Life with a newborn often consists of sleepless nights, the sounds of frantic cries and the joys of finally feeling like you're getting it right. Yes, bringing home your baby can be scary, but it is also exhilarating -- until you look around and realize your quaint apartment is getting a bit full. However, apartment living doesn't have to be suffocating with a newborn. Make your apartment work with your newborn by simply making all your spaces smarter. Throw out the non-essentials, shop smart and get organized.
Babies, especially newborns, are on a schedule all their own, so making sure you have a place for your baby to sleep uninterrupted is a must. If your apartment allows you to put your newborn in a bedroom by himself, use your own judgment on the size of the crib you'll need. Cribs range in size depending on the style and design, so measure your space before shopping. If you'll be sharing a bedroom with your baby, you have a few bed options depending on your space. A slim crib with wheels will allow you to move the crib into your bedroom for naps and into the main living area while you sleep at night. This helps keep you from waking the baby. You can also opt for a standalone bassinet or a co-sleeper that attaches to your bed until your newborn exceeds the manufacturer's age and weight recommendations. Both options are slimmer than traditional cribs and are ideal for small space living.
Whether you're planning to breastfeed or bottle feed your newborn, there are essential tools you're going to need. Designate an area in your home, perhaps a cabinet in your kitchen, for all of your feeding essentials. Nursing mothers may use this space to store their lanolin cream, breast pads and their breast pump, while parents who plan to formula feed their baby may use the space to store formula and bottles. U-shaped nursing pillows are a favorite of many parents, as they help support your baby as she eats, so choose one that is slim and easily stored away. Keep it tucked alongside your sofa or mix it among your throw pillows.
Generally, newborns require a special bathtub to keep them safe as you bathe them. Because these are sometimes bulky and large, try to choose one that is as small as possible to save space. When you're not using the tub for your own shower or bath, keep the baby bathtub stored in it. Additionally, you can opt to simply line a kitchen or bathroom sink with a towel (to prevent slipping) and give your newborn a bath in it. Store your baby's soap alongside yours in a shower organizer, under the sink or in a drawer. Keep baby towels and washcloths in the linen closet alongside yours and only take out what you need when you're preparing for bath time. Remember that for the first few weeks of life, most importantly until the umbilical cord stub falls off, your newborn will only need a sponge bath a few times a week.
Smart storage is essential when living in an apartment, but it is even more important when you have a newborn. Newborns are not the most patient of creatures, so staying organized will keep you from madly dashing around your apartment to the sounds of your howling baby while you try to locate that elusive pacifier. Use a storage ottoman in your living room rather than a coffee table and store extra blankets, burp cloths or linens inside it. Use organizers in your closets to maximize your storage space and keep your baby's clothing, shoes, diapers and wipes organized. Purchase cube storage shelves and canvas bins to keep newborn toys put away when not in use. An organized and tidy household will not only give your baby a hazard-free environment, it will also keep your sanity intact as you make the most of your apartment space!