Things No One Tells You :: Babies

This is my final installment in the “Things No One Tells You” series (you can read the others here and here). This time its about babies, and if you’re thinking “oh man here’s another long rant/list” you can relax, thankfully, people never fail to tell you endless amounts of information about babies (even when you don’t want it). So here I go, throwing more information at you, unsolicited.

Things No One Tells You:

Soft Indicators on your Ultrasound. I’m not a doctor, but I’m going to try my best to give you the simplest explanation I can. At our 20 week ultrasound, they identified a “soft indicator” or a spot on the heart. This is likely a hole in the heart (which is very common at this stage, and will likely close up). The doctor asked us to come in and explained this to us. The first thing she said was “I am legally required to tell you this, otherwise I would not. In my experience this is usually not an issue, so don’t stress out about it”.

things no one tells
Our 1st ultrasound was hunky dory

What they are looking for are indicators of a genetic disorder (most commonly, Down Syndrome). This particular indicator was considered a “soft” indicator; basically there needs to be other indicators for this one to be taken seriously. I had initially said no to some blood tests at the beginning of my pregnancy, because the doctor explained there are a lot of false positives and it wasn’t worth the stress unless I was willing to put a giant needle into my belly for the 2nd set of tests (which I was not).

This day was the last day we could do the test. We opted to do it, not so we could terminate the pregnancy based on the results, but so we could prepare ourselves better for the future. (If you did terminate a pregnancy based on these tests, no judgement, everyone is different and every situation is different). The doctor scheduled us for another ultrasound a few weeks later and the test results came back fine.

That day was stressful, and it took mentioning it to a few friends before things no one tellswe realized how common this is. You probably know someone who has experienced this exact scenario, and all turned out well. This would have been a nice thing to know about ultrasounds prior to having one. Rather than the usual pseudoscience of gender guessing based on the location of the placenta.

As it turns out, many doctors are pushing to be able to withold this information unless there are more than one indicator, citing that the stress is harmful and the extra testing is a burden on the system, given the low rates of actual diagnoses compared to the high number of ultrasounds with “soft indicators”. So don’t panic and definitely don’t google this when you get home from the doctor’s office.

Benign Neonatal Sleep Myoclonus. This is the fancy term for this absolutely terrifying thing your baby might do. But guess what? It’s common and its not an issue. If you do a search of this, there are THOUSANDS of posts of panicked mothers looking for direction.

Here’s what it is, in simpleton: While nursing Callahan, he was falling asleep and he started shaking. Initially it looked like a seizure. And I freaked out. I started yelling his name (which he still didn’t know, so, not helpful) and then I noticed a few things that helped me calm down… 1) Only his upper body was shaking. 2) He wasn’t clamping onto my breast, but still nursing. 4) He wasn’t flailing, it was fairly mild, but still alarming. 3) It stopped after about 7-10 seconds. I immediately googled this and saw all these responses and calmed down.

things no one tells
see he’s fine, LOL

You know when you’re falling asleep and sometimes you twitch/feel like you’re falling? Essentially this is what’s happening with the baby. Their Neurological systems are still developing and are just firing at random. This happened a few more times and then it happened one day as he was waking up, poor Tyler, I had forgot to mention it had happened at all, so he rightfully panicked. I decided to mention it to my doctor, as the waking up shaking wasn’t mentioned in any of the posts, just the falling asleep. I wasn’t worried, but as one of my sisters had been diagnosed with epilepsy a few years prior, thought it best to be sure.

Given the family history, my doctor agreed it was likely nothing, to try and catch it on video (which I never managed since it was always done before I could grab my phone), and referred us to the pediatrician for peace of mind. All was well, the pediatrician said its very common and not a concern. My sister having epilepsy (and her type of epilepsy) was not a factor, unless I or Tyler had epilepsy, and unless it gets worse or he doesn’t outgrow it in the next year or so, there is no need to be concerned.

