Making a Special Place for Baby Without a Nursery

When our first child was born, we lived in a 2 room apartment, so baby had a nursery.  When our second child was born, we lived in a 3 bedroom house, so baby had a nursery.  After that, there were no more nurseries.  Baby either shared a room with siblings or shared a room with Mommy and Daddy, and it has worked out just fine.

However, when you have a larger than average family (which would be any number over 2), you have to get creative with your spaces and storage.  But getting creative does not mean you have to sacrifice having a pleasant place for baby to be.  I have always tried to make the area baby occupies special in some way, but this time, I had to work even harder because the space I had was much smaller.

Last night, we put the finishing touches on the bassinet and added it to the space I had carved out for baby.  As you can see from the photo, it is a tiny bit of wall space between our walk-in closet door and the bathroom door.  It is just the right size to the accommodate the bassinet and nothing else.

Thankfully, the bassinet has storage underneath in a basket.  I keep bassinet sheets, nursing pads, and burp rags (otherwise known as receiving blankets) under there.

I decided this time I wanted some special decorations specifically for the space above the bassinet since it was so small and felt rather stark.  Earlier this year, I met Breezy Brookshire and her lovely family at the Teach Them Diligently Convention.  I knew the second she opened her Breezy Tulip Studio, I wanted one of her prints for baby’s special place.  The one I chose is called A Mother’s Love.  Perfect!

I found the letters and hooks at Hobby Lobby on sale.  I thought by spelling out BABY, we could keep the decor versatile, but you could spell out baby’s name.  I liked the neutral tones of these metal signs too.  I tend to gravitate toward blues and browns anyway, even when I’m having a girl.  I thought the hooks would be nice to hang a burp rag on or even an outfit for the next day.

Of course, when you are limited on space, you can’t spend all your mental energy making things pretty!  I had to think about where I was going to put baby’s clothes and blankets.  Often, I am able to put baby’s things in one of the children’s rooms, but because of the layout of this house, that wasn’t going to be a good option.

If you remember from my post on making a closet separation between your nice clothes and your every day Mommy clothes, you might remember how I have this extra closet in my room that stores my nice clothes.  It isn’t full by any means, so it is the ideal place for baby’s clothes.  But because the closet is rather small, I decided on hanging storage instead of drawers or stackers.

I chose the hanging closet organizer in the photo for a variety of reasons.  It was a good price, a reviewer mentioned it didn’t have that yucky plastic smell, and it had pockets on the side.  I put a basket underneath to hold blankets and we were set!  (I’m in the process of washing baby clothes right now!)

Next, I had to consider diapers.  We recently decided to give our large dresser to the boys and use the storage space in the walk-in closet as our “drawers.”  Because of taking out that large piece of furniture and replacing it with only a small desk for my computer, we now had a corner that could be used for diaper storage and a diaper pail.

A while back on my Facebook page, I asked about storing diapers, but rather than purchasing something new, I decided to keep my old method of storage since it is so nice and narrow and compact.

I will eventually switch the newborn diaper stacker to the top level, but for now, let me give you a quick tour of the stacker and what all is in there:

The snowflake bag that is hanging off the side of the stacker is one of those bags from a sheet set that are too cute to throw away.  It holds all my cloth wipes.

The basket next to the stacker is my old nursing basket (which may return to that function once baby is here).  For now, it holds small FuzziBunz, disposable diapers, wipes, and some odds and ends that won’t be in use until baby gets here.

Baby will be here before I know it!  It has been so nice to put together this space and feel like I am finally accomplishing some baby-related things, despite the limited amount of space I have to work with.  I feel very blessed to have such a lovely place to bring baby home to.

So, have you had to made due with a small place for baby?  How did you organize it?  Please share in the comments!

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23 thoughts on “Making a Special Place for Baby Without a Nursery

  1. I usually have one of those plastic bins with 3 drawers sitting by my chair where I nurse, I keep all the baby nessisarys and diapers in it. The chair I nurse in is a recliner, so after nursing I pop up the foot part and use it as a changing table. Our bassinet has a shelf under it where I store baby’s pj’s and blankets!

