Guest Post by Carrie Kirby from Shoplifting With Permission
Open any pregnancy magazine, and you’ll see that parents-to-be are expected to devote considerable time and money to furnishing and decorating a nursery for the new baby. Upscale publications even depict parents agonizing over how to apply their sophisticated decorating sensibilities to a baby’s environment by finding curtains, crib bumpers, and wall appliques that aren’t too cutesie.
I have been spared such dilemmas, because I never put together a nursery for either of my girls–nor am I planning one for the baby we’re expecting this summer. What I have realized over the course of raising two babies is that the last thing an infant needs is a room of her own. Since moving to a bigger home is one of the most expensive changes families make when they have kids, it’s worthwhile to consider whether a move can be postponed or avoided.
With our first baby, we lived in a one-bedroom condo and didn’t have a separate room to decorate. At the time, this situation pained me, because I felt like I was sitting out of an all-important nesting activity. I did try my best to decorate and furnish the end of our bedroom that would be the baby’s, and this compromise ended up fulfilling both the baby’s needs and my need to play out the full expecting mother experience.
I worried, during my pregnancy, that we were terrible parents for not moving to a bigger place–something that would have been impossible for us at the time. I didn’t realize that for most families, that lovingly decorated new nursery is superfluous in the early months because babies typically spend their nights in the parent’s room. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that newborns sleep in the same room as their parents.
We put the changing table up against one bedroom wall, hung a baby organizer and some baskets on the wall for holding burp clothes and little hats, and put a Pack ‘N Play next to the bed as a bassinet. The crib we placed in a spare corner of the living room, so I could keep an eye and an ear on my newborn during her naps.
The only time we ever needed the baby monitor we’d received at the shower was when I went to the basement to throw in a load of laundry. When the baby was older, we put away the Pack ‘N Play, got rid of most of our bedroom furniture besides the bed, and managed to squeeze the crib into our room.
When does a baby need a separate room to sleep in? Technically, never, if you think about the fact that in the course of human history, the idea of private bedrooms for each person is a relatively recent innovation. Even today, it’s not universal–plenty of cultures worldwide still consider it normal and desirable for the whole family to share a room, or even a bed. But practically speaking, where to keep the children is a decision that should be based on each family’s needs and resources.
We began to feel the need to get the baby out of our room when I wanted to stop getting up to nurse her at night. This happened between the ages of 12 and 18 months. If I had it to do over again, I probably would have moved the baby’s crib back to the living room at that point. Instead, we kept the baby in our room and when the she cried–when my attempts to soothe her without nursing failed–we’d try to sleep through her yells. One of us would usually end up on the couch, where there was not enough room for two. It was not a fun time.
This does not mean, however, that you need to move to a home with a separate bedroom for the baby by the time you want to night wean or when she hits a certain age. For most babies, the period when there is a lot of crying at night is short (although it feels like eternity at the time). Some families are even successful getting their babies to sleep through the night without any crying.
You can probably find a temporary solution that allows other family members to get their rest if the baby’s being noisy. When our second baby was a few months old, we moved to a three-bedroom house. Our plan was for her to transition from our room to sharing the second bedroom with her sister, then 3 years old. The third bedroom we reserved as a guest room/den.Naturally, the second baby went through a time when she was waking her sister with nighttime crying. We experimented with various set-ups, moving the Pack ‘N Play to the guest room and the living room at different times. Eventually, we moved her back into the kids’ room and her sister learned to sleep right through the crying. And, then, thankfully, the crying mostly stopped.
Probably the most important issue when living in a small home with a new baby is not the baby itself, but all the equipment that often comes with a baby. If you share a small space with a baby, it’s essential to keep equipment and toys to a minimum to stay sane!
Here are some other creative ideas for housing the baby in a small home:
1) The baby doesn’t have to be changed in the same place she sleeps. In fact, the bathroom is the best place for a changing surface if there is room. If space is really tight, skip the changing table and simply keep a basket of supplies and a changing pad wherever’s handy.
2) One family I know put the baby’s crib on the landing between the bedrooms. Just make sure that the crib can’t roll down the stairs!
3) To make room for a crib in a kid’s room, consider bed sharing or bunk beds for older siblings.
