I am sure that Mary, in her motherly care, made the manger clean and suitable with whatever bedding she had in order to properly care for this precious baby. It may have looked as nice and inviting as we see in many of the nativity scenes due to her attentiveness as a good mother. However, it was still not a baby bed.
This reminds me of something Jesus said during his ministry. In Luke 9:57, someone told Jesus that he would follow him wherever he went. I am not sure what type of life this man thought he was volunteering for, but Jesus made it clear what it would look like to follow him. Jesus responded with, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
Where was the palace of the Messianic King? Where was his bed chamber? Where was his royal pillow? It was nowhere on earth. Unlike wild animals that have their dens, he had nowhere to lay his head. This was foreshadowed on the day he was born. Even in his birth, there was no permanent place to lay his head. He had to be laid in a manger. Throughout his life, there continued to be nowhere to lay his head. Even in his death, there was nowhere to lay his head. Joseph Arimathea provided a place for Jesus to lay his head in death. But he did not need a permanent place to lay his head in death. He wasn’t there very long. In three days, he sat up and walked out of that tomb, never to return.