nursery update + baby stuff

We’re about 2 1/2 months into parenthood, so I thought it would be a good time to update you on how the nursery (and related baby products) are working out for us.

In general, the nursery is great. Its proximity to the living areas hasn’t been an issue and actually served as a secondary hang-out space when family was in town to visit. (These photos were taken a few days ago, without any tidying up or staging first.)

Although I was wary of the dresser size, it’s worked out just fine. I like having a little counter space next to the changing pad and the drawers provide adequate storage for diapers, wipes and clothes. The wardrobe isn’t terribly organized but it’s functional and I like that everything is easily accessible.

I moved our old IKEA full-length mirror next to wardrobe – Avery likes to “stand” on the edge of the dresser and check herself out and sometimes I lay it horizontally on the floor during tummy time. I’m also happy to report that the air plants are still alive! I water them about once a week and they seem happy enough in their glass vessel homes.

Avery hasn’t exactly tested the limits of the IKEA crib, but I have no complaints thus far. (Bailey never could figure out how to get his tennis ball out from under the crib.)

The original plan was to build a bench/cubby for under the window to hold toys, books, etc. That project didn’t get done in time but now I’m not so sure we really need it. More importantly, this is some of the only available wall space left in the house so I think we might need to preserve it for larger toys (custom-designed dollhouse? what?) down the road. I’m not a big fan of keeping the stroller in here, but I think with a little tweaking we can find a good place for it in the mudroom. (I also didn’t take into account the baby monitor in the nursery design, although I think I can come up with a way to put it on the dresser while discretely running the wires that go to the movement sensor.)

Many people advised us to get the best glider we could afford and they were right. I spend so much time in that chair and it has held up remarkably well to both frequent use and frequent projectile spit-up. If you have a comfy chair or couch it may not be totally necessary but this is the only non-Eames chair in our house. I’ve also found a few uses for the squirrel coat hook, like the k’tan or bath towels. Avery likes to stare at its silhouette but I remind her frequently that squirrels are not to be trusted.

In addition to a simple and functional nursery, my other pre-baby goal was to acquire only a minimal amount of baby “stuff”. I did a ton of research and since many of these items directly relate to living in a small home, I thought I’d share with you all what’s working and what’s not.

1. The Bassinet:

Even though our house is small, we planned to keep Avery in our room for the first month or so. We didn’t have enough space for a pack ‘n play so I looked for more compact options. Although a co-sleeper would have probably fit between our bed and the wall, I liked the idea of something that could be multi-purpose. One day I came across one of those “Best New Baby Products for 2012″ lists and saw this Rocker/Napper from Tiny Love. Although it was new and didn’t have much in the way of personal reviews it seemed like the perfect thing for us (I also liked that it wasn’t too colorful or obnoxious.) The rocker is essentially a bassinet that reclines up to a semi-reclined position (for babies with acid reflux I’m guessing) and then to a lounge chair of sorts. It has a rocking base with kickstands on both ends, which I found to be quite handy. The rocker has a vibrate setting and also comes with a removable mobile (that plays a few songs and lights up). The pad isn’t plush, but comfortable enough. It doesn’t have a removable cover so I opted to wrap a receiving blanket around it for the inevitable spit-up.

The pros – it’s lightweight and easy to move around the house (we even put it in the back of our car for our road trip last month), the different functions keep her entertained and at different phases of development (she’s just now batting at the mobile) and it was fairly inexpensive.

The cons – it doesn’t fold down or disassemble easily (not great for travel), Avery nearly outgrew it as a sleeper by the time she was 8 weeks old (this is in part because she was swaddled and thus had her legs stretched out) and the mobile comes out but doesn’t rotate freely to different positions.

All things considered, I’d use it again for sure.

