Design A Nursery In Your Master Bedroom, A Walkthrough

Design A Nursery In Your Master Bedroom, A Walkthrough

The pregnancy test read positive for baby number 2 and very QUICKLY we were googling ‘shared nursery with parents’, ‘crib in master bedroom ideas’ and ‘sharing room with baby’.

YIKES! Big city living meant our apartment was SMALL and I needed all the small apartment nursery ideas I could get my eyeballs on – thank YOU Pinterest!

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Bringing Baby Home To A One Bedroom Apartment, A Room By Room Checklist

Sharing a room with baby can be challenging. This is such an exciting time but you do have to be creative in order to fit your little one and ALL her stuff in a small space. If you’re worried about it, don’t be. Many, many other mommies and daddies have been in your shoes and survived (including us!). You can make it work and have a wonderful life.

1. Adding A Bassinet Or Crib In Your Master Bedroom (In A Corner Or Nook)

At first, we had our bassinet right next to the bed, but after a month or so, we COULD NOT stand all the nighttime baby noises our newborn made. She wasn’t crying. Just squeaking, cooing and smacking.

Make sure, if you are planning on sharing your bedroom with baby, to have a designated place *away* from your bedside for the crib or bassinet. You will not need to do this right away (or if you are cosleeping – even at all!) but keep it in mind. I understand not all bedrooms have enough space for this, but if you can swap furniture around or reorganize, it is absolutely worth it.

Some other GREAT ideas & hacks for a crib or bassinet in your shared bedroom:

  • If you have a spare closet (we didn’t) turn it into a mini nursery. Pinterest has some AWESOME photos of parents who’ve turned this second closet into a mini nursery within their bedroom. You can take off the closet doors (temporarily if you’re in an apartment), paint the inside of the closet or add temporary wallpapers. Be careful with safety here though. Never mount storage above baby or have anything hanging over or near your baby. Make sure grabbable things are 8-12 inches AWAY from baby.
  •  Check out a mini crib! I LOVE these mini portable cribs from Dream On Me. I had one on our registry, which was perfect for baby sleeping at grandma’s house, traveling and heading to the mountains.


2. Shared Nursery Organization Hack #1: Buy A Bassinet With Storage Underneath

There are plenty of bassinets you can buy with storage underneath. See some great options on Amazon here. The bassinet pictured is from pottery barn, purchased used off of Facebook Marketplace. I would not recommend this bassinet because it comes with bumpers which are not safe. I removed them and they left an inch or so gap between the pad and the edge of the bassinet, also not safe. In addition, “wicker” bassinets do have a safety protocol they must follow like others. 

Bassinet safety standards you need to be aware of in your small space:

  • There are two kinds of safety standards: JPMA and ASTM. Look for labels on the bassinet that fall under these safety standards and have been certified.
  • No type of bumper should be used
  • Keep blankets, pillows, stuffed animals and toys out of the bassinet or crib and *away* from any type of reach.
  • Mobile pieces can break off, fall into the bassinet or crib and cause an infant to choke. Make sure if you use a mobile, that all pieces are secure or just don’t use one.
  • Keep drapes, cords and anything hanging at least 12 inches away from the crib or bassinet.

Consider a full-sized crib if you have space and add storage underneath like this (we did this eventually) or a mini-crib!


3. Use Your Dresser For A Changing Table

I opted for a dresser instead of a changing table so we could use it to store clothes and keep it for a longer period of time. We purchased our little one’s cute little white dresser off of Craigslist actually. It’s extremely elegant and unique with beautiful gold handles. I also purchased these drawer dividers which are AMAZING. Especially for organizing all those tiny baby things.


4. Shared Nursery Organization Hack #2: Swap Out Dresser Drawers For Baby Stuff


5. Shared Nursery Organization Hack #3: Add Baskets Ontop Of Your Dresser For Extra Storage


6. Shared Nursery Organization Hack #4: Use The KonMari Method To Beautifully Squeeze All Those Tiny Baby Clothes In A Small Space

The KonMari Method swept the nation at the beginning of the year, just in time for the Spring Cleaning craze (thanks, Netflix). If you didn’t Marie Kondo all your stuff, that’s okay.

