While babies are born all year long, of course, in my group of friends, there tend to be “baby booms.” Right now is one of those times; I have two friends due to give birth next month! For one of them, it’s her first baby, and she and her husband live in a very small two-bedroom apartment. As you know if you have children, babies may be small, but the equipment that they come with is anything but! We moved out of our tiny apartment when my first baby was just a few months old, mostly because we didn’t have enough room for so much stuff! Most of us look back and realize that we didn’t need most of the paraphernalia, but new moms usually ask for, and get, a lot of baby things. If you have a friend or family member who is having a baby and lives in a small space, or if you are in that position yourself, here are some good, space-saving ideas for gifts:
- Fisher-Price Take Along Swing The baby swing was a must for me; while I loved wearing my babies in a sling most of the time, sometimes I just needed a break… and that’s usually when they woke up, because they weren’t lulled to sleep by my walking them around! A swing will keep the momentum going to allow them to keep on sleeping, but they also take up a lot of precious room. This little swing is portable and takes up only about two feet in either direction, making it easier than full-sized swings to fit in small areas. One caveat: many reviewers say that the slowest setting is too fast for a newborn, so this might be better for a baby who is a couple months old.
- Contoured Changing Pad Instead of getting the expectant mom a changing table, which will only take up room in the nursery or living room, consider buying a contoured changing pad instead. She can put the pad on top of a dresser or table to change baby, then either leave it there or slip it under the dresser or under a bed in between diaper changes. Of course, it could also be used as a soft place to change baby on the floor!
- Baby Carrier My favorite baby-holder was my Maya Wrap. That’s a sling with two rings, and it can be used in various ways to hold the baby in a laying down or sitting up position. While they can be used for newborns, many moms feel more secure keeping very little ones in a frontpack carrier, like a BabyBjorn. These save space because the baby is right against mom’s or dad’s body, so he’s really not taking up much room at all!
- Arms Reach Cosleeper In the early weeks and months, many moms want to keep their babies close by during the night. Everyone usually sleeps better, and it makes it that much easier to feed baby! There is some controversy over whether infants are safe in mama’s bed, so if the mother-to-be is nervous about the possibility but doesn’t want or doesn’t have room for a full-size crib in her bedroom, this is a great alternative. For cosleeping families, the sleeper is pulled right up to the big bed, giving everyone their own space while keeping baby very close. It can also be converted into a free-standing bassinet.
Everyone has their own list of must-have items for new babies! I was a bit of a minimalist myself. What were your favorite baby items? Do you have any to suggest for the mom-to-be who needs to conserve space?