Sharing a one-room apartment seems cozy when it's just you and your significant other. But when you have a baby in a one-bedroom apartment, the lack of space may start to seem stifling. Thankfully, there are some ways to help you make the most of that space, so everyone has a little more breathing room.
1. Create a mini nursery in the corner of your bedroom
You don't need a full-scale nursery for your baby in a one-bedroom apartment. Instead, create a nursery in your bedroom with a crib. Cribs come in all sizes, so you can find one that won't dominate the room. Place it in the corner or set it at the foot of your bed.
If you want to make it more private, place the crib in the corner and set a privacy screen next to it or hang a curtain as a room divider.
2. Use a dresser as a changing table
Instead of worrying you don't have the right baby furniture, such as a changing table, just clear a dresser or chest of drawers off, add a changing pad to the top and you have a changing table. The bed also can double as a changing table if necessary.
3. Maximize storage space in and around the “nursery" area
Babies need a lot of things, not the least of which are diapers, wipes and clothes. Using removable hooks, hang a diaper stacker on the side of your changing table to store diapers. Add wall shelves to hold wipes, baby lotion and other necessities. Place baskets under the crib to hold bibs, burping cloths, blankets and more.
4. Use your closet as a nursery
If you have a large enough closet, you can remove the shelves and clothes and place the crib and changing table inside. This mini room can provide privacy and quiet for both baby and you. Hang clothes in an armoire, and store clothing and shoes under the bed in boxes and drawers.
5. Downsize your belongings
When you moved into your one-bedroom apartment, you likely decorated with extra items you don't need now. Think plant stands, baskets of magazines and bookshelves filled with knickknacks, your music collection and family photos. Hang those photos on the wall, and clear out any items you no longer use or need. Clearing out the clutter will help the apartment feel more open.
6. Reorganize your kitchen, bathroom and closets
Evaluate your cabinets, pantry, closets and other space to see how you actually use the space. How many contain items you no longer use? How much space is wasted there? Look for ways to reorganize these spaces to maximize the storage. After all, you'll need to put baby bottles, spoons and bowls somewhere and the number of baby clothes will overtake your own. Don't overlook the benefits of using hanging storage, from over-the-door hangers to hooks inside cabinet doors.
7. Consider a white noise machine
Living with a baby in a one-bedroom apartment may not seem very noisy except when the baby cries. However, you may start noticing noises that you didn't before. The sound of a delivery truck parked outside, a neighbor playing the guitar or the cat meowing outside your window. Of course, some of that noise is in your own apartment as you stream your favorite shows or have a Zoom meeting. Having a white noise machine can help block some of that noise so the baby can sleep. It might even help you get a good night's rest, too.
8. Don't go overboard with toys, books and stuffed animals
Baby toys, books and stuffed animals can add up in a hurry, so it's important to keep the volume in check. For toy storage, use baskets and bins, and slide them under the coffee table to keep them out of the way. To maximize floor space, install wall shelves to hold books, or a corner hammock is another option.
9. Baby-proof your apartment
When preparing your apartment to welcome your new baby, don't forget to address potential hazards by childproofing your home. Install covers on your unused electrical outlets, and place baby-proof locks on your lower cabinets.
If your apartment has a balcony, patio or fire escape, place baby gates in front of them. Protect your baby from sharp edges by placing padding around table edges and the fireplace hearth. Place baby-proof doorknob covers on bathroom doors, exterior doors, closets and the pantry to keep baby from exploring on his own.
10. Keep the apartment clean and pick up clutter
Making time to clean is hard when you're trying to care for a baby, work and take care of yourself. However, regularly picking up clutter and putting things back where they belong will go a long way in helping your space feel larger than it is. And not tripping over baby toys, your shoes or that laundry basket will not only prevent injury but also will help keep your spirits up.
11. Use foldable or portable baby furnishings
When searching for a high chair, look for one you can fold and put away when not in use. Another alternative is a high chair that clamps onto the side of the kitchen table. Also, skip the baby swing on the stand, and choose one that hangs from a doorframe. A collapsible baby bathtub is a real space saver because you can fold it and hang it on the back of the bathroom door when not in use.
12. Purge as you go
Babies grow fast, and the clothes and items they use change almost as often. To make sure you always have the storage you need with a baby in a one-bedroom apartment, routinely clean out baby's clothes to remove those items that no longer fit. Do the same with baby toys and books that baby has outgrown. Donate these items to a local charity, thrift store or daycare center.
Enjoy your time together
Living with a baby in a one-bedroom apartment can seem challenging, even overwhelming when you first bring the baby home. However, by utilizing these tips, you can make the most of your space, as well as your time in your first home together. These moments will be fleeting, so take time to enjoy each day.