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making room for baby & baby stuff

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Help- I need a natural parenting reality check- I've seen too many Pottery Barn Baby catalogs! Where do you put the baby stuff when you don't have much room? And how much stuff do you really need?

We only have 1 useable bedroom right now bcz our house is a fixer upper & it will be a while (maybe years??) before we have a bigger master bedroom or a 2nd bedroom available. We have been planning to co-sleep anyway, but I am getting a little worried that there is not going to be room for all the stuff. Plus I am starting to wish for all the "baby room stuff" that I am not going to have.

We have a queen size bed & have borrowed an arms reach cosleeper & hope that this arrangement will work for a long time, bcz there is no room for a whole crib. We will have a little rolling bassinet for out in the living room for when the baby is not sleeping in a sling or in bed with me & we are splurging on a nice reclining glider for the living room, so I imagine I'll be nursing out there alot when not in bed. How much room will I need for baby clothes, diapers, etc? We are planning to get one of those nifty changing pads for the top of the dresser to save space.

Any ideas for decorating without turning the whole bedroom into a nursery? I want there to be someplace for babyish decor, maybe a mobile or what have you.

thanks for your feedback! Maria
post #2 of 11
Hi Maria! Sounds like you and I are on the same track! We have a small home and are grappling with the same "decorating/storage" issues as you. As far as storage is concerned, we purchased a wall mount shelf from PBK (on clearance!) that you can mount either way (ie as a top shelf or a bottom shelf with a lip so stuff doesn't slide out). We also purchased some cute red tin boxes to organize clothing and changing supplies that we'll put on the shelf that will be mounted above our dresser-turned-changing table. That way it will be out of the way, yet easy to reach, yet out of head-knocking range. We'll also try clipping a little mobile to the bottom of the shelf or to the side of the dresser.

Another idea is to clean out one of the top drawers in the dresser for baby clothing or supplies. My brave dh agreed to scale back and combine our clothing into one larger dresser, rather than having two dressers of just our clothing. It's amazing how quickly we acquire those clothes!! lol We'll look at maybe mounting a hanging diaper organizer off the side of the dresser-turned changing table.

We'll be JUST FINE!!! We can still do the cute baby decorating without going overboard and adding thousands of sq ft onto the house, right?!?! LOL! Good luck and I'd love to hear more of your ideas when you come up with them...I'll keep mine flowing so we can exchange ideas!

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
thanks for the pep talk Carey! I needed that Luckily the baby will come in the summer months & so we won't be hogging all the drawers with sweatshirts & long pants & I guess we'll deal with that when Fall comes again, by that time we should be all settled in, right? I think the shelves are a good idea & DH wants to make like a hutch top for our long, low dresser, so that should provide storage space for the stuff we will use constantly, plus some accessorizing opportunities for "cute" stuff.

The thing I really drool over unreasonably is crib linens. What is wrong with me? We went to Baby USA & they had the adorable stuff with crib bumpers so overstuffed they literally should be outlawed & matching everything. All the stuff I don't believe in, but that the good little consumer in me wants so bad! I have decided that I am going to have cute cute cute changing pad covers & a matching wall hanging & little lamp. I will not be denied my right to matching cutesy stuff!

take care & thanks again for the PMA, Maria
post #4 of 11

sounds just like me

we lived in a one bedroom apt. WITHOUT CLOSETS when dd was born (we just moved last week!) and the space just seemed to find itself.

One thing we find invaluable is a dresser for her stuff. We keep her clothes and linens in it, and use the top as a changing table- or the bed, that also works I just feed her on the bed too, or on a regular chair, which I did find a bit tricky at first. After awhile we got used to it. We had a bassinet type thing, too, but didn't use it so that is behind a bookcase in the living room:

You don't really need all that much stuff, especially with bfing. Babies don't take up much space, and if you can contain the essentials into one area, like the dresser that I mentioned, what is left is the walls. If you want to create that "baby is here" atmosphere, go for decorated walls and not "stuff" that later will have to be stored because after all, they grow out of things.

If I can think of anything else, I'll let you know.

post #5 of 11
YA know, pottery barn has matching beddng for queen size bads and arms reach co-sleepers . . .