Having mentioned this to a few co-workers and friends, yet again we learned it was common and no big deal. He rarely does this now, but he also doesn’t nurse to sleep anymore, and when it does happen, its always when he’s being woken up in his car seat or stroller. Even then, its usually just one of his hands twitching, not a full body spasm anymore.

things no one tells
nothing wrong with the kid, the other guy? not so sure

So there you have it, things no one tells you about your baby. Now you won’t panic if it happens, you’re welcome. I also think the advice my friend told me about pregnancy can be applied to babies:

Everything is normal until its not.

Please follow and like us:

Things People Say to New Parents and Shouldn’t

I’m gonna cut to the chase here because I’m hella tired and this doesn’t need much of an intro… so without further ado, things people say to new parents and shouldn’t:

Is the baby sleeping through the night yet?things people say to new parents and shouldn't

No, that’s not how babies work. They are designed to wake up frequently to eat through the first few months. Don’t talk to me about sleep training or what you did, we are in survival mode over here. Just like you were, or your friend, or your neighbour. Please stop talking about sleep.

Are you getting much sleep?

Please lets not talk about this. If I’m not I don’t want to dwell on it. If I am, I can’t say so without someone complaining about how they had no sleep and their life was sooooo hard. Just because I’m sleeping okay doesn’t mean things aren’t hard over here.

Are you breastfeeding?

None of your damn business .

So, are you going to have another?

No. A) None of your damn business. B) Leave my poor battered body alone, its done enough. C) We can’t even imagine what tomorrow looks like, let alone plan for another baby. D) There is no P & V tango right now, probably.

things people say to new parents and shouldn'tYou’re going to spoil the baby by holding it so much.

Negative. A baby cannot be spoiled by your love and touch. A baby doesn’t even understand that you two aren’t one being. Some time around the 6 month mark, baby will start to realize they are a separate being, but until then, cuddle the shit out of them.

Aren’t you just so happy?

I was, but not everyone is. You can see how this might be hard to answer (lie about) constantly. That it would eat at you as the days go by and you aren’t happy. It’s okay to not be okay, and people should start changing the phrasing of this question to someting more like “how are you doing? Is everything okay?”. If someone does ask like this, Moms and Dads, tell them the truth if you need some help.

Everything is a phase, this too will pass.things people say to new parents and shouldn't

Fuck off. This is so annoying. Rather than giving me some fucking useless cliche, how about you offer some actual tangible help. Wash my dishes, watch the baby for 20 minutes so I can shower, take the dog for a walk. Or show me what you did that worked, recommend a product you swear by. HELP MEEEEEEE! I know everything is a phase for fuck’s sake, we don’t shit in diapers for our whole lives, I’m not an idiot. But things are hard right now so help or buzz off.

Things you CAN say to new parents:

Do you need any groceries?

Can I help you with some chores?

Can I take your idiot dog off your hands for a while?

Your baby is fucking adorable.

(If baby clearly looks like one parent, throw the other parent a bone) OMIGOSH baby looks just like you!!

What do you like in your coffee?

Please follow and like us:

Things No One Tells You :: Postpartum

Last week, I provided a list of things no one tells you in relation to pregnancy. I will admit that list isn’t too bad, but it was more of a precursor for this one anyways. Postpartum. The fourth trimester and beyond. The time in your life where you think to yourself “what the fuck is going on?” hourly, if not more. Again, there are tons of lists out there on the world wide web. They claim they will tell you things no one will about delivery and postpartum; again those lists are all the same, and its all in your “What to Expect…” book. Here are the things I wish someone had sat me down, looked me in the eyes and told me.

Things No One Tells You:
  1. Somewhere in the first week you will have a hormone dump. This usually
    Things no one tells
    The calm before the storm

    falls around the 4th night, but can vary person to person. This day is the worst; do not have visitors, do not plan to do anything, have lots of snacks and water ready, and have a helper. This hit me at about 4am on the 4th night, struggling to breastfeed, tired as fuck, clueless, I sat on the couch holding my baby and sobbing. Tyler sat next to me and just said over and over, “I’m so sorry I don’t know how to help you”. The hormone dump is brutal. I suggest writing it on the calendar so that when you think you’ve broken irreparably and you can’t be a mother, you can look at the calendar and go “oh, that’s why this seems so hard”, take a breath, and get through it.

