New crib, new crib mattress, new rug, new curtains, new rocker, new wall art, new bookshelves, new dresser, new change mat—no doubt about it, the nursery business is big business. But do we really all need to buy into it? I mean, is it possible to just do no nursery? Would that be okay? How would that work?
Well, ultimately, the answer to that question is going to be personal. And by personal, I mean it's going to depend on you. If you're wondering if you could make do without a nursery, here's what you need to ask yourself:
1. Where will the baby sleep? A nursery gives the baby a place to sleep that is not your room. Or should I say, it give you a chance to sleep some place where your baby is not. However, you should consider these two things: first, that oftentimes babies end up sleeping right by their parents anyway, and second, that it is possible to purchase a crib or bassinet that can be moved around the house, allowing baby a chance to sleep by you sometimes, and other times allowing you a little space to yourself.
2. Where will you feed the baby? A nursery gives you somewhere to feed the baby in private. A lot of parents use the rocker in the nursery as the place to feed the baby during the night or when people are around. You need to ask: is privacy while feeding important to you? Is there somewhere else you can feed the baby at home? Where else might you feed the baby if you don't want to keep your partner up at night?
3. Where will you change the baby? A nursery gives you somewhere to change the baby. Diaper changing is not the most pleasant activity, let's put it that way. There will be occasional messes; there will be smells. Sometimes it's nice that diaper changing doesn't happen just anywhere but is confined to one space. Where could that space be in your place? It needs to be somewhere wipe-down-able and safe.
4. Where will you store all of the baby's stuff? A nursery gives you a place to store baby's stuff that is not the rest of the house. This is a biggie. No matter how minimalist you hope to be, you'll be shocked at how much stuff one tiny person can accumulate. Toys, books, clothes, linen, changing pad, and gear... all of it has to go somewhere. A nursery creates a central location for baby things, preventing them from spreading out into every other area of the house. Is there a place where you could keep all of baby's things together? Or would it be possible for you to make a no-go zone for a little baby stuff-free space?
So, what do you think? Depending on how you approach these different questions, no-nursery may very well work for you. And if you've lived through parenting a baby without a nursery, do share your experiences with us below!