  2. Congratulations on your upcoming delivery! We have nine children ages 17 to 10 months. Our master bedroom holds a king bed on the west wall that has a headboard shelf/mirror and two tower cabinets with drawers alongside the headboard unit. The baby sleeps with the parents and we change the youngest two kids on the king bed using waterproof pads underneath. A horizontal 8-drawer dresser is shared by Mom and the 4yr old on the east wall. A horizontal shelf unit resting on top of the dresser holds Mom’s stationary, Bible and baby wipes. Behind and above the horizontal dresser on the wall are two chrome double-hanging towel racks with storage above the double racks. Parent’s and the 4 and 2 year-old’s bathroom towels hang there with replacement towels on the upper shelves. On the same east wall are two tot cribs for the 4 and 2-year olds. The north wall has a walk in closet with bi-level clothing racks for Dad and Mom’s clothes. Suitcases in the closet and stacked bins in the bedroom hold out of season/size clothes for us five people. I also use stacked bins in free spaces around the room for current and out-of-season linens and clothes. Diapers are stored in a sturdy fabric, neutral-colored, over-the-door shoe holder. Size 3 diapers are on the first three rows of pockets along with diaper ointments. Size 5 diapers are on the lower three rows of pockets. Diapers that don’t pack into the pockets are kept in the closet on upper shelves. The only disadvantage to this is that the hooks above the door carve stress marks into the doorframe. The south wall is decorative with colorful needlepoint works, baptismal crosses and two signs: “Babies are such a nice way to start people” and “When a child is born so is a Grandmother.” I’d post pics but I’m quite incompetent with such equipment!

  3. I remember having a special place for my babies when they were first born so that I didn’t have to go far to care for them in the middle of the night. Those were some precious but hard times.

  4. You are ready! I’m 33 weeks and have nothing ready yet–lol. We don’t have a nursery either. Thinking about making a special place in the toy room (he’ll also be in our room). Need to figure out where to put his clothes… I should probably start working on this.

  5. It’s perfect!
    Our family was the same way… Nurseries decked out to the hilt for the 1st two and then no more! LOL
    But there is something so rewarding & lovely about preparing that special place just for baby… I love it! :-)

  6. With baby #5 on the way, were taking my smaller walk in closet & converting it to a mini nursery for the baby & Ill move all my clothing in DH’s larger walk in closet.

  7. I’m 33 weeks and have absolutely nothing ready! We have been living in semi-temporary quarters for the past few months and our house should be ready next month (we are praying before Christmas!), and half of our belongings are packed in boxes in the garage. I dread having to go dig through our packed garage to find the boxes containing baby things! It would be easier to be able to take it all to the new house where there is more space to spread it all out, but, as it stands right now, they can’t give us a definite date yet on when the house will be done. I am getting anxious to start washing and prepping for baby, though!

  8. So cute and functional! We are only on baby #1 and are praying for baby #2, but I did our daughter’s nursery (she’s four months) in aqua, brown, and grey so that no matter the gender of our next child, he or she could easily share the room without too much alteration. We only have a 2 bedroom so after the first few babies we will have to be creative. I store our cloth diapers (we love bumgenius!) in some wicker baskets from target that we love and can easily be used for something else once we are out of diaper days.

  9. I’m pregnant with #3 and we finally have an extra room, 2 actually, to make a nursery but we’re choosing to carve out a corner of our master bedroom for baby, including a bassinet and changing table. Once baby is 6 months or so we’ll move him or her to share a room with either brother or sister, they each have their own room. This may change as our kids grow but for now we want them to share rooms. My first born had a nursery but we only used it to store her stuff, she slept in a bassinet in our room till she slept for 6 hour stretches. I find it much more practical to keep baby and his things close to me, at least during the infant stage. I like your ideas!

  10. Nice! This baby (due a few weeks after yours I think), will be sleeping by bed in a playpen. I’ve never set up a special space for baby – just a playpen by the bed until hubby decides enough is enough and we move them to another room of the house haha.

  11. This post was perfect timing for me. I’m almost 30 weeks with baby 4. We live in a small home this time around and baby needs to be squeezed in. There’s always room for one more, right? A friend is lending me her mini size bassinet/co-sleeper to put right beside my bed. There will be enough room on the other side for a skinny floor lamp, soft light for middle of the night diaper changes. I found a tiny and narrow set of three drawers that fit in the last “cranny” of my room for baby’s clothes. Right next to it will be the changing table, also known as the deep-freezer! I decided I only go in it every few days and a changing pad will fit just right on top! Now I need to figure out diaper storage…. the 2yo’s cloth diapers are in a bin on husband’s side of the bed. It’s full though. I love the stackable one you have. I wouldn’t have room, though. Something hanging maybe?? Love your idea of making baby’s spot special with the letters and print. I need to be thinking about that. Thanks!

