Here’s a fun discussion: What was your child’s room before you had him/her/them? How did you change it for your coming baby? (I actually don’t we’ve ever talked about how to decorate a nursery!)
For my $.02: When my first son was born, it was about 1.5 years after we had bought and moved into our apartment. We had known during that time period that we would be trying to get pregnant, so we didn’t bother too much with decorating the second bedroom. It was loosely “the office” in that the desk and piles of paperwork lived in there (as well as my husband’s bike).
Hilariously, when we realized the baby was coming, I thought for a while that I could still keep part of the room as an office — I saw no reason why I couldn’t be in the room click-clack-typing away while my son slept in the crib in the corner of the room. We planned to use our Expedit to divide the space. (By the way, it’s great for toy storage!) Of course, that plan went out the window once he was actually born.
Some of the things we did to turn the space into my son’s room once he arrived included adding a cute little-kid rug (“robot whimsy,” from this collection) and removing anything not baby-friendly. We repurposed an old table for his diaper changing table and added a big chair for snuggling and reading stories.
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No complaints on the rug — it held up really well. It looks like you can still find a ton of cute rugs from Lil Mo at stores like Amazon, SAKSOFF5TH, Kohl’s, Overstock, and Rugs USA. Some cute options…
What was your child’s bedroom before they were born? How did you decorate your nursery or transform it into a nursery/bedroom for baby?
Stock photo via Stencil.
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We bought a 4 bedroom house when we got married knowing we wanted kids soon thereafter. The nursery was one of our guest bedrooms (and the smallest bedroom upstairs). We moved out the queen bed and nightstand into the upstairs TV room and turned that into a second guest bedroom. Painted the nursery very pink (per DH’s request, I was thinking something paler but he was all in), moved in the crib, used the dresser as a changing table, and added a rocker and colorful rug and some wood bins to hold toys and books. Kiddo is now 3 and has moved to what was the former TV room then extra guest room and now her room, although her clothes are still in the nursery. We figure we will move her clothes to her room when we get pregnant again and will actually need the nursery, but she was ready for a bigger bed so we moved her this summer. The wood bins fit great on the console table that was in that room, although she still often drags her toys back into the nursery and uses it as a playroom.
I was 5 months pregnant when we bought our house, so the nursery was a nursery from the get-go, unless you count the time that it was the unpacked-boxes room.
It’s post-nursery life is more interesting: it’s now the home office and home gym (thanks, pandemic) but still has some nursery art and a stuffed animal net in the corner. And we haven’t gotten around to patching the holes in the wall from where the dresser was anchored, yet.
88 Pzs says
Empty! We bought our house 3 years into fertility treatment. We kept the door shut though, so as to not be a reminder. We already had a guest room and office, had no other use for the room that we could think of.
We bought our house about a year before we planned to start trying for a baby. One room was designated the “nursery” from the get-go and used temporarily as a storage room. We did encounter raised eyebrows when we accidentally called the room the nursery in front of family members.
Boston Legal Eagle says
Anyone else just not decorate a “nursery” per se like you see on Insta or pinterest? Maybe it was just our circumstances – 2bdrm apartments, then moving into a house after already having two small kids, but we haven’t really changed any room to make it an obvious nursery beyond adding a crib and changing table as needed. I like the idea of waiting until the kids are a little older to see what kind of paint they want and what decorations they want in their room before personalizing. I’m not really into interior decorating though.
Yup, no decorated nursery here. When kid #1 was born, we were in a 1 bedroom apartment, so we added a small crib to our room.
Anon Lawyer says
I think a ton of people have this philosophy and it makes sense. I did decorate and had fun doing it (and do like interior decorating) but it’s really for the parents, not for the baby, I think. And I definitely don’t think it makes sense to spend so much money that you can’t redecorate for the kid’s interests later. But I do think it’s nice for it to be a pleasant and soothing place to be, just because you’re likely to be in there a lot at odd and stressful hours.
I set up a nursery and enjoyed doing it, but we didn’t paint. We’d had the whole house painted when we moved in, which was only a year or so before I got pregnant, and I figured my kid would want to repaint it eventually, so it seemed silly. Also I was paranoid about paint fumes while pregnant.
I never decorated a nursery either. Maybe someday (kids are now 4 and 2 and share a room and we have still not even painted it from its original weird yellow color). I love READING about interior design and follow tons of design blogs but never do anything to my own house. Combination of laziness and not wanting to spend any money, I think.
