Bringing your baby home is a monumental occasion. After months of build up (nine-plus to be exact), registries (and the scouring of list after list with all the things you supposedly need), then nesting (which involved having my husband do lots of cleaning), it was finally time to welcome our new roommate err baby into our small 450 sq. feet one-bedroom New York City apartment. You would think it would be chaos, but we truly wouldn’t have it any other way! Here are five learnings to help you prepare your small space for baby:
1. Figuring out the logistics of all things pertaining to your baby’s stroller before your delivery is key.
Where will you store it? Can it be mounted on the wall? For us the dirt from NYC sidewalks was a major “ick” factor. How heavy is it — will you be able to carry it up and down the stairs if you live in a walk up? Basket size is also important. Some models are huge and cumbersome. We test drove dozens of strollers before landing on the Nuna. The car seat is only seven pounds and you can do a European strap without the base, meaning you can jump in a cab with just the car seat and it safely buckles in using the seat beat! This is a lifesaver when it comes to city livin’. I also love the large wheels and storage basket.
2. Find furniture that has multiple uses.
IKEA was our go-to place for furniture that was affordable, while providing plenty of storage. We had needed a new bed, so purchased a captains bed and used the drawers to house diapers, wipes, and next-size-up clothing for our daughter. Our bookshelf not only holds her books, but there are baskets on the bottom shelf for toys. Also, we went the mini crib route, which has been perfect for our needs! The Babyletto Mini Crib fits just right in our daughter’s nursery corner, and we are able to use the space under it. Another plus is it also folds for storage in-between kids.
3. Before committing to any nursery items think about how you will use it.
I highly recommend having a baby monitor. You might think in such a small space there’s no need for one, but it’s awesome for nighttime monitoring. I love that I can use it to see if my baby is really awake and not just tossing around before I climb out of bed for a feeding. Also, when trying to sneak in a shower it is a must. One thing I bought but ended up not using is a changing pad/dresser, which now just sits in my closet. You truly only need a flat surface to change your baby, so why add this extra piece of furniture to your limited space?
4. It can be overwhelming dealing with all the toy clutter, but there are a few ways to deal with this:
1. For holidays and birthdays we asked the grandparents to gift experiences rather than toys and 2. Donate, donate, donate!
5. Regardless the size of your space, it is incredibly important to remember to carve out time just for yourself.
My daughter’s morning nap = mommy’s shower time. I light a candle and add some essential oils to make it a spa experience. And now that I am getting back into working out, I am doing kickboxing four days a week to keep my heart rate up and destress. It’s also great daddy/baby bonding time!
Laura Kradas is a new mom living in NYC with her adorable daughter and husband. She likes kickboxing and gluten-free eats. She’s an imperfect momma, just striving for consistency.
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*Source of cover photo is Pottery Barn Modern Baby