Raising a baby in a small space – somewhat minimalist?

posted 1 year ago in Pregnancy
Post # 16
Member
224 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2017 - City, State

My DS is 8 weeks and we live in a 866sqft home not including our basement. We have one bedroom. This will be our setup for the next year until we renovate and put on an extension. I can’t stress enough how important it is to get things that FOLD. All of our baby products fold up so I can line them up easily in a corner. His swing, baby bjorn and a smaller version of a pack n play all fold up and we stick it in the baby corner until it’s in use. All of our baby items are ones that can be used for the longest amount of time so that we’re not constantly switching things out (likevbaby bjorn can be used until he’s 2 and he loves it, it’s also extremely small and lightweight) Any items he’s too small for go in the basement and once he’s too big for something it goes into the basement. His crib is in our bedroom and he has great in it since day 1 so I would skip the bassinet. You’ll have to transition him into a crib anyway so might as well just start with it. Bassinets are great if you’re not going to have a crib in your room. We have a full crib from babyletto and it fits great – yes we could have had a little more room with the mini but the crib can be a toddler bed so in the long run we’re saving money. Our dresser has 8 drawers and he gets 2 of them – I just switchvclothes out as soon as he’s too big. We put up shelves and use wicker baskets for extra misc items/clothes. There is a changing pad on the dresser butvhonestly I haven’t even touched it yet and keep using the folding pad.  Not even sure why, it’s just something we keep doing lol. Stroller we leave in the cars and that’s much easier because the one time we had it in the house, we got to the store and realized we forgot it haha car seat does stay in the house and it does bother me as an eye sore but w/e we have a baby, it is what it is for now. For diapers, we have a caddy on top of the dresser and I just consistently refill it.  It’s definitely do able, but I’d be lying if I said I am not dying to do our renovation lol it would just be nice to not have to be so creative with storage. Having our basement is super helpful because have only 1 small closet, but if I didn’t have that, i would buy as needed for their age. Good luck! 

Post # 19
Member
224 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2017 - City, State

Also to add, I noticed how small our house was the most with all the visitors. Soooo many people will be stopping by and bringing stuff and it’s overwHelming in such a small space. I felt like visitors had no room to be comfortable 

Post # 20
Member
5 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2014

We lived in a small space when my son was first born until he was about four months.  I kinda loved it.  Everything was so close and easy to tidy up.  Much different now on a multilevel house 😳.  Baby slept in his pack and play in a corner of our room. We bought the one with lounger that flipped over as a changer but quickly realized that was pointless because the lounger was for supervised sleep only and the changer was to low for me to do it comfortably. I ended up putting a changing pad on my dresser and cleaned out the top drawer for him and hung his clothes in a small portion of our closest.   In the living room we got rid of a tired love seat and replaced it with a chair I could nurse in. I set up a “nursing station” next to it and my boppy nursing pillow lived underneath it.  If I wasn’t holding him or wearing him he hung out in the boppy lounger or a small “travel size” swing.  For a high chair we got a chicco one for 40 bucks that clips right on to our table.  (It also travels well and clips to picnic tables, its awesome).   As for his bath we had both a flower thing to do sink baths and a whale that went in the tub and had a newborn sling that could attach for the beginning.  We never used the sink flower because our sink was small.  The whale has a hook and we just hang it on the towel rack or shower curtain rod when we are not using it.

 

as for our stroller we got a graco travel system.  We just left it folded in the trunk of my car.  We were also on a three story walk up so it want practical lugging it up and down the stairs.  

Post # 21
Member
2677 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012 - Southern California

Every parent & baby is so different! Our baby is 7 weeks old so I’m still navigating a lot of this parenting stuff. 😜

Our son naps in his crib & sleeps with us at night. He wanted NOTHING to do with his bassinet. It’s now being used as a fancy laundry basket, haha. With that said, I’d do without a bassinet, especially in your case.

We don’t have an actual changing table. We use a Bumbo changing pad on top of his dresser.

We also haven’t even bought a high chair or any fancy toys because he’s still too young to use any of it & I didn’t want it all just sitting around. He does have a  Baby Bjorn bouncer & a wooden play  gym, both fold up to be stored away when not in use.

FWIW, I didn’t even start my registry until probably nearly 20 weeks. We waited until we found out the sex & knew we wouldn’t purchase a lot until after our baby shower anyway. There are so many different products though, it’s definitely worth starting your research now.

