Whether your first baby is planned well in advance or is a total surprise, there’s one thing that’s true: babies—while small in stature—take up a lot of space! If you and your partner carefully timed the arrival of your little one, then you probably planned on upgrading to a larger size home or apartment. This isn’t always possible, for others, though. Sometimes, you need to work with the space you have.Sure, your bundle of joy may fit perfectly in your arms, but what about all of that baby stuff? And yes, there will be a lot of stuff! Baby gear is bulky and takes up a lot of space. Here are some tips from a mother of three on how to make room for your first baby!
Nursery or Not For Your First Baby?
If you have the means to create a nurturing nursery for your little one, go for it! If not, no worries! Either way, here are some tips on how to maximize your space:
- De-clutter the room you plan on using. Create three piles: trash, donate and storage. You can move the items you plan on storing into a storage unit until you have room for it again. If you don’t have a spare bedroom, you can convert an office, den or even a garage!
- As mentioned earlier, there will be a TON of baby gear that your pride and joy will need throughout the first years of his or her life: crib, bouncer, stroller/car seat, high chair, swing, etc….
Pro Tip: Don’t assemble any of the gear until you absolutely NEED it. A couple of months will pass before you even utilize these. Until then, keep the boxes in a closet and out of your way!
- Eventually, your baby will need to sleep in a crib. However for the first few months (or until they can roll over on their own), a small bassinet or Pack ‘n Play is a great option that takes up less space than a full size crib. If you plan on carefully co-sleeping with your little one, you can nix a crib altogether. These options work well if you don’t have a spare room.
- If the baby will be bunking with you, I recommend creating a space in part of the room specifically for them. Create a mini-theme, so that it will feel like an entirely separate space.
- While the idea of having a complete, matching nursery set sounds appealing (especially to a nesting mother), not everything is a necessity. For example, a changing table is optional. A blanket on the couch will suffice just fine. Many Pack ‘n Plays come equipped with a changing table, as well.
- One area that tends to get ignored is the space underneath the crib. You can use plastic bins to store diapers, baby wipes and clothes that your baby will fit into as they grow older. Also, use the wall space! You can hang curtain rods with attached baskets and use them to hold smaller items, such as socks, baby lotion and pacifiers.
- If you plan on using dressers for all of baby’s clothes, then I highly recommend using the closet to house your crib. It will free up a TON of floor space.
- Instead of using a full size high chair, use a SpaceSaver; a high chair/booster seat that can be attached to the kitchen chairs you already have.
- Whenever your baby outgrows something organize the items, pass them along to someone else who needs them or store them for the next baby.
Whether you have a large home to welcome your first baby into or a small apartment full of love, you can use any of these tips to maximize the space you have and make room for years full of memories.
Are you a new parent that’s just welcomed your first baby? Share any tips for soon-to-be parents in the comments below!