After years of living in a small space, 740 square feet actually seemed roomy to my husband and I. But when we found out we were going to have a baby, we had to rethink our organizational needs and figure out how we were going to add another person and his belongings in our little loft. Surprisingly, it was pretty easy to make room for our baby in such a small space. Even when he became an active toddler with lots of energy and toys it was still very manageable.
How to Live in a Small Space with a Baby
Contrary to what the big baby warehouses and our present culture leads us to believe, babies don’t need much. It might take some restraint for the parents-to-be (all those cute things can be so hard to pass up!) but if you have a plan in place, you can bypass all of those cute little extras and only bring in the necessities to your small living space.
Based on our experience, here are a few of the must haves, bonus items, and things you can live without when living with a baby in a small space.
Must Haves for a Baby
Bed - Babies do need a place to sleep! But, there are options other than a big, fancy crib that converts into a toddler/twin/queen/etc. bed. It may take some searching, but there are streamlined options available. You can even just use a pack n play (playyard) as a baby bed. That’s what we did and it worked wonderfully when we had to pack it up for a house showing or when guests came over. It even included a newborn insert and changing area.
Blankets – We had some amazing friends who made beautiful, handcrafted blankets for our son. Unfortunately, most of them weren’t used. We really used one to swaddle and one regular blanket. That was enough. Keep in mind though, that our little space was very comfortable in temperature and our little guy wasn’t a fan of being covered. Your circumstance may be different, so keep that in mind. You could always use blankets you already have.
Clothes – Babies don’t need 28 outfits. Really, they don’t. Of course it’s so hard to pass up these adorable teeny, tiny clothes. But, when people tell you babies grow fast…believe them! They really do and will be changing sizes before you know it. You can get by with a few onesies (to wear around the house), a couple of pajamas, and a few cute outfits for them to wear when you want to show them off. Just be ready to wash them often.
Bibs – 2 bibs should be enough. We had stacks and stacks of them and most of them didn’t even get used. Since you’ll be washing clothes often anyway, just throw the bib in the load as well.
Body Wash/Shampoo – One bottle that combines it all is sufficient. It will last forever!
Diapers – Of course!
Bottles – I’m sure some people may disagree, but I really think you only need a couple of bottles (especially if you nurse). For a baby us uses bottles exclusively, I’m sure more bottles would be nice. However, you can get by with a couple…you’ll just have to wash them more often. Oh, and if space is an issue, you don’t need a bottle dryer, dishwasher rack, etc. You might appreciate a scrub brush though!
Car-seat – It’s the law!
Love, Love, Love – Yes, love is the most important thing!
Bonus Items for a Baby
Boppy – I had a bobby and l.o.v.e.d. it….it was worth every inch of space it took up! It’s not necessary, but it’s certainly helpful when nursing, holding, or even to let baby lay and play.
Stroller - You can certainly get by without a stroller but it is nice to be able to have a place to put your baby down when you’re out and about. Using a sling (preferably one that folds up flat…like a Moby Wrap) is another option to keep your hands free…and even work off some baby weight in the process!
Bathtub – Babies can be washed in the sink but having a fold and store bath sling like this one is a perk.
Unnecessary Items for a Baby
Changing Table – If space is an issue, let me assure you that a changing table is not necessary. You can change a baby just about anywhere. Just lay a towel or blanket on your bed or the floor and get to work. Of course, I don’t have to tell you to not leave the baby alone on the bed. Just be prepared before laying the baby down and be the careful parent you always are.
Baby Towels – They are so cute; especially the ones with hoods. But, if you’re tight on space (or cash for that matter) you don’t need baby bath towels. The ones you use for yourself will work just fine.
Diaper Genie – I know you don’t want your house smelling like a dirty diaper, but you don’t need a special contraption to keep it that way. A plastic bag from the grocery store will work just fine. Tie it up tight and put it in the regular trash (or immediately to the outdoor trashcan if you have a sensitive nose).
High Chair – When I say high chair, I mean a traditional high-chair. Babies don’t really need these until several months down the road. However, there are options that are perfect for small spaces like a booster chair or this foldable travel seat.
Please let me assure you that I’m not an expert in all things baby. What I do know is what worked for us living in such a small space. I would absolutely love to hear from you though! What baby items could you have lived without if you lived in a tiny place and what did you absolutely need?
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