Making Space For Baby
I was beside myself when I found out I was pregnant – both times. There were so many emotions. Some fear – fear of lots of things – as well as just joy. With the range of fluctuating emotions came the ignition of some sort of maniacal organisational gene that had NEVER existed before. I’ve been known to pack for a two-week trip the morning of departure. A standing pile is an organised pile. You know – I was one of those people. And then it happened. The nesting elf came and settled in comfortably in my brain. Fast forward a few years and I feel like I have found a happy medium with the organising versus chaos elves in my brain!
During the organising elf reign ie my pregnancies, I realised that babies are teeny tiny but they take up a lot of space. Making space for number 3 and then number 4 humans in our household took up a bit of space in my brain so I thought it might be useful to share some of the decisions we had to make, the space we had to find for our little additions. A checklist of sorts.
Regardless of elfin reigns, I loved my pregnancies and I hope that you do too. After all, it’s not always easy but it’s not every day that you get to bake a little bun in your oven! And don't overdo it or push yourself too much. Enjoy as much of it as you can.
Regarding buying stuff, take the time to understand what you need and when so that you don’t overbuy. Remember, stuff is not going anywhere – the shops will have it when you need it.
Here are some things you need to consider and make space for…
1. Making Space For Baby - In Your Bedroom
- Will baby be in your room at first or will they go straight into their own room?
- Sleeping space – Co-sleeping? Bassinet/Cot?
- Remember that at night time feeds you may not be clear-headed so make sure there are no tripping hazards in your path
- The bassinet should be clear of windows and heating vents
2. Making Space For Baby - Baby’s Bedroom
- Will the baby have their own room or is it a shared space? ie home office/bedroom
- Cot / Bassinet should be clear of a window, heater/cooler vents, and anything that can be pulled/tugged
- Is the room adequately cooled for summer? Heated for winter?
- Is there a Feeding area?
- Is there space to express if you need to?
- Room for the Changing area?
- Room for Storage? E.g. clothes, toys, books
- Measure the space you have for all of the above
3. Making Space For Baby - Changing table or changing area
- Ideally away from things that can be pulled/tugged
- Will have a separate unit or have a drawer/changer combo
- Make sure that it is a comfortable height - bending down will hurt your back
- You need to make sure that everything is to hand i.e. nappy, wipes, nappy disposal and creams, or oils.
- Have extras of key products at all times, so you don’t run out when the baby is on the table e.g. wipes, nappies, etc…
4. Making Space For Baby - Nappies
- Disposable or Cloth? Eco or Standard?
- If you don’t have a changing table with storage, you will need to find space for nappies within easy reach of the changing facilities
- Disposal/cleaning system for nappies
5. Making Space For Baby - Clothes storage
- Where will baby clothes go? You will need space for the clothes in use, plus the larger sizes that you will be gifted and buy yourself.
6. Making Space For Baby - Linen storage
- Cot Bed linen
- Extra Baby Towels
- Burping cloths (keep them close)
- Face washers (keep a few extras near the bath)
7. Making Space For Baby - Dirty Laundry Hamper
- Have somewhere close to the baby changing area that is easy to clean up messes
8. Making Space For Baby - Bathing
- Space for toiletries like shampoo, body wash, nail clippers
- Need to have a towel, face washers, sponge, cotton buds to hand
- What space do you have for the bath? What will fit?
- A baby bathtub is heavy when filled with water – you need to be able to fill it and use it and then empty it without breaking your back
- Bathtub, and maybe a stand, need space to stand in use and when not in use
- Needs to be surrounded by the toiletries you need to bathe the baby
- Is the bathroom adequately heated for winter?
- If you don't have a lot of space, can you wash in a large sink or with a smaller tub on an existing bench/vanity?
9. Making Space For Baby - Kitchen
- If breastfeeding and expressing - space to store the expressed breast milk in the fridge or freezer
- Bottles and sterilising equipment
- Space for bottles, teets, steriliser, bottle dryer, maybe formula cans
- Space for the bottle warmer
10. Making Space For Baby - Solids
- High chair: what space do you have available - measure height, width, and depth requirements.
- Food processor –small is fine e.g. Braun handheld is more than adequate
- Additional space in the freezer for frozen homemade baby food
- Space for containers – for freezing your homemade baby food
- Space on the shelf for cereals, and maybe the formula
- Space for plates, bowls, cutlery, cups, bibs
11. Making Space For Baby - Living Room / Spaces
- Resting time – Portable cot or a moses basket?
- Playing space
12. Making Space For Baby - Laundry
- Soaking bucket for everyday clothes that get soiled or cloth nappies if using
- Space for additional sensitive detergents
- Store chemicals in higher units away from crawling babies and toddlers
- Little clothes are easier to hang on peg hanging dryer, and its also easily movable and can hang indoors or out depending on weather
13. Making Space For Baby - Extra Storage Considerations
- You will need space to store things that you are not using, e.g. Extra toys/gifts/larger clothes that will keep coming
- What will you do with things once they are used – ie bassinet, small clothes? Depends if you think you will use them again.
14. Making Space For Baby - The Pram
- Think about where the pram will stand when not in use
- Measure the space you have for the pram – in the house, doorway and car – before you buy the pram
15. Making Space For Baby - The Car
- The car seat and pram are space guzzlers – make sure that you know exactly what room you have in the car including dimensions before you make these big purchases. Measure twice they say!
- Test the pram in the car at the shop before you buy
- Do you have a car that has the ISOFIX fixtures?