We were also in a 2-bedroom apartment, in a triplex we owned. While I was pregnant, we renovated the bedrooms–pulled up old flooring and restored original hardwoods, and skimmed and repainted the walls. We chose the same neutral color for both bedrooms, so we didn’t customize anything for “nursery.” To decorate the nursery, we hung blackout curtains and bought the crib, a lamp, a colorful rug, and an armchair. We used an old dresser, cabinet, and bookshelf.
I did zero decorating. My kids had a bed and changing table and cute sheets. We put a picture or two on the wall. Done! I did invest in comfort with my 2nd – a soft chair for nursing and a storage ottoman and a side table.
We started off in a studio in graduate family housing and lived there for almost a year after our first was born, so all we did was frame some of the cute wrapping paper from the baby shower and put it up in a corner above the pack & play! (Our professional and personal life has been wildly and delightfully, er, non-linear.)
I could have written your post. Our baby still sleeps in our room, and we hope to move soon and so have not set up any sort of nursery. If we move him to another bedroom before we move it will be one that doubles as my home office and we aren’t going to decorate it beyond moving a crib into it.
Yes I was very confused by this “nursery” concept. Our baby spent the first year in our room (per AAP guidelines and our preference). After that, his stuff was still in our room for another year because it was just more convenient for all of us to get dressed in the same space, and because he bathes in the tub in our master bedroom.
Now that our kids are 3 and 1, I think it’s time to decorate their room.
Anon Lawyer says
I moved into my 3-bedroom a year before I got pregnant. The nursery was used for some random storage but that was always its purpose. It’s still the same grey it was when I moved in (honestly I find it soothing even if it’s not a traditional nursery color), but I decorated with a Hobbit theme which gave me an excuse to do pastoral stuff (the Shire) with a bunch of random dragons. (I was pretty proud of myself, not going to lie.)
Your nursery sounds amazing! I’m sad I didn’t think of putting dragons in a baby room.
Our house has 4 bedrooms plus a den, so when we moved in we set them up as master, guest bedroom, DH’s office, my office (the den) and TV room. The TV room became the nursery. We finished our basement while I was pregnant and moved the TV and sectional down there. We bought nursery furniture and hung some cute prints on the walls, but we didn’t paint the nursery.
Office! Now we have a combined office/guest room in the basement, which makes better use of the space. My daughter is lucky — her bedroom has some of the best natural light in the house.
Bought 3 months after getting married, planned to start a family the next year. The room is very small and is part of our master bedroom, but has it’s own door (no separate hallway access though). From move-in through when the baby was 3 months old (she was in our room in the bassinet) it was our shared home office (so about 20 months total). It had 2 desks/computers set up and some file cabinets. Then it became the nursery when she needed a separate space to sleep (still only about 20 feet from our bed), with a crib, glider, kid book shelf, dresser with changing table on top. It still has a tv that we’re storing in it that isn’t hooked up to anything. Her play area is in the living room because the nursery is so small. The home office items got moved into the master bedroom (sad enough during normal times, even worse during work from home pandemic). We have a separate small guest room (which we took turns sleeping in when she kept us up throughout the night) which will eventually be her room when she is older.
Bedroom 1 was DH’s office, then the nursery, now the room both kids share. Bedroom 2 was the guest room, then DH’s office, nursery for kid 2, now the shared office for DH and I.
My office was downstairs in the middle of everything until Covid, when we decided it would be better to share an office and give the kids a dedicated playroom.
Also since Covid the dining room is now the family room and I’d like to never move furniture in my house again.
We bought a house and built an addition, so it was never anything except a nursery! Due to a variety of crazy circumstances our settlement got delayed and we began building the addition (2 stories, including the new baby’s room) in when I was 6 months pregnant. The addition was complete one week before the baby was born so we didn’t have time to have a nursery ready before baby arrived. It was painted before his birth because my in-laws invited themselves over to “help.” Luckily we have a big bedroom and the baby slept in our room for the first eight months of his life anyway so I had lots of time to decorate and make it a traditional nursery before he officially moved in.
We have three bedrooms.
1 – Always Master
2 – Office, then nursery, then playroom, now office
3 – Guest room then shared bedroom
The plan was to split the kids up this year so they could each have their own bedroom (and disperse the playroom into their bedrooms). But covid happened, so they’re still sharing and the other bedroom is our office space. The kids are doing schooling in the dining room/living room. We thought we had the perfect sized house for us, but now that we’re all home all the time (and all on calls constantly) we’re rethinking. It would be so nice to have one more room in the house, either den or bedroom or extra living space, to spread out a little more. Once the winter months come and the other adult can’t work from our patio, I’m not sure how we’re going to make this work.
Do you have a basement you can finish?
Very inspiring post! Thanks so much for lovely inspiration :)
Greetings from Poland!