2. Baby Carriers:

As far as baby-wearing goes, there seems to be two categories: the sling/wrap (like the Moby, K’tan, or various other products) and a more structured carrier (like the BabyBjorn, Ergo, Beco, etc.). Most of the structured carriers aren’t designed for newborns, so we’ve relied mostly on our K’tan these first few months. (We do have a used BabyBjorn “Comfort” but have only used it a couple of times as she’s not quite big enough just yet.) Lots of people love the Moby wrap, but I was a little intimidated and instead registered for the K’tan. The idea is similar but a bit less complicated to put on (or so it seems). Avery is small enough that she’s easy to carry this way and almost immediately falls asleep – the few times she’s freaked out on me I’ve put her in the K’tan and she quickly calmed down. Like most wraps, there are a half-dozen or so different positions that can accommodate your baby as she gets bigger and has better control of her body.

(The photo above was taken at the Seattle Design Festival a few weeks ago.)

3. Strollers + Carseats:

Truth – I was intimidated by strollers. I remember being about 5-6 months pregnant and spending a Saturday morning watching stroller reviews on YouTube (and subsequently rolling my eyes at myself). Although people seem to make a really big deal about these little rolling carts, I was relieved to find that there are some well-built (and affordable!) options out there. After much research and polling of other parents, I decided to go with both a stroller and stroller frame.

Avery can’t really benefit from a stroller till she’s sitting up on her own, but I liked that the Baby Jogger City Mini seat could lay flat (also makes great lakeside lounge chair). Other perks – it easily folds down for compact storage (critical for small houses like ours), it’s well-built, comes in pretty colors (like brown!) and will accommodate Avery until she’s 50 lbs. (at which point she better be walking on her own two feet). It also has a decent storage basket (important for things like clothes shopping) can go off the beaten path without being a full-on jogging stroller and has a gigantic sun shade (which I’m hoping will also serve as an umbrella of sorts…when it actually decided to rain again). The downsides – you have to buy a separate “parent console” to get luxuries like cup holders and the handle height isn’t adjustable.

For quick errands and walks I opted for a stroller frame that’s compatible with her carseat (a Chicco Keyfit 30). The girl loves to sleep in her carseat so it’s a real benefit to be able to move her from the car to the stroller frame without waking her up. I bought the coordinating Chicco stroller frame (very similar to the more common Snap ‘n Go) and it’s been great. It has a big basket (which I’ve used as an impromptu grocery cart), two cup holders and a compartment perfectly sized for an iPhone. (The handle also rotates 180 degrees which makes a world of difference squeezing into crowded restaurants.)

I registered for the Chicco Keyfit carseat because it was affordable, got good reviews and everyone seemed to own one. I have no complaints – it’s easy to use, durable and comes in decent color options.

4. Misc. Products That We Love:

Finally, here’s a rundown of some miscellaneous products that have been true lifesavers:

WubbaNub pacifier: Avery’s “lamby”, our friend Erica brought this to us in the hospital and it gets used every single day. We do not leave the house without it.

Fisher-Price swing: I resisted a swing for a long time but finally caved about a month ago. After a formal Facebook poll, I ended up with this Fisher Price one, purchased used on Craigslist (from another little Avery!). It’s gigantic but not nearly as obnoxious as some of the other ones out there. The one thing the Tiny Love Rocker doesn’t do is swing and this contraption does the job forward to back and side to side. It also plays a few ditties, has a spinning mobile and a mirror for self-reflection. Best of all – it plugs in to the wall so NO BATTERIES. I know it’s only a matter of time before it will have served its purpose and is back on Craigslist so we don’t mind it too much.

Sleep Sheep: my parents got this for us and I had no idea how much we’d rely on it. Basically it’s a stuffed animal that makes different white noise sounds – a stream, rain, the ocean and whales. We never use the whales – that’s just creepy coming from a sheep. We have the smaller travel version but it seems more than adequate for home use. (We also have a Munchkin white noise machine and image projector which we’ve just started using and is equally mesmerizing.) The idea of course is that white noise mimics the sounds from inside the womb and helps them fall asleep. Admittedly, it has also helped me fall asleep on more than one occasion as well.