4) Check out this breakfast-nook-turned-nursery created by Maggie Mason, who blogs at MightyGirl.net. Their budget was $1,400, most of which went toward having doors custom-made for the formerly open nook.
5) At the website, Apartmenttherapy.com, readers recently weighed in on how long a family of three could live in a 400-square-foot apartment. Read the thoughts and ideas shared here.
6) There’s a helpful tutorial on EHow on turning a walk-in closet into a nursery here.
Freelance writer Carrie Kirby blogs about frugal living at Shoplifting With Permission and about parenting at My Funny, Funny Family.
photo by Erik van der Neut
I’m so glad you posted this! On Saturday we announced my very unexpected 3rd pregnancy to my family (I had a tubal ligation in 2007). Sunday at church my brother was asking if we were going to be buying a bigger house, because we only have 3 bedrooms. I laughed at him. The baby will be in the cradle next to our bed for the first 2 months, and then will likely move into my son’s room which is right next to ours. I have one child of each gender, so when this baby is out of the crib, he or she will room with the other child of the same gender.
I totally agree that you do what you have to do, and if you need to have your baby sleeping in your room with you, by all means this is a great post to encourage you in that – but if you’ve got a choice, I’m ALL about babies sleeping in their own room. My first son slept in our bedroom til he was 5 months old – doesn’t sound like long, but it was an ETERNITY. It was awful. I hated every minute of it. We had a hard time getting him to sleep in his own room after that b/c he was used to being with us. When #2 came along I was determined that she’d sleep in her own crib in her own room as early as I felt comfortable with it, and that’s exactly what we did – she moved from our room at 6 weeks and it was WONDERFUL. She was a much better sleeper from then on and continues to be a better sleeper than my son.
I totally believe children need their own space. I wouldn’t want to sleep in the same room as several other people and I don’t feel like I can expect a baby to want to do it either. We’ve got #3 on the way and we’ll be giving up our office in order to let this baby have it’s own room, because we feel it’s important. No matter how small the room is, separate space is a good thing. If space was an issue, I think I’d put the new baby in a walk-in closet or storage room (cleaned out, obviously) or laundry room or ANYWHERE other than my bedroom.
We have 4 kids and actually have never bought a crib, much less a room for a baby. I do hear people at work talking about decorating the nursery, etc. but it just never seemed necessary; babies are Really Small and portable and seem willing to sleep wherever you put them. I sleep fine with the baby in our bed too, YMMV I guess but I slept better if I didn’t have to think about whether the baby was OK, and it was easier to nurse, didn’t really even have to wake up. Ours generally get their own bed at about 2-3yo, depending on available space. It’s worked out fine.
Several people have addressed having problems sleeping with an infant in the room–which was the case for my husband and I as well–but what about privacy/intimacy/a get-away for mom and dad (other reasons we quickly moved our child into his own room)? I often wonder how anyone that co-sleeps with their child has more than one……seems that could be a question with having a toddler even just in the room as well! 🙂 Personally, I prefer to have some space of my own, and I am glad I can give my children (a 3 year old and another one on the way) the same by putting them their own rooms. Their rooms aren’t decorated expensively, but they are unique and everyone has some personal space. And maybe it will give my two kids a third sibling as well down the road. 🙂
Kids need their own space, just like adults do. Babies are not any different. We kept my newborn in our room, in her bassinet, until she outgrew it. At that point, none of us were getting any sleep. Once she moved to her crib in her room, she began sleeping through the night (or waking up considerably less) within a week or so. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Also, sharing a room with a baby or toddler really limits mommy and daddy time. In the end, it is healthier for everyone to have their own space I think.
Pam W. says
My baby doesn’t and has never had a room of his own. His crib is in the landing at the top of the stairs that happens to be 6’x5′. I think it has helped him become a great sleeper. He has no door to his room and it’s quite open to the rest of the house. The house is small and we have 2 older kids. There is ALWAYS noise of some sort. Now, even when we travel, he can fall asleep in any noise.
I agree with Megan and Cheryl. There is no way I could sleep with a baby in my room. My son (now 14 months) slept in his own room from day one. I watched other family members struggle with sleep issues for years as a result of having their children in their rooms and beds. I knew I would never do it.
