A practical and stylish hybrid between a couch and a bed, a daybed can be a useful piece of furniture to have in a guest bedroom.
But is it a good idea to have a daybed in the nursery?
A daybed can be a great space-saving option for squeezing in a place for guests to sleep while still offering function for the nursery.
But, before you begin your search for the best daybed, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of having a daybed in the nursery.
Then, we’ll consider some daybed alternatives such as rockers, trundle beds, and futons.
Daybeds in the nursery certainly come in handy. They’re attractive and stylish, and they’re an extremely comfortable place to feed or soothe the baby at night.
Daybeds are really useful for night time wakings, allowing one parent to sleep in the room with the baby as needed. And on top of all of that, they can double as a guest bed in a pinch.
However, a daybed in the nursery also has some drawbacks. It’s unlikely you’ll want guests to sleep in the nursery with the baby often, so you may be better off with a more functional rocker or glider for feedings and soothing.
We have a daybed in our young daughter’s nursery instead of a rocker, and it’s extremely useful for feeding and nighttime wake ups, but sometimes I do wish there was a regular place to sit down!
Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits and drawbacks of putting a daybed in the nursery.
Pros of having a daybed in the nursery
Let’s begin by taking a look at the various benefits of having a daybed in the nursery…
1. A daybed gives parents somewhere to rest during sleepless nights
In the first few years of your child’s life, there will be many nights where you get barely any sleep.
Your baby may be sick, teething, having a sleep regression, or just extra-clingy for no apparent reason.
When you can’t leave the room without your bundle of joy screaming loudly enough to wake the neighbors, parents may find themselves resorting to sleeping on a pillow on the floor.
This is obviously less than ideal, so a daybed can offer a handy solution that lets you sleep right next to your child.
2. A daybed enables one parent to get a full night’s sleep
When Mom is breastfeeding the baby every couple of hours during the night and Dad has to get up early to go to work, she may choose to feed the baby in the nursery to avoid disturbing her partner.
Alternatively, one parent may offer to sleep on the daybed in the nursery (and handle any night time wake-ups) from time to time to allow the other to get a full night’s sleep.
If you have a formula-fed baby or choose to express breastmilk, a daybed in the nursery will allow parents to take turns to get a decent eight hours’ sleep.
3. A daybed provides a place for guests to sleep
It’s common for new parents to have to turn their guest room into a nursery.
If you no longer have the luxury of a guest bedroom, but wish to have a place for relatives to stay over when they come to visit, then a daybed in the nursery can be a great idea.
It can be made up to look like a sofa in the day, but easily converted to a bed at night.
Some daybeds have an extra rollaway bed underneath, providing space for two people to sleep.
Cons of having a daybed in the nursery
Before you go ahead and buy a daybed for your baby’s room, let’s be sure to consider all of the potential drawbacks of having a daybed in the nursery.
1. The nursery isn’t the best room to accommodate guests
If you’re planning on putting guests up in the nursery, where will your child sleep?
Even the most caring of relatives will get better sleep if they’re not worried about waking the baby — or getting woken by the baby themselves!
If you don’t have an extra bedroom, then the lounge room, dining room, or playroom may be a better place to put your new daybed.
You might even want to consider rolling out an air mattress in another room when needed instead of sticking guests in with the baby.
2. Daybeds aren’t the most comfortable beds
Daybeds are designed for occasional, rather than daily use.
They have a bit of an odd shape and layout. Fine for a quick rest but not where you’d want to sleep every night.
So, if relatives come to stay for more than a night or two, you may want to offer them something more comfortable.
If you’re planning to lie on the daybed while caring for your newborn, you’ll probably find that your own bed is more comfortable.
It’s not uncommon to take months to recover from birth, and during that time you’ll want to prop yourself up on pillows in the most comfortable place in the house.
3. Babies often don’t sleep in the nursery
According to the American Association of Pediatrics, babies should sleep in the parents’ room, close to the parents’ bed in a crib or bassinet for at least six months but preferably a year.
(Both of our daughters made it about 3 months or so in our room before moving to their crib.)
If you have a spare bedroom that you’re planning to convert into a nursery, don’t feel that you need to do that before your baby is born.
You could style it as a comfortable guest bedroom until your child is a year old before converting it into a fun toddler bedroom later.
4. Caring for a newborn in the night is often a two-person effort
It can seem like a nice idea for one parent to let the other sleep while they tend to the baby.
But in reality, when the baby starts screaming you’ll both be awake anyway and a team effort can get the job done faster!
Whether you have twins, are simultaneously expressing milk and bottle-feeding, or you have an exploding diaper to deal with in the dead of night, oftentimes, four hands are better than two.
In these cases, you might not end up using that daybed as much as you think.
(Related: Should you put a TV in the nursery for long, restless nights?)
Alternatives to nursery daybeds
Daybeds are great, but they’re not for everyone.
To help you decide which piece of furniture is the best for your new baby’s nursery, here are some of the best alternatives to daybeds that you should also consider…
1. Rockers or gliders
A rocking chair or glider is, without a doubt, the most comfortable place to sit and feed your baby.
Not only does it have a padded seat and solid arms to support your elbows, but the rocking or gliding motion will also help your baby drift back off to sleep.
(Learn more about rockers vs gliders for the nursery here.)
The downside is that these pieces of furniture become more or less obsolete once your baby grows out of regular night time bottles.
2. Guest beds
A regular bed is the most comfortable place for your guests to sleep.
Single or twin beds take up the least space, but if you regularly have more than one guest over then you’ll also want to consider a full-sized or queen bed.
These are a little less practical for sitting and daily use, but if your primary concern is having family or guests stay over, they’ll appreciate having a real bed to sleep in.
(See more pros and cons of having a full, guest, or parent bed in the nursery.)
3. Trundle beds
A trundle bed is a bed that rolls away under another bed.
Having a crib with a trundle bed underneath can be a great idea as it makes the best use of the available space and will be completely hidden when not in use.
In fact, many daybeds include a trundle that rolls out from underneath. You can add a mattress to the trundle for even more sleeping room.
A futon is a simple couch that folds out into a single or double bed.
Great for anyone on a budget, futons are often cheaper than daybeds and can take up less space.
However, many futons don’t have armrests so they aren’t the ideal place to sit while feeding a baby.
5. Chaise lounges
A good chaise lounge can offer a comfortable place to relax with your baby as you can sit up or lie down to nap.
You probably wouldn’t want to spend a full night sleeping on a chaise, but they can offer a very stylish-looking place to rest.
A daybed in the nursery can offer an extremely cozy place to sit while feeding your baby as well as somewhere that parents or guests can spend the night.
However, before buying a daybed, parents should think carefully about how they plan to use it to make sure that it’s not a waste of valuable space.
If you love the idea of a daybed for guests, consider whether the nursery is the best place for it, or if there may be another room in your home that’s more practical.
If your main reason for considering a daybed is that you want somewhere to sit while you feed your baby, then you’ll almost certainly be happier with a rocker or glider.
However, if you want the best of all worlds — an occasional guest bed, a place to doze off or sleep during fussy nighttime wake ups, and a cozy place to feed the baby — a daybed is a great choice for the nursery.
Before you go, check out some more must-read guides like:
- Changing table vs regular dresser for the nursery
- Everything you need to buy for a new baby
- Crib vs mini crib for the nursery explained
- When to start decorating a nursery with checklist and timeline
Hope this helps!