Bath Sponge: when we were remodeling the kitchen we joked about having a sink big enough to wash a baby in. Maybe it’s old school, but it’s worked beautifully so far. We just use a $6 bath sponge – that and the pull down sprayer on the faucet makes bathing very easy. (Note: we also have the Puj tub. I was really excited to use it but the reality is that our kitchen sink is too big and our bathroom sink too small for it to work well.)

Other products that we love? For one, anything by Aden + Anais (we have their swaddles, burp clothes (which can also be used as bibs) and crib sheets). We also get a lot of use out of our Boon drying rack, Angelcare monitor and Skip Hop crib mirror. Oh, I can’t believe I nearly forgot – The Miracle Blanket. We started out swaddling Avery in the Aden + Anais blankets but switched to TMB (we received a couple from people who obviously knew what was up) when she was about 4 weeks old. It works so well that we haven’t dared put her to bed at night without it. To put it bluntly, it’s like a baby straight-jacket. That concept felt a bit uncomfortable to me at first but she seems to like it and hasn’t Houdini’d her way out yet.

The one thing I haven’t needed (yet) – a diaper bag. I’ve been sporting a fashionable ziploc bag of necessities that gets shoved into my Orla Kiely purse and that’s worked fine so far. (I know things will change when she gets bigger and starts eating solids and playing in the dirt.) Actually, I’d love to upgrade to an Orla Kiely diaper bag but man oh man they’re spendy!

Last but not least…birth announcements! Our friend Jenny (owner of Wendu Ink) designed and produced these gorgeous letterpress announcements to commemorate Avery’s birth. I love them. It’s always such a privilege to work with a designer who just gets it.

(Thank you Jenny!!)

Ok parents, are we all on the same page here? Any must haves that aren’t on our list or advice on living small with a baby? Suggestions for 3-6 month old essentials that we should stock up on?

Disclaimer: I haven’t been paid or perked for any of these products…just thought I’d share my experiences in the hopes of helping out some other parents-to-be!

Comments

47 Responses to “nursery update + baby stuff”

  1. Monica says:

    The nursery is perfect! I am glad to see that there has been a push for less obnoxious baby stuff in the last 8 years. I remember going to a baby store for the first time while pregnant and having to leave a few minutes later because it was all a bit much. The only advice I have to give is get a second (or maybe even 3rd) “lamby”. That way you can rotate to limit wear and have a spare in case it gets (gulp) lost. Our son has a bear (he has four) and there have been many frantic searches and runs through the laundry.

  2. Victoria says:

    Hi Lauren,

    It sounds like you are really enjoying parenthood, bravo for that. Our little girl is just 9 months – how that happened I’m not entirely sure – and I was just wondering about your comment that the bench/cubby isn’t really needed. We have just rejigged our nursery, and we have found that having toys and especially books (which were previously up high) down at our little one’s level has worked brilliantly. She is walking around with assistance now, and now the books have moved she very often walks us over to them and chooses book after book to have read to her. She also seems to love being able to choose toys to pull off shelves and play with. I am totally with you on not wanting a house filled with pink plastic, but there are definitely toys (shape sorter, hammer and peg bench, stacking rings, blocks) that we feel she needs and which get a lot if use. We are also now getting in to those one piece puzzles, which go down a storm – and come in many tasteful wooden varieties. All this stuff needs a place to live and – for us at least- having them within baby’s reach is definitely what works.

    On the stroller front, I would definitely find another place for it if possible – apparently the wheels are very tempting to try and lick (ours lives in the front hallway but is nevertheless a bit of a magnet for our little girl), and it looks easily pull over-able leaning against the wall. I know the days of avery being self mobile probably seem a looooooooong way distant but they really might not be!

    Best wishes to you all, Victoria.

