One of the many challenges with our small cottage is…what gear to buy and what gear to forgo. Fortunately, we have some friends who had their first child while in New York city so had some great advise. Here are a few things we’re contemplating for the near future:
- Forget the highchair! We really don’t have a dining room table or any place to store, let alone utilize a highchair. For the first few months, we obviously won’t need one. For now, we’re likely going to skip the highchair and as a workaround, rely on a bumbo baby seat with tray, or a portable highchair. If we can contain the mess, we might stand a chance with one or both of these!
- Xtreme organization: As I’ve mentioned a few dozen times, we have tiny closets. Before baby arrives, we invested in a few (relatively inexpensive) closet organizers. Having a few extra shelves can make a world of difference. Someone also suggested size tags for baby clothes to help you stay up to date on which size to pull out next and which outfits can be packed away. We’ll be using our attic space and plastic bins to cycle through the various stages of baby-gear so we don’t have too much clutter at one time, especially with items we won’t need right away.
- Consult the experts: There are lots of books and sites out there to help you make informed decisions about baby products. This is one book someone mentioned to me that I found particularly helpful: Baby Bargains. Definitely get the most up to date version for the best info, but regardless…there are some great tips in here for finding the right product for you.
- Portable, portable, portable: Many types of gear come in portable or travel-type options. These are great for people with small space as they can be compressed or folded and stuck under a bed/crib or in the back of a closet for when they’re needed. There’s no need for the full-sized version if you can make-do with the portable version. A few ideas are: snap & go strollers to give you some ease of use with the infant car seat. This is helpful and economical until you need a full-sized stroller. There are also portable highchairs as mentioned above, portable cribs/pack n’ play options, bassinets and co-sleepers and much much more.
- Borrow what you can: We are fortunate in that many of our friends have had babies recently so they have some of the gear we’ve been looking at. Rather than purchase our own, we plan to borrow whatever is up for grabs. This saves us on storage space before we need the items, and lets us give the items back when we’ve outgrown them!