Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Purposeful Nurseries: Planning Stage

From Finn's room over at Sew Liberated

Matt and I have started the preliminary planning for converting our office/craft room into a nursery/office/craft room. We've decided that we want to set aside some space for ourselves in the room (for using our laptops, sewing, etc.). We're guessing that we'll spend a lot of time in the first several months hanging out in there for breastfeeding, diaper changing, and tummy time. It also happens to be my favorite room in the house, which is another reason why we'll probably spend so much time in there.

Once little "Coconut" (I have no idea why we've taken to calling the baby by that moniker) is able to move independently around his/her own room (by the way, we're getting our first ultrasound in a few weeks, and we're going to find out the baby's sex), then we might rethink the whole office/craft aspect of having our own stuff in there.

For now, here's what we're thinking we need:
  • A dresser (with a changing pad on top--although we fully recognize that we will likely change Coconut throughout the whole house)
  • A trash can for storing our dirty cloth diapers before we wash them
  • An organic mattress to put on the floor (we're following the Montessori approach and not using a crib)
  • A pullout couch for anyone who comes to stay
  • A sidetable that can function as a "breastfeeding station" (for extra Klean Kanteens filled with lots of water to stay hydrated, books, burp cloths, etc.)
  • A lamp
  • An iPod dock

We will not be getting a changing table, a crib, or a glider/rocker (is this a huge mistake?). We'll be consolidating our three crafting/working tables down to one.

I'm excited to be thinking about this stuff!

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Nikki Cupcake said...

the best thing i did was NOT buying a changing table. I figured it was a waste and by the time my son was mobile (around 6 months) i didn't feel safe changing him up high so i'd just put the changing pad on the floor.

Karuna said...

I must say that for all the different little souls I have cared for in my 12 years of nannying for ages 6weeks to 5years, a rocker was the one thing that I have decided is a must. The walking and bouncing aka: "the baby dance" is great but I am a believer in the power of a comfortable rocker/glider in a dark room with a foot stool for the care taker. It has just been "the answer" for too many of those fussy/colicky/"I want my mom" nights.

Carrie said...

I really recommend a glider. YOU need somewhere comfy to sit, too (unless that pullout couch will be comfortable).

Shaz said...

Bought an exercise ball for the birth and didn't use it then. When The Kid came around, it finally served as my "rocking chair."
Pros: could take it from room to room as desired, cheap!, four hours of try to get a baby to sleep works out my thighs.
Cons: my relatives who helped in those first days couldn't use it (older with bad balance, too short to sit on it safely w/baby), sore thighs after four hours of trying to get baby to sleep, no backrest (not an issue for me, but was for my friend)

Michele said...

I second (third? fourth?) the calls for a glider or rocker. It was a lifesaver for Jilli when she was fussy and I have so many fond memories of sitting in that chair nursing and rocking my babies for hours and hours. You can do without the changing table and crib, but get a rocking chair.

Cassie said...

Get a glider. Seriously. We bought a great used one for $60 on craigslist, and I lived in that glider for the first 6 months. It's amazing how much time you'll spend nursing. I also set up my area with tons of audio books, because I found it hard to read or do other things while nursing. Plus, when my little guy's upset, the rocking is the only thing that soothes him. We co-sleep (so no crib) and use the top of a dresser as a changing table, but the glider is a MUST.

Steph said...

I didn't think we'd want a glider either. I found a super deal on Craigslist so we ended up getting one. I am SOOO GLAD! Our baby is 4 months now and we don't use it as much but we are still using it. Those first few months we lived in it:)

Also if you do get one, make sure to get one with padded arms.

julie said...

as a nanny, i've gotten to try out all sorts of baby set-ups.

i personally love having a chair that rocks or glides, and tend to miss it when there isn't one!

also, i'm currently working for a family whose cloth diaper changing setup is in the bathroom and it is revolutionary! truly, truly fantastic. if you have the room for this, i would highly recommend trying it out! also, this is my first time using cloth wipes, and they're great! (they're just in a pile, and you wet them in the sink before using.)

Alycia said...

Another nanny chiming in to sing the praises of rocking chairs! You might not want to get in the habit of rocking your baby to sleep, but sometimes you just need a break. The family I work with has a new glider and an old rocking armchair recliner. I prefer the rocker.

Also, a co-sleeper next to the bed is great if you don't want to be constantly going from room to room in the middle of the night.

Princess Christy said...

I don't have a baby, but I love my rocking chair! I can't imagine a nursery without a rocker or glider.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's just me, and you did mention that it may change, but I find it a little odd that your doing the Montessori approach to the bed BUT your not keeping the room solely for the baby. I may be wrong, but I thought the point of having the bed as a mattress on the floor was so the child can get up and explore after sleeping - I feel having craft supplies and adult-like materials in the room could potentially be unsafe with a crawling infant or, later on, a wobbling toddler.

But maybe that's me and I've just missed the point. :0]

lisa said...

Ummm....the confines of a crib are a good thing, sometimes. My youngest scaled the crib by 7 months or so, and in a shared room we ended up with her older sister on baby duty, sitting there and forcibly keeping the baby on the mattress until she fell asleep.

There is a lot of time during infancy when free reign to roam sounds wonderful, but is really lousy in practice, as infants need to be supervised and parents need to sleep. In addition, the confined atmosphere of a crib helps the baby to realize--oh, I can't do anything, I might as well go back to sleep--when they wake multiple times a night. Otherwise, they'll just get up and rampage.


Meg said...


Not a nanny, but a long long time babysitter (that was my job all through college, and forever before). First, the rocker is for self care when nursing. Second, babies need that motion to calm them down. You can bounce them all around the house, but sometimes you're tired or nursing, and you need to be sitting and soothing.