    • Lauren says:

      Hi Victoria, I guess it’s not so much that the cubby isn’t required, it’s just that I don’t think we’ll need a permanent piece of furniture there. I think we’ll still use the zone for both small and larger toys (plus books!) but store them in something more flexible. We also plan to use the lower portion of the wardrobe for easy to access toy storage. And I’m also definitely not opposed to toys in general (hope I didn’t give off that impression!), she’s just not quite old enough to really have very many yet. (There is a great toy store in our neighborhood that has all sorts of high-quality and well designed toys.) We also have some other ideas for places to stash toys around the house when the time comes.

      As for the stroller, that’s definitely a temporary solution. In fact, her room and the whole house will get tweaked once she’s mobile. The good thing about the mudroom is that we can keep the door closed most of the time.

  3. Mariane says:

    I could not have lived without our fisher price swing, although ours was with batteries, we always had batteries in the charger. If we ever have a third baby, I need one that plugs in! Thank you for the review, I might use this post later on! Also, the picture of you guys at the desing fair is so beautiful, have a great day!

  4. Adrienne B says:

    Thank you for this post- I am just starting my second trimester and researching products. We also have a small house and was looking at the Tiny Love. Pack and Plays make me want to hyperventilate, though we may end up with one that will live with the grandparents (who live next door!). So overwhelmed with stoller options… I think we will end up with the Britax B-Agile and the B-Safe carrier/car seat. Hubby is totally enamored with the way it folds and with the color. I think it’s the only piece of baby gear he actually cares about (so far!).

    I know this isn’t a mommy-blog, but I do hope you will do the occasional post about baby gear. I really appreciate your take on these things- I love your style and good advice about living well in small spaces.

    Hope other commenters will offer some more advice on gear we need/don’t need.

  5. Martha says:

    Hi Lauren, thanks for the great post! I am relieved to see that you guys are using many of the products I’ve chosen for my upcoming baby. We live in 600 square feet in Ballard (and I work from home) so I definitley feel you on the small space/not wanting too much baby crap! Do you find that you need the baby monitor in such a small space? I feel like we’d be able to hear our baby crying anywhere since it can’t ever be more than 25 feet away from us in this tiny house. I too have been REALLY resisting the swing so I find it interesting to hear that you’ve been using it. Perhaps I’ll be your craiglist customer when Avery outgrows it. ;)

    • Lauren says:

      Thanks Martha and congrats on your upcoming baby! You’re right – the baby monitor isn’t totally necessary in a small house, but we rely more on the movement sensor since she’s still in the age range that’s at risk for SIDS. (Basically, there’s a sensor pad under the mattress and if it detects 20 seconds w/o movement an alarm goes off.) For us, it’s really just piece of mind and saves me from getting up and checking on her during the middle of the night. (The parent unit lives on my nightstand and has a swinging pendulum icon that lets you know it’s working.) You can also elect to turn off the sound portion and just use the movement sensor too.

      I actually wish I had bought the swing earlier just b/c there’s only so many things you can do with a baby before they’re sitting or even just have partial control of their head! (Of course, you don’t want to set them down in the same place all day or anything, so it’s nice to have different options.)

  6. Peetu says:

    Thanks Lauren. This is an amazing post. Though we still have some time before the baby gets here, I’ve started the research. Thanks to the plethora of products available I started out with looking up a list of things not to buy! And we really really want to avoid buying too much stuff.
    Thanks for this list for products that worked for you. This helps people like me.

