A Nursery Away from Home


We sleep over my parent's house down the Cape a lot. At first when she was really little, we just kept an extra Pack-N-Play there and Maura slept in that in our room. Then when she got a little bigger, my mom borrowed a portable crib (which is the same size as a PNP but its built like a crib - with a mattress, slat sides, etc., except on wheels) from a friend and we would wheel it around to whatever bedroom was not being used that particular trip (either by Paul and I, the rest of my family or other guests) and she would sleep there. Recently though, we noticed a decline in her otherwise awesome sleep habits when we would stay over. She would wake up in the middle of the night crying and we would not be able to get her back to sleep for hours.

This was a problem that needed to be solved. For everyone's sake:) I think she just plain outgrew her sleeping quarters (she grew an inch and a half since her last check up!). Plus, she never really had a spot to call her own/consistency...only just the PNP/portable crib floating in the middle of whatever room was convenient at the time.

{Nursery Nook...before}

So, first off I knew we needed a specific space that we could convert over into a sort of nursery away from home. There was an odd/cute little nook in one of the upstairs bedrooms (that was created during this renovation) that wasn't really being used. We had an extra twin bed tucked in there, but since this bedroom also has a queen bed (right where I'm standing to take this pic), the twin became mostly a spot for you to pile your luggage, etc. Mom said it would be ok if we stole this area for Maura (thanks, Ma!). Here's what it looks like now:

{Nursery Nook...in progress}

Next up, I knew that if she was going to really be comfortable, we had to invest in a full size crib. I say invest because I'm assuming Maura will not be the last baby to sleep in this house. We'd like more children and maybe sometime down the line my brother and/or sister will also have families who will be sleeping at Grandma and Grandpa's house (or "Pa" as Maura now calls my dad!). I didn't want to spend a ton of money though, so after some research, I headed out to Ikea and bought the Gulliver Crib in white and the Vyssa Spelevink mattress.

Coincidentally, it just fits in this little alcove here which left us enough room for this rocking chair (that my mom rocked me on). (Paul has to be careful when he sits up that he doesn't bang his head!) I brought one of her crib sheets from home as well as her original PB Kids Sophie bumper
(once she started rolling over and moving around in her crib, at home, a lot we took out the real bumper and put in one of those ugly but safe breathable bumpers from Babies R Us...so I just had this sitting in the closet).

{Mom made this pig pillow a long time ago...cute, isn't he?}

I grabbed a basket we weren't using and put some toys and books in it (to leave here) for her. There's enough floor space (and a small area rug we had on hand) in between the nook and the queen bed that we can play here too.

There's definitely a lot more we can do to this space to make it look and function better and make it feel more like hers. I'd love to add some art and/or wall/book shelves...maybe even ask mom if I can paint:) But for now, I'm psyched - we did this right before Thanksgiving and she slept much better then and during a few days over Christmas with no night time random wakings. Yay!

Have any of you guys with kids done this somewhere you sleep over a lot? Any tips/suggestions?


  1. I think it's great that you were able to create a little space just for her.

  2. Traveling and sleeping in different spaces with young kids is so tough! We've always used a pack n play but like you said, sleep quality isn't great. How nice to be able to get a full size crib in that cozy nook. It looks like it was made just for that!

  3. That's really gorgeous. I just have a pack 'n play at every grandparents' house and keep one in our van too! Donovan has trouble sleeping in beds that aren't his... I wonder if I had more homey accents at the places he stayed, if it would be less of a problem?

  4. Super cute and a great idea! That is the bad part about traveling. We have a pack n play in an extra room at my parents' house but I know she's not as comfortable in that anymore. This is a great solution and investment!

  5. As the grandmother of a 12 week old, I bought the exact crib that my daughter has so he would love visiting his grandmother...thrilled he's so happy when he comes!! Love your blog ~

  6. First of all, let me just start by saying I love that you say "down the Cape". No one says "down the Cape" unless they're SE New England. Makes me miss home SOOOOO MUCH!!

    But anyway...I love this little nook and it's funny, we just did the same thing at my parent's house in MA. We don't get there hardly enough but my mom was sorta psycho (in a good way) about Knox not sleeping in a PNP after 1 (he's pretty tall too) and he was not sleeping as well. We got the Baby Mod crib in grey at Walmart and it's awesome. I really love how modern it is and it's a nice change from the decor of his nursery at home.

  7. Thanks, guys! I definitely like my sleep and we are there almost every weekend in the summer, so I want her to feel at home there too. Its such a pain but every time we go I take her monitor and FP Aquarium with us too. I eeven went to BRU and bought the exact same humidifier/sound machine that we have at home to keep there cause it was so annoying to bring back and forth. I'm trying to recreate as identically as I can the sleep situation she has at home (not sure if this is the right thing to do but its working for us). If you consider naps and nighttime, I think its worth it!

    Dina - love that Baby Mod crib, had forgotten all about Walmart! Lol at "down the cape":)

  8. Very cute space and I love the rocking chair. I was going to suggest adding a rug but I catch a glimpse of one so perhaps you have one in the room already. You can get small upright bookshelves which do not need to be mounted on the wall and if you cannot paint add command strip wall hooks for artwork. I think a kids' penant garland or 2 hung across would add something fun to the space.

  9. I think it's a great plan especially with how much time you spend there in the summer. We don't spend a ton of time at my MIL's but my husband is 1 of 8 kids, so my MIL has lots of baby gear and has a crib set up for all of her grandchildren. We don't have a dedicated space there but we always have a dedicated crib which is awesome. Whenever we visit my brother's, my Mom's, or MIL's, I always take all of Sheila's bedtime stuff - her bunny, monitor, nightlight, and music. And that elephant pillow is so sweet that your Mom made. And speaking of bedtime, Sheila does not sit still anymore at bedtime. It's like she just wants to play and party!!

  10. My mom actually has a dedicated nursery in her house ... we all definitely thought it was overkill when my sister and I were pregnant since we all live in the same town. BUT, she keeps both of the babies fairly frequently and they both sleep there as well as they do at home so I guess she was right!


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