How to Plan a Shared Nursery
How To:

Plan a Shared Nursery

Planning a nursery for multiples doesn't mean you have to buy two of everything. While you will need two (or more) cribs, other furniture items, such as a changing table and a dresser, can be shared. Creative use of colors, patterns and furniture configurations can help each baby have their own space while still sharing the room easily.

Floor Plan and Furniture Placement

When deciding how to arrange your nursery furniture, start by drawing a floor plan. Record the room's dimensions and mark closets, windows and doors. It's a good idea to also take note of mechanical details, such as electrical outlets, heating vents and which way doors swing. The cribs will act as the room's visual anchors and will have a big impact on how activity in the room flows.

Positioning options include centering the cribs in the room for all-round access, positioning the heads or sides of the cribs in parallel against a wall, or tucking the cribs in corners. Arranging the cribs with some space between them may help prevent a giggling baby from waking a sleeping baby. You may want to plan space for bassinets for the first couple of months; babies often are soothed by the cozier proportions, and bassinets have the advantage of being portable.


To organize the nursery, divide the room into activity zones, including sleeping, feeding, changing and playing, and incorporate storage into each zone. Placing a dresser in the closet frees up floor space for playtime but should still leave plenty of room to hang clothes above it. When choosing a changing table, look for one with easily accessible storage, so you can reach what you need with one hand while keeping your other hand securely on your baby. If your changing table has open shelves,

add baskets and bins that provide portable, flexible options.

Make sure you plan a spot where you can comfortably feed your babies, with a soft chair and a side table that will allow you to have bottles, burp cloths, storybooks and a glass of water for yourself within easy reach. Area rugs also help define different zones, and with all the time babies spend on the floor, choosing a soft one for the play area is essential. Make sure to add a nonslip pad if you have a hardwood floor.

Adaptable Furniture

Plan ahead by choosing cribs that convert into toddler beds, a changing table that becomes a dresser and modular shelving units that can be easily repurposed as needs change.

The rocker or glider that you use to feed and cuddle with your babies now can later live nicely in another room if you choose one with an easy-to-update slipcover or upholstery.