When my first baby was born, we were living in a mobile home park. There were technically two bedrooms, but that second bedroom was pretty much the size of a large closet. Big enough for a crib, and, thank goodness! — as the dresser was already built into the wall and that’s about all the space there was.
And that was fine! A baby could nap in there, and what else does a baby really need to do? We painted the walls something cheerful, put up some artwork, and that was that.
Pinterest and parenting magazines make it look like a baby needs a whole bunch of space to be properly welcomed into the family, and I’m as much a fan of adorable themed nurseries as anyone, but not every family has the space. Now, though, we’ve got a trendy new name for what families have been doing for centuries — it’s called a “nursery nook,” and it’s a pretty flexible concept.
If you love the idea of the baby having a little bit of space just for himself but you don’t have a whole room to decorate, here’s how to give your nesting instincts permission to have a little fun, with the space you already have.
Make the most of the closet
What’s your closet space like? Even a small closet can be a dedicated space for a crib — with the doors removed, it makes a perfect half-room, just enough to suggest a little bit of separation between your space and the baby’s. If there’s room, you can put the changing table in the closet, and use its shelves for storage at the same time as making the most of the space on top.
A temporary wall
A firmly anchored bookcase or set of cube shelving, or even a pretty curtain set up on a tension rod, can give the baby enough quiet space of his own that you can tiptoe into your own room while he’s napping without worrying too much.
Tent off the crib
As long as all the material is safely out of reach of the child, and you’re following all the manufacturer’s safety guidelines, some families set up a sheer curtain or tent around part of the baby’s crib. It’s enough to visually set apart the baby’s crib from the rest of your room and make you feel like the space is separate.
Work with the furniture you’ve got
With a little creativity, you can set up your baby’s dresser or changing table to partly partition off space in the room that’s just for the baby. Even without a whole room to himself, the baby will have a little space specifically dedicated to what he needs, which can help you feel like the rest of the room is your own.
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