  2. You will sweat. You probably read about this, but what they all fail to
    Things no one tells
    notice how I’m shirtless in nearly every pic? SWEATY MOFO

    convey is HOW MUCH you will sweat. You will wake up and feel like you’re in the Amazon, it will feel like the air is heavy and you might even feel a bit claustrophobic (another reason to avoid a summer birth.) You will wake up in the middle of the night drenched and needing to towel off. The baby will wake you up 30 mintues later, and you’ll need to towel off again. You will feel disgusting. I suggest buying a mattress protector and an extra set of sheets before D-Day, also keep a towel next to the bed, for convenience.

  3. Fluids. SO. MANY. FLUIDS. You will have heard about how milk will just pour out of your (no longer) funbags, about the lochia which can last up to 8 weeks, and I’ve explained the sweat situation already. Let me paint you a picture… You will wake up and feed the baby, feeling disgusting, you will hand the baby over to Dad and go have a shower; so you can feel less swamp monster, and more human. You will save time (and water) and pee in the shower, it is then that you will consider for a moment the absolute leaking mess that you are. Water, tears (the shower is a good place to cry and you’ll cry through many of them), sweat, pee, milk, lochia… You will feel very odd, and then you may even laugh like I did. Because WTF, a woman’s body is totally amazing and fucked up. You will get out and dry off, put your hair into a bun, grab a fresh enormous pad, and feel clean again, for a short time at least. That is your new heaven; feeling clean, a baby who is sleeping peacefully, drinking your coffee and eating your breakfast that your baby daddy made for you. ahhh.
  4. Breastfeeding blows. Yes, its amazing that you can nourish a child with only your tatas, and yes its an intimate time, just you and your little one. But seriously, cut the crap. Its fucking hard work, it can be uncomfortable to the point of torturous, and while there is more support than there has
    Things no one tells
    The day the milk and the hormones dumped. ooof

    been in millenia, there is still not enough. If your nips are sore to the point you are crying or dreading feeding your baby, I highly recommend seeing a lacatation consultant (I actually recommend seeing one even if you aren’t struggling, because there is always room for improvement. They may catch something that isn’t an issue now, but will be in the future). By the time I called Jodi, I had nearly broken my foot kicking the coffee table as Callahan would latch. My nipples were bleeding (which was alarming when Callahan spat up brown fluids) and raw and I hated life. Jodi will know when the next kid is born before any of our family does. If you are set on breastfeeding, spend the money and book with an LC in advance, you won’t regret it.

    1. In addition to breastfeeding being hard, it will KILL your libido- its not the fact you had the baby that kills it, its the breastfeeding (hormones are a mother fucker). And it lasts a LOOOOOONG ass time.
    2. Also, breastfeeding doesn’t ruin your breasts. Pregnancy does. The damage is done long before the milk comes in. Speaking of milk coming in, that is also a brutal day. Hot, sweating, leaking, hard as rocks, baby still doesn’t know what it’s doing… I wish you luck. I ran around like a chiken with my head cut off, my boobs looked like a fembot’s and Callahan wasn’t interested in eating that day to relieve the pressure. It was also the day of the hormone dump, yowza.
  5. Breastfeeding DOES NOT equal weight loss. Yes, it burns extra calories,
    Things no one tells
    Weight/gut still there. Also this was basically my uniform

    but you also have to eat more to sustain your milk. I’m sure there are some lucky bitches out there that swear they lost all the baby weight by breastfeeding, but that wasn’t me, nor was it most of my friends or relatives. I was SOOOO hungry. Given that I didn’t have any real cravings while I was pregnant, I was unprepared for this primal urge to eat. I couldn’t control it, I had to eat. I remember one day, when Tyler left the house for a few hours and I just scrounged food like a freaking raccoon and ate nonstop for 3 hours. I’m not exaggerating.