However, her tips on folding baby clothes (which you can find on YouTube here) are just fantastic. This folding applies also to all clothes and is designed exclusively to save space. It’s been AMAZING to fold this way and save space while apartment living and sharing a nursery with baby.

7. Design A Nursing Space (Or Corner) Of Your Master Bedroom For Late Night Feedings

A nearby changing & feeding station is just so helpful. I’m a solid, quick-sleeper who can deal with almost no sleep and I STILL found myself half-delirious during many of those night-time feedings. Having a nearby place where you can rock, change and feed your baby just seems necessary.

Try having this in your bedroom at first, if your significant other is up with you or maybe you both are trading off. We did at the beginning and then moved this whole station (rocking chair & changing table) right outside our bedroom door when my husband had to go back to work so I wouldn’t wake him. 

Here are some helpful items for your nursing & changing station in a small space:

  • A quality, low-cost changing pad that is the perfect sizeThe summer infant contoured changing pad has over 9 THOUSAND reviews on Amazon and close to five solid stars. That’s amazing. It’s a fantastic changing pad, especially for its cost!
  • Changing pad cover. I splurged on the changing pad cover + crib sheet set that matched from Iviebaby but we also bought a backup set from Amazon. Amazon pretty much has every style you’ll want! You’ll need at least 2.
  • Waterproof padMunchkin Waterproof Changing Pad Liners, 3 Count are the These were featured in my blog post: 8 Baby Registry Items Most Overlooked. It’s a giant pain to change the pad cover all the time so add one of these and a burp cloth folded over it. This way, you are only changing the burp cloth most of the time and the liner about once or twice a week. Be SURE to wash these on cold and don’t throw them in the dryer.
  • Burp cloths that you will use ALL THE TIME. These are my TOP used item: Gerber Birdseye 3-Ply Prefold Cloth Diapers, White, Pack of 10. I bought three sets of these for burp cloths. Do not use them for cloth diapers, they are too thin! When I was reading what other people recommended with burp clothes, most said it depended on your baby. But, every baby burps up and will have spit! I use these prefolds folded on top of my changing pad ( I hate changing the cover all the time!), I bring one along when we are out to wipe up food mess now that Mae is well into solids, I use them to wipe up her teething spit and other burp ups and I fold one under her chin when I give her a bottle because she drips down into the folds of her neck. I literally use them all the time!
  • Boppy. I actually chose the nursing pillow called My Brest Friend for our baby registry. It had a ton of positive five star reviews on Amazon. Thomas was gifted the Bobby from a client at work. I used the Brest Friend for tiny newborn baby Mae and it was nice in the rocking chair because it had a pocket and I could adjust it tightly with the strap to sit high on my torso. But as Mae got bigger, the bobby was just way easier and more comfortable. No strapping in, it had more padding and was much more durable. If I was to choose one, I would definitely go with the Bobby!
  • Soft light (lamp). We added a soft lamp to our changing & breastfeeding station for those late night wakings.
  • A place to put stinky diapers. The Diaper Genie (and refills + filters) is great or if your doing cloth, your’s need a great cloth diaper pale liner + a good trash can.
    We used cloth diapers because they were SUPER easy and ridiculously cost efficient. Modern cloth diapers are just like disposables (velcro and all). The only differences: they don’t smell near as badly, your baby won’t get diaper rashes and you have to wash them.
    If you are interested in cloth diapers, check out Cloth Diapers 101, The Complete Guide For Beginners.
  • The baby clothes you will USE (we folded these into a cute little basket next to the changing pad)

“Nice-to-haves” for your small nursing station:

  • A comfortable rocking chair
  • End table next to chair with:
    • Phone charger
    • A place to dock your phone
    • Headphones just in case (I used this breastfeeding app EVERY time I sat in that chair)
    • Healthy snack bars. This may sound silly but it’s common to get dizzy or lightheaded while breastfeeding. I did. Eating something quick and nutritious really helps, plus drink that water! You are recovering from a major medical event.
    • Bottle of water


