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Living in a one bedroom apartment with an infant is crazy, but doable. My husband, Andrew, and I have spent a lot of time making our one bedroom apartment a beautiful and functional space for our family. It has taken some flexibility and creativity, but it is a manageable task. Whenever the space begins to feel small, I remind myself that people all over the world and throughout history have lived in smaller spaces with more children. Also, a one bedroom apartment means less space to clean, to baby proof, and for baby to escape from.
The following tips are how we have made a one bedroom apartment homey and functional with our baby.
For the first few months, Andrew and I contemplated giving John the bedroom and taking the living room for ourselves. However, we decided to deal with the coziness of sharing our one bedroom. Andrew had to work hard to convince me that putting John’s crib in the closet of our bedroom was the best option. Of course I didn’t want to lose my closet space, but I have discovered that the selection of clothes that can be worn while nursing requires less closet space. Thus, we now use the coat closet as our main closet.
Our bedroom is on the smaller side. Fortunately, the previous renters removed the closet doors to make the room feel larger. We were able to easily place the crib inside the closet. I do admit, having your baby sleep in your bedroom is not always ideal. We wake him up, he wakes us up, and I can’t do anything in our bedroom after his bedtime. I also know sleep training is going to be a nightmare. Yet, this seems like a better solution than any of us sleeping in the living room. We want to be able to have an inviting area for guests and a separate space for daily activities.
Placing John’s crib in the closet provides him with a small, personal nook. Within this area, we have been able to create a mountain theme by painting a mural on the wall and making a homemade woodland crib mobile. Yes, you can make this crib mobile yourself! Go check out how here.
Don’t Over Decorate Your One Bedroom Apartment
I am not saying don’t do any decorating. We have obviously tried to put some effort into John’s little closet home. But I am saying you don’t need 3 super cute wall hangings and the Diaper Genie and whatever else fills a nursery. You can limit yourself to practical items that do not take up a lot of space.
Don’t Hang Baby Clothes
Instead of hanging clothes, buy a plastic storage unit with drawers. Babies really don’t need that many clothes. I know a plastic storage bin is not as cute as tiny little rompers hanging, but hey, you don’t have to actually take the time to hang clothes. I’d say that is a win. I’ll let you in on my little secret… I don’t even fold his clothes. I just throw them into the drawers and wala! So much easier.
Swap End Tables for Dressers
This is an easy fix to get rid of one more piece of furniture. And, as another solution for not being able to hang clothes in the closet, you can store baby clothes in the dresser. That is, if you have enough space for your clothes.
Use Foldable Items
Foldable items can save you so much space! Our foldable JOOVY Nook High Chair is stored behind our table, while our foldable stroller is in a corner in front of a bookshelf. If you don’t have a stroller, I would highly recommend the BOB Jogging Stroller. It is a bit pricey, but so worth it. This stroller folds up in a 2 step process. I have full confidence that it will last through many children. I use it at least once every day with John. Other solutions would be to get an umbrella stroller or a high chair that attaches to the table. The downside of the umbrella stroller is it is not made for jogging or off road trips.
Be Selective with the Items You Bring into your One Bedroom Apartment
You don’t need many of the items that your friends or even experts say you need. We skipped the bassinet altogether. Originally, we opted to use our Pack and Play, and then decided that was silly and John could just go straight to the crib. Also, cute infant bath tubs like the flower one are fun, but not necessary. Using the 3 in 1 bathtub can save storage space. They also build collapsible bathtubs which I have not personally used, but they look like a great idea for smaller spaces. We have also opted out of getting a Diaper Genie. One could say it is one of those unnecessary luxuries.
On the same note, many people opt out of having a changing table and use a dresser instead. I like having the changing table for some additional storage since we have enough space. We put clothes, sheets, diaper items, etc under the table. But, changing pads are available that can go onto a dresser or you can just change the baby right on your bed or the floor.
Get Creative Within Your One Bedroom Apartment
There have been many times we have just had to be plain creative. We don’t have any doors near our living room, so I thought is was not possible to hang a Jump and Jive. However, my dear husband got creative and built a handmade ledge attached to a beam in our house to which the Jump and Jive can hook to. Also, I though the Exersaucer was a great idea, but that took up so much space. Instead, I put a blanket in a box and let John play in the box. Now the box creation was a win win. John could get a little assistance sitting up, his toys didn’t run away from him, and I could store items in the box when he was not inside of it.
My Little Secret
Do you want to know my biggest secret about making a one bedroom apartment work? We have some storage space. That has been a lifesaver. We do not use the bouncy seat anymore, but we don’t want to get rid of it considering we would love to have more children. Many items are like this. If we did not have the storage room, I believe my first tip would be to get rid of anything you could possibly live without.
I’d love to hear your ideas of how to get creative with a small space and a baby. Comment below and tell me your ideas.