Skip the Fancy Nursery! There Are 3 Things Babies Really Need

When I was pregnant the first time and incredibly nervous, I did what most new moms-to-be do: I focused on the nursery.

My husband painted a room in our house lilac, we bought matching (and expensive) pieces of furniture, hung an expensive quilt on the wall (not in the bed as that was "dangerous," natch), stenciled the wall, and spent a ridiculous amount framing our own baby photos to hang around the room.

Our theme was "first baby in a generation."

It was cute, to be sure, but as the baby date loomed closer, I remember one thing a mom friend told me. "There are only three things a baby really needs: Your boobs (or formula), a soft place to sleep, and diapers. If you have those three, the rest does not matter."

I scoffed, like any new mom-to-be. Then I learned.


For every beautiful, perfect nursery, there is one harried new parent who can't stay on top of all the diapers, has spilled diaper cream on the changing table, and accidentally knocked over the $300 lamp during a bleary eyed midnight feeding.

And that isn't even considering the fact that the best laid plans often go awry when it comes to babies. Were you sure your baby would be in the nursery at 2 days? Think again.

Even the most staunch anti-co-sleepers (like me) find they are co-sleepers soon after the baby is born. I found that if I wanted any sleep at all, I needed to sleep next to my baby for as long as they were nursing at night, which meant to 15 months with my second child (my first child gave up night feeding much earlier).

My husband and I spent close to $5,000 redoing our daughter's nursery, which is actually low by some of the estimates I have heard from friends. But by the time she was 2, we were moving her into a different bedroom that she shares with her brother. All that lilac paint and pretty fairy stenciling? Is now hidden beneath the desk in the room that has become my home office.

Plans change, people get pregnant again, you move. Babies change everything and the person you were when you were frantically decorating the nursery isn't the person you are by your baby's first birthday.

So save yourself a mess of work and keep one room in the house blank. Have the baby, let the baby sleep in a bassinet, and then design a room based on your needs after the baby is born.

And keep it gender neutral. Trust me on this.

Did you regret your nice nursery?

Image via Restoration Hardware

Read More >