When I was planning the nursery, I loved browsing around online for inspiration. And a few weeks before the little Honey Bun arrived, I was pretty happy with where the room was, design-wise. But now that the nursery has been “lived-in” for a few months, I find it hilarious how much more practical I got with certain things…which made me wish there was a website where parents (especially new parents like us) showed their impeccable nursery “before” shots juxtaposed with the “reality” shots once baby took over*!
I present to you, my “reality nursery:”
At first glance, it probably doesn’t look much different! On the surface level, I moved/removed some of the frivolous decoration stuff so that nothing was getting in my way. I had replaced the blue chair with Butch’s family rocking chair, but after a few weeks I found I preferred feeding James in bed at night, and that in the end, I didn’t find the chair particularly comfortable. The second rocking chair, which is downstairs next to the wood stove, gets much more use with soothing James to sleep during the day. The swing and baby slings were also moved downstairs, and a Boppy chair was added to the mix. James never seemed to like his bassinet (or his gym), so those were quickly banished to the back room where they await being sold.
The bins in the Expedit have been reorganized many times over, and clearly labeled (and relabeled) as I shift things around. In fact, I’m constantly going through them to bag things up as…I’m saving a pile “just in case” but have been more than happy to give most of the old clothes away. After all, I’m still being given clothes by my generous friends, which is great since James grows out of his clothes at an alarming rate – at 14 weeks he’s already wearing 6+ month clothes!
While down in Jersey for Christmas, I went shopping at Ikea with my MIL (the longest time away from the Bun until I started working full-time again). I bought a few more bins, specifically to house the onslaught of holiday toys! I also needed something to start curbing James’ already impressive doll collection – that’s the green, meshy thing hanging next to the window…although I’ve found it’s also useful for toys, shoes and “off-season” doodads, like his Christmas stocking. The awesome woodland rug was moved to the foot of our bed to make way for the classic A-B-C play mat that my mom found yardsale-ing (naturally).
The changing table area probably got the biggest facelift, simply with me making sure all necessary items were more conveniently placed within reach. Besides a few decorations on the wall (which were also pared down), nothing is frivolous. The former crafty desk chair is now used as additional surface space to hold the sock and hat bins. The basket under the table has been turned into a garbage can that Fred-dog can’t nose his way into, and the shelf has been pared down to only the necessities in order to streamline the process (well, I allowed the cute flea market globe-bank to stay, I mean…).
Then there were things that could only be added/adjusted based on what works for us. The mobile above the changing table was a lifesaver – a much-needed distraction when James used to scream bloody murder just from being laid down on the table. Now changing time is fun time, but he still love gazing and babbling up at his “animal friends.” And the beautiful quilt (hand-made by a friend) that hangs over the head of the crib blocks the light above my dresser that I have to turn on to get ready for work in the mornings. The toy bin downstairs was a must…obviously not all the Bun’s toys can be kept upstairs just because that’s where the nursery is (especially because he spends most of his awake time downstairs)! Not pictured is the dish we keep on the coffee table for our assortment of baby nail clippers, droppers for gripe water, etc and the bibs I wrapped around a living room lamp next to the chair where Butch usually gives James his bottle.
I hope this helps a nesting preggers or two see that a nursery evolves with time, that the magazine-ready rooms they pin and clip are not entirely realistic. While you can surely keep the design, you must also keep up with reality at the same time!
*Admittedly, I cleaned up a bit before taking photos…if I was truly going to take a “reality” shot, things would look a lot messier! 😉
Looks great! You put me to shame lady! I’m STILL working on Bee’s nursery. I’ve been looking around for one of those hanging mesh things… Yours is exactly what I’m looking for! You said it’s from IKEA? I need to get back there…
Thanks, M! I need to come visit your new place…
I was stumped as to what to do with James’ dolls…I didn’t want to do one of those corner net things, just because they seem “girlie” – I pinned a bunch of ideas (I’ll send some to you on Pinterest), but then just stumbled on this hanging mesh thing while at Ikea! Of course, that’s the danger of Ikea…you go with a very specific list and stumble upon other things you “need”…haha!
I also love that green meshy thing. I remember you had a net sling in the corner for stuffed toys. The whole deal with parenthood is: Whatever works for you!
I’m so glad you’re using the padded ABC mat.
Exactly – whatever works for ME! Yeah, while I was sorting through the slew of holiday toys that James received, I felt it was a good time to set up the play mat!