Also it wouldn't be hard to make coordinating bedding for the cosleeper and the regular sleeper, the changing table and curtains etc. . .

I totally understand the need
post #6 of 11
I'm not sure how this is going to work yet - but it looks darn cute! We also have a small house. I bought a 20-pocket hanging plastic shoe holder for the door between our extra bedroom and the bathroom. I put a little outfit or receiving blanket in each pocket. The door is right next to the changing table, so I hope it will be easy to grab outfits from the pockets as needed.
post #7 of 11
Maria: You're very welcome! I know that feeling you've been having...the consumer pull. But we can still be cute and space efficient at the same time!

I hate to suggest it, but Martha Stewart (or her staff) had a great idea with an all-inclusive armoire set up with all the necessary baby items in one spot, with the doors closed. It included mounting things on the inside of the doors so they were in easy reach, all clothing and supplies were neatly organized and all in one place. I think she used a simple $200 full size armoire from Ikea for her example. It was really cute if you have the wall/floor space for an armoire. Unfortunately (or fortunately) we don't...

I Fly: That's a GREAT idea!! We'll have to find one of those for our office/baby/bedroom closet door.

I love hearing everyone's ideas!!
post #8 of 11
We lived in a small one bedroom for ds's first year of life, so I have been there as well. The changing pad on top ot the dresser was a huge space saver for us- it also gave us a place to put hi diapers, covers, clothes, burp rags, and blankets. That one dresser was plenty or room, we had a basket for toys in the living room and some of those stackable crate type shelves next to the rocking chair for books. I know you can get all caught up in it, but I really wouldn't bother too much with the decorating aspect of it. Things need to be functional, and when you get the other rooms done, you will be able to decorate for someone that can give some input and has developed a strong personality.
post #9 of 11
We acutally have the room this time but I'm such a cheapo I won't buy anything unless I really have to have it. Here are some things I did. I cleaned off the top of my hope chest, folded a thick fleece blanket with the sides rolled up inside a really cute pillow case--wha-la--changing pad. Then I bought a 3-drawer rubbermaid or something cart to put her stuff in. On top of that is a cardboard box lined with really cute contact paper that I put all the diaper supplies in. You could even punch holes around the sides and string some ribbon in to make it even cuter. Also I aquired a crib from a lovely woman on MDC. To make it cute I got some rub-on transfer thingy's from Michael's with little flowers and butterfly's and put them around the top and bottom of the crib. And that's everything. I learned the first 2 times that there is really very little stuff you need, you can always make do.
post #10 of 11
Out of all the unnecessary baby stuff we bought, the only thing we really valued was the changing table with baskets on the shelves for storage. We never used the crib or cradle and the dresser just stored junk. I hung most of ds' clothes in the closet with ours and kept onsies, diapers, pjs, blankets etc in the changing table baskets. AND, other than attached to my breast, this was ds' favorite place to be!

You can usually find inexpensive changing tables at consignment shops and if you don't want to spend $$$ on baskets, which can get expensive and do take up room on the shelves you could use smaller rubbermaid tubs or just stack everything on the shelves and possibly make a simple curtain so that all the "stuff" in concealed. Depending on the type of table, you should be able to attach a mobile to it and make it your 'baby station.'

I like I Fly's idea too!

Good luck and have fun getting everything set up. It's such a wonderful, fun time!

due 01/18/03 with #2
post #11 of 11
another 1-bedroom apt-dweller here (we moved when DD turned 1 year old.)

Excellent ideas we LOVED:

+ changing table on dresser

+ tiny dresser for baby's stuff

I, too, was OBSESSED with the crib linens thing. Got the whole set I loved for $150 for my bday while pg. Guess who still sleeps in our bed?

ONE OTHER COOL think to keep in mind.......our newborn didn't have a lot of toys. But as she grew, so did her toy collection--and at the point she was constantly pulling VHS tapes off the low shelves under the TV, we were ready for a couple toy storage baskets to take the space the VHS cassettes had been using.

See---no need to fret about EVERYTHING now; some things will naturally and beautifully resolve themselves!

AND ONE LAST THOUGHT--if you are not a hand-me-downs person, 'we have no space' is the perfect defense for well-meaning friends/relatives!
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