When Brandon and I found out we were expecting a bundle of joy we debated on whether or not we needed to move. We felt a lot of pressure to move, which is understandable. Most people upsize their living situation when they decide to start a family. But that wasn't in the cards for us, so instead of forcing ourselves into a financial grave, we decided we'd make our studio apartment work for us and our new babe as long as possible.
Shockingly, I quickly got overwhelmed by everything we seemed to "need" for this baby. #saracsm
Knowing space would be tight influenced just about every product choice. I not only wanted to have the essentials, I also wanted those essentials to be easy to store and to not scream "baby!"
MY SMALL SPACE NURSERY ESSENTIALS
MINI CRIB, MATTRESS AND SHEETS
Baby needs a place to sleep! We went with this mini crib because a full size one would have overtaken our space. Plus, babies are small and really don't need all the space of a full size crib. Also, since we live in a studio, we didn't see the need for a bassinet or co-sleeper. He was always going to be in the same room as us so we skipped on the Moses basket too (even though I really wanted one).
Or a glider or recliner if that's more your style. Basically, have a chair you love that you can nurse and comfort your little one in. My family surprised us with this rocking chair at our baby shower. I'd been scouring Craigslist looking for one that resembled the rocking chair I had growing up. This one looks so much like the one from my childhood that I had to keep myself from full on weeping when they brought it out.
NURSING PILLOW AND COVERS
I underestimated how helpful a nursing pillow could be until I visited a lactation consultant and used one by My Brest Friend for the first time. I chose the Boppy nursing pillow not because of it's popularity but because it can be used as more than a nursing pillow as Isaac gets older..Just learn from me and do buy the waterproof cover for the Boppy if you get one!
NIGHTLIGHT/WHITE NOISE MACHINE
Another thing I didn't think I'd need but ended up loving! Living in an apartment that's low on outlets made me think twice about getting a nightlight and a white noise machine but I found this one by Hatch that pulls double duty which is perfect for small spaces. Plus it connects to my phone! I can control the brightness, color, sound and volume all from an app. It's so cool.
Guys, I'm getting excited about a nightlight control app...this is parenthood.
I wanted to have some sort of lounger or bouncer that I could put Isaac in while I did dishes or showered or something. I ended up going with this bouncer for several reasons. 1) It stores flat, 2) it didn't need batteries or anything; Isaac makes it bounce just from his own movements, 3) the fabric part is removable and washable, and 4) we can flip the fabric and turn it into a bouncy chair when he's too big for the lap straps.
WIPEABLE CHANGING PAD
Not having laundry on site meant I needed to find a changing pad that I could easily clean without worrying about pad covers. Let me just say that this is probably the best purchase I made. Just thinking about how many cloth covers I would have gone through in those first weeks (and even now) made choosing a wipeable pad so, so worth it. There are a few great options out there but I went with this one from Bumbo for the size and price point. Place it on top of a dresser (or built in hutch if you have an old apartment like me) and you've got the start of a changing station!
I live in an apartment that's probably close to 100 years old. Our bathroom has a built in set of drawers instead of a linen closet, so when it came time to choose an infant bath tub, I knew I needed something that would store flat. After a bit of research, I settled on the Puj Tub because it was easy to use, stored flat and would fit in our bathroom sink. The downside to this tub is that Isaac will eventually outgrow it and I'll need to find some other tub. But that's a problem for Future Alex, ha!
Regardless of which stroller you go for, you'll definitely need a place to store it. This is a detail I almost overlooked! At first, I thought about storing the stroller in the car but living exclusively with street parking meant I might have to lug the car seat multiple blocks just to take a walk. Our one closet is already pretty stuffed so I didn't want to take up more of that space than necessary. Luckily I found an over-the-door hook made for strollers! It's sturdy and holds our stroller no problem!
Muslin swaddle blankets were on every registry list I looked at and for good reason! These things are so incredibly useful. Living in a small space forces you to be a bit of a minimalist and I love these blankets because they serve so many purposes and are easy to store. Plus they really do get softer and softer with each wash. We were gifted a bunch of swaddles from the Aden + Anais Target collection plus one from Little Unicorn and I love them all. We didn't buy or receive any swaddles aside from these blankets and they've worked really well for us. I also use them as a nursing cover, an extra changing pad, a tummy time blanket, a car seat cover to help Isaac sleep, and even as an emergency burp cloth! Basically, these blankets live up to the hype.
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There you have it! These nine items are all things that make having a baby in a studio apartment easier. We use these things every day with Isaac. I hope this helps you if you or someone you love is preparing to bring a little one into your small or minimal space!
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