  7. Anna Olive says:

    Hey Lauren and Avery,

    I would say you are just nearing the end of the “fourth trimester” and a lot of your newborn essentials can kick the can soon. We ditched the swing around 4 months. My only 100% worth every penny and can’t live without, is my Ergo. I love the moby for the newborn but once they are bigger you can’t beat the connivence of the Ergo. I used mine with my son until he was three and a half. I recommened practicing and getting good at the back hold. I just painted my entire house (on a ladder outside) with my six month old sleeping or cooing on my back. If you start early they get used to laying on your back and don’t rear up. Don’t let anyone help you. I yell at people in parking lots who come up and try and help because you need to do it by feel and as soon as you get “help” it all goes wrong. Practice in the mirror you CAN do it. I tucked her legs into a criss cross shape until she was big enough for her legs to go out on the sides. Trust me it will change your life. It is much more comfortable than a frame pack for hiking. Okay, I think I made my point.
    Second is the Stokke Tripp Trapp. We have gotten much more out of this than any stroller or crib. My daughter is sitting up now and we just set hers up and she is SO proud of herself to be sitting at the table with the family. You can read about it, but the idea is that baby sits at the table with the family and the chair grows into adulthood with them. It would look gorgeous at the head of the table with your Eames. The bottom step allows them to rest their feet which apparently is good for some reason and when they are older it is supper stable so they can climb up and sit themselves. You NEED ONE. K, moving on.

    I had a no plastic toys in our house (and NOTHING that has batteries and makes noise=sanity) and mostly kept the promise. My son is 5 and most of his toys have come from the Dearborn Goodwill (and books). You would not believe the treasures that people ditch. Anyhoo, of the handful of things that I have bought, most have come from Clover toys in Ballard or Once Upon a Time on Queen Anne-GORGEOUS Waldorf style toys. You’ll swoon. THe only toy that I think is a must that every kid should get is a full sized rainbow from Spiel and Holtz. This thing is a perfect first toy that can be played with by a new sitter all the way up to adults who love to stack and play with it. http://www.amazon.com/Grimms-Extra-12-Piece-Rainbow-Stacker/dp/B001CN7YWQ We use it with our train set as tunnels, as a stacking toy, as a xylophone, as modern art-its cool.
    K, thats it. Long post but only three things. Ergo, Tripp Trapp, and Jumbo Rainbow. Oh, by four months she’ll be ready for Pat the Bunny…don’t get me started on books.

    • Lauren says:

      This is great Anna, thank you! Yes, after I wrote the post I realized how many of the products were related to the “fourth trimester” concept and recreating the womb experience. I’ve definitely heard lots of good things about the Ergo. I think we may see how the BabyBjorn works out or maybe borrow a friend’s Ergo before committing (since they’re so spendy and hard to find used). One thing I’ve realized is that it’s definitely easier to take Bailey on a walk if she’s in a carrier vs. a stroller!

      I *love* Clover, that place is amazing! The rainbow is awesome – I hadn’t seen that one before!

  8. Katie says:

    Hi Lauren! I’m a long-time reader, but first-time commenter. I’m due with my first on New Year’s Eve, and we just received our City Mini in the mail this week! We also loved the “sand” color option. I’m wondering what kind/where you bought the infant insert-snuggly-thing for that stroller? I’ve googled around a bit, but haven’t seen anything I like. Thanks for your help!

  9. Irene says:

    We had just about all of that and it was great (more tacky though, babies LOVE tacky). Just want to mention, the infant insert for the car seat shouldn’t be used after baby has reached 12lbs. Lots of families don’t remember that from the owners manual :) We’re going to be shopping for the replacement since our daughter is 29″ already at 9 months!

  10. tarynkay says:

    I think that we have maybe an older version of the Sleep Sheep? Anyhow, one of the sound options is a heartbeat. Oh my goodness, it is the creepiest thing in the entire world. It is creepier than the super creepy whales, even. I am glad they got rid of that, it was straight out of a horror movie.

  11. -alex says:

    I second the Tripp Trapp. My babies are 6 and 9 and still use them at our table. I had a lovely Peg Perego high chair for my firstborn, but we moved and didn’t take it with us, so we got the Stokkes at our new locale. Because they adjust, it makes arts/craft/homework/dining much easier at any age.
    My second piece of advice, skip a diaper bag. For my second-born I carried a portable changing pad and a change of clothes for him. It all went into my Harvey’s seat belt tote bag, along with my wallet, etc. Much hipper, much more convenient.
    Oh, and in all your free time (Ha!), you’ll want to look up baby-led weaning. Essentially, when Avery gets to the food stage, you feed her smushed and, later chunky, things from your table. My boys were fabulous with avocado, banana, plain greek yogurt, and tofu.

