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Space saving ideas for studio apt? Baby due Feb 2012?
My BF and I live in a studio apt (approx 500 sf) – one large open room. I’ve determined a place to put a pack-n-play for the baby to sleep in which contains a built in changing station, however, in doing so I’ve had to rearrange the living room and nothing works. Storage space savings ideas? We’d like to have a small portable swing for the baby as well as one of the jungle gym. Anyone been in this situation and came up with some great ideas?
Unfortunately the lease to the apartment isn’t up until Jan 31st and I’m due within 2weeks of that. We decided it would be best to not add the stress of moving right at that time.
We are adding risers under the bed to add some storage space under the bed, as well as condensing out of date clothing to the vacuum sealed storage bags. We are looking into a new microwave cart with a hutch for storage of baby bottles, etc in the kitchen.
For the baby jungle gym – one of the small floor play areas for the baby to lay on and be stimulated with the colorful toys. We are aware of course that at some point, we’ll need to also get items when the baby is old enough to sit up and trying to walk – but are looking into moving one year after the baby is born.
To K – I ABHOR when people suggest just letting a baby sleep with you … mainly for the reason that I personally know someone that lost a child that suffocated that way. My child will be in their own bed (chose a pack-n-play over a crib to save space) and as for the ‘other’ items – we will manage to give up some of our comforts for our child to have stimulation outside of mommy/daddy’s arms. I was asking for space saving ideas – not to be criticized for wanting to make our apartment more suitable for a baby.
I don’t know what kind of budget you have but Ikea has a huge selection of storage and many that have doors so you can hide stuff out of sight! Consider altering uses of things – a wardrobe system for a bedroom could be placed in a family area and offer you a place to hide baby things but look nice. You can also buy pretty inexpensive vinyl ottomans at Walmart that have tops that lift off and storage inside. A bonus with those is that they are soft for when baby starts pulling up on things. Think about maybe getting a tall bookcase (Expedit unit at Ikea) but turning in on it’s side like a bench. You can throw some pillows on the top for extra seating and put baskets in each shelf to store toys or baby stuff (blankets, wash cloths, diaper changing needs, etc). In other words, if you just look for things that you can use to hide some of the baby stuff you can certainly manage to live in one room and not look like your living in a nursery.
You may want to reconsider the pack n play and get an inexpensive crib. I say this because a pack n play is really an occasional bed once the bassinet phase (first 8-10 weeks – may be less if you have a big baby) is over and then the baby will be sleeping on a very tiny board and very low to the ground. They are not designed as a crib replacement. If you really want to go with a pack n play for the diaper changing feature be sure to find out the weight limit of the changer and how it works. Most of them only go to 15lbs which could be a very short time if you have a big baby. My baby had reached the bassinet/changer limit by 8 weeks! Buy one that has a hinged changer instead of the lift off type. When you are holding a baby in one hand it is not possible to lift off the changer with the other! I had the one in the link below because it was inexpensive and the changer was on hinges.
Also, some babies hate swings. You may get more use out of a chair that goes from newborn to toddler just to get more use out of it. I borrowed a swing from a friend and my son only used it a handful of times. And I live in a house and was frustrated with how much space it took up.
And as far as a change table goes, I’d scrap the idea all together and go with a crib. Or, if you already have a dresser you can buy a pad for the top and use that for a while. I did that until my son became too squirmy and I’ve been changing him on the floor every since. The floor is easy and baby can’t fall off the floor! If you don’t already have a dresser you can use I would just buy a diaper caddy and use the floor. Save that space as you don’t need it and you can use almost any surface to change a diaper – you will learn that fast when out and about!
My advice is to just use what budget you have to buy the absolute least amount of large baby things and the most amount of living room/bedroom things with drawers and doors so you can manage the baby mess! An infant has a lot of small stuff that is needed but easily stored away and if you cut out some big things and ask friends what the did and didn’t use you can get by with very little and keep you space in order.
Good luck and congrats on the baby!
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