Pregnancy happens regardless of your circumstances. You may have gotten pregnant with no warning and are living in a small bachelor, you may have planned it but gotten pregnant before you moved into your forever home, and maybe you’ve been trying for years and have already been living in your dream home for years.
Regardless of your circumstances, baby is coming and you are going to have to make a space for him or her. My husband and I live in a pretty spacious apartment. It is our last stop before we bite the bullet and buy a home.
Two bedrooms, plus a den, one and a half baths; it’s definitely enough room to raise our little bundle of joy in. The main reason we moved out of our tiny one bedroom apartment and into this spacious two bedroom almost five years ago was because my husband’s family lives mostly on the East Coast with his brother living to the West. Although my immediate family is all here in the city with us, he loved the idea of them being able to come and visit and stay with us.
This was something we considered when I got pregnant. If we turned the second room into the baby’s room right away, it would eliminate a place to stay for his parents when the baby arrived. Plus, I know myself and I know that I had no intention of putting the baby in the nursery before the age of 6 months anyhow. I wouldn’t be able to sleep with them so far and would end up sneaking in there for peace of mind.
So it was decided, a co-sleeping nursery. This way the room was still usable by family while baby was sleeping in the master bedroom with us and then when baby was old enough, we would still have a place for them in the other room.
We also considered work schedules. Although I would be taking a year off to be home with our baby, my husband would be going back to work less than a month after baby is born. A co-sleeper nursery meant that when he returned to work, I could move into the second room with the baby.
Everything just made sense.
Now, on to the second room. Unfortunately because of our busy schedules, my husband and I have both been guilty of using the second room as a storage room. We would pile things in there with the promise of getting to it later, and later never really came. We had no rush. Before guests would come and stay with us, we would spend the day reorganizing and shoving all those piles here and there only to move things back when guests left. The room was a sore spot for the both of us, that neither had the time or energy to sort out.
After our baby shower, the accumulated mess in there was unbearable and baby was on the way!
The decision was to make a space for the baby in the closet, which meant removing the ugly faux wood sliding doors to make more space for her and open up the room a little bit.
For other people who are renting and have these doors over their closets, they are actually pretty easy to move. You can pop them off the top track pretty easily, but you will have to unscrew the track in the floor and completely remove it in order to get the doors out. Most rental places won’t care you’ve done this so long as you put them back before you move out. (Also these doors are a complete headache and never stay on the track anyway so getting rid of them was something I was ready to do.)
The room is actually larger than it appears in the first picture. I had a better photo before, but with all the technical difficulties I had experienced, I lost the photos I had taken with the doors still on the closet.
I always wanted a more gender neutral nursery. I was a kid who didn’t love pink and the idea of surrounding my baby in pink makes my head spin. I kept the room the original teal and cream it was, and painted the inside of the closet. We also added a tapestry to the bottom portion of the closet to make it seem a little bit more baby friendly. I put some photos of my husband and I as babies above. These were frames we had bought years ago and never hung up because we had no idea where to hang them. Finally! They are up!
Now I have to go on about the crib, changing table/dresser, and bookshelf that I bought from IKEA. I didn’t love the idea of the white crib sets and I found it hard to find something between the white and the dark woods that wasn’t grey, especially because I wanted to pick it up in store and not order it online.
The three pieces of furniture cost me less than $400 CAD. We also bought the carpet from IKEA for $40 CAD.
The main reason I didn’t want white was because the rest of the furniture in the room is dark/chocolate brown. I felt like that colour was too dark for the baby’s half of the room, but the white was too much of a contrast.
I still want something to hang from the ceiling to hide where the sliding doors had once been, and I would like to do something to make the bar seem less like a hanging bar for clothes. I may just remove it all together.
The other half of the room still needs some major organizing, but I think we are well on our way. Every day I do a little bit more in between bouts of fatigue.
Anyway, I think this post is important because for a lot of parents, especially first time parents the baby stays with them in their room for some amount of time in the first year. Even if you had a one bedroom apartment, this is totally something you could do to maximize the space in your bedroom.
As for all the things you once stored in your closet, you could get drawers for under you bed to help take on some of that storage, most queen sized beds can have three drawers on each side, and if you are like me and like to buy most of your furniture at IKEA, their MALM line has drawers that fit perfectly under most of their bedframes.
Not everyone is in a living situation where their baby will get their own room right away. Other’s like me, are too paranoid to have their babies sleep so far from them when they are new. Whatever your reason, having a co-sleeping room with your baby is definitely a possibility.
I will slowly try to get that room in tip-top shape and hopefully have it done before baby arrives. If I do manage it, I will be sure to post the finished product.
Until then, I am off to pretending this pregnancy isn’t making me completely miserable.