There are a few reasons you could end up on this blog post.
You co-sleep. And you want to find a way that cohesively blends your baby’s space with your master without looking like primary colors just threw up all over your serene Pottery Barn-esque haven.
You live in tight quarters. Perhaps merging your soon to be parenthood with your previous bachelor lifestyle has you up in arms. And your one bedroom apartment feels like it just can’t hang.
You have a split level home. And you can’t fathom the idea of babies sleeping upstairs while you lie awake every night, wide eyed, squinting at the monitor to look for tummy raises and falls.
You straight up have too many kids. It happens to the best of us. One day your a cute mom in a crossover five seater. The next day you’re part of the minivan gang.
Welcome! No matter what your reasons, I’m glad you are here! I see this questions over and over on mommy pages. “Anyone have a master+nursery? How do you make it work?”
There are a few things that make a master+nursery possible for us and I’m so excited to share them with you today!
1. Functional Dresser
Our dresser serves multiple purposes in our master+nursery suite. It’s the changing station, the baby’s wardrobe, as well as our storage for the normal master bedroom things (hats, shoes, blankets, etc.). Make sure your dresser is big enough to fit all the essentials.
Also, make sure it’s the right height for diaper changes. No one wants to be slumped over a dresser too short, or placing a baby high up on a towering death trap. A dresser around 36″ tall is a pretty good height for a changing station. Ours is the Affinity Dresser from Klaussner. I also listed some of my faves below, including the Ikea Hemnes we used in our oldest’s nursery.
Top Master + Nursery Dressers
2. Epic Storage Systems
Make those dresser drawers work for you! I utilize two different types of drawer dividers. SKUBB boxes from Ikea (or these amazon knock off’s if an Ikea isn’t close by), and adjustable drawer dividers. The goal is to utilize each inch of storage.
Organize your drawers with intention. The blankets and burp rags are easily accessible to me while sitting in the glider. The diapers and wipes are just to my left hip when at the changing station.
If you’re lost on how to keep things organized, even with drawer dividers, take note from the KonMari Method.
- Group like items together.
- Fold items to fit in their designated space.
- Arrange items darkest (front or left to lightest (back/right) to make spaces appear larger.
Boom! Items are easy to find, and aesthetically pleasing. And you are one happy mama (or daddy!).
3. Vertical Storage Space
I L.O.V.E. floating shelves. I’d have them in every room if I could. Each nursery space has had vertical storage above the changing station. Which may give some mamas anxiety (shelves above where you lay a baby?! Gasp!). But as long as you hang smart (drill those suckers into STUDS ONLY (no drywall anchors here) you will be okay!
Socks, baby carrier, and miscellaneous items (extra monitor, sun hats, teething necklace) are in the baskets on the floating shelves for easy access, but hidden away so they aren’t an eye sore.
4. A Cozy Nook for Cuddling
Yes this is your master suite. But you are also adding another being to this space. And there will be times (many times) that you’ll want to give your aching back a rest, especially in the wee hours of the night.
Create a cozy nook for rocking, cuddling and cooing. We love our glider. It’s served us through three babes, and it’s still going strong. And as much as you may be wanting to keep this space your own, you need to admit to yourself that this is serving the purpose of a nursery as well. And nothing says nursery more than a gorgeous, comfy glider.
Top Nursery Gliders
5. Flexible Sleeping Arrangements
Lets talk sleep safety. Sleep is worth millions, and whatever you do to make it work in your house is what works for you!
In 2016 (somewhere between baby 2 and baby 3 for us) the AAP updated their safe sleep recommendations, including babies should room-share with parents until 12 months!
“Share a bedroom with parents, but not the same sleeping surface, preferably until the baby turns 1 but at least for the first six months. Room-sharing decreases the risk of SIDS by as much as 50 percent.” – American Academy of Pediatrics
So how can you fit a safe sleep spot in your master? We chose a Pack n Play with our first, and it did the job. But, Lord have mercy, it was NOT pretty. In hopes of keeping things nicer, we brought the full sized crib in our room straight from the nursery (we had room for a separate nursery with number 2, ha!) for our second baby. But space was tight with a full crib in our master.
Baby number three came, and que the mini crib. That’s right, a MINI crib.
Mini Crib Pro’s
- It’s sleep safe.
- The mattress is Pack n Play size for easy crib sheet shopping.
- It’s smaller than a crib, making it more functional in a master+nursery suite.
- It will fit baby up to 18 months+ of age (or longer if you have a peanut!).
- Wheels included. That’s right, you can get a mini crib on wheels. HELLO!!!
Picking a mini crib was quite possibly one of the hardest decisions I made this last pregnancy. First world problems, I know. But being our third baby, I knew it wasn’t going to be used a ton more (is this our last?) so I wanted to have zero regrets with the purchase. We ended up choosing black because it complimented our master furniture the best.
We went with the Davinci Alpha Mini Rocking Crib because it came in four different colors, had two feet options upon assembly (rocking or wheels), it had two height options (for when babe gets older), and the mattress was included.
During assembly, we went with the wheel option because I knew I’d want to bring the crib to my bedside for easy night feedings. When we wake for the day, I push the crib back to the foot of our bed so it’s out of the way.
And during nap times, while our other kiddos are awake, I push the crib against the wall. Because toddlers. Toddlers like two things, to climb, and to annoy. And climbing up on our bed to annoy, poke and prod their little sis while she tries to nap is of course the most irresistible opportunity for fun to them!
Top Mini Crib Choices
6. Utilize Other Storage Spaces
Keep items that are out of season out of sight. Clothes for babe that are too big or too small? Bouncy chairs, walkers or high chairs babe doesn’t use yet? Dedicate a seperate space in the home for these items. For us, that’s the guest bedroom closet. Maybe for you it means the garage, attic, or other storage area.
Whatever you do, keep it out of the master. This space should be clutter free, leaving room for your mind to relax and rejuvenate. And enjoy the precious moments with your baby as well!
7. Keep Things Adult
Don’t forget, this is your adult space too. Keep the decor appropriate. Share in the space things that you and your partner love. Keep your bedside clutter free, and stack some books there that spark joy. Hang up a phrase or piece of art that inspires you.
Create a charging station so electronics stay at bay and out of your sleep space. You’ll be needing all the uninterrupted slumber you can get after all.