My son was always placed in his crib, in his own room, when he slept as a newborn, day or night. As a result, he began sleeping through the night at about 3 months. He is a wonderful sleeper, at nap time and night time. He goes to bed when he’s tired but awake, and we have never had any sleeping or going to bed issues. He is a wonderful baby, who is happy and secure in our love for him as well.
On topic with the post: we “decorated” his room very frugally with an old dresser that was my husband’s, and a crib and changing table (we love the changing table and still use it) handed down from my sister. In fact, we have purchased next to nothing, because my sister has passed on everything from her two sons. We have been blessed.
Great post!! We live in a studio apartment (~400 sq. ft.) with our four-month-old. We do have a crib for him, though he’s yet to spend the night in it. He sleeps with us.
Knowing what I do now, I probably would have opted not to spend the money on the crib, bedding, etc. and would have gone for a nicer stroller–we like to get out during the day!
The only drawback is that we must be on the quiet side while he’s napping… so no putting dishes away or other loud chores. But perhaps that encourages me, a SAHM, to slow down and rest while he does.
Tracy Wainwright says
Great post! We have plenty of space, but have always chosen to have our newborns in a bassinet right beside our bed to make night nursing work better. Each of my three moved to their rooms between three and five months, depending on how long my husband could tolerate the night wakings and they could still comfortably fit in the bassinet. We never decorated a nursery – we had two spare rooms, one somewhat girly and one somewhat masculine. Our first girl when into the girly room, our first boy went into the masculine room, and our second girl joined her sister when she left our room. Now expecting our fourth child and third girl, we’re looking at this one joining the girls after her stay in the bassinet. We are looking into adding on another bedroom so that the three girls dont’ have to share a room forever (the “stuff” of girls is more crowding than the girls themselves.) But because we are looking at doing most of the work ourselves, it will most likely take up to two years. In the meantime, my husband’s making a loft bed for the oldest to help her cope with the younger two in her room. We expect some transitional issues, and most people think we’re crazy for even planning on keeping the younger two together after the addition, but know that it’ll all work out. It’s good to know how room-sharing works for other families
Hooray for this post! We are a co-sleeping family, and not out of necessity. It has many benefits for your children. Numerous! In fact, our eldest daughter didn’t have her own bedroom until she was a bit older than two years old. We co-sleep with our babes in the bed, building up that sense of security and comfort (plus, great for nightime breastfeeding…my daughters are avid addicts, LOL). I truly cherish these moments. :o)
Finally Frugal says
I love this concept! Having watched countless friends spend their money on the cutest, latest, trendiest ‘stuff’ for their newborns’ rooms, I appreciate your practical, frugal attitude. The trend that a child is (in part) just another accessory to show the world how hip you are has been bothering me for quite awhile. I watched an episode of House Hunters recently (a rerun) on which a pregnant couple were trying to find a larger house (they already had a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house! With just the two of them and one baby on the way!). I was amazed that they could rationalize needing a 4 bedroom, 3 bath house just because they were adding one tiny person to their lives. Thanks for this great post!!!
ONe word: Portacrib! They don’t look as chitzy as they used to back in the day–they fit in small bedrooms and they’ll hold your baby til he/she is 35 lbs. Which is about the size they are when it’s time to transition to a big-kid bed anyway.
I changed my first boy on the floor–no need to worry about him rolling off a changing table. And this current baby–we change him on the foot of our bed (I lay out a receiving blanket that will catch random poopie bits from blowouts–that I just toss in the wash once a week!)
Cyndi Lewis says
I absolutely can not sleep with a baby in my room. They make too many little noises that keep me awake. (I’m a very light sleeper.) Three of our five children have slept in our walk-in closets in a bassinet until they slept through the night. That leaves the baby close enough to hear crying but seperate enough that I can sleep. Our current little one shares her room with our sewing machines and slept in a laundry basket for the first few days of her home life. We ditched the changing table after our second child. I hardly used it. Children are only as expensive as you let them be.
