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- A baby shower is an amazing opportunity to get a bunch of items you'll need when you bring your baby home. But when you live in a small space, it's essential to do some research first.
- When my partner and I found out we were expecting our first child while living in a small one-bedroom apartment, we knew we had to get crafty.
- Our baby, Avery, was born in late August, and these space-saving items have made the last five months with a new baby so much easier.
If you've ever heard someone say "a baby doesn't need much at the beginning" — they are lying.
Living and working in New York City, one thing I am always lacking is space, and that space is cut down even more with a baby. When my partner and I found out we were expecting our first child while living in a small one-bedroom apartment, we knew we had to get crafty. Through the whole process of researching and shopping and then setting up my baby registry, I realized that I needed to make some major spacing-saving decisions.
A baby shower is an amazing opportunity to get a bunch of essentials that you need when you bring your baby home. The hard part is, what do you actually need — especially if you are looking to save space? Through my research, I found that there are a lot of products out there that have similar functions and narrowed it down to the most practical space-saving items to add to my baby registry.
These 5 products will help you save space when you bring your baby home:
A space-saving crib that is both mobile and portable
Get ready for this shocker: No, we did not get a bassinet. When my partner and I told people this, we got a lot of confused faces. But for us, living in a one-bedroom apartment, the Homebase for the crib would be our bedroom. Instead of registering for a bassinet, which we could only use for a few months, I did a ton of research on mini cribs on wheels before deciding on the Babyletto Origami Mini Crib.
If you live in a small space, there are two benefits to choosing a mobile mini crib over a bassinet: 1) you won't need to find a place to store it once your baby grows out of it in a few months, and 2) you will have the flexibility to move the baby around your space as you figure out all of your sleep habits with this tiny new addition.
Before choosing a crib, it's important to consider the amount of space around your apartment or tiny home. My partner and I are fortunate enough to have the space to roll our daughter into a corner of the living room right outside our bedroom door. You should also measure to make sure the mobile crib can make it in and out of any doorway and around any corner.
We ultimately chose the Babyletto Origami Mini Crib, which measures 39.2 inches by 25.7 inches by 36 inches and weighs approximately 50 pounds. The crib is made of pinewood and medium-density fibreboard and includes four locking caster wheels. We found it easy to assemble, and as we wheel it around our apartment, it feels very sturdy and well-made.
Pros: This crib takes up slightly less space than a full-size crib and folds up, available in six colors
Cons: This requires you to do a little extra research on mattresses and sheets since the mattress is not standard-size
A changer/dresser to save precious floor space
When living in a small space, you need to use every corner of usable space possible. For us, like many others, that meant that we could not have an additional piece of furniture like a changing table. So we went on the hunt for a changer/dresser combo and chose the Bablyetto Modo 3-Drawer Changer Dresser, which matches our crib. This piece measures 35.75 inches high, 33.5 inches wide, and 19.13 inches deep and is composed of pine wood and medium-density fibreboard. Like the crib, it was easy to assemble.
The changer/dresser has a removable changing tray — something that's important to consider and worthwhile if you plan to continue using the dresser once your child is potty-trained. Instead of a regular changing-tray topper, we registered for the Keekaroo Peanut Diaper Changing Pad. This allows us to move the changing pad around. I work from home full time, from the living room, so I can use this pad to change my daughter rather than running from room to room.
Pros: Multifunctional, matches three different Babyletto crib designs
Cons: With only three drawers and no free surface area on top of dresser, we use the top drawer for all changing table needs, which leaves only two drawers for clothes
A sink bathtub that can be easily stored
Most infant bathtubs are rather large, and to be honest, I have no idea where the average person in a small space stores one since the standard-size tubs do not fold up.
At my baby shower, we were given both a traditional-size baby tub, which simply doesn't work within our space constraints, and a compact infant bath. I personally registered for the Puj Flyte Compact Infant Bath as it fits right into my kitchen or bathroom sink. The product specifications say that the ideal sink size is 16 to 19 inches (left to right), 11 to 13 inches (front to back), and 4 to 6 inches deep. Since it folds up and hangs flat, storing it is hassle-free.
This compact bathtub works for babies up to 17 pounds or 6 months old. This is the one product our baby will grow out of the quickest, but I felt it was a smart product to start with — especially as we were bringing so many new products into our space.
Tip: We got a clip to hang it in our shower to dry, and then once it was dry, we put it neatly away in the linen closet.
Pros: Easy to clean, easy to travel with
Cons: Only lasts until 17 pounds or about 6 months
A portable high chair that attaches to tables
I fell in love with the Inglesina Fast Table Chair before I even conceived my first child. One of my best friends came to brunch with her 1-year-old son and pulled this chair out of her bag. Suitable for children from 6 months up to 37 pounds, this table chair makes a great substitute for a traditional high chair. It comes with two twist-on rubberized clamps, which make it easy to use at home but just as easy to disassemble and take with you to a restaurant or even grandma's.
Another reason I love this product is the fact that it brings baby up to your height. Once baby starts to eat solid foods, it allows them to join the table rather than be separated. This makes it easier for parents to eat and enjoy a meal rather than turning away from the table to care for baby. To top it all off, Inglesina also sells an attachable dining tray which snaps right onto the arms of the chair and sits on your table — making it easier to clean up after mealtime.
Pros: Doesn't take up extra floor space, travels well
Cons: Likely won't match the design of your current table but comes in 9 colors
A college savings account that will outlast all of those cute stuffed animals
Start saving for college at Babylist
I saved the best for last. A college savings account (or any savings account, really) is my best tip for new parents in general but especially for those who live in a small space. The idea is that most people in small spaces, especially ones who are fortunate enough to have a baby shower thrown for them, don't have the space for so many extra cute, little gifts. I mean, how many stuffed bears can one newborn receive? I suggest setting up some kind of savings account for this new babe coming into the world.
I have spoken openly about paying off my student loan debt, so I felt it appropriate to kick things off for my daughter with a little funding. My partner and I opened an account for our child and linked it up with our registry. People were able to deposit through the registry into her college fund. As parents, these gifts are greatly appreciated and so helpful. This money doesn't take up space and will be a huge investment into baby's future.
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