When your baby arrives, you’ll be amazed at just how tiny they are. But despite those itty-bitty fingers and toes, these little creatures actually take up a lot of room. From the car to your home, make sure you have the space you need to ‘fit’ your baby into your life.
Whether it’s trips to the doctor, the local playground or the shops, juggling a bub in and out of a car can be tricky at the best of times. Make sure your car is set up for your precious cargo.
A back seat
The days of cradling bub on your lap are long gone. A baby needs to go into their own child restraint – either a car seat or a baby capsule. Most manufacturers recommend against using these in the front seat, so a car with a back seat is a must.
Although it’s possible to fit a baby seat into a 2-door car, 4 doors just make life so much easier. Not only will you need to get bub in and out of the door, but you’ll also need to be able to reach and fasten their restraints.
A child’s car restraint usually takes up just over a single seat. So you might not be able to still fit two additional passengers comfortably in your back seat, or if you’ve got two car seats you might not be able to fit a passenger in the middle. Many cars don’t have enough room for three car seats.
Before you buy a pram, check that it fits in your car boot. And once it’s in there, is there any room to spare? Otherwise, your first trip to the shops with bub might leave you with a tricky choice – whether to leave the stroller or the groceries behind.
At the end of the day, if you fit in your house, your baby will too. But if you want them to fit comfortably, there are a few things to think about.
Although it’s easy enough to bathe your newborn in a sink, your little water baby will likely soon need their own bath space. Some mums feel confident washing bub in a big bath or holding them in the shower, while others choose a separate baby bath either on its own or on a stand. Think about where that might be used and even stored between tub times.
Babies make a lot of mess. Especially in the early days, you can count on regularly having multiple buckets soaking and doing a daily load of laundry. Consider if you’ve got the space to soak, wash and dry it all.
Bubbas eat a little differently than their mums and dads, which means you’ll likely need to make room for a whole new section to your kitchen. Think bottles, sterilisers, breast pump, formula, plastic plates and cups, food storage, blenders, snack boxes, the list goes on and on. You’ll need to find space in your cupboards and drawers as well as the fridge and freezer.
For the first couple of weeks, bub will do little more than sleep, eat and just generally look adorable. But as they slowly start to discover the world you’ll discover two things. First, you’ll start accumulating all kinds of toys, books, and other baby paraphernalia to keep them happy, engaged and entertained. Good storage is a must. Secondly, you’ll quickly learn that once bub is mobile in any way, nothing in their reach is safe. So you’ll want to find some high spaces to store your more precious (and breakable) things.
You may have a few extra considerations if you live in an apartment.
Apartment living often means stairs or a lift. Think about how you’ll be getting your bambino in and out of your home. Will you have to drag a stroller up 3 flights of stairs? And where will you put bub while you’re carrying the stroller? Or you might want to consider leaving the stroller in your car.
Not all apartments come with a garage, and even if they do, it’s often only a single car space with little additional storage. That means everything for bub needs to be stored inside your apartment. From cartons of extra nappies to boxes of hand-me-down clothes from your friends, you’ll suddenly find you have a lot more stuff that you need to keep but not use right now. De-clutter your place as much as you can before bub arrives and maximise your storage space.
Many parents choose to keep bub close night and day for the first 6 months. Which means squeezing a bassinet or cot into your bedroom, and in the right spot (not in direct sunlight, away from curtains and blinds, and not under a window or aircon). You may need to rearrange your room a little… or a lot.
Very few of us have a room just waiting for a baby. If you’ve got a spare bedroom or two, they’re probably already in use as a guest room, study or some other special purpose. If you plan to give bub their own space, not only will you have to find a place for all the stuff in the existing room, you’ll also need to make sure there’s enough room for all your cherub’s gear. This can include a cot, change table, rocking chair, wardrobe, toy storage, nappy bin, laundry hamper, bookshelves and more.
Room to grow
Don’t forget to forward plan! Although your mind might only be thinking about your first babe right now, be sure you leave yourself room to grow if you have more the one kiddo. Will your kids need to share a room, do you want a pram that converts to carry two or more and will all your tots fit in your car?
Answering these questions now can really help in the long run, especially if you’re planning to upgrade your house or car before bub arrives.
Read next …
Think you’re almost ready for baby to arrive? Here are just a few more handy checklists for you to triple check before you welcome bub into the world.
- The final to-do list before baby arrives
- Is your car family friendly?
- The change table checklist: 19 must-haves
Ask other mums …
Think there’s something you may have missed? Join the Mum’s Grapevine pregnancy groups and ask other mums what they’re doing to help prepare for baby. The Mum’s Grapevine closed pregnancy groups are safe and supportive Facebook groups based on the season you’re due.
Click below and join your group today.