Could you live with a baby in a one-bedroom apartment? Maybe a minimalistic approach to parenthood has always been part of your plan. Or maybe a baby on the way is a surprise. No matter the situation, there are countless ways to maximize your small apartment! Whether you’re a single mother, solo dad, or a soon-to-be family of three in a one-bedroom apartment, we have tips from parenting pros and unique ideas to help you navigate how to raise a baby in a small space!
Advice for Small Space Living with a Baby
Can two people live in a one-bedroom apartment? What about a soon-to-be family of three? So much of successfully raising a child in a one-bedroom apartment depends on planning ahead, keeping an open mind, and being able to adapt as your baby grows!
Try It for a Year
Living in a one-bedroom apartment with a baby doesn’t have to be forever! Nursing mothers or parents with a fitful sleeper will likely find sharing a bedroom with their baby is easier in the beginning anyway. If you’re renting, give yourself a year and then re-evaluate.
As your baby transitions to a toddler who walks and talks, you may find yourself willing to give up location and city living for more space in the suburbs. Babies are unpredictable—just like the real estate market—so the best plan is to reevaluate often!
If you’re raising a baby in a one-bedroom apartment as part of a minimalist lifestyle, it’ll take time to adjust. This was definitely the case for minimalist mom and blogger Jennifer Coyle of Hello Brio.
“Being minimalist with a baby is definitely possible,” Coyle said. “The hardest thing is getting other people (especially grandparents or loving aunties or uncles) on board.”
While minimalism might take some time for everyone to support, the practice of living on less will help you keep your small apartment organized and the cleaning to a minimum!
“If you don’t have a lot of stuff, you won’t need to spend money and time on fancy organization solutions,” Coyle said. “It’s a win-win. But as far as organization goes for his toys, I have all of his smaller toys in two bins in his room.”
Prepare Family for Living on Less
A key to living in a small space with a baby isn’t acquiring more than you need, so make sure friends and family know not to go overboard with gifts for the delivery, holidays, and birthday parties. Coyle recommends giving excited friends and family an alternative gift-giving option, such as a 529 plan or similar college savings account.
Give Yourself Time to Adjust
There’s a lot to learn with a new baby! Adopting a trial-and-error method worked best for mom blogger Becky Vieira (a.k.a. The Witty Otter), who lived with her husband and new baby in a 600-square-foot apartment.
“I’d say we had a more challenging time adjusting to all the extra items versus my son,” Vieira said. “Even though we didn’t buy much and tried to arrange everything before he was born, nothing is quite like the first days—or as I call it, the ‘on-the-job training’ stage.”
While the couple did extensive research to prepare for a newborn in their tiny space, Vieira said a lot of storage and organization tips had to be perfected in practice. Storing your bouncer in the closet might seem like a good option, but it will likely find a permanent home in your living room. According to Vieira, all parents deal with this kind of experimenting. It just means you’ll have less space to play with.
Declutter First, Buy Later
It’s easy to rush to the store and go on a shopping spree the second you discover you’re expecting. But making room for a baby in your one-bedroom apartment starts with sorting your own belongings!
Before you start buying for the baby, downsize your own items by selling, donating, or moving items into storage. Even after you’ve sorted through your things, though, you might still be tempted to buy everything you think you’ll need for the baby.
“We held off on making some purchases,” Vieira said. “We didn’t buy a high chair right away, which saved us space initially.” In other words, buying things only as you need them and getting rid of items as soon as they’re no longer needed will help you stay organized.
Make a Minimalist Baby Registry
Just because you’re adding a new family member to your home doesn’t mean you need to buy hoards of baby gear. Sharing your bedroom with your baby is much easier if you only have items you need. Make organization easy by only acquiring the essentials with this helpful minimalist baby registry from Coyle.
Creating a Nursery in a One-Bedroom Apartment
Still wondering how to prepare for the new baby? Making room for a baby in your one-bedroom apartment starts before your delivery date! Strategically arrange your tiny apartment, purchase space-saving furniture, and use these design tips and tricks to create a well-decorated, functional nursery!
Convert One Bedroom Into Two
Not sure how to make a nursery in your bedroom? It can be as simple as transforming your one room into two! Whether you use a room divider, a curtain, or have just enough room to distinguish areas with decor, there are lots of ways to create a distinct zone in your bedroom. Having a separate baby corner in your bedroom will keep clutter to a minimum and make you feel like there’s still room for you!
Convert Your Living Room into a Nursery
Depending upon what you currently use your living space for, it could be easier to set up a baby corner in your living room. If entertaining isn’t a huge priority, and your bedroom is already at capacity, it might be easier to make a small nursery in your living room.
Create a Baby Nook
Whether you decide to put your baby in your own bedroom or in a converted living room space, there are lots of baby nook ideas to try! Creating a nook for your baby will help them feel snuggly, as well as help keep competing decor in separate spaces. As a new parent, staying organized can be difficult. Having set spaces for all of your infant’s items will help you stay on top of the mess!
Try a Closet Nursery
One space-saving crib idea is to put your changing table and crib in the closet! While this idea might seem strange at first, putting your baby crib in the closet is an easy way to keep all of your baby supplies together in one space.
Get a Mini Crib
One way to make the most of your limited space is to purchase compact furniture like a mini crib! These smaller models are some of the best cribs for apartment living because of their compact size and reduced price! The downside to mini cribs is they don’t often convert to a full-sized toddler bed. However, many do convert to twin beds so they can easily transition for the next year or two!
Invest in Multi-Purpose Furniture
The best baby furniture for small spaces does more than one job! Find a crib and changing table hybrid that also offers storage space to keep everything you need in one place. Sharing a bedroom with your baby is easier when you have space to move and fewer separate pieces of furniture will help!
Use a Dresser as a Changing Table
Your current dresser is the perfect changing table for small spaces! Instead of adding more furniture to your cramped apartment, make use of what you have. Simply purchase a changing pad to add to the top of your dresser or make your own DIY changing table topper.
Find a Smaller Rocking Chair
A rocking chair is an absolute necessity for any new family! But that doesn’t mean you have to get the largest glider on the market. Finding a compact rocking chair is a small space nursery solution that saves room while still offering comfort for you and your child!
Smart storage is everything for parents sharing a room with a baby. One easy idea for creating more space without adding square feet is to expand up! Vertical storage is Vieira’s favorite organization tip: “There is so much unused space on a wall. Sure, a clean, minimally decorated wall looks beautiful, but I didn’t have that luxury.”
Expanding up helped her convert one bedroom into two and created more floor space. Vieira even bought metal filing cabinets and hung them sideways above her changing table to store and easily access diapers and swaddle blankets.
Create Visual Division
Not sure how to decorate a one-bedroom apartment when you’re sharing space with your baby? Strategic decor and visual separation of spaces can expand your bedroom and ensure there’s a designated spot for everyone!
With a baby on the way, it’s easy to go overboard with rainbows, stuffed animals, and wall art. But creating a beautiful nursery in a one-bedroom apartment often calls for a less-is-more mentality. Choose a few signature pieces to distinguish spaces and show off your style without cluttering your already tiny space.
Ready to try these ideas and create a baby nursery in your one-bedroom apartment? Small space living with a newborn or toddler presents a range of challenges. But with strategic-planning, streamlined organization, and the right attitude, it’s possible! Looking for more tips and tricks? Check out these small nursery ideas!
Another way to get more space in your one-bedroom apartment is with self storage. Extra Space Storage has storage facilities throughout the U.S. so it’s easy to get the convenient storage solution for your family. Find a storage unit near you!