    • Lauren says:

      Hmm…I always assumed we would get the minimal (and inexpensive!) IKEA highchair but now you guys have me thinking otherwise…

      Thanks for the baby-led weaning info! This is a topic that I’m definitely interested in and have already done a bit of research on – Kyle and I were both picky eaters as kids so I’m worried that Avery might be the same way.

      • tarynkay says:

        We have (and love) the Ikea Antilop high chair. It’s solid plastic without any annoying pads or anything, so you can just hose it down. Plus it was $20. It’s hard to beat that.

      • Kate F. says:

        Another vote for the Tripp Trapp. We used a tray until he stopped pushing away from the table (15 months?); now at 26 months he has a cute silicone placemat and joins us at the table. We need another for his sister!

  12. Carrie says:

    It’s been so fun seeing so many of my favorite blogs have babies! Our little one is five and a half months and we have a lot of the same things you do. A few things we’ve been using in this next phase are sleep sacks (he’s too wiggly for a&a swaddles now); a video monitor (we live in a small apartment, but being as to just peek at him without getting out of bed, now that he outgrew the basinett in our room, saves me lots of trips around the corner); and I would have never guessed this last one, an exersaucer. I was definitely one for never having huge plastic toys in our house, but our little guy LOVES playing upright, and he’s only just getting the hang of sitting completely unsupported, so his “command center” lives in our kitchen and he plays the whole time we’re making dinner. (my mom calls it baby six flags) We got ours on Craigslist for like $35 and it’s totally worth it despite the yucky design.
    Congrats and best wishes!

    • Lauren says:

      Thanks Carrie, I’ve just started scouting out sleep sacks since I know swaddling won’t last forever (she actually rolled from her tummy to back yesterday…I’m pretty sure it was not on purpose but a good wake-up call that things are changing fast!). I predict that we will own an exersaucer too. I’ve already accepted it. =) Maybe if we limit the amount of large plastic things to 1-2 at a time?

  13. Peter says:

    I say go with the whale sounds so when she’s older you can see what she says when you ask her what sound does a sheep make. Obviously I don’t have kids. I love your blog and yours and kyle’s design. Good luck with the biz.

  14. Sara says:

    Let me chime in on the side of the Tripp Trapp. It’s well-made and you won’t mind looking at it. You can get a tray kit for it, btw. I decided on a Boba carrier over the Ergo mainly because of the foot straps (removable) for toddlers. I bought one when they were still made in the U.S. Sadly, no longer the case, it seems.

  15. Kathy says:

    Aw your baby was born on my 30th birthday!

  16. Kristie says:

    I feel like I could’ve written this post myself! We had a lot of the same stuff and similar experiences (we held out buying a swing thinking we didn’t need it too.) Our daughter is 20 months and we still love our Citi MIni. We honestly haven’t even used an umbrella stroller since it’s so easy to fold and just not cumbersome.

    Depending on the size of your little one (ours was a peanut), you may want to look into the FP Rock n Play. This is what we used as our bassinet because our little one hated sleeping on her back. It’s lightweight, folds up easily for travel, and easy to move around the house. http://www.amazon.com/Fisher-Price-Newborn-Rock-Sleeper-Yellow/dp/B002M77N22/ref=sr_1_1?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1350005779&sr=1-1&keywords=rock+n+play

    Chiming in on the high chair – we looked into the Tripp Trapp but ultimately ended up getting the Minui through Mamabargains.com. We love it. On the completely opposite end we bought the Ikea Antilop for Grandma’s house and it’s really a pretty decent, basic high chair. We started out with the FP space saver and hated it.

    Another vote for Baby-Led weaning – so easy! Although we did get a little cookbook just for a little piece of mind/education.

