I guess there is just a stubborness (probably if you asked my husband, he wouldn't guess, he would know) inside of me. I determined that in spite of circumstances I WAS NOT going to lay down and allow life's circumstances to rob me of what I thought were necessary things: a nursery and decorating for a baby. Now on my second child, I can tell you it was the hormones talking. These are not necessary, but they sure make a woman feel better. I smile to think that one day my kids may grow up and laugh about being placed in the closet, but I have the proof in pictures that I made the most of it. You can't deny this momma's love or her desire to give her children the very best. I hope I teach them how to LIVE (not just survive) through the trials of life.
The closet was a perfect space for an infant: close enough to mom and dad to hear baby's cries, close enough to be very convenient to answer those cries, just far enough away to not be kept awake by baby's breathing, most come with doors if you need a sense of privacy, and everything you need for changing, swaddling, diapering, etc. is in arm's distance. I am now a closet-nursery advocate!
I liked the nursery in my closet so much I decided to do it again. I won't say I LOVE it. I would LOVE a closet all to myself (a girl should be allowed this small piece of selfishness). If I had a third bedroom, my baby would have been put there. But when faced with the choice of placing my baby in his sister's small room on the other side of our place or in our large closet. I chose the closet. So, no, I will not take offense if you opt for a "normal" nursery, BUT, if you are faced with small space issues or trying times, the closet is a great option... an option I LIKE.
|The Changing Station with my custom wall art from past project and changing pad cover from a project I have yet to blog.|
|Jedidiah's Nursery. It's a little less "decorated" than his sister's, but this one has to function as our closet, his closet, changing station and sleeping space. A lot of function for a 4 1/2x11 closet!|
- Think Function. Use the Rods in the closet for your baby's clothes (or your clothes). Use the shelves for storage (though I recommend not placing anything on shelves above where your child sleeps... at least not anything that could potentially fall and hurt your baby).
- Hanging Shelves. Brilliant canvas shelves that hang on closet rod. It's where I keep all my cloth diapering supplies. I got mine at Babies R Us but I have seen them in the closet organization sections of Walmart and Target.
- The Mini-Crib. They are the same size of a portable crib (the length of a twin bed headboard and a little over half that in width). It should last your child until they are 18-24 mos. (and if your child is anything like my daughter you will have to switch to a toddler bed at some point during this time anyways simply because she keeps climbing out of the crib.) Only downside to a mini-crib, there are next to no cute bedding options (I didn't have a hard time finding plain fitted sheets and bumper pads, but there is not much variety in the way of sets). The mini-crib can be really cheap or even come made to last and grow with your child like some full-sized cribs do.
- Lingerie Dresser. Because these bad boys are skinny and tall, they take up very little space and are just the right size for tiny baby clothes. We redid a funky one from the 70's. We replaced the drawer fronts by making new ones out of MDF board, painted it, and put on some new drawer knobs that my mom and I hand-painted to go with the farm theme. (Because these dressers are so tall they need to be strapped to wall when your baby starts to cruise to prevent it from falling over on your child. We just screwed a scrap piece of 2x4 to the wall and then screwed the dresser into that.)
- Dresser with changing table on top. I thank the Lord for this everyday. I made the lack of a dedicated changing table work with my daughter (we just kept a travel changing pad handy near her crib and used that until we had to lower the bed, then we used the floor and changing pad). But if you have the extra bit of space for a dresser that is a large enough to put a permanent changing pad on top and diapers nearby... DO IT!
- Keep wall colors light. You want a nursery not a dungeon or cave. A closet easily can feel like that if you go overboard on the paint colors and wall decor.
- Curtains. Ikea sells a track curtain system that can be placed on the ceiling if the closet isn't an option and you want a dedicated space for baby. We spent 9 months in a 400sq ft studio apartment with our toddler and it's how we made it work. I told Adelaide it was her princess bed... she loved it. (By the way, I found inexpensive fabric that worked great at blocking light, and then dressed it up by buying an extra sheet from her bedding set and adding it to curtains as an accent. I think it cost me $40-$50 with the fabric, the sheet, and the track system) I think it's important to find a way to dedicate a space for the baby, mostly just so that mom and dad have a space that is their own.
|Addy's Princess Space in our tiny studio apartment. I wish this picture showed the track system... but I am sure you can check it out on Ikea's website or at your local Ikea store.|
I think the point behind all of this, is to make the most with what you got. Don't fret, momma, because circumstances and space limitations don't match your ideals for your baby. You want your child to have the very best, but I promise you the "very best" you can give your child is your love. Chances are, if you are looking on the internet for how to make your small space special for your baby, you already have that going on.
Best Wishes to You and Your Family!
Oh! And I would love to see pictures of your "small space" nursery!