Today I thought I would share a few things we have learned about sharing a one bedroom apartment space with a new baby. It’s actually quite manageable and has a lot to do with mindset. Therefore, my first point is…
1. Recognize that you will give up your ideal tidy living room/bedroom scenario and turn every room into a bit of nursery.
At first it was really frustrating having so much baby stuff everywhere with nowhere to store it away when it wasn’t being used. But now when I look at the activity mat, baby swing, car seat, diaper bag, and boppy that dwell in our small apartment living room 24/7 and get in the way of our book case and TV, they don’t look like a mess anymore, they look like they belong. Because they do, and that’s just how it is.
2. Use a travel sleeper until the baby outgrows it.
We didn’t think of this until Caleb was about 8 weeks old, and it made such a difference! Previously we’d been taking the pack n play up and down and moving it back and forth between the bedroom and living room, or ended up having him sleep in our room at night to avoid the hassle. (But then we didn’t sleep as well.) Now, put Caleb down in his little sleeper in our room and when we are ready to go to bed, we lift the whole thing and move it out to the living room without disturbing him. He also takes his naps in our room, and we can take the sleeper other places, which has been great for naps when we are out. I highly recommend this!
3. Get a changing table that doubles as a dresser for storage.
I love our changing table, which we found on Craigslist. I use the three baskets for onesies, bath towels and cloths, and accessories (shoes, socks, and hats.) The two drawers hold all his current sizes. (The basket on the ground has bibs and burp rags.) Don’t waste space on a changing table without drawers, you really can’t afford to in a small apartment. The ones with open shelves won’t work nearly as well for keeping folded clothes organized.
4. Get creative in where you keep your other stuff to make room for the baby stuff.
For example, I wouldn’t normally want a big all-in-one printer in our bedroom, but using the top of one of my dressers frees up space elsewhere for baby equipment.
5. Pick a corner or wall in one room to treat as a nursery.
You shouldn’t have to give up all the fun of decorating for baby just because he doesn’t have his own room. We had fun making the wall above the changing table the “nursery area”. We even squeezed a glider rocker into our bedroom, and when my sister-in-law gave us an adorable handmade pillow, our nursery corner was officially complete.
6. Consider storing some things in the trunk or back seat of your car.
Our stroller stays in the hatchback exclusively, and I usually keep the Ergo carrier in the car as well. I also have an old “spare” pack n play that we plan to use when Caleb outgrows his travel sleeper, and we store that in the trunk of our other car.