Ashley P says
I have found that I can’t sleep in the same room as my kids – or I won’t get any sleep. With our first, we were blessed to be living in a two room apartment, so naturally, she had her own room. With our second, we had a three bedroom house, but the third bedroom was an office/den, and my oldest was a young toddler. We ended up having the baby sleep in the living room in a pack’n’play until his sister got to the point where she didn’t wake up if he cried at night, and then moved him into her room. I’m all about kids sharing rooms, but I have a hard time sharing MY room with the kids! 🙂
Just an FYI- if you’re planning to adopt or do foster care, the baby will need his/her own room (at least according to our state policy).
While I agree that kids can share a room because they will eventually learn to sleep through crying, I have to say that having my child sleep in our room for such a long time would not work for us. We had both of our kids in our room as newborns (for the first few months), but after they weren’t getting up as much to nurse, we transitioned them to their own rooms.
EVen after a few months, I would wake up to every grunt and noise she made. I swear she could sense that we were both right there, and was relentless until I nursed her. (She was still wanting to nurse every 2-3 hours at 3 and 4 months!) I was so tired and crabby and was not a good mom to my older child. So, moving her into her own room (or any room!) was a necessity. I still got up to nurse her, but didn’t hear or wake to every noise, and she lengthened the times between nursing sessions at night. Plus, my husband and I were ready to get our room back 😉
SO, while you definitely don’t need a huge house, or even every child to have their own room, I prefer to have space (after the first few months) for the baby to sleep that is not where I sleep.
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Melissa Rupp says
I love this post! On a grander scale, my pastor’s family will soon have their 10th child. They live in a three bedroom, ranch-style house. Yes, there will be 12 people in three bedrooms–and they don’t plan to move! =D
Up until a year ago, our family of 5 lived in a 2-bedroom, 850 square foot apartment. We noticed some definite advantages: our kids loved to play outside, even in the cold, and we grew closer as a family than I believe we would have in a larger home. Since there was nowhere to go to be alone, we had to learn to get along even when we were cranky! Of course we had to be creative and willing to go with the minimum. We skipped the crib with our second and third children, who either slept with us or on the living room couch, which we converted into a safe sleeping area. We skipped the changing table and anything else that was bulky, and instead put a thick changing pad on the kids’ dresser. (This had the added benefit of keeping baby clothes close at hand after diaper changes!) Now we have been blessed with a larger home and our 8-year-old son has his own room. The funny thing is, our five-year-old daughter sleeps on his floor almost every night. They’re so used to spending every moment with each other, they can’t stand to be apart!
This article struck a chord with me, as it is something I learned myself not all that long ago.
We moved into a house about 6 months before I found myself unexpectantly pregnant with our daughter, who is now 10 months. (What a blessed suprise, after experiencing two pregnancy losses and difficulty getting pregnant with our first pregnancy.)
Our downstairs is approx. 900 sq. feet, and houses a dining room, kitchen, bathroom, and two bedrooms. We live in a cape-cod, and our goal was to eventually save enough to make the upstairs livable (insulation, a railing around the landing, new drywall, etc., but it definitely was not in the cards at that point.
I have to admit that I was a little let-down when I discovered that after two boys, I was having a girl, and there would be no nursery. But the practical side of me reminded myself how much time and effort, not to mention money, we put into the nursery for our first son, only to never have him sleep in it even once, before we moved out.
All said and done, the 5 of us are living in our 900 sq. feet of space and doing absolutely wonderfully! The baby sleeps in a smaller sized crib in our room. I’m the first to admit my bedroom, although nicely decorated (I think), isn’t going to end up in a decorating magazine — there’s not much space to walk because of the cramped quarters, but it serves it’s purpose nicely – and besides, it’s not like I need a bunch of space to stretch out on my bedroom floor! And sure, there are challenges as far as finding space. Some need more thought that others. But through creative solutions, we almost always find the answer. It’s kind of funny, because we don’t even feel that huge push to get the upstairs done anymore, we are doing that well in this space.
Love does grow best in little spaces, right? I think so. 🙂
We have a 2bd for our soon to be family of four. We plan on having baby in the room with us like last time and then moving him/her into big brother’s room. If we are blessed with a third chances are we’ll have to move simply because they are small bedrooms and technically it’s against the law in our state to have more than 2 per bedroom.
