If there’s anything we know here at Apartment Guide it’s this: you don't need to buy a house in order to make a home. This is still true when your duo turns into a trio!
A lot of expecting moms and dads panic when they find out that a new baby is on the way. Their small apartment suddenly seems tinier than Barbie’s dream house. And it doesn't help when friends and family are constantly bombarding you with the question of the year: “So… when are you moving?!”
News flash: You can raise a happy and healthy child in a small apartment. It’ll take a bit of creativity, but it can be done!
If your apartment has a second bedroom or even a small side room, then you should have ample space for a nursery or at least a changing area. It might be easier to think in terms of a nook instead of a nursery. If you have unused or unnecessary items like furniture, sell them to make space and use the extra cash to decorate. If your master bedroom is large enough, it can probably also accommodate space for a crib, changing table or rocking chair.
Even random, annoying strangers will feel the need to instruct you on what to buy for your baby. And the urgency to acquire everything before the baby arrives can quickly overwhelm you. But many new and experienced parents will tell you that all the latest trendy items on your must-have list really aren't necessary. Keep it simple. When buying baby products, opt for travel size bottles and containers since they’ll take up less room. You can also request smaller items on your baby registries. Eliminate oversize items whenever possible. For example, you can skip the bulky baby bathtub and choose to bathe your child in the kitchen sink instead.
If your small apartment absolutely won’t work for your growing family, don’t assume you have to buy a house has to be the next step – they make larger apartments for a reason. If you really like where you currently live, a move will be fairly easy and painless if you can find a bigger unit in your current building.
As soon as your baby grows out of something, sell it. Holding onto clothes, shoes, bottles, toys, and other items that you know your child won't need again will just take up precious space in your small apartment. If selling isn't an appealing option, you can always give items away to friends or family members in need.
You will soon learn that babies and young children have very short attention spans. The new toy they get for Christmas will be old news by January, so control the urge to stand in line at midnight when the new Tickle Me Elmo debuts. Toys take up a ton of space and having too many will be to your disadvantage when your little one is much more fascinated by other things like your smartphone and the random assortment of products under the bathroom sink. Remind friends and family members to lay low on the toy gifts as well. In fact, request gift cards instead so that you can invest in the things you know you’ll really need such as formula, diapers, onesies, etc.
Believe it or not, the size of your small apartment will definitely come in handy once your newborn morphs into an active toddler. In an apartment, your tyke will always be close by and within earshot, which will make you feel a little more secure. In a house, it’s easy to quickly and constantly lose track of where your little one has crawled off to. And in homes with stairs… let’s not even go there.
We want to hear from you! How did you prepare your apartment when you found out you were expecting?
Shutterstock / Angela Waye