The simple lack of suitable space elsewhere within the house can compel you to share your master bedroom with your new baby. However, the urge to keep her close to you, especially during the night, trumps any other reason. Easily open your room to your newest family member by reinterpreting your current furnishings and investing in accessories that will keep both of you content.
1. Rock-a-Bye Baby
Chances are baby won't be sleeping in the treetops, so investing in a crib is your safest plan. However, for the first few months, he can sleep in a bassinet. Buying a bassinet with lockable wheels makes it easy to move him from room to room. Empty a corner within the room for a rocking chair suitable for early morning feedings and a baby swing or bouncer seat. Either accessory proves invaluable when it's 2 a.m., but baby doesn't realize it's way past bedtime. Relish these first few months with baby, but use the time to determine where to put his crib. Make a floor plan with scale models of the room's furnishings to help you determine both size and placement.
2. Old Mother Hubbard's Cupboard
A major benefit of sleeping with baby, besides not having to keep your ear pressed to the baby monitor every night, is that you don't have to buy a whole room full of new furniture. You do, however, need to make your current furniture work for another person. Transform your bed into a changing table by laying down a towel or diaper pad before each diaper change. Store wipes, diapers and ointments in an easily accessible spot such as your nightstand and extras in a nearby closet. Purchase an armoire for her clothes, but look to the walls for storage if floor space is tight. Install a shelf over your bureau after removing the mirror if necessary to provide storage for her clothes in decorative baskets. Add further utility by attaching a rod for hanging clothes to the bottom of the shelf.
3. Twinkle Not Little Star
Help your little guy achieve a good day and night's sleep with light-blocking window shades that dim both the harshness of the noonday sun and the glare of street lights at night. Make the room extra cozy by pairing them with thermal curtains to retain the room's heat. Since thermal curtains are often available only in solid-colored panels, use patterned valances for additional color and visual interest. Hang a quilt on the wall that is shared either with another apartment or bedroom to both muffle sound and add a touch of personality. A handmade quilt adds subtle charm to any style of country decor, while an Amish quilt with geometric shapes and bold colors complements both contemporary and traditional decors. If hanging the quilt near the crib, ensure that it's out of baby's reach.
Keep some parts of the shared space grown-up. Look for a play mat that you can roll up and put away when not in use, and store as many of her toys in portable plastic tubs, complete with handles. Decorate the wall closest to her crib with wall stickers that spell out her name or your own painted creation of circles in shades of pink, brown and blue. Inject your personality and create privacy by hanging a curtain from the ceiling to divide the space. A curtain with images of black-and-white bamboo or birch trees stimulates baby while providing you a much needed time-out. You must baby-proof the room. Keep glass jars and other breakables out of her reach; secure furniture to the wall with L-brackets; and install covers on all electrical outlets.
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