I’ve been loving Olivia’s series of tips on “Small Apartment Living”. Since getting married three years ago, my husband and I have been living the small apartment lifestyle (except for that year we lived with my parents). In December 2011, we added our daughter, Lucia, to our family. Having a baby in a small apartment added a whole new dynamic to it. If you haven’t noticed, baby gear is big and when you’re going to have a baby, it seems like you need every single baby item sold in stores.
While I don’t claim to be an expert, I’ve been toying around with the idea of sharing my “apartment baby” tips for a while and Olivia’s series seemed to be a perfect fit. Here are a four questions to help you figure out how to best prepare for baby in your small space:
- Baby bath tub: We lined the sink with towels until she was big enough for the bath tub – or more often we just brought her into the shower with us.
- Bouncer/swing: These work great and are lifesavers for some families, but they really aren’t necessary (and some babies don’t like them anyway). The bouncer especially only seems to fit babies for a very short time (3-4 months at most). These are also big space wasters.
- Pack ‘n’ plays: They can function as a bassinet for the early months, a crib/playpen when the baby is older, many have a changing table attached, etc. (They also fold up – see below.)
- Changing tables: I’ve seen cribs with built-in changing tables on the end and I’m also a fan of placing a changing pad on top of a dresser as a space saver.
- Changing table: I looked for forever for a foldable changing table before I found this one from Ikea. (We already had a tall dresser to use for baby, so we couldn’t do the changing pad on top trick. We have always kept it out, but it’s nice to know that if we need to, we can fold it and put it away – which will be particularly useful for storing it between babies).
- Bath tub: If you do decide you need a bath tub, there are foldable options.
- Cribs: I love mini cribs. Not only are they space conserving, they’re also so cute exactly because they are so small. Like babies.
- High chair: Get a high chair that straps into the kitchen chair or hooks directly on the table.
- Look for “travel” versions of baby gear.
- Find creative storage solutions: closet organizers; over-the-door organizers and hooks (including this over-the-door stroller hanger); wall shelves, etc.
- If you do go the full-sized furniture route, make sure to pick pieces that optimize storage (cribs with a drawer underneath, changing table with many drawers/shelves).
- Store items where they will be used, not necessarily in baby’s room (bath toys, toiletries, and washcloths in the bathroom; toy box – or storage ottoman – in the living room if that’s where the play happens, etc.). This also keeps down the clutter since there is less distance between where they are used and where they are stored.
- Buy baby gear as you need it, so it’s not sitting around long before it’s useful. For example, you won’t need a high chair until 4 or months at the very earliest. This doesn’t solve the problem of storing items after you need it if you plan to have more children, but that’s a topic for a post all it’s own.
and Catholic womanhood at Messy Wife, Blessed Life. When she’s not blogging, she’s probably sleeping, wrangling a toddler, selling Lilla Rose hair accessories, or playing word games, all in the small space she calls home.