We got away without a lot of baby stuff or used (and got rid of) used stuff. We also passed stuff between friends and saved space and money!
A few thoughts…our babies both slept through the night by 10 weeks old. They both started out in their own rooms from day 1 home. I nursed both and it was tough to get out of bed and go to their rooms, but I slept better without them near by. The crying it out thing is super hard, but much easier before they are old enough to call you. 🙂 The reason my babies started out in their own rooms was because we wanted to preserve the haven of our master bedroom being OUR room. Our kids have never really slept in our bed and we plan to keep it that way. Starting that early made it easy. Friends of ours live in a one bedroom home. They, too, value keeping the master bedroom for the parents. They put the baby’s crib in a corner of the laundry room. At one time, they kept their bed in the living room and the baby had the bedroom. Creativity is important! 🙂
We have 4 bedrooms, 2 kids with another due in a month. The baby will still sleep in our room with us and when we’re ready to wean, the girls are going to share a room. There’s no need for an infant to have their own room… even if you have it. We have never had a “nursery” even when we had the room. Our babies first room is our room. When people ask what our nursery theme is, I just tell them what colors of sheets we need or what will go in the room the girls will be sharing. It’s crazy how many people can’t understand this concept!
Since a sub-theme of this blog happened to be babies sleeping through the night, I though I would recommend the book, “Babywise: Giving your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep.” I can’t imagine having a baby without first reading this book!
I was feeling awful about my 2 yo and the baby having to share a room but then realized that it could turn out even BETTER in the long run. Sure the room is pretty tight and small…but it could easily fit 2 twin beds…or even 2 sets of BUNK beds should we have that many kids.
My problem now is the crying at night. I plan to breastfeed, so at first it won’t be a big deal. She’ll be sleeping with us. But, what about when she moves to their room? I don’t want her waking up her sister and having two crying little ones, either.
We have always had kids’ bedrooms. Not nurseries per say but their bedrooms that became theirs when they slept for more than 2 hours at a time! I found that I had more sleep once they left my room. The baby always had their own room until about 2 then usually moved in with the older siblings. (I have 4 kids so we did this 3 times) I found it was easier for everyone sleep wise. We now have 3 girls under the age of 6 all sharing a bedroom. I admit it is crowded but not undo-able.
Savannah McMurray says
Amen, amen! We live in an 800sf apt. and turned my walk-in closet into a nursery for our son (not even using a tutorial, just a little creativity!). We think it turned out pretty cute…and PERFECT for a baby. They don’t need anything else!!
This was interesting to me because even though we have a 4,000 square foot home (including the finished basement and attic), but we only have 2 bedrooms on our second floor– ours and the baby’s. I always wondered what we would do if we had a second one. I guess Robert would just learn to sleep through the new baby’s crying. Our son HATED sleeping in the room with us, and the separate nursery was a lifesaver for us, but in a smaller place we could have found some other way to deal. I guess I’ll just hope that the second baby (if he or she ever comes) likes sleeping in the room with someone else better!
Anyway, thanks for the interesting post!
Thank you for posting this, it has been very helpful to read. I am pregnant with my third child and I also have a girl who is almost 7 and a 3 year old boy. We put both of them in their own rooms at 6 weeks. Before that they were in a bassinet in our room. They shared a room for a time, and it was fine. They are both still good sleepers, sleeping 10-12 hours at night and the 3 year old takes a 2+ hour nap at night.
Prudent Homemaker says
We have a very large walk-in closet in our current home. We rearranged shelves so that we could hang our clothes on one side and put the crib and some drawers on the other side (there are also no shelves over the baby’s crib; we moved everything to the other walls).
I hang the baby’s dresses in her own section in our closet.
The only decorating I did was to frame a small picture from a book and hang it over the crib.
We changed out the overhead light to be a ceiling fan with lights, and we put in a dimmer switch on the light switch. It gets hot here in the summer, and the ceiling fan keeps the air circulating in there for the baby. There is a vent in that room as well for heating and a/c, so the baby gets plenty of warm in the winter and coolness in the summer.
I can hear the baby without a monitor at night when she needs to nurse, and during nap time she can sleep without disturbance if I need to come into my room for something (in our last house we just kept the baby’s crib in our room).