  6. Your hair will fall out at an alarming rate, you’ve probably heard this before; but it will do this for AGES. Callahan is over a year old and my hair is still falling out like mad. My hair receeded at the temples and I have those lovely little “mom bangs” all around my face. I look like a pubescent lion. No matter how much effort I put in, my hair looks like hell. My lovely friend and hair stylist told me not to wear my hair tight in buns and ponytails; but to braid it. Keep it loose to help with all of this. But its impossible since I can’t do anything other than a ponytail or a bun, and I am so sweaty, the hair HAS to be up.
  7. Joint pain is a bitch. The relaxin hormone is starting to subside, the extra weight, the fatigue, the sitting and feeding baby for hours on end; it adds up. I would wake up in the morning and my feet would hurt to walk, I
    Things no one tells
    so much time on the couch

    would waddle, making quick little steps to avoid putting too much weight (haha) on them. It would take a solid 20 minutes before they stopped hurting. They would ache again if I was sitting for a while. My knees ached, getting off the couch became a struggle. You can also become susceptible to “mother’s wrist” which is caused by putting your wrist at weird angles to hold your baby while feeding or carrying. (Try to support the baby with your arm, leaving your wrist in a neutral position.) I “threw my back out” almost monthly, carrying him, sitting, tight muscles, relaxin, baby seat, strollers, etc… there’s a lot of pressure on your body, pretend you’re still pregnant and get other people to do stuff for you. Take it easy, and go to the RMT and Chiropractor. When you’re cleared for take off, see a trainer that specializes in postpartum fitness.

  8. Loss of bladder control is VERY common, but NOT normal. If you have
    Things no one tells
    hair always up. shirt never on.

    these issues, see a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist. It will change your life. If you’re a mature woman who’s kids are long grown, they can still help you. I only had 3 appointments and saw a difference in my control and my back problems after the first appointment. Your pelvic floor is the foundation of your body, if there is an issue there, nothing else will be truly fixed despite all your efforts.

I think the thing I was not prepared for (most pissed about) was how long all of these things last. For real, Callahan is over one, I stopped breastfeeding completely 3 months ago, and I still have some of these lingering on! My rings will now go on, but won’t come off. My feet still ache in the morning but not as bad, my joints and back are finally feeling better, my hair still falls out like mad, and the weight is still there, but slowly going away (like molasses uphill in the winter), and I still sweat like a mofo! Although not as bad as the time immediately after birth, but it’s not a cute amount to be sure.

Considering I had a smooth pregnancy, I would say I hated the postpartum feelings more than a third trimester in the summer or actually giving birth. I’ve said it many times since, but those first few weeks were so hard with all of the above, and our difficulty breastfeeding, that I would have given birth 3 times a week for 3 weeks than deal with that again. People focus on what your body is doing during pregnancy, and then they focus on the baby, but what we really need to be talking about is Mom and her body in those postpartum months (and months, and months). Add in any amount of postpartum depression/anxiety/blues/rage (yes, postpartum rage is a thing) and you’ve got quite a hole to climb back out of.

Things no one tells
would do it over again in a heartbeat

So there is my list of things I wish someone would have told me. Try to find the humour in it all. Yell at your tv, or cry in the shower. Ask for help, and more help. You will all survive this and thrive. When people ask you how you’re doing, tell them the truth; no one can help you if you don’t tell them what you need; even if all you want is to stop spewing fluids like a colander.

Please follow and like us:

A Brown Bear, Brown Bear Birthday

Prior to having kids, I never understood why people spent so much money on a kid’s first birthday party. I mean, its not like they are going to remember it. And friends? They don’t really have friends, you could trade one kid out for another and Callahan wouldn’t notice, he’d just be happy they are interacting with him.

