How Minimalist Did You Make Your Baby’s Nursery?

Did your baby sleep in a drawer or a cardboard crib? (The latter item really does exist and is pictured below.) Did you even have a nursery or did you simply pull baby into bed with you? Did you manage to outfit your baby’s nursery entirely with hand-me-downs or gear from Freecycle?

Of course having a minimalist nursery (or none at all) isn’t the only way to go green, but there’s so much pressure to gear up that it’s nice to know how people manage to creatively raise their babies without all the newest gadgetry. In our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide, we try to share a variety of money-saving options for going green with baby, but our favorite is to buy less and buy used.

My son’s nursery wasn’t exactly spartan, but most of its furnishings were either given to me or purchased secondhand (and that includes his cloth diapers). When we saw just how little he used some of the items we thought we “had to have,” we were thoroughly happy that we’d stuck with used gear. I’m sure we could have sold all of it for the same price we paid, but we preferred to pass it onto another local family who had read our book and was striving to get all their gear used.

What creative things did you do to simplify your nursery? Did you even have a nursery? Were there items you eliminated from your baby registry or did you opt to buy some things used?


  1. No separate nursery or crib (and the accompanying bedding, etc.), because we use the family bed. I’ve found that I use progressively less gear with each of my babies. The only piece of gear I added was baby carriers — but no more baby car seats or the strollers they snap into, no changing table (I just use my bed), no pack ‘n’ play, no exersaucer, no high chair. Most baby gear does not justify the amount of space it takes up in my house or stored in my garage. I do like my infant seats, though, so I have a place to put the baby during showers and next to me while doing dishes, etc.

  2. After six months, our guest room is starting to turn into our son’s bedroom. The only furniture we’ve bought for him has been a changing table (on Craigslist), which stores all of his cloth diapers and clothes. Now we are getting rid of furniture and re-arranging what we have to baby proof. So far, we’ve gotten rid of a bed, a nightstand, a wine rack, and a Lay-Z-Boy. It’s made our small apartment even better!

    I hate that we have a brand new exersaucer, but I admit that it has been the reason I’ve gotten a shower almost every day.

  3. Cassie S. says

    Our family’s furnishings are nearly always bought second-hand under typical circumstances (as I am an avid thrift-store and garage-sale shopper). However, because I am on bedrest and my husband is serving overseas with the military, we’ve had to compromise. I have purchased minimal furniture (dresser, crib, chair) online through IKEA because of their efforts at sustainability which I was quite impressed with while doing my research. Clothes and diapers are all second-hand through a baby clothing exchange network. Bedding and wall decor are being handmade by myself.

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