I have never had a changing table; we have put down a waterproof pad and a basket of diapers and wipes on one end of the crib for newborns who can’t roll. Now that I have some drawers, it goes on the top of the chest of drawers.
When the baby gets too big for that option, a waterproof pad and/or a cloth diaper is what I use to put under the baby while I change her; usually on my bed.
We have five children (three in diapers) and I have never had a changing table or a decorated nursery.
To save even more money, I only bought white sheets for the baby’s bed. This works for both boys and girls.
I have to agree with this post! My husband and I are expecting our first and plan on having the baby room with us for at least six months and due to space, and we’re planning on using a pack n’ play instead of a crib until the baby’s mobile. You should see the reactions we get! You’d think I was telling them I was putting the baby in box!
We live in a very expensive area (DC metro area) and to get a 2 bedroom apt. we have to consider paying $400-500 a month more! Not at all feasible for us. We also looked through/considered EVERY normal baby item before registering for it because of space. I just didn’t want a house full of “stuff’ that wasn’t going to be used or worse (to me at least), used only a couple times before the baby grows out of it!
When it comes to babies- Keep it simple!
We, too, shared a room with each baby until they were 2 years old, then moved them to their own room, and this arrangement worked well for us, no nursery needed! I think this is a great post about the reality of what you need for your newborn as far as rooms/space in your home, but I am confused as to why so much description of letting the baby ‘cry it out’ with people sleeping on the couch, etc. is included. It seems to me that when you are living in a situation of limited space, the goal would be to keep disruption to a minimum for the sake of everyone in the family. I don’t agree with the ‘cry it out’ parenting philosophy. What worked better for us was having the baby so close by that when s/he woke, I was able to tend to baby’s needs quickly before the rest of the house woke up, many times before the baby cried at all. Yet another benefit of not having a nursery in a separate room!
With our first child we lived in a college dorm. My DH was the hall director so we had four dorm rooms put together like a maze with doors to the hallway in each room and a wall of closets taking up each wall. We had storage, but our daughter slept in the room between the kitchen and the living room that had not doors, so the corner was made into her nursery and the rest was the walkway. Now, she sleeps through anything after sleep through noisy college freshman. It wasn’t ideal to me, but it was all we could afford and our dd didn’t even care. The upside for us was that we had 600 very close babysitters. 🙂
Mrs. Jo says
I loved this post! Our first came and we had a 1-bedroom and then with our second and third child we were in a 2-bedroom and we have always made it work, switching the sleeping arrangements around as it fits for the stage. Depending on the ages and stages we have had my son on my bed or in his crib in the kids’ room or my infant son in a Pack n’ Play in our bedroom or a bassinet that sets on top of the couch. Currently my daughter rests in the living room and my sons use the kid’s room and my room since it’s hard to get kids to both sleep for naps if they are in the same room.
We live in a 1 BR apt. with our 1 year old. When she was newborn, we kept her in our room. She now sleeps in the living room. We still have a changing table/dresser in the bedroom. A nursery is NOT necessary and neither is a full size crib! If you don’t have a bedroom for baby, I highly recommend a portable travel crib. We have the Graco Travel Lite. It’s similar to a pack-n-play, but smaller and has a removable bassinet top. It’s been awesome. Our 1 year old still sleeps in it just fine. At night we push it into the living room, and during the day, it goes back to the bedroom for naps. Saves space and is easily moveable, unlike your typical crib. I suppose a big pack-n-play would do the same, but this one is better for small spaces. We move it from room to room without even folding it up! 🙂
We’re expecting again and do plan to move soon, but especially with a first child, you can make anything work!
Totally disagree. I could not get a good night’s rest with an infant in our room. Every change in breathing, every sound, made me wake up. If you have no choice, by all means, do what you have to do, but I’m a big fan of having my kids sleep in their own room from the day they come home from the hospital. And your child doesn’t need to be fed during the night starting at about 6 months. It took our second son a few extra months before I stopped going to him but he actually just started sleeping through the night on his own at 10 months. Needless to say, that is a whole separate topic. I don’t have a nursery decorated like the ones in magazines- it’s very simple. So I do agree with you that your child’s room doesn’t have to look like a pottery barn catalog, but I do disagree that your child should be in your bedroom.
