Tips For Living With A Baby In One Bedroom
This was actually a reader request, and I figured that others may be able to relate if they were also living in similar circumstances.
Our condo is less than 1000 square feet (889 to be precise), which is still pretty spacious when comparing it to studios or apartments in places like NYC. Still, although we knew we would have to move someday with the addition of more children (fingers crossed), we figured that life was still manageable with one bedroom and one child. It’s been eleven months so far, and things have worked out just fine.
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When we first brought Miles home, we used a mini crib (similar to this one) that was graciously gifted to us by our friends whose baby had outgrown it. It was collapsible and had wheels so that we could bring him into the other room if we wanted. I kept it by my side of the bed and that’s where he would sleep (except from the hours of like 4-6 am where I ended up bringing him into bed with me because that’s the only way he would go back to sleep).
Once he started breaking out of his swaddle, we transitioned him to the Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit. It was great, but because it keeps their arms and legs stretched out, the mini crib wasn’t going to work for much longer. I looked for a simple crib on Amazon, and decided on this one, which has worked really well for us since we got it.
It’s at the foot of our bed and I got these crib liners only because Donut was able to reach in and grab his pacifier while he was sleeping, which obviously wasn’t ideal. 🙂
The only other baby-related furniture we have in our room is a diaper genie and this changing table, which also functions as storage. To be honest, I don’t even change him on it anymore and usually do it on the floor or on the bed. I got this one because I wanted to be able to use it as he got older to hold toys/books/etc. Since I stopped using the top to change him, I use it to store miscellaneous small toys, medicine, wipes, and nail cutters. The second shelf has his diapers and some books, and the lower part is where I keep all his clothes. It holds a lot, but as he grows out of things I make sure to move them to a storage bin in the closet so that I easily know which clothes he can wear at any given time. Any extra baby supplies like diaper overflow, diaper genie refills, etc. are also kept in the closet. I also have had to put this cart in front of the opening because Donut also likes to pull out all of his clean clothes and herd them into the center of the room for us.
We use a Google Home as a sound machine and have since he was born (it’s hiding on the floor behind the chair in the above picture). I started having some difficulty with it last month because it would randomly stop playing in the middle of the night which would wake him (and us) up. I asked on Instagram for sound machine recommendations and even went out to buy a Hatch, which came highly recommended and could be used later on as an ok-to-wake clock, but then saw a message that someone encountered this same problem and remedied it by explicitly specifying the amount of time for the sound to play. Now I simply tell it to play white noise for 16 hours and problem solved.
We also don’t have a baby monitor because we can hear him easily even if the door is closed. I will still periodically check on him if I feel the need to when he’s sleeping, but for the most part he goes to bed early and we come in and quietly go to bed a couple hours later with no issues.
Don’t go overboard on toys if you don’t have a lot of space. Honestly, children find ANYTHING fascinating, so most of the time he’s entertained with Tupperware, hangers, or his crinkly bag of wipes.
I made this more than clear when I had my baby shower because I didn’t want our place filling up with unnecessary toys. I still ask for Amazon gift cards for every occasion for him because it allows us to get what we need when we need it and only what we need. They were by far the most useful gift we received.
I keep a couple larger toys in the bedroom (he only has a few), and try to straighten them up at the end of the day so the room feels cleaner and I don’t trip on them in case I need to get up at night. I also use the corner of the room for photography, so I have some props stored there as well which take up some room.
Because Donut tries to take any toy he has if we are playing on the floor, I often just plop him in his crib with a bunch of toys if I want him to be able to play uninterrupted.
This will likely differ depending on the temperament of your baby and other factors, but this is how the situation has played out for us.
Miles didn’t sleep through the night until he was 10 months old, and there’s still a night here and there where he will wake up in the middle of the night. When that happens, I simply make a small amount of food and give it to him, with him falling back asleep afterwards.
Because Neil had to physically go to work each day and I was able to stay at home, I wanted to make sure that he was able to get enough sleep, knowing that I could always take a nap if I really needed to during the day. We never really found a good time to try sleep training because I felt that there was no need for us both to be sleep deprived by having the baby cry long enough to put himself to sleep when I could just feed him a little and have him go right back down. I also knew that eventually he would figure it out, so I would just get up with him once or twice a night and feed him, then let him go back to sleep.
This may not be the preferred method for others, but it worked for us. Now he goes to bed anywhere from 5-7 pm (he’s in a weird sleep stage right now), and sleeps until the morning. Some days he will wake up at 5 am, I will give him a bottle, and then he will sleep until 7 am. Other days he will sleep until about 6:30 am.
It’s certainly doable and although we obviously can’t do it forever, it’s working just fine for us right now. Adding another child into the mix in the future may pose some challenges if we haven’t relocated yet, so if that ends up being the case, I’ll be sure to share that journey with you as well. 🙂
If I missed covering anything, please ask in the comments and I’ll answer!