You’re expecting a baby but don’t have a designated room for a nursery? Relax. With a little creativity, flexibility, and our handy list of suggestions, making space for your newest member of the family will be easier than you think.
Stick to the essentials. Limit baby’s belongings to what’s really needed and what will get the most use for the longest stretch of time. Bassinets are nice but aren’t safe beyond three months of age or 15 pounds so a crib is a better purchase. A changing table might be convenient but if space is limited, diapers can be changed using a pad on the floor.
Share a room. In addition to saving space, having your baby nearby has benefits. No more stumbling around in the dark for midnight feedings. The American Academy of Pediatrics actually recommends having babies sleep in the same room as the parents for the first six months to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. Sharing a room with a sibling is also an option. Make sure each child (especially the older one) has personal space. Respect each child’s sleep needs and try to stick to a schedule, if possible.
Choose furniture wisely. Purchase pieces that do double duty. For example, use a dresser instead of a changing table, which will enable you to store clothes and diapers beneath and safely secure a changing pad on top. Many baby items are built to fold easily for storage. Make certain all items you buy comply with federal safety standards and haven’t been recalled. Tip: Look for the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) stamp of approval.
Work with what you have. Look at your space and try to leverage every bit of square footage. Consider turning a large well-ventilated closet into a sleeping or diaper-changing area. Turn a dining room with French doors into a bedroom. Or divide a room using an anchored bookcase unit or drapery hung securely from the ceiling.
Safety first. No matter how you decide to make room for baby, safety is foremost. If your baby is sharing a space, be extra vigilant about baby proofing. Check for cords, personal care products, electric outlets, and choking hazards. In addition, adequate ventilation is especially important for safe sleep. Remove soft items near a crib or bassinette — this includes drapes and bumper pads, which pose suffocation and strangulation risks to small infants. All furniture should be securely anchored to prevent tipping. This is especially important for anything a child might pull up on or try to climb.
Related – Tips for Organizing Kids’ Toys