We are looking at buying a house and have 2 kids, we are also trying to have a 3rd. We are hoping to be able to get a 3 bedroom but we know we could make do with a 2 bedroom if it had a nice family room to hold toys and office stuff. We currently rent a 3 bedroom place, but my kids still share a room and love it. We use the 3rd room as a playroom and honestly it works bestthis way for us.
Jennifer C. says
Thanks so much for this! We are expecting our first child in August and only have one bedroom, so the baby will be bunking with us. I keep feeling like I am missing out on decorating the nursery, but when the baby is going to be in our room for a time anyway, what difference does it make? Thanks for letting us know we are not the only ones.
How funny that you posted this today! We’re in a one-bedroom with our 10 month old and we seem to be the only people who don’t think it’s a “need” to move to a place with more bedrooms (our unit is plenty-large, just not divided into many rooms). There is a two-bedroom unit in our building for sale that would come out to about the same monthly payments as our current place (with a 30-year fixed)–so we are seeing if we can buy it. If we can’t, however, we are happily living here for longer.
In terms of nursing/sleeping. I have slept out on the couch on occasion, but in general, our son has figured out how to sleep through the night without nursing (even while being about 5 feet from our bed). It can be done–I think it’s all a matter of perspective.
Mrs. Q says
We always had baby sleep with us and I second the opinion that babies do NOT need a room of their own. When we moved to our 3 bedroom home I agonized over whether to turn the long awaited music room into a nursery for our soon to be born daughter. The music room won out and she has happily resided with us in our room. Once I get her weaned, she will go to the boys’ room and sleep there. We gave up the larger master bedroom to the kids so they would have more play room. It has worked out great! As Americans, we should question the “needs” that society comes up with! We have family in Mexico that fit 8 people, sometimes more, into TWO smaller bedrooms. There is only one bathroom as well. They make it work everyday. As far as I’m concerned, we are luxuriously blessed with extra room in our home!
I have done this with my last 3. My first had his own room and ended up in my bed every night. I found it was much better to have them in our room…but in their own crib! We are expecting #5 and will have no choice but to room with the baby…which works out much better at feeding anyhow! All our children moved out at about 2 into a big boy room and that worked out perfect for us!
We have the reverse problem. I have a baby that won’t sleep in his room; he has refused to sleep in his crib since a few months old, so we share our bed with him. Now we have a nursery for no baby! Thinking about changing his crib to a twin bed with railings early (he is only 11 months old), but at least he may use it! Thanks for the post
I love this post. Many thanks for sharing this wisdom.
We’re planning/preparing for a baby one day in the future…and this is honestly an issue I’ve stressed about! (Though we do live in a 2BR place) Your ideas and strategies keep matters simple, without a lot of fuss, rearrangement, and expense.
It’s like you guys are reading my mind. I am 2 months prego, and havea two year old (who has her own room) and I kept thinking…where do I put this little one? Do I give up the office? But then where do I work…Yadda Yadda. Thank you for your perpective.
Kelly from Almost Frugal says
I have to second, third and fourth this post!
I have three kids, and we live in a 650 square foot house. There’s only one proper bedroom- we sleep on the landing. When we moved here almost seven years ago, we thought we would only stay long enough to have a newborn when we moved… our third child is 18 months old.
Admittedly, it’s tight. But the layout works well, and the advantages to living in a small house (low rent, better neighborhood, easy to clean) outweigh the disadvantages.
That said, we are at our maximum, and are looking for something bigger! But we learned a lot while living here!
We moved our first born into his own room right at 6 weeks and our second born at about 2 months. They both learned how to sleep through the night fairly quickly and still do at 6 and 5 years old. Our third however was in our room for months and then in the living room for awhile. I wish we’d stuck him in with his brother at 6 weeks though because he STILL does not sleep through the night at 3 years old!! If your baby doesn’t sleep well from the start like he did I would highly recommend putting him in his own room and letting him “cry it out” while he is still very young. Trust me….it is very hard to function on no sleep for so long, and it gets harder as they get older.