, recliner (also from our living room), and a crib. I could not imaging having our little one “all” the way down the hall in another room. When she was born in the 35th week she was tiny! We also did it because we believe it lowers the risk of SIDS. The way our room is configured I didn’t have room for the baby bay (European co sleeper bassinet), so we opted for a crib from Ikea. Our baby slept in it from day one and still does. She sleeps through the night sound and safe unless she is hurt from teething or being sick. I even think she sleeps better, because she knows where are there. She has been doing it since she has been 8 weeks old. And even if she was in her own nursery I would have a monitor by my bed and go check on her anyway. By having her in our room all I need to do is look at the crib and go back to sleep. During the daytime I have her with me in the family room. We set up a little play area with cube storage for toys. Until she is – at least – a preschooler I want her in my sight. And from experience most kids want to be where everyone else is – the Family Room! As cute as these nurseries and kids room look I think they cost too much for the little use they get. When she is old enough I will let her pick her own colors and we’ll add a few more cube storage shelves for toys. Our crib converts into a toddler bed and our changing table turns into a dresser. It is plain white – very neutral – and can be used for years to come. I am okay with her being with us in the bedroom until she is ready to be in her own room.



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