Having a Baby in a One-Bedroom Apartment: How We Did It

We lived in our apartment for just over two years and some of our dearest memories are in this space. I highly recommend Fair Oaks if you’re looking for an apartment in Minneapolis. Henry was about seven months old when we moved out.

I thought I’d document how we managed to have a baby in a one-bedroom apartment without getting overwhelmed by stuff. I am not a strict minimalism by any means, but I do like to be thoughtful about what I buy and keep in our home because clutter makes me feel stressed. I’m convinced that when I feel the urge to “organize” something, I really just need to get rid of stuff that we don’t use or find beautiful. (Yes, I adhere to the philosophy that you should only keep things that “you know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.“)

Before you get too surprised that we opted to stay in our one-bedroom apartment with our baby, let me tell you that having your baby in your room will probably happen no matter what for at least the first three months. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies sleep in the same room as their parents for the first six months, ideally the first year. But that said, your sleep matters, too. I don’t believe parents should ever feel bad for moving their baby into another room (or the living room or a hallway) if they can’t sleep with the baby in the room. Sleep deprivation makes you feel crazy.

Here’s Henry’s side of the room. I made a little gallery wall for him. The basket contains all of his toys (babies don’t need that many toys). And underneath the shelf-turned-dresser is everything we needed for diaper changes. I still change his diaper on the floor.

As you can visually observe, my main advice about raising a baby in a small space is to have only what you need–and you really don’t need that much. I do want Henry to have a fun childhood and I’m not against toys, but the things Henry gets the most excited about are boxes and paper and plastic cups. We bought a mini crib to save on space and I did buy a slightly more expensive Ubbi trash can and it was worth it.

“But…where are you going to put the baby?”

It was an honest question, even though the underlying question felt like, “Why aren’t you giving your baby a real nursery?”, and I got used to hearing it when I told people we were pregnant and we were not moving yet.

And having a baby in a small apartment was perfectly fine. I loved it actually. There were less rooms to clean and babies don’t need that much space.

We had stored this bookshelf in the little storage area that came with our apartment, so instead of buying a dresser, we decided to get this shelf out of storage, paint it navy blue, and use it for Henry’s clothes and books. I liked that I could see everything instead of having lesser-worn items disappear in the bottom of a drawer. The bookshelf is special to me because it was made by my grandfather who died when my mom was young. He was a carpenter and this bookshelf is the only thing of his I have.

Nathan loves ships and this painting is a favorite of mine.Our bedroom had gorgeous light. The sheepskin rug was a bit dramatic but it added some texture to the room.

People all over the world raise happy families without American-style houses, so, if you like the idea of having a baby but don’t like the idea of buying a house, you’re in good company.

I prefer babies to houses too.

XOXO,

Melanie

P.S. Tomorrow I’ll share the rest of our little apartment.

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