I'm curious about the no crib approach. Like the Lisa above I'd neeeevvvvvveeeeerrrr do it it, because I want sleep and adult time, and I have a pretty good idea of how much work no crib entails, and I don't have the patience or stamina for that. But clearly you have some philosophical reasons to do so.

bklyn76 said...

we had a change table, which i did find saved my back b/c i didn't have to bend down too far, esp with my c-section incision.

no glider here, though a physio ball was my saviour!

for the first 6 months my babe slept with us in our bed. after that, he moved to a crib. for #2, i'd rethink the mattress idea. :)

can't wait to see your nursery!

Kelsey said...

No experiece myself but we did have a glider for awhile, $25 at a garage sale! Recently, I gave it to an expecting friend. They paited it white and recovered the cusions and it's so cute and she says she's in it all the time. So you might be able to get one for cheap and have it on hand, if you don't use it you can craigslist it!

Anonymous said...

My best friend just had a baby. She hasn't gotten her rocking chair yet. She ended up moving a dining table chair to the baby's room for the middle of the night feedings (until she gets her rocker) because after one night of walking around the baby's room for 40 minutes feeding him, she decided she needed to sit down. Even if you don't have a rocker/glider, you should at least make sure to have a comfortable place to sit and feed the baby in the wee hours of the morning.

Ingenue said...

Gotta have, must get, you-will-hate-sleepless-nights-without-it... a rocking chair or glider! Trying to "rock" in a regular chair will kill your already aching body. Get or make cushions for the rocking chair - like someone else said, this is a place for YOU (and Matt) to sit. And since you'll likely be sitting to nurse, rock, rest, sooth a lot, make it comfy.

I've also been a nanny for kids from 4 months up to 4 years. The rocking chair is a prized item.

An unrelated "green" tip: Instead of spending money (and making more trash) with disposable baby wipes... get an electric wipe warmer and fill it with damp baby sized wash cloths. Baby, er Coconut, will be happy with the warm cotton cleaning its bum, and the planet and your wallet will say thanks too!

I'm SO excited to see new mommas putting real thought into all of these things. Sadly, more people in our country spend more time and energy on which new TV to buy than they spend on how to have and raise a baby.

Sara E. Cotner said...

Thanks for your insights, All!

@ Julie: I never thought about a changing station in the bathroom! We could totally pull it off.

@ Anonymous: You're totally right about how a Montessori room is designed. Our stuff would only be in there until the baby can roll out of bed and start crawling around. I have no idea what the time frame is for that, but I think it's safe to say we would could have several months of sharing our space with the baby before s/he gets to that point.

lisa said...

So now I'm really curious. If there is no way to keep the baby in a crib, is there a gate or somesuch to keep the baby in the room?

My daughter would scrooch around the room until she ended up in a corner...and the baby will roll OFF of the mattress---6-8" makes quite a thump---and wake up. Better to have a nice thick futon (the real kind) on the floor. In a corner.....kids like to be snuggled.

Anonymous said...

In my experience, babies love having a mattress to flop around on (when they're old enough to do so). The Montessori concept of allowing the baby to decide when to get out of bed, move around and play, etc. works well for us. We're co-sleeping and the bed (king sized) is a mattress on the floor. Pros: I never have to get up with our baby (nursing, comforting, etc.) can all happen in bed; my baby can decide when it's time to get up... and just crawls right onto the floor and explores our (thoroughly baby-proofed) bedroom. Cons: we had 3 tumbles from the mattress to the floor. But that's literally all. After that, our baby figured out how to carefully get off the bed feet first! So, for us this approach works great because it lets our baby be as independent as she wants or as snuggly as she wants. And since she knows she can get out of bed whenever she wants, bedtime is usually no big deal. Basically, she can choose what she wants/needs at the time.

Okay, enough about that. Re: rockers/gliders. We don't have one and I never missed it. My husband rocked our baby in one at my parents' house, though, and said he sort-of wished we had one. Whatever you decide, I would just recommend only buying things you know you will enjoy having around even if they baby never uses them (you may have one who only likes being bounced to sleep... or rumbled to sleep in the stroller). Who can't enjoy another rocker, though, right?! :)

Anonymous said...

Save yourself some money and skip the changing table. A waterproof pad on your bed, or even on the floor is all you need. Some like the idea of having "bathroom activities" (anything pertaining to waste) occur only in the bathroom (we liked the *idea* but it was not realistic for us)... here again, though, all you need is a thick waterproof pad that gives a little cushion to baby and catches leaks if/when they happen.

My husband is almost 7 feet tall and even though a changing table would save his back, he agrees that its not worth it. Diaper changes (especially for the first 6 months) are a snap. Have an experienced mom, midwife, nurse, etc. show you their tricks when your baby is a newborn, and soon you will be a pro. :) Once they learn to roll or start trying to crawl away during the change, things get a little more involved... but who wants their baby on a raised changing table at that point anyway? Like I said, I have found no use for a changing table. Firewood, maybe?!

Anonymous said...

Wait, did I miss something? Are your guests going to "sleep" in the same room as the baby!?! Is that a joke or would you bring the baby in your room when you have guests?

Jessica said...

I think it's great you're going to integrate your stuff into the room. It will give you time to do your own thing without having to be away from the baby. I love it. I plan on co-sleeping for a few months but I set up the nursery and left a guest bed in the room so I can still sleep in the same room if I feel the desire. Kind of a bummer that you will have to rearrange in a few months (I'm in the same boat with changing rooms down the road) but you seem to be pretty clever so I imagine you will not have too hard a time finding a good solution :)

Jessica said...

Oh and I do have to agree with everyone else, if you can swing it, get the glider!

jamie said...

is having a mattress on the floor (no boxspring) a problem? i thought about doing it with our own bed but everyone cautioned against mold....

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