Brown Bear BirthdayBut now, after throwing our own first birthday party I get it, its for the parents. It’s for them to watch (and remember) their kid’s face light up with wonderment when they see a balloon or a candle or a new toy. Its fucking adorable, and worth every effort. We amalgamated our house warming party and his first birthday party because everyone is busy these days, so why not combine things and do it once and do it right? Callahan loves the Brown Bear Brown Bear book by Eric Carle, so we did a Brown Bear Birthday party theme, and it was so cute.

Brown Bear Birthday
Brown Bear Birthday Cake by Grandma

The Thursday before, I went down hard with the flu. Came home from work early, head ready to explode, achy, sweating profusely, eye balls hurting, light headed. The pits. I slept for 11 hours that night, going to bed medicated right after Callahan did. I stayed home Friday feeling only marginally better and PANICKING about being sick and having all these people coming over the next day. The house looked like a bomb had gone off, Tyler was on night shifts, but thankfully my sister was over to take care of Callahan so I didn’t get him sick. I had multiple epsom salt baths and drank 18 L of Honey and Lemon water.

Brown Bear Birthday
A gift for another day from Uncle Steve

Tyler put the meats and the beans in the smoker Friday evening around 7pm for the night and I eventually started some mild cleaning that day; laundry, dishes, nothing major as I didn’t have the energy. Saturday morning I put on my best cleaning outfit and sweat my bag off cleaning the house. Tyler in charge of Callahan and the food, me continuing to sweat this bug out through the power of vacuuming. It worked, the house (and me) was cleaned just in time for the party to begin.

Callahan’s plans differed from mine, in that I wanted to him to have a napBrown Bear Birthday and wake up just after people started arriving, and his plan involved no nap. So I gave up trying and brought him downstairs to see everyone. He had already spotted some of his decorations prior to the nap, and was pretty jazzed about them, so I think it was naive of me to think he’d nap, sensing something exciting was happening. I made a purchasing error and bought his birthday onesie in a size (maybe 2) too big. So he walked around all day with a half soaked onesie drooping between his knees, but he didn’t seem bothered.

Brown Bear BirthdayHe went ALL afternoon without a nap. He didn’t cry, he didn’t get whiny, he didn’t do anything but full-time mash about with a smile on his face the whole afternoon. It was unbelieveable. And he was teething. I’ve seen pictures of kids at their first birthday where they are all cute and posed nicely. Or they’re Β chilling, playing with their new toys, and Callahan’s pictures are not like that. Every so often I would scoop him up and he’d eat an ounce of a bottle. Then he’d take off again. As if he was the energizer bunny, requiring only 1 oz of formula and a cuddle 0.5 seconds long to recharge. I think Tyler and I saw him for all of 4 minutes that afternoon. At some point I had to tell myself to sit down and eat. Vodka sodas and one coffee that morning were not going to sustain me.

He had a terrible, terrible sleep that night and definitely woke up with a Brown Bear Birthdaycold, but I think he had a good time. It was fun to open presents and see all our friends and their kids (running around like crazy too). I overestimated how much kids like goldfish crackers and have about a kilo still in my cupboards. But I definitely underestimated (probably to all the parent’s relief) how much kids like dinosours candies.

Brown Bear BirthdayI’m glad we did his party on the Saturday before his actual birthday, because I barely got to see him that day. His actual birthday has been chill (Tyler has the flu, which means I got to stay home from work!). So I’ve actully been able to see him and play with him. I’ve been filling in this paper time capsule my sister got me (for him): Letters to my Baby during his naps and trying not to become a blubbering fool, but it isn’t working.

Brown Bear Birthday
his actual birthday morning

I remember when he was only a few days old thinking, “fuck, FUCK!!” (literally, that’s all I could think of, it is a complete thought, so give me some credit) Not being able to imagine a year from then, as it seemed so far away, yet here we are. We all suvived and we actually like each other even more than we did then. I’d say, 18 years is a long way away; but after experiencing how quickly this year whipped by, I know it’ll be his 18th birthday in no time. Excuse me while I start blubbering again, like a damn fool.