Good luck & congratulations! 🤩

Post # 22
Member
10603 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

Just buy a changing pad and use it on the floor/bed/couch wherever you may be. The one thing I would invest in is a swing, ours was our kids favorite place and helped when one of us was alone and needed free hands

Post # 23
Member
915 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

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megm1099 :  For the first few months we used a mini pack-n-play with the bassinet insert to change and for nap time. Honestly it would work by the bed as a bassinet instead of buying a whole new onw . After that we just changed baby on a pad on the floor to save space. Also get a foldable swing or rocker as a “baby holder” that can be put away easily. We LOVED our Fischer-Price Infant to Toddler Rocker, and now that we have a toddler it’s a cute rocking chair for him. Really all you need is a place to put baby down so you can pee/eat/shower/etc. Once they start moving some baby gates will do the trick. The jumpers and exersaucers are not necessarily reconmended for good development, so I wouldn’t sweat not having one. 

As for other things, look into a baby capsule wardrobe on Pinterest. It sounds crazy, but there are lists of minimal baby wardrobes for each season which are really helpful for a new mom. You only need like one drawer of baby clothes for the first few months. We just cleaned out one of our dresser drawers and put baby clothes in there until he was a year old. Also if you shop second-hand you can find a resale store like Once Upon a Child and take all the too-small clothes to sell back and use for credit to buy clothes in the new size. Saves space and money!

The stroller we kept in the trunk of the car, and put the carseat on top of the washer once we got baby inside. 

Post # 25
Member
1043 posts
Bumble bee

Aside from the tips already mentioned (stroller in car, pack and play, door hanging jolly jumper, bimbo changing pad on dresser, chicco high chair seat) I can think of a couple extra we did:

– You can skip the bucket seat entirely. We did and went right to convertible car seat and it was awesome. Very secure and it stays in the car. Also saves you money since you don’t need to buy another seat and you’d have to buy it eventually anyways. 

– We put a changing pad liner on our coffee table with a diaper caddy as our changing station upstairs. Easy. Convenient.

– Not sure on your budget but we bought new furniture with built in storage. Our coffee table has storage drawers, as does our couch, and our tv stand. The more storage the better to hide extra wipes, diapers, toys, creams, etc etc. I also just bought a nice little fabric bin to put on the floor in the corner and put his toys in there. He likes being able to go to his bin and dump it out and find his toys. Also teaches them about tidying up. 

Just as a side note because we’ve really struggled with this- warn grandparents and friends now that you don’t want a bunch of “things”. My Mother-In-Law is terrible for buying just shit especially shit we don’t need. For Christmas she bought my 2 month old a toy meant for 1-3 year olds. I was clearly pleased to store that for a year minimum. Diapers I never felt the need to have a huge backstock of. The best gift we got is once a month my dad buys us diapers. It’s nice because it wasn’t all at once and it’s so handy to feel that weight is cut down on the grocery bill. Once a month my mom buys my son a new outfit. It’s frivolous but the outfits are adorable and it doesn’t overly crowd his wardrobe since it’s all spread out throughout the year. Ask for a shower with gift cards to baby stores, grocery stores and for take out. You’ll need all that once baby is here more than actual things. 

Post # 25
Member
2 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: December 2016

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megm1099 :  I have never lived in an apartment over 600 sf. While I plan to purchase a home with more space in the near future, I am grateful to live in a smaller space for my daughter’s first 3 years. Having close proximity to her helps me keep a better eye on things and complete chores faster. We were able to have bouncers and a crib and plenty of toys, but without a sense of real organization. I’m sure you will make it work especially if your situation is temporary. 

Post # 26
Member
567 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: City, State

Equipment wise, I would say the only essentials are a car seat (if you have a car), a stroller, and somewhere for them to sleep. Some people will say you simply MUST have a swing, but my baby didn’t like it and preferred to be on a mat/towels on the floor. If you can borrow from friends to trial these sorts of things, I would do that. Added advantage would be that you don’t have to store it when they aren’t age appropriate.

Post # 27
Member
1546 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019 - City, State

My only advice is to Marie Kondo your house now and try to get rid of any extraneous pieces.  If you haven’t read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, do!

Post # 28
Member
7351 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

Also I second the suggestion to NOT do a major diaper stock up. It takes up tons of space and you won’t even know what kind you like until your baby gets here. Plus, the only time I ever see diapers on big enough sale w/ coupons to be any real savings are usually the already cheaper brands (like Huggies) and IMO they suck. I found that I hated everything but Pampers Swaddlers so it would have REALLY sucked to stockpile a closet full of Huggies like some of my friends. 

Post # 29
Member
770 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Re: the car seat, that is worth checking on. Where I live, you have to bring the car seat in to the hospital and hangs the nurses check you have secured it properly, and they won’t let you leave with one that isn’t only rear facing. 

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TiggersMitts :  

Post # 30
Member
1043 posts
Bumble bee

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mrsnnn3 :  convertible car seats go rear facing. I heard rumours my hospital did that too since they do help moms with bucket seats learn how to use them but ultimately they told me that they can’t force you to buy a bucket seat. Many mothers leave who don’t drive via bus or walking and don’t have car seats. I’m not saying it isn’t a rule where you live but it would be hard for them to enforce. They can’t legally keep you or your baby. 

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