Your apartment was already cramped, but somehow you were able to make room for a baby. Now that everything is running smoothly, life hands you another little surprise in the form of a second bundle of joy. Moving isn't an option, and so now you're forced to find even more room for all the stuff that comes with a new baby, without making your older child feel like they're giving up too much. Here are a few simple ways you can make your small apartment work for your growing family:
The Inevitability of Sharing a Bedroom
If you're living in a two bedroom apartment with two kids, there is an inevitable choice that must be made: who will share a room with the new baby? If you've decided your kids should start bonding early, here are a few tips to help ensure your two kids have their own space:
Find clever and safe ways to divide the space. For example, anchor a large bookshelf against the wall in the middle of the bedroom. If the room is smaller, a freestanding room divider will also give your older child some privacy.
Let your older child dictate the room's designs. Your baby will be more interested in having a clean diaper and a full belly, so allow your older child to pick the room's colors and any new bedding or accessories.
Purchase a portable crib for your bedroom – and be prepared to use it. There will be nights when the baby won't stop crying, or isn't interested in sleeping. Keeping the baby in your bedroom once in a while will help keep the peace, and provide your older child with some much needed privacy.
Whatever furniture or storage solutions you choose, pay attention the room is as safe as possible for your baby. For example, Baby Center urges parents to keep your baby's crib away from anything that poses a strangulation risk – including window shade cords.
Does My Baby Really Need That
Did the combination of excitement and lack of experience lead you to purchase several items for your baby you thought were crucial, but ended up being completely useless? Before you make the same mistake twice, ask yourself one vital question before purchasing any of these items: Does my baby really need that?
A Fancy Diaper Pail – Skip the diaper pails that claim to eliminate odors and instead, stick with a regular garbage can. Chances are you'll garbage will pile up so quickly you'll be taking it out all the time, anyway.
A Changing Table – From the floor of the bathroom to the lawn outside your favorite restaurant, chances are you'll changing your baby's diaper just about everywhere that isn't a pricey changing table.
Expensive Clothing – Skip the pricey, designer label clothing and instead, buy your baby's clothes for the first two to three years from secondhand stores or yard sales.
A Massive, Toy Covered Baby Swing – Those full size baby swings are cute, but chances are your baby will fall asleep just as quickly on the floor, in their crib – or in your arms!
Shopping Cart Cover – Those brightly-decorated shopping cart covers are intended to protect your baby from germs, while keeping them entertained while you buy groceries. However, they won't do you much good in the trunk, or at the back of the hall closet, which is where it will probably wind up.
Having a second baby can be an overwhelming experience, especially if you are already struggling with a lack of time, money and space. However, with a little planning, and a lot fewer trips to the department store's baby section, chances are you'll get through this time just fine!