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Brighter Days: 5 Top Tips for Setting Up the Nursery

Jennifer Bright on

Where your baby will sleep is a very personal decision. Some parents feel strongly that their babies should sleep in their own cribs in their own rooms from day one. Other parents feel just as strongly that babies should co-sleep with their parents as babies did generations ago and as many babies in other countries still do. Still other parents strike a compromise and place their babies in bassinets in the parents' room.

The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend that babies sleep in bed with their parents. However, the AAP encourages babies to sleep in a crib that's in their parents' bedroom because this has been associated with a reduction in sudden infant death syndrome risk.

Here's what our Mommy M.D.s -- doctors who are also mothers -- do to set up their own babies' nurseries.

"Our baby slept in a bassinet in our room for the first few months," says Dianna Kim, M.D., a mom of three and an OB-GYN in a private practice in Vernon Hills, Illinois, at the Midwest Center for Women's Health Care. "You don't use a bassinet for long, so we decided to share one with another friend who had a baby not too long before we did and then pass it along."

"My husband and I didn't have to give much thought to where to put our daughter's nursery," says Diane Truong, M.D., a mom of one daughter and one son and a pediatrician in a multispecialty group practice in Southern California. "We lived in a one-bedroom apartment at the time! We set up her crib in a corner of our bedroom and dressed it with a pastel-colored bedding set gifted to us from our dear friends. It worked out fine. You do what you must to accommodate your lifestyle. We lived in that apartment until our daughter was a year old."

"Even though my husband and I found out early in my pregnancy that we were having twins, we set the babies up in the same room," says Jennifer Gilbert, D.O., a mom of twins and OB-GYN at Paoli Hospital in Pennsylvania. "In hindsight, I don't know if we should have done that because I think they woke each other up. My husband and I considered moving one baby into another room, but the crib had been assembled in the nursery, and we couldn't get it out the door!"


"When I became pregnant with my second baby, my husband and I decided to keep the same room as the nursery and move our older daughter to a new room," says Lezli Braswell, M.D., a mom of one daughter and two sons and a family medicine physician in Columbus, Georgia. "This worked out well because I could use the same nursery theme, which was sheep and lambs, so it worked well for a girl and a boy. Right before our son was born, we simply moved our daughter to her 'big-girl bed' in her 'big-girl room.' It worked out just fine, and we repeated the process when our second son was born."

"Early into my pregnancy, I found out I was having triplets," says Sadaf Bhutta, M.D., a mom of a daughter and triplets and an assistant professor and the fellowship director of pediatric radiology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Arkansas Children's Hospital, both in Little Rock. "We already had a daughter. My husband and I knew we needed to buy three more cribs, but we had no place to put them. We had just built a new house, and we never imagined we'd have four kids. Our master bedroom was downstairs, and we had three bedrooms upstairs. So, we all moved upstairs. My husband and I took over the guest bedroom; we put our daughter in the second bedroom, and we put the triplets' new cribs into the third bedroom. We used our downstairs master bedroom closet and bathroom, but I didn't feel comfortable sleeping downstairs while the babies were upstairs until I knew that they were old enough to know how to escape from a fire or any other emergency."


Jennifer Bright is a mom of four sons, founding CEO of woman- and veteran-owned custom publisher Bright Communications LLC, co-founder of the Mommy MD Guides team of 150+ mommy M.D.s, and co-author of "The Mommy MD Guide to the Toddler Years" and six other books in the Mommy MD Guides series. She lives in Hellertown, Pennsylvania. To find out more about Jennifer Bright and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

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