Choosing Furniture for a Shared Nursery

Floor space is often at a premium in a shared nursery, so seek out compact, versatile furniture. Select the cribs first. To maximize value, consider convertible cribs that convert to toddler beds and to full-sized headboards. You may want to start with portable bassinets or Moses baskets for the early months, which make it easy to separate a waking baby from a sleeping one.

Matching cribs create a unified look, allowing you to personalize for each baby with bedding and accessories. Consider the colors you have in mind for the walls and bedding when deciding on your furniture finish; rich espresso tends to create a stronger contrast with surrounding colors than white.

If you're using a different color bedding for each baby, choose a finish that you'll love with both.

You only need one changing table and dresser, but make sure they offer plenty of storage. If the babies are sharing a dresser but not all of their clothing, designate individual drawers for each; on open shelves, baskets with personalized liners are perfect for sorting. Regardless of whether your babies are the same gender, use color – in basket liners, knobs, or hang tags, for instance – to help signify whose things are where.

If you can, choose a generously sized rocker that you can share with two growing babies. Though there will be times when you're feeding cuddling one or the other, you'll appreciate the ability to have both in your lap for bedtime stories.