Haven’t posted in a while and for the best reason: I’ve been busy with our new baby! I’m in no position or stage in parenthood to be doling out advise on newborn wrangling or parenting. But after three months, I think I’m in a good place to offer advise on adapting/decorating your small space to accommodate another body.
Case in point: I can highly recommend using a baby box! It seems like in the few months since we purchased our baby box the concept of the baby box has gone from ‘never heard’ to ‘everybody is getting one’ status. Don’t believe me? Literally everyone in New Jersey is getting one.
There is a host of reasons to get the baby box. Of course, you know, baby saving reasons, as reiterated by the state of NJ’s decision of handing them out for free to prevent sleep related baby deaths. But for space-related issues, I think the baby box – and not a regular bassinet-type contraption – was the way to go.
1) It bought us time. We did not want to have fully kitted out nursery by the time the baby arrived. First of all, we knew the baby would be (and should be) with us in the room at the start for nursing, but also for closeness. Secondly, we wanted to have the office/guest room for as long as possible, especially knowing we’d be having a slew of family visitors from out-of-town to see our little one. This being a NYC apartment, there aren’t that many extra rooms around, ya know? So far the first three months has seen multiple days/weeks long visits from my mother, in-laws, and sister
2) It’s easy to wheel around. The thing that worried us about the baby box was where to place it. As a competing product’s website pointed out: You don’t want the baby box on the floor because of the danger of having things fall into it during the night. If you’re going to having right next to your bed, pillows or sheet folds could pose a danger to your sleeping newborn. But I had a genius idea (yes, I said genius and I meant it.) I hacked the Baby Box by hacking Ikea! The dimensions of the Ikea PS 2012 coffee table were exactly right for the baby box, which we secured to the top with velcro strips. It is perfectly secure, not a wobble or jiggle, and raised off the floor. And there’s space underneath for bins to keep track of mittens, blankets, nose frida, magazines, etc.
Now, and especially in the early days, we wheel it into the living room so she can be part of the action during the day. Without us having to carry her all the time. Which is great when, like us, you also don’t have space (or desire) to have any huge jiggly, bouncy, electronic, swinging baby seat-contraptions.
3) It’s portable! On a recent family road trip out of town we threw her carrier, boppy nursing pillow, blankets, clothes and our toiletries into the box, detached it from the coffee table, put on the lid, and shoved it in the trunk of the car. Dunzo.
4) It’s super cute!! We don’t have a nursery to make things looks all baby-ready and what not, but this thing did it for us. We chose the hedgehog design and it’s so perfect for our little girl who came into the world with a shock of spikey hair! PLUS: It gives her something to look at. Once she started focusing on things, we immediately noticed her staring at “her little friends”. When she began smiling and laughing at 5 weeks, that’s all she did in her box, at the hedgehogs: smile and laugh and coo. It’s sometimes heartbreaking to take her out of the box at all.
5) Eco friendly products inside! This is more an incidental bonus: We never would have tried eco-friendly diapers. They are expensive and we had dismissed using them from the start. But the box came with a pack of them. And can I just tell you? They are great. Not a one blow-out. So now we’ve been introduced to the product we are considering getting them now that we are better at diapering and aren’t throwing them out at a drop of a pee.
So, thumbs up all around. I know the box won’t be lasting us much longer. But again: it bought us the time. We needed to figure out what we want really want and need and what set up would work in our small space and we’ve done that now. In another month, we’ll be putting her in a crib (5 months) and then we’ll have a cute-as-heck box to store her newborn stuff in. (In case we need it for baby #2. hehehe)