How to Make Room for a Planned or Unplanned Baby in the Big City

iStock_000016074453XSmallOne of the most expensive chosen undertakings in life.

Yet regardless of the expense. People still keep doing it. And doing it. :P

While others choose life without children to avoid unwanted change and guarantee financial stability.

But honestly we can never 100% predict what will happen or what we’ll want in the future.

I used to be a member of the second camp. I never planned to have kids. Half of me worried about the financial responsibility and the other half was too focused on enjoying our urban lifestyle to consider nurturing someone else’s.

A child just doesn’t fit into how we like to live – at least conventionally.

We enjoy living in a city, using cheaper public transportation, renting an affordable one bedroom apartment, and obsessing over our cat (ok, maybe just I do).

And I noticed a lot of parents saying it’s unfair to deprive children of wide open space, the pleasantries of suburbia, etc. All the cookie cutter things that make me gag.

Then I began to consider all the fun things in the city that another little person would love. The unlimited amount of parks, eclectic festivals, play groups, playgrounds, sites … – I mean you can’t get much more activity than in D.C.

So, when it’s our time city baby it is.

Whether committing to parenthood on purpose or thrown into parenthood by happy accident, here’s how to afford and make room for baby while living in the big city.

One Bedroom With Baby?

Oh, the baby in a one bedroom apartment debate. We’re always asked when we’ll move to more space to start a family. The answer is likely not anytime soon.

Trust me. At first I was a little skeptical. I never had to share a room as a child. And I’ve never known a parent to share a room with a baby for the long term – however it can be done if you shop intentionally.

It’s easy (especially for first baby) to want every baby gadget because commercials say you need it. Not true!

Did cavemen need diaper genies?

Thankfully the minimalist trend has made it easier to locate the bare essentials needed to raise a baby – particularly with little room. Also, plan strategically with the items that you put on your baby gift registry. Since you’ll only need the bare minimum it’s likely you’ll get everything you need during the baby shower. Score!

Make Money Being Minimalist

The answer to finding more space without moving and on a budget in the city?

Adopting a minimalist lifestyle. Make extra cash and clear space by selling non-necessities. And stop buying unnecessary crap. All that junk in our hall closet piled to the ceiling looks like dollar signs to me.

We’ll use EBay or Craigslist to sell our old printer and extra furniture. And we’ll make a trip to the local consignment store to sell clothes that we no longer wear.

Lightening up the load will give you some more breathing room and money in your pockets.

Get an Inspired Eye

iStock_000016269174XSmallMany people overlook the hidden opportunities in items you already own or used pieces you can buy secondhand. For example, our Ikea dresser ? Perfect place to set up a baby changing station. Plopping a changing pad on the dresser will save us space and cash. After all, is a changing table really necessary?

We plan on taking full advantage of the secondhand stores in our neighborhood. And reaching out to friends and family for items they no longer need.

Put your creative mind to work. Do you have items in your house that can be dual purpose? Do you have a thrift store nearby? Do you know someone who no longer needs their baby stuff? Being opened minded about how to prepare for your new addition will save you money and much needed space in you humble city home.

Now it’s your turn. What do you think about babies in the city? Do you have any tips to share?

Posted in: Family

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7 Comments

  1. Naomi says:

    I’m totally on board with your way of thinking. If/when we have a child I’d like to do it the minimalist way. I really don’t like wasting money on non necessities. Also I’m liking the whole gender neutral route with baby clothes that would be something is do as well!

    • Taylor says:

      Wow Naomi… I’ve never thought of gender neutral clothing! But it makes total sense. And it’s great that men’s and women’s clothing these days have a lot of parallel styles. Definitely doing this!

  2. I think babies can be raised wherever necessary. I also believe that if you want to be frugal you can as well. There are so many frugal mom sites out there where members give stuff away free as long as you pay it forward. You can go to second-hand shops and pretty much find everything you need. You are right you might not need a change table all you need is a change pad and somewhere to lay your baby. Those that spend a fortune on their kids find out the hard way how fast they go through items and toys and what a waste it may be when you can likely find it cheaper used.

    • Taylor says:

      Totally agree. Children just need a loving care-giver! And totally agree with you on the waste. Like designer baby clothes and shoes? Really?! It’s like throwing money down the toilet.

  3. Urban dweller here with a 3y/o child. City life is amazing. I’m in a good location with easy walking to libraries, schools, parks and all the awesomeness cities have to offer.

    Suburbia is a great place for a small child, but a horrible place for a teen.

    • Taylor says:

      My thinking exactly! I hated growing up in the suburbs as a teen. I felt stranded in my house! It was really hard for me to get around before I could drive and there was very little to do. Great to see other like-minded parents – can’t wait to enjoy the benefits of a city with a little one.

  4. Miel says:

    Love your post and I totally agree with the minimalist approach. We have a two week old new born and I couldn’t be happier than with a urban baby. I’m glad that we have a two bedroom, but am happy sticking in our place and without a car. His first car rides have been with uberX!

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