Please follow and like us:

Our First Night Away from Baby

Many parents talk about the stress and guilt of leaving their baby for the first time overnight. This was not us. Granted he was 10 months old by the time we finally did it, so, I guess you can say we were ready. Prior to this, we hadn’t really been able to. Because we had lived in such small quarters, it had taken a really long time to get him sleep-trained. I think this made it easier to say, “nah we’ll just come home”, rather than inflict that upon anyone. We had spent evenings away from him, individually and as a couple. And those poor souls that tried to get him to sleep when we were both out, suddenly never questioned our frustration or tactics again. I’m pretty sure a few of them experience sudden reproductive organ strikes.

But like I was saying… his age most certainly made things easier. We had big plans for dual stag nights in Vancouver and we had booked a hotel downtown. We requested a baby crib, and made plans for my Mum and her boyfriend Jonathan, to watch him for happy hour until after dinner.

When I met them at the hotel, Mum took one look at the cage of a crib and its closeness to the bed and asked if I’d prefer for her to take him home and spend the night with him, so he could sleep in his own bed. Of course I hesitated, like all first time parents would, but I didn’t scoff at the idea. I looked at the crib, and thought about all the delicious foods and drinks I could enjoy, of Tyler coming into the room like a drunken bear and waking Callahan, and immediately said “Are you sure?”

In all honesty, that crib did not look inviting. I had previewed the menu for happy hour, I had previewed the menu for dinner, and I had just previewed me saying “oh gotta go now, baby you know” for the 15 millionth time in 10 months, and when Mum said, “Ya of course” she knew she had outplayed me. Dressed in my moderately best, she knew it was now or never, she knew I was just tempted enough, that I was just ready to party enough. So away they went, all his gear in hand, (except the formula, because I forgot it AGAIN) and Callahan happily kicking away in his stroller, hanging out with his Gram-Gram and Poop-Poop.

I let Tyler know we were childless to which he responded “Woah! We get to sleep in!”. I was asked a few times throughout the night if I missed him, or even the next day if I had missed him. And honestly I hadn’t, it sounds bad, but I think it was just perfect timing. A couple friends came by the hotel that night and were rushing to leave because “they finally have a night to themselves” wink wink. Jokes on them, we passed out cold barely saying a word to each other.

Please follow and like us:

Living in a Small Space with a Baby

You may recall from this post, that I was pregnant when Tyler and I sold his apartment. When we realized we couldn’t find a rental within our budget and were waiting for our new home to finish being built, we decided to move into my apartment that we had been previously renting out.

small spaceMy apartment was a 525 square foot studio condo with a Juliet balcony. Yes you read that right. We were going to be bringing our baby home to a tiny studio apartment where the 3 of us and the dog, would live for a year.

Thankfully, our new home was finished 2 months early, so we only had to spent 9 months there! Recently our originally projected possession date passed, and we both agreed one of us would have been murdered by the other if we had to have stayed there the whole time.

The layout was decent, which meant that there was a “bedroom” separate from the livingsmall space room. But it only had 3 walls, no windows, and was obviously, tiny. I created a little space that would be Callahan’s bedroom, about 5×3 sqft right next to the kitchen, and turned the track lighting so that it didn’t spotlight on him. We opted to bring in our big couch, ottoman coffee table (toy storage!) and our king sized bed (which took up most of the bedroom). These things might have taken up a lot of space, but considering how much time is spent on the couch or in bed with a new baby, the comfort factor was worth it.

We brought with us a paired back wardrobe; mine being the easiest to pair back since almost nothing fit anyways and I basically lived in my nursing tank and pjs pants for 6 months. The stroller stayed in the trunk of my car as there was no room for it in the apartment, and all of Tyler’s sports gear stayed in his truck since it stunk.

For our baby shower, we asked for diapers or gift cards instead of baby gear/toys/clothes as we were so limited on space (and had been handed down some excellent quality stuff anyways). We kept all the diapers and wipes in our 3×3 storage locker and brought them up, one pack at a time.

In the end, Callahan hated the baby swing and the baby vibrating/bouncing chair that we borrowed from friends, so that kept the baby gear to a minimum.