    A note to those needing storage space for a small place. We found the Expedit line of shelves from Ikea to be perfect for our small home storage needs. We have two 8 cubby Expedit shelving units, one on each side of the bed, with 4 cubby units on top. This equals LOTS of storage space. I’ll be using one cubby at least for baby’s blankets, burp cloths, etc. :)

  12. LOVE IT! We are expecting our fifth, we the Fourth I didn’t do much to prepare b/c I put our baby boy in my little girl’s room and she did NOT want any boy things,lol. But, I missed the nesting of carving out a special spot. I’m not sure what we will do this time but you have inspired me to show outwardly how much excitement we inwardly hold for another precious blessing. P.s. I also loved the nursing basket idea too ;)

  13. Aww, Amy! How sweet is that little spot for your baby! Thanks for these ideas.

    I am about 21 weeks along with baby #5. I just had baby #4 last December, which means that currently our 4 children are sharing rooms (2 girls in one room, 2 boys in another). With baby #5 on the way, my husband and I have been considering how we can make the most of the space we have. We know that for the 1st few months, the baby will share our room, but I hadn’t thought yet about closet space and where I’m going to store everything. (To be honest, I’m still getting that all under control for the current baby! LOL)

    God bless you and your little one!
    -Stacie

  14. We also don’t have a nursery for our new baby on the way. Our 3 children now are in our houses second bedroom, so baby will be in our room for a while. We have a pack-n-play that has the middle layer, and the changing table. We are using the space under the pack-n-play for storage of items such as extra diapers, too big clothes, and other random things. We then put the baby’s clothes, diapers and wipes, and blankets in a small changing table/dresser that we have. It only takes up a small corner next to our bed, but the baby does have its own little space.

  15. I love the space! We have 3 bedrooms and 5 children. 3 boys, 2 girls. So the 3 boys are in 1 room. CRAZY in there. My oldest daughter is alone, she is 17 and my baby is in a little corner in me and my hubby’s room (even though she is 2 1/2). No other blessings have come along so she is just in there still. It all works out and somehow you just make room for it all. Great use of space Amy!

  16. I love it! Didn’t think about it till I read your post but we did the same thing and decorated the wall around babies pack n play that was in the corner of my room with wall stickers spelling babies name. And of course a crucifix above his sweet head. It really gave him his own special place in our home and helped us get so excited for him to arrive!

  17. I have no idea what we are going to end up doing this time.

    We made a room for our first, sort of a room for our second (when he was born there was a dresser and a rocking chair and maybe a changing table in there…we didn’t have a second crib yet and no decorations). We did nothing for our third except setting up a small dresser in our room after he was born (we did not know the gender so did not get any clothes out until after his arrival — he was born at home so this was really easy, send someone to the basement a few hours after birth. We did have a couple special birth-day outfits ready for him though). He also had a bassinet next to my bed and a crib set up in his brother’s room, which is now in his own space — he sleeps in our storage room!

    Very likely two of the older kids will move in together and we will have a bassinet set up next to our bed again, then a pack’n’play when baby is too big for a bassinet until we move him/her into the storage room again with a nicely decorated crib.

    We stack the diapers on and next to my nightstand. So everything’s concentrated on/around my bed, for ease of use in the early days and during those long interrupted nights. :) It is a little different since we are hoping to move in the next several months and our “plan” for decorating a space for all of the children will be very different once we are in a place that we hope to stay.

  18. We just have 5 children (3 bedroom house) . . . two teens share one bedroom and the other two toddlers share the other . . . child #4 and #5 have spent their first year – 15 mo. in a pack and play inside my walk in closet (along with my clothes, etc). The pack and play fit perfectly along the back wall, so it was a perfect “room” since I needed to have the baby in our room, and it was quieter than being out in the open room. It worked great until baby was sleeping through the night 100% of the time and/or no longer nursing and could be moved into the other bedroom. Now I have a 1, 2, and 3 year old sharing a room.

  19. I’m having trouble with this. Baby comes on Monday…and I have a set of plastic drawers sitting in front of the crib (totally not convenient…but it’s my diaper stash) because I have nowhere else to put them at the moment. Once I use up the stash of ‘sposies I was gifted at baby showers (thankfully at the rate newborns go through diapers, I should use them up in about a week), I think can fit the cloth stash in their spot in my closet.

  20. First baby we were in a 1-bedroom apartment. For the “nursery corner” we found a small dresser next to the dumpsters, cleaned it up and fixed the drawers-attached changing pad to top. Installed wire shelf on wall above. Used a shoe box for wipes, diapers, and changing supplies. Next to dresser was the cradle, which got replaced with a pack’n’play after 4 months.

    Second baby we were in a 1-bedroom basement apartment, so baby got a similar set-up in our bedroom, skipped the cradle this time though and just used the pack’n’play bassinet. Big sister’s “bedroom” was a little 3-walled corner of the living room that we hung a colorful cloth shower curtain in front of her crib.

    Third baby we have 2 bedrooms in a friend’s home. The 2 toddlers share the big play room. We’re going to have to take down the bookshelf (thankfully Dad graduates before baby is due) to make space for the pack’n’play again.

    We never upgraded to a home that fit our family because we’ve been downsizing to move overseas.

  21. What a great idea with creating a space for baby when they can’t have their own nursery.

    I enjoy your blog and now I like you even more because you cloth diaper. ;)