We bought the three bedroom house in the suburbs. We painted the second bedroom a gender neutral color that would be appropriate for a nursery… someday. We got a dog, you know, for practice.
The next logical step? Have a baby.
Nope, not for us. We chose to SELL IT ALL first. [except the dog- we fell too much in love with him.] We decided to put the house on the market, move to Indiana for John to pursue his MBA & live in an apartment with half the square footage of the house we left behind [and it wasn’t even that big of a house].
And just days after we accepted the offer on our house? Saw that plus sign & found out we were expecting.
We were thrilled. Crazy as it sounds, this baby was planned. I was excited about our new adventure. But I started wondering… where would we put the baby? Or more specifically, all the baby’s STUFF?
[photos taken by Melissa Oholendt]
It all worked out. We had room for the dog. And the baby. And even a nursery [although it doubled as an office]. Here are a few items/tips I learned to help us squeeze a tiny baby into a tiny space:
1) Don’t buy a bassinet. Instead, we purchased a pack n play. The one we got actually featured a ‘newborn napper’ which ended up being ideal for Colin since he had reflux & the napper was perfectly angled to help him sleep. We kept the pack n play in our bedroom until Colin was 6 weeks and then transition him into a crib. We folded up the pack n play and there was no big bassinet to store!
2) This nifty space-saving bathtub rocks. Most newborn bathtubs are big and clunky and take up tons of space. But this one hangs flat on the back of the bathroom door. We used it in our kitchen sink until Colin was sitting solidly on his own and now we actually use it as a ‘mat’ in the bath tub during bathtime. It’s slightly less slippery beneath his little bum.
3) Skip the travel ‘system’. Travel systems seem brilliant- buy a car seat that snaps into the car or into a stroller frame all for a discounted price. But where does that stroller frame go after the baby outgrows the car seat in a few months? Instead, buy an infant car seat & your ‘forever’ stroller [we LOVE this one]. Then buy one of these little adapters that allow you to clip your infant seat into ANY stroller!
4) Pick one place for baby to sit. We simply didn’t have room in our apartment for a swing & a bouncy seat & a rock n play so we had to pick one. I know this advice may be a bit controversial… many moms insist they needed & used all of these during the first months. Would our lives have been easier with multiple seating options? Probably, but there was simply no place to put them. And we all survived!
5) Open up a college savings account right away. Here’s the thing- when you have a baby, everyone wants to send you a gift. The gifts are lovely, and cuddly, and adorable, but they take up lots of space. We opened a college savings account right away and sent the info to family, requesting that they contribute toward his future education versus buying ‘stuff’. We continue to encourage this for holidays & birthday gifts.
Those are my top tips for living in small spaces with a baby. What other tips or space-saving products do you recommend?
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