As you plan for life with a new baby, you’re probably starting to think differently about your space. Before the baby arrives, you’ll need to find space for toys, a crib, clothing—the list goes on and on. It’s easy to wonder, how can someone so little need so much stuff?
Great question - especially for the many of us living in small apartments, shared spaces, or tiny homes. We’re here to help you think about what you really need to make living in a small space with a baby easier and more enjoyable for you and your little one.
To help think about this, we have three themes to consider as you plan.1. Plan in phases: Babies go through a lot of transitions in the first two years of life. If you are limited on space, this is very helpful to think about as you plan. Since babies are fascinated by just about everything they see, you can do a lot with a little.
Newborn to two months: During this stage your little one will be sleeping, eating and pooping—a lot, so you’ll need spaces where you can change diapers, feed your baby, and lay them down to rest. You don’t necessarily need a designated changing table. Diapers can be done swiftly and safely on the floor. Small, portable bassinets or a blanket on the floor can also work great for naps. As you prepare, think about where you’d like to feed your baby. Choose a comfortable and enjoyable space where you can settle in every few hours. This might be a cozy chair by the window, or your sofa so you can binge-watch Insecure. Other than a great car seat, diapers and wipes, bottles and other items that support feeding, you won’t need much stuff just yet. Milk and whatever contraptions help support that, diapers, and spit cloths. And a support group.
Two to six months: In the next months, you will start tummy time and more movement with the baby, so you can begin thinking about a mat on the floor, or just stick to those blankets from the newborn stage because we guarantee there will be spit up on it more than once.
Six months and up: Babies typically don’t begin eating solids until now, so no need for a highchair before then. If you add it to your registry, maybe you can have someone buy it for you around month four to save you space in the meantime. Same goes for other types of gear like jogging strollers or carriers that require your baby to be able to sit or hold their head up independently.
2. Opt for multi-functional items that’ll last throughout childhood: When registering for furniture, toys or other gear ask if those items can be used for more than one purpose or can be extended into additional phases of your child’s life.
- For example, when looking for a highchair you could choose one that can clip to the side of your existing table or a picnic table, or one that can transition from a high chair to a booster seat, and then a stool. We like this classic chair from Stokke, the UpSeat, and this Inglesina clip-on chair.
- Opt for a crib, like this one from Nestig, transitions from a bassinet into a full sized crib, and then into a toddler bed. Double-sided mattresses, like this sustainable one from Avocado, are firm on one side for infants, and soft on the other for toddlers so you can use it for years instead of months.
- A play mat is wonderful for newborns and younger babies. We love this one that doubles as a ball pit for older tots, and this one by Lovevery that converts into a play tent.
We know families and homes come in all shapes and sizes and whatever yours looks like we are glad you are part of our community.