8. Shared Nursery Organization Hack #5: Use Cube Storage For Various Cloth Sizes (In A Spare Closet Underneath Clothes)


9. Things You’ll Need For Bringing Baby Home To Your Shared Space

  • A comfortable, waterproof, quality and low-cost mattress. While we were at Walmart, we found this mattress also: Kolcraft Pediatric 800 Toddler and Crib Mattress Owl. It has great reviews and I feel like it is the perfect balance between bouncy and firm. I had absolutely no worries that Mae’s little face would sink into the mattress (and she did sleep right on her face sometimes!) yet it has a nice overall give that seemed very comfortable.
  • Beautiful crib sheets & a changing pad cover. There are only a few things I splurged on when it came to the nursery: Iviebaby Crib Sheets and matching changing pad cover. They are absolutely beautiful. I also purchased a lower cost (and still super cute) alternative sheet set off of Amazon when I needed to change the sheets
  • A quality, low-cost changing pad that is the perfect sizeThe summer infant contoured changing pad is the way to go here.
  • Burp cloths that you will use ALL THE TIME (mentioned above). Gerber Birdseye 3-Ply Prefold Cloth Diapers, White, Pack of 10.
  • Baby monitor (you can just transfer the one from your bedroom here or start putting your little one for naps in the crib instead of her bassinet). This baby monitor has over 14,000 reviews on Amazon. That’s the most I’ve ever seen. And yet it’s got close to five solid stars. The cost isn’t astronomical, the quality is great and the customer service is awesome. I highly recommend this brand! We have the older version but are buying this new one for our baby #2.
  • Baby clothes. I wouldn’t go all out for newborn and 0-3 month clothes. You may bring home a baby too small or big for the newborn size. I found out the hard way that the “newborn” size was very different from “0-3 months”! Take the tags off of a few and wash them but I would avoid de-tagging everything and prepping. You’ll only know what your baby needs to wear when she comes home!


10. Other Tips For Designing A Nursery in Your Shared Master Bedroom

Here are some final items, some of which have been popular with nesting mommas on Cape & Apron:

Diaper Caddy

Parker Baby Diaper Caddy – Nursery Storage Bin and Car Organizer for Diapers and Baby Wipes

Great for desser-top storage AND it’s portable. So, if you need to take your essentials to another part of the house or to the in-laws, it works awesome.

Check Out On Amazon Now



Cloth Storage (for under your bed or the crib)

Large Collapsible Under Bed Closet Storage Bin with Lid and Handle

A classier version of just a large plastic tote underneath the crib or your bed for all-the-baby-things!

Check Out On Amazon Now


Rope Baskets

Goodpick Large Cotton Rope Basket

Rope baskets have become super trendy for nurseries and convert well to other areas of the house like your master bedroom. Use this basket as a hamper for baby things, for blankets, burp rags, bibs, toys, etc.

Check Out On Amazon Now



Utility Carts

3-Tier Utility Rolling Cart with Large Storage

IKEA may have dawned the age of cute utility cart storage but now others have taken up the cause with better products. I had a friend who put one of these in their bedroom. She stored all the baby things in cute baskets and it was adorable.

Check Out On Amazon Now




Designing a nursery in your master bedroom can take some finagling, but the nesting is also super fun and exciting.

If you have a small space for your master bedroom, consider adding storage wherever you can for the mass amount of baby stuff you are likely to acquire. Try to find a bassinet with storage beneath, add a sliding tote underneath (or underneath your bed, utilize your dresser for a changing table, add baskets on top of it and put a cube storage system in one of your closets. Any of these options adds much needed extra space in a beautiful way.

Finally, make sure you have a corner designated for late-night feedings and you’re good to go! I hope you enjoy putting your unique and special shared nursery together. Congratulations on your new little one!

Want to remember this post? Add this post: “Design A Nursery In Your Master Bedroom, A Walkthrough” to your favorite Pinterest board!

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