Whether you’re a brand new parent, expecting, or planning to start a family, one thing remains constant: you want the best, and only the best, for your child. You stare at nurseries and baby rooms you see on the Internet and on catalogues and you drool over them. You know in your heart that your baby deserves nothing less.
However, condo living has realities you have to live with as a parent. Most condos do not have the luxury of space and finding a room for a nursery may be a challenge. Having a limited space does not mean it can’t be done, but effort must be put in. A lot of modern parents have jobs in the city and condos are a convenient way to balance work and life. But when you put a baby in the mix, things and priorities change.
Raising a baby in a condo has its pros and cons, just like raising kids in a traditional neighborhood in the suburbs. You just have to understand the cons enough and turn them into pros.
Live within limits
You know those bulky baby bouncers, big wheeled walkers, bassinets, changing tables, and high chairs? You might not need them after all. A crib and a stroller you can fold and store in the closet may be useful but the other things you can do without. Don’t even get started on that giant doll house for when your little girl starts crawling.
One of the things you need to know when living in a condo with a baby is to understand your limitations. The truth is that you are not buying these things for the baby. You probably just want to be that parent that gives her child everything or perhaps you just find them cute. Your babies won’t know. Before you purchase anything, check if you have the space for it, how long the baby is going to use it and how often, and if it is really necessary.
Too much of everything
How many feeding bottles or sippy cups does your baby have? How many towels? How many shoes does he own even before he can even walk? How many baby toys does he have? Stop having multiples of everything. One bath towel is enough. You don’t need those towels with a cloth duck covering the baby’s head. Rinse and reuse bottles. Remember that your space won’t allow too many cabinets filled with baby stuff.
Pick furniture wisely
Figuring out where all baby clothes, books, toys, and gears go drives parents crazy. This is why from the planning stage of having a baby, you must already invest in the right furniture. Thank yourself later for that floor-to-ceiling shelving and dividers that double as storage. Get rods and rails that can be mounted on the wall for those bins and buckets of toys. This will make small living space for babies more livable. And choose dark-colored furniture especially for the couch, dining chairs, carpets, and rugs.
Choose “travel size” often
When you pick out baby gear, always go for those with tags “travel-size,” “portable,” or “foldable.” If you can’t fit it in the closet or at the back of the car, let it go. Always go for mini versions of things. You won’t hold on to them for too long so enough of the crib fit for a princess.
You’ll have toys on the floor, baby clothes everywhere, and feeding bottles at every corner. De-clutter regularly if you don’t want your condo to look like a cave. And don’t just limit yourself to baby stuff. You and your spouse also have to let go of some things.
What the baby needs right now
Your baby can’t potty train at six months. He can’t sit up straight in a high chair or manage his body on a walker either. Condo living tells you that you don’t stock for the next milestone. The baby will get there soon. But in the meantime, don’t waste precious space figuring out where to stock all these things.
Step away from mall sales
Parents are the most vulnerable shoppers. They can be easily talked into buying anything for their baby. They are easily convinced that they need this and that baby gear even if they actually don’t. But a sensible condo living tip for parents with newborns is: don’t buy things just because they are on sale. If you don’t need them at the moment, don’t buy them.
Baby-proofing and sound-proofing
Make condo living as conducive for your baby as possible. Baby-proof doors that can accidentally lock them in, make sure cabinet drawers won’t be detrimental to baby’s fingers, keep sharp objects out of reach, and so on. You might also consider soundproofing your apartment or even just the room where the baby stays. Choose the perfect bed foam suitable for your baby for a good night sleep. You live in a complex with other people and you don’t want outside noise to ruin your baby’s sleep. At the same time, you don’t want to wake everybody up in the middle of the night with a crying baby.
Take it outside
Living in a small space can sometimes feel like you are living in a cramped box and you will miss the expansive backyard of your childhood home. But remember that the comfort of a condo extends beyond the walls of your unit. Condo communities have open spaces such as parks, playgrounds, and pathways where you and the baby could enjoy fresh air. Amenities such as ponds and gardens are a good exploratory venue for infants.
Moms are the most creative of all. They always have a solution for everything. This creativity will come in handy when living with a baby in the condo. Fit the crib in the closet, mount an activity zone on the wall, and re-use things than you can repurpose. Creativity will make those first few years much more comfortable for you and the baby. Use the space that you have imaginatively.
You can always wish for a bigger space. But if what you have right now works, then so be it. Space is no match to a creative, resourceful, and loving parent who will move mountains just to give the best for his child.