What Nursery?


Baby’s on the way, but you don’t have room and you can’t afford a bigger place? We say stay put! Here’s how to fit your growing family into a shrinking space

By The Editors of Pregnancy


Whether you’re into the “family bed” or all for everyone having their own space, there are many crowd-free solutions for sharing a room with baby.

1. Portable cribs and bassinets fold away easily and can roll from room to room. They do tend to have thinner mattresses, but there’s no sleep research to show that babies requires padding like “The Princess and the Pea.” If you simply must have a full crib, go for a no-frills fixed-rail model. Bloom Alma Crib in Gala Green, $400, giggle.com; Ikea Sniglar Crib, $80, ikea-usa.com

2. Co-sleepers keep baby right next to your bed. This allows for quick retrieval and easy comforting without the excessive body heat and elbow in the ear that come with bed sharing. Arm’s Reach The Little Palace Collection Co-Sleeper Bassinet in The Stratford, $190, armsreach.com

3. The safest way to have baby in your bed is with a
protective frame. It ensures you don’t roll over onto your little one, and it keeps your soft mattress, pillows, or bedding from impeding baby’s breathing. Baby
Delight Supreme Snuggle Nest in Green Dots, $60, babiesrus.com


The key to thriving in a small space is making sure the stuff doesn’t take over. Keep your baby registry to just the essentials and encourage folks to give gift certificates you can use when you have more room. Better yet, register for these clutter-control helpers.

1. There’s lots of real estate under the bed, but you don’t want dust bunnies making warrens in baby’s clothes. Claim all that space with the right container. Ikea Aspelund Bed Storage Box, $50 each, ikea.com; CB2 Harmonica Bed, $800, cb2.com

2. Having a child doesn’t mean you have to live with toys everywhere. Use multipurpose storage—ottomans and cabinets that double as toy bins. In fact, baby-proof everything else in the kitchen, but fill one low cupboard with toys—he’ll be in there anyway! Crate & Barrel Stow Leather Storage Ottoman, $150, crateandbarrel.com; Elite Leather Century City Storage Bench, $1,620, eliteleather.com

3. Think through your purchases. Those industrious trips to Costco for “diapers in bulk” and even that awesome new stroller—all of it will need a place to live in your tiny pad. Have a plan. StrollAway Over-door Stroller Hook, $50, metrotots.com

4. Steps for controlling clothing clutter (By California Closets organizing pros Ginny Scott and Lisa Lennard)

Separate: Put like items into sections and stack on open shelving.

Rotate: Store clothes that are too
big for baby out of sight. Label a bin with the next size, and then switch
out as she grows.

Customize: Maximize small closets by putting in three bars for tiny baby and toddler clothes.

Divide: Add dividers to your drawers for small items like baby hats and socks. A clear, hanging shoe organizer also works well for this.


Every inch counts, which is why we like a portable diaper caddy and a simple folding changing pad (and maybe some knee pads) instead of a changing table. This saves space and money—and allows you to clean up baby wherever he happens to land.

1. Willing to spend a buck or two for a cool design? Go for a wall-mounted changer (just make sure you hit that stud). Bo Ekstrom Wall Mounted Changing Table, $750, spunkysprout.com

2. This attractive modern caddy comes in four colors. JJ Cole Collections Diapers & Wipes Caddy in Pink Stripe, $30, jjcoleusa.com

3. A shaker-style basket makes clean-up a little more homey. SaraBear Classic Diaper Caddy in Jackson, $30, target.com

Alone time

A little privacy goes a long way. Creating even the illusion of a separate space works wonders when trying to get baby to nap. If you have tall bookshelves, think about how they might work to create a room divider (secured, of course, to the floor or a wall). Screens or room dividers work just as well. We also like hanging fabric from the ceiling—it’s cost effective, absorbs sound, and easily pulls back when you want to open up the space.

1. This modern bamboo divider coils and uncoils to create any shape you need. Chia’sso Coil Room Divider, $400, chiasso.com

2. Who knew a paper wall could look so cool? Molo Paper Softwall in White, $800, velocityartanddesign.com

3. Ikea has several low-cost curtain options that mount to the ceiling. Ikea Kvartal Suspension System, $6 for 55 inches, ikea.com

Want what you have
More than anything, be grateful for what you already have—a growing family and a loving home, no matter the size. Sure, sometimes it will feel like the walls are closing in, but one day you’ll look back with fond memories of your “cozy” little bungalow and baby’s tiny little feet and toes…and wish you could do it all over again.

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