Wednesday, August 1, 2012

An Organized Nursery

With a number of my friends having their first baby (or twins!) in the next few months, I have baby on the brain! Our little man just turned TWO, but with the exception of his bookshelves and some of our cloth diapering set up, I have yet to post any pictures of his nursery. So here is our organized little nursery. The (3) bedrooms in our house our fairly small, so we tried to make the very best use of the space to fit in the essentials. I'll try to highlight what those nursery essentials are in this post along with how we've organized everything. I also want to write a follow up post with some of our other must-have baby items as I'm often asked for suggestions when friends are creating their registries.

This is the view of Little J's room from the hallway. I'm not usually a huge accent wall fan, but the nursery was an exception. The bright pop of green definitely brings a playful feel to the room.

Essential #1: A crib

We opted to go with this convertible crib. It goes from crib to toddler bed to headboard/footboard. Since convertible cribs are around the same price as standard cribs, it was a no-brainer. Even if we don't end up using it for all its different purposes we love having the option to do so.

Essential #2: Crib bedding
  • 3 crib sheets
  • crib mattress and mattress pad (preferably organic)
  • bumper (be sure to do your own research on the safety of bumpers and make an informed decision)
We chose this Dwell Studio for Target Hippo bedding (I've always had a soft spot in my heart for hippos) which is sadly no longer available. After having purchased the full on set, there are definitely some components we could have done without (namely the comforter since it is never a good idea to cover a baby with a heavy blanket! and possibly the crib skirt...we used it for such a short amount of time, once we lowered the crib mattress it could no longer be used).

Essential #3: A rocker (or other comfy chair)

ESPECIALLY if you plan to breastfeed (please do!!), you will be spending many, many hours nursing, often in the middle of the night during the first year. I guarantee you will want a comfortable place to do so. Even though this room is so small, we had to sacrifice some real estate for this chair. I nursed Little J all of these past 2 years so this chair has received lots of love. Besides that, it is the perfect place to snuggle and read many, many books. Definite must have item.

Essential #4: A reading lamp

Setting up the nursery so we can have some dim light for stories has been great for our bedtime routine since the very early on. I've had this lamp for about 16 years. I just painted it black and bought a new lampshade to match the nursery (my favorite part of this lamp is that it has three cute little drawers. I keep baby nail clippers in one of the drawers so they are easily accessible when we're already sitting there in the rocker).

Essential #5: An automatic night light

Essential #6: A baby monitor

I don't think these need much explanation.

Essential #7: Curtains

We have both blinds and curtains in the nursery to make the room nice and dim, especially for  middle-of-the-day napping (make sure your crib is placed a safe distance from the curtains).

Essential #8: Lots and lots of book storage!

We like to keep this basket full of books right next to the rocker. It mostly holds bedtime stories for easy access at night. And across the room we have pretty much my favorite feature of the nursery, these bookshelves:

Essential #9: A wall clock

Before I had an iPhone pretty much attached to me at all times, I would often stumble into Little J's room for a middle-of-the-night feeding not knowing what time it was. When you're keeping track of feedings (and your own sleep), knowing the time is super important :)

 Essential #10: Closet storage bins / crates

What you see is pretty much all the functional space we have in Little J's closet (the other half has a slanted wall). On the top shelf of the closet there are two crates. The crate on the left holds outgrown clothes. When it fills up I separate into three separate categories: keep, donate, consign (since my church holds an annual clothing drive and children's clothing is the always the first to go,  we try to keep our consignment items to a minimum so that we have more to donate). The crate on the right holds bulky, too-big items that Little J will wear down the road. Other things we like to store in the closet are nice shirts and pants, some toys, and extra diapering / cloth diapering supplies.

Essential #11: Toy storage

We keep most of our toys downstairs but we like to keep a few things upstairs. This was an old laundry basket that I spray painted to match our old guestroom.

Essential #12: Cute nursery decor

Haha, I guess that's not an essential, but it sure makes the space so much more inviting. My favorite part of Little J's nursery decor is this shelf that includes some subway art I made for his first birthday party along with the bunting seen in some of the first pictures above (also something I made for his first birthday party). Even though they don't really match the green / brown / yellow Dwell Studio Hippo decor, I love how the wooden blocks that spell out Little's J's name on the shelf tie both color schemes together.

Essential #13: A sound machine

White noise helps the hubby and I sleep, so it's no wonder that Little J needs it too. Every night, every nap, it's on. This Graco one is a great value as it has different white noise options and also doubles as a speaker (the bottom portion houses a plug to hook up your iPod).

Essential #14: Changing pad (preferably organic)

  • with at least two covers
  • topped with a fuzzy sheet saver
We like using a sheet saver or even a small hand towel on top of the cover so we can just throw it into the laundry if it gets dirty instead of constantly having to change the changing pad cover.

Essential #15: A large dresser that doubles as a changing table

Even if we wanted a separate changing table, there just isn't space for one in this small bedroom. I love the idea of multipurpose items which is why this Hemnes Ikea dresser was the perfect solution to our small room / even smaller closet dilemma.

  • It holds extra receiving blankets, sheets, and changing pad covers:
  • socks, slippers, and ties (booties and babylegs too):
  • pajamas and play clothes:
  • extra blankets:
  • swimsuits and (hand-me-down) clothes in the next sizes up
  • and probably most importantly, all our diapering / cloth diapering supplies:
  •  (burp cloths, diapers, covers, inserts, prefolds):
  •  wipes, cloth wipes, diaper rash ointment (A&D is the ONLY kind that works on our little man), cloth diaper liners, etc:

The extension of our nursery is down the hall which includes other essential parts of our cloth diaper set up:

Essential #16: A large trash can (for cloth diapers)

Essential #17: A small trash can (for the occasional disposable)

Essential #18: A place to hang-dry cloth diaper covers

These space-saving hangers (way back from my freshman year of college when I lived in the dorms) are perfect for our cloth diaper set up. If you're into cloth diapering or curious about it, please check out all my cloth diapering posts.

So there you have it, our organized little nursery and another glimpse into our home. What do you think?

PS: I'm linking this post up with House of Hepworths, Liz Marie, Tatertots & Jello, and Thrifty Decor Chick 


  1. I love your nursery! Our house has small bedrooms and even tinier closets so I can relate to getting creative and resourceful with storage options. Your sweet boy's room is adorable!

  2. Thanks so much Carrie :) I would love to see your house some time...sounds like you guys are always getting things accomplished over there!

    Elisabeth@Simply Parkers