Where you live will probably dictate whether a baby nursery is the norm; and your budget and living accommodation will influence whether you are able to follow that norm or tradition and supply your new baby with their own separate nursery.
A baby nursery, or separate bedroom for a new born, is not the usual practice in many countries. My children by my first marriage were brought up in England, where a baby, on being taken home from hospital, will go home to a separate bedroom or nursery. My young daughter, Saffron, was born here in the Philippines where the tradition is for babies to sleep with the parents.
It can be a difficult choice for new parents: do we put our new baby in her own nursery room, or do we have her in our bedroom in a crib or even in our bed? There are conflicting opinions about this choice, and it is one that attracted quite a lot of comment and surprise here when we opted to put Saffron in her own crib in her own nursery room, the day she came home from the baby clinic.
I was very firm in my own mind that a separate room is best in the long term, and therefore it is best in the beginning. A baby, and then child, will grow in accordance with what they are used to, and what they come to see and feel as the norm. The most important things for a baby are that :
1. They are fed well;
2. They are kept clean;
3. They are comfortable;
4. They feel secure knowing that the parents, especially mother, will be there when she wakes.
5. They are loved.
All of those things are easily achievable in a baby nursery separate from the parents’ room.
Advantages Of A Separate Baby Nursery
A separate baby nursery brings with it a number of important advantages, for the baby and the parents. These include:
1. The baby will sleep undisturbed by parents coming and going. As they get older, that will be particularly important in the evening and night.
2. The parents will have their own privacy and time for themselves. This will be more and more appreciated as the weeks, months and then years pass.
3. The parents will sleep better too, especially compared to those who have a baby in their own bed.
4. The baby is more likely to grow into a strong and independent child, with a large amount of confidence. So long as they are happy and secure, they will not be worried about sleeping alone, as this is what they have come to expect. They know that when they wake, their mother and father are close to hand.
Disadvantages Of A Separate Baby Nursery
I cannot think of one genuine disadvantage of a separate baby nursery, assuming that the room is within earshot. A baby at birth can cry quite loudly, and why should that be if the natural state is always for the mother to be at their side? A baby cries so mother can hear from a distance. If that distance is another bedroom nearby, then that is fine. The baby will be unconcerned if it cries and you appear through a door rather than at her side already.
Some first time parents will worry that they will not hear the baby if they are asleep and she is in a separate room. There is no need to worry; the mother especially will be tuned in to the cry of the baby, and will be subconsciously alert to the slightest sound.
My wife was concerned about this very thing when Saffron was born, so for her assurance we left our bedroom door open, and Saffron’s door too. She soon realised there was no risk of not hearing the baby, so first Saffron’s door, and then our door, were later kept closed at night.
Always remember, babies cry to be heard, so unless you are both very heavy sleepers, there is very little chance of you not hearing the baby when she is hungry, needs changing, or has some other problem.