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Nursery Essentials For Small Spaces

If you have a 2000 sq. ft. home, you’re probably not even thinking of space issues for your first-born baby. You may even have set aside one room for the nursery and another just to house all the toys and other gifts that friends and family have been showering your baby with. If you live in a one bedroom apartment in New York however, or anywhere else, you’re pressed to make the most of every nook and cranny.

I can’t exactly tell you what will work for you in your space. But I can get you to start thinking.

First let’s start with essentials; things you cannot live without for the first six months of your baby’s life.

Clothes and Other Soft Items

If you have a handy washer and dryer, and you’re willing to keep washing on a daily basis, you won’t need as much clothes to begin with. Babies spit up though, so keep this in mind. If you’d rather not do laundry every day, add more. Remember, your babies will outgrow newborn clothes quickly, so unless you have a preemie, have only 2-3 pieces of each in newborn sizes, and then double that number for 0-3 mos. and 3-6 mos.:

  • Onesies – these are usually short-sleeved and legless body suits that snap at the bottom.
  • Sleepers – Usually with footsies built-in, good for, you guess it, sleeping. Have lightweight for spring and summer months and thicker ones for fall and winter.
  • Jumpers or Rompers – Their feet are exposed and can be short-sleeved, sleeveless or long sleeved even. You can buy nice-looking ones for trips outdoors or for dressy events.
  • Socks – to keep toes warm.
  • Snowsuit (only 1 needed) – for winter.
  • Sweater or jacket – again, for the colder months.
  • Cap or Bonnet – especially for the colder months. They lose heat very quickly from the head.

Okay, so you’ve got the clothing essentials. Other essentials are several good blankets and burp cloths. A lot of moms have recommended cloth diapers because they’re more absorbent. Believe me, babies spit up a lot, so you want this in handy. Also diapers and wipes, of course. You have a choice between cloth and disposable. You can also make your own wipes from paper towels pre-soaked in water and a bit of baby body wash. You’ll need several waterproof change pads, because contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a changing station. And last but not least, baby shampoo and body wash for their delicate skin.

Tip: Have a basket where you can stuff several changes worth of clothes, burp cloths, diapers, wipes and change pads that you can carry from room to room. Voila, portable change station!

Furnishings and other Baby Gear

These are the bare-bones essentials. I’ll add nice to have towards the end of this guide. You’ll need to find places to store the following:

  • A place for baby to sleep – If you aren’t co-sleeping (and please practice safe sleeping when you have baby in bed with you), you can choose from a moses basket, a bassinet, you can attach a co-sleeper to your bed. If you’re not moving anytime soon though, I say just skip all the above which will become obsolete faster than your baby can say peekaboo and go right to a crib. There are many modern, practical and small cribs available out there. Ours is The Gulliver from Ikea.
  • Stroller – Other moms prefer to carry their baby in a sling for the most part, but unless you’re a true purist, you’re also gonna want a stroller.
  • Car Seat – If you will drive at all, you’re gonna need one of these. You can choose a traveling system so the car seat can double as a baby carrier and then just snap in the stroller. You can nix that of course and go straight to the big car seats that go from newborn to up to 45 lbs.

Nice to Have

  • Bouncer – a place where you can safely strap the baby, have them amuse themselves by bouncing, vibrating, looking at the toy add-ons attached to them , and leave your hands free to get some things done.
  • Infant Swing – have them try this out at a store, or a friend’s place first. Some babies hate them, while a lot of parents swear by them to get baby to calm down, occupied, entertained and leave Mom and Dad to a quick break(no more than 30 mins. at a time is recommended).
  • Safe to chew on toys and rattle.

Hopefully, you’ll be able to find space for the above. And if you’re a minimalist, you’re probably breathing a sigh of relief. Some of you may be skeptical, and are asking, is that it? If you’re truly bent on saving space, then yes, really that’s it. If you have the above and find you still have space, by all means, go for it. Just remember, all the other add-ons are probably more for your convenience, not truly essentials for the baby.

Is there anything I’ve missed that you consider essentials?


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