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Having a newborn in a small space


There was no moment happier than when we found out we were having a baby. What his little face would look like was all I would ever think about. No matter how high of a cloud I was on, the one thing that brought me crashing down is... do we need to move?

I love our old loft with its high ceilings, brick walls and original wood flooring. I love living above a restaurant and under a neighbour who has a two story apartment which meant no one ever made noise complaints. 

So Dang and I decided that we will try to make it work for as long as we could. Quinn is 4 months old now and neither of us really felt any difficulty yet. To accommodate his arrival we just added a few things to our place. 

1) Changing pad on top of our usually bare Ikea cabinet. Honestly, this is the perfect height. I was thinking I would velcro the pad down in case Quinn was extra wiggly but we haven't had any problems yet. I LOVE the Munchkin changing pad liners that I add on top of the changing pad in case of mini accidents so you don't have to change the entire cover. These lint up easily, so if that bothers you, don't buy these. 

2) Ikea's Raskog cart is perfect for creating a little station for all of baby's necessities and it definitely holds a lot! On ours we keep onesies, tops, bottoms, wipes and socks on the top shelf. Burp cloths, towels, extra changing pad liners and creams on the second shelf and diapers on the bottom shelf. We also hung a hook with a baby hanger off the side which holds all his bibs. We also later put a small black bin next to the cart to hold his dirty clothes and burp cloths. 


In the bedroom area, we placed the crib against our bed so we had to push our "room dividing" shelf over. The shelf used to display our books in a "pretty" way but to make room for storage boxes I organized the books in a traditional library style and freed up some space to add storage boxes where we keep extra wipes, diapers and other baby items. We bought the Skubb boxes which are very inexpensive and have a handy dandy handle for easy grab and go.

We installed a wall light near the crib (you can kind of see it behind the mobile) which we could've done without since we hardly ever use it. I thought it would be needed during night feedings but was too direct of a light and would wake the baby up. Instead, we keep a floor lamp in the living room on at night. If you have a closed room, a night light or a hall lamp would be good.

The mobile we have is pretty crappy. We weren't even going to buy one since they're pretty pricey but we saw this one on super sale at Best Buy online. Let me tell you... cheap is still a waste of money. The little hanging animals get stuck on the bar when turning sometimes which stops the mobile from playing and if we're lucky enough that it doesn't get stuck, it only plays for 5 minutes. Also, it's ugly. Why are mobiles so expensive??

In the kitchen we have the Boon drying rack which is a must have for all. I think it's important to keep Quinn's feeding supplies away from our dish rack because seriously, how often do you clean your dish rack? The boon drying rack is easy to clean and can hold quite a bit for such a small thing.

We also have the Avent bottle warmer and microwave sterilizer which you don't really have to get if you want to minimize your spending but we really enjoy it because they both work super quickly over boiling things on the stove top (we bought the bottle warmer second hand. Craigslist is a great place to buy baby items!).

Besides that, Quinn does solo playtime on the bed and takes naps in a Rock and Play. For anyone out there who read negative reviews about the Rock and Play and aren't sure about buying it or not, I personally love it. If you're worried about plagiocephaly, just make sure your baby spends a lot of time off his back when awake.

Recently we added a Baby Einstein Jumper (pre-loved gift from a family member!) that we keep out in the living room. The next item we would be needing in the next few months is a high chair. Hopefully one aesthetically pleasing and neutral in colour so it would blend in with our furniture. I really like the look of the Skip Hop Tuo Highchair that converts into a cute little chair for baby when he outgrows the highchair.

Both Dang and I tried our best to not go overboard with buying things for the baby and tried to stick with the necessities. We were so lucky to have family and friends to give us stuff, old and new, but if we really needed something we didn't have, we didn't shy away from buying second hand. So many parent's out there need to free up space in their homes and are selling their gear for next to nothing.

One piece of advice I was given before the baby got here and I thought I did pretty good with until he was finally here and I realized how much of it I had... BABY CLOTHES. I shouldn't have bought anything except a set of basic newborn onesies. Cute little sweater from the Gap? PUT IT BACK! Funny little baby jeans? PUT IT BACK! Puffer vest to match daddy's? PUT IT BACK! Now I don't want to deal with anything besides onesies and zippered footies.

So case in point, if there is a will there is a way! You can live in a small space with a baby, just prioritize the necessities and wait things out to see if you really need them. Buy second hand when you can and don't go overboard on baby clothes :)
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Shubana Alam
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