Some things we did get to save space were:

Babyletto Origami Mini Crib

You’ve probably seen many posts debating the pros and cons of a mini crib and a regularsmall space size crib. This thing has wheels, which allowed us to move him into/out of the bedroom during naps or when we were ready to go to bed. Otherwise he would have been full-timing it in the kitchen/living room when we were trying to eat and watch TV. Callahan still sleeps in it now, and the only trouble we ever had with it was that it only had 2 levels for the mattress. This meant that when he figured out how to stand at 5 months, we had to create our own middle level or risk putting him in at the bottom level and never being able to reach him. I’m hoping Callahan likes the mini crib long enough that we can avoid buying a toddler bed, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

Guzzie + Guss Hanging Perch Chair

small spaceThis highchair saved us a ton of room. The only downside is cleaning it. The material doesn’t wipe clean very easily; but you can take it off and toss it in the wash, where it comes out. We were able to attach this to the island, and just tossed a towel underneath him to prevent spilling on his play area and toys. It also comes with a carrying bag so you could theoretically take it to restaurants with you or traveling, I personally think it doesn’t fold up small enough to warrant the effort.

Skip Hop Explore and More 3 Stage Activity Center

I waited for a Black Friday sale to buy this and it was worth it. It’s overall footprint is a small spacelot smaller than most exersaucers (or “circles of neglect”) and visually it took up a lot less space, and wasn’t blasting your retinas with the full force of the rainbow all the time. Given the fact it was going to be visible at all times, I wanted to make sure it blended in, rather than stood out. Same concept I used for the crib and highchair. Callahan loved this thing, and its now set up as a table and he still plays with it and the toys. But mostly he climbs on it.

There are a few things I would recommend you not do when it comes to living in small spaces with a baby… don’t do it, being the most important piece of advice. But if you don’t have a choice, or you want to save money, people all over the world live in small spaces and make it work.

My first piece of advice would be to make sure the layout is actually functional. Ours was, and we still wanted to kill each other, so imagine what a poorly laid out space would do to your relationship.

Second, become a minimalist. Or at least something very close to it. I regularly went through my closet and Callahan’s, if things didn’t fit they got boxed up in an organized manner and put away (baby stuff) or donated (my stuff). When we were at the store, even the grocery store, if there wasn’t space for it at home, we went without. We completely stopped shopping at Costco while we were there as nothing “Costco-sized” could fit in there.

Third, get ultra organized with your paperwork/bills etc. This is super hard to do on Mom-brain, especially new mom brain, but it must be done. You can not waste space on a junk drawer.

Baby’s don’t need a crap ton of toys. Keep out a few toys for easy access and every few weeks/months swap out the toys with new ones from storage. The best part about a baby’s development (from a minimalist standpoint), is that they will come back to old “baby” toys and start to play with them again in different ways as they learn new skills. So don’t go overboard on the toys!

Same goes for baby clothes… if you have in-suite laundry and only one kid, you can wash everyone’s clothes in one load every other day and be fine. Just because you get food or spit up on their clothes, doesn’t mean they need to be changed. I only changed them for poopocalypses and if there was enough spit up that he smelled like sour milk.

Keesmall spacep on top of the cleaning. A small spaces gets cluttered and dirty really quickly. It’s not even fair to be honest. But the good news is that its really quick to clean a small space. I could have our place looking like a dumpster fire to a show home in an hour, and barely break a sweat. But we kept our “things” to a minimum and everything had a place.

Our time in this apartment was hard as fuck, but I don’t regret it and I love looking back at the pictures and being proud of us for living in a hard space during the hardest time of your life, the newborn stage. We survived; and even though our families don’t believe it, we have less crap and more meaningful things than before.

I followed 600 sqft and a Baby on instagram and read all her posts when we were preparing for living in the condo. I still follow her, and highly recommend it for thoughtful and tested ideas on living a minimalist life with a family in a small space.

Do you have any tips for living a minimalist lifestyle with a family?

Please follow and like us: