Why do we have a small nursery?
When we bought our house, I was pregnant. We actually didn't move in until I was 8 months, so we had next to no time to decorate anywhere before our new arrival, least of all the nursery which we knew wasn't a priority.
However, the good thing about having pregnancy insomnia and going over your due date, is that you have time to get things done (although not a lot of energy).
It's a 3 bedroom house, and although the master bedroom (1) and spare room (2) are decent sizes, the nursery (3) isnt really a bedroom. Technically it fits a single bed but that's debatable. It's smaller than our bathroom and what's worse is that the door opens inwards, taking up even more precious space. We spent forever deciding whether the nursery would be bedroom 2 or 3.
Here is what we realised
-Turning bedroom 2 into the nursery would definitely mean bedroom 3 turned into 'cupboard of crap'. It would be too small for a study or guest room, so it would only be for storage.
-The baby was likely to be in our room for the first 6 months anyway
-While small, bedroom 3 fits a cotbed (which apparently is good until he's about 4) and a wardrobe
-Turning bedroom 2 into a guestroom would mean family and friends could stay (and babysit!).
-When the baby is older, and hypothetical baby number 2 is on the way, we can move him into room 2 then, and relegate new baby to the nursery.
How do we make it work?
For the first 6 months he slept in a Moses Basket or a crib, in our room right next to my side of the bed. We also co-slept occasionally when it was that or not sleep, but generally he was able to do quite long stretches in his basket and I liked that he was close enough for me to put a hand on his chest, just to check on him. Now that he is 6 months, he has left our room because we were all disturbing each other anyway, and he sleeps in the cot (inside a sleepyhead). This was a bit strange at first, and I still have the motion sensor and monitor on all night and frequently wake to check on him, but generally we all sleep much better now with only 2 or 3 wakings a night which are always for a feed and straight back to sleep.
In the nursery we had a cot top changer that pops on and off, as there was absolutely no room for a separate changing table. This has worked marvellously until now, when he rolls at each chance he gets, so we have retired this to the loft and instead I just change him on a towel on our bed, that way if he rolls he has further to go before falling off something. Little bugger.
We have a pullout draw under the cot where we store nappies, wipes, spare bedding and anything bulky.
We have a wardrobe (which was in my nursery 24 years ago, isn't that lovely and it happens to match the cot we bought perfectly) with shelves in it. I would say excuse the mess in the following photo, but I'm fine about not having time to tidy inside my baby's wardrobe, at least the clothes are clean! It is somewhat organised with sleepsuits, outfits, jumpers, tops, trousers then a box of vests and bibs. On the shelves we store blankets, towels, muslins and bottom left we have a box of next size up clothes, and a bag to put clothes in once they are too small. This is periodically emptied into a vacuum storage bag and put in the loft.
We have more shelves on top of the wardrobe, which my dad built for my nursery when I was a baby. I just love that we were able to keep them and use them. In here we store his medications, creams, nail scissors and Calpol. He has a money jar, important documents and his red book, a box of memories with his hospital tags, first hat and some cards we received when he was born. His scan photos are up here too, as well as a basket with wipes and nappies bags - I wanted these well out of reach because he is an inquisitive little devil. We also have a basket with his emergency bottle supplies incase something happens to me and my boobs. (Husband - you will likely forget where these are so if you are reading this, take note).
Also - there are token fairy lights which I don't think we have ever actually turned on but they look pretty :)
I should also point out that much of the rest of our house has been invaded with bright plastic baby crap, but I would imagine that's true whether you have a big nursery or not.
Are we pleased we chose the small room for him?
Yes. Usually. The reality is, it's just space and things. He wont remember and even if he did he certainly won't mind. We as parents love the idea of a beautiful nursery with artwork and rugs but Ozzy prefers milk and laughing at the dog. Babies just need warm loving homes and although they take up an awful lot of space in your heart, they are surprisingly small when they're in your home. I know plenty of parents who don't have a separate nursery. I saw a beautiful shot on Instagram of a shared bedroom. The double bed for the parents was in the middle, then there was a little cot bed on one side with some drawers for their 2 year old girl, and a moses basket on the other with a tiny wardrobe for the new baby. 4 people in one room but it looked beautiful and I bet those were two happy little kiddies.
Honestly, with a small nursery it works just fine for us. He really doesnt have much. We are also lucky to have a big loft, so as soon as things are no longer needed like newborn clothes and the Moses basket, they go up into the loft for storage.
We were able to decorate the room with stickers, prints, a clock and a beautiful lampshade.
We even have room for his bagged up travel cot down the side of his wardrobe, his bag for swimming fits there too and we just added a little nappy bin and a fan!
He seems content in his room, we have ample space for all his clothes, the only downside is there isn't anywhere for me to sit and feed him before I put him to bed, but we have a lovely armchair in our bedroom for that, which is just across the hall. Usually there's a dog curled up on it but still.
Until hypothetical (yes, definitely still hypothetical) baby number 2 is old enough to need a room larger than a shoebox, we can manage (and they may even want to share, I'm thinking snazzy bunk beds!). Anyway, I think we'll be fine for a while!