    • Lauren says:

      Thanks Kristie, the FP Rock n’ Play was our second choice after the Tiny Love rocker/napper. Definitely better for travel but now I think she might be too big for it (and she’s in her crib now so we don’t need it as much). Good to hear you’re liking the City Mini!

  17. Meghan says:

    I agree with a previous commenter. Our daughter loved her excersaucer- I totally got over its ugliness when I realized how much she liked it. She also loves her jenny jump up.
    We didn’t need toy storage until about 10 months old. We went with Ikea Trofast. We like that she can access and sometimes put her toys away herself, but don’t like that the drawers sometimes slide off their track. With more time we would have built a custom option. Once she was mobile all projects came to a standstill!
    We do have a few baskets around the house for toys too. I like that we can move them around.
    As you mentioned, every age and stage calls for a new system for making home spaces work. Just wait til you get to plan her creativity space!

  18. Kate F. says:

    Quickly re. diaper bags: I don’t think you’ll need it *more* as she gets older! I dropped my Skip Hop by the time my son was about 6 months old–too stiff and not really very roomy for how big it was. I eventually got a couple oilcloth pouches made by an etsy seller: one sized to hold a package of wipes and some diapers, and one for snacks. Now we don’t do snacks so I just shove the diaper one in my tote. (I use baggu pouches in various sizes to organize other stuff and keep the tote from being a bottomless pit.)

    Miracle blankets are great;, but as Avery gets older shell get too tall for it; we switched to the Halo swaddle sleepsack at that point. We’re using it earlier w my daughter and she sneaks her hands around a bit because its a bit big.

    Get the Winkel from Manhattan Toy. Best first toy ever! Easy/light to grab, stats interesting for months. Avery is about the right age to try it.

  19. Nina says:

    I’ve been following your blog for about a year now, and was pretty freaked out about some coincidences, like my baby being born a day after yours, and the doc calling to move up the date to deliver our little breech Louise. Anyway, I think you covered all the bases stuff-wise, except an exercise ball and an iPad or tablet or whatever…One-handed surfing device.. The baby loves to be held and rocked, but gets fussy when rocking gets boring, which means I have to walk back and forth bouncing her. I don’t know if this happened to other mothers, but going from 110 to 135 put an unexpected strain on my.knees, so the exercise ball allows me to bounce her gently without killing my legs, plus it’s super comfy, and I’m getting my abs back in shape (totally unintentionally). And, the iPad has allowed me some entertainment at 2:00am, while I’m holding her, praying she’ll just go to bed already. Like right now.

    • Lauren says:

      That’s crazy Nina! (And congrats!) We thought about getting an iPad (we actually still have our Apple prize $ from the Small Cool Contest), but we’re still on the fence. I do use my iPhone all the time though…seriously, I think I sustained a thumb injury at one point from overuse. =) Good idea with the exercise ball…I learned just this week that you can use it for infant play too (by gently rolling it around while holding baby on it).

      Hope you were able to get some sleep! 2:00-3:00 seems to be the witching hour for a lot of babies.

  20. Erin says:

    I know that you wrote that for parents, but as an aunt and a friend of very fertile folks, it is so nice to get a good idea of what are good presents to give to people and what really works in tiny homes. This is INVALUABLE! thanks for taking the time to do so!

    • Lauren says:

      Glad you found it helpful Erin! I found many of these items through other blogs and websites so I’m happy to share the news. And yes, I was always the person buying baby clothes for friends, but now I have all sorts of ideas for new parents (I like to get people one thing that’s useful and one thing that’s just fun).

  21. Deni says:

    About the below the window cubby- try this: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/diy-using-ikea-100376

    You can add legs or casters. Re-use later somewhere else :)

  22. Amber says:

    Too funny about the squirrel hanger. I turned the computer screen to show my husband as we need to find a towel hook for our kids. He says, no way, we do not love squirrels in this house. So, then I read about you telling your daughter that they are not to be trusted. Our kids are trained to run to the back deck and yell at the squirrels that get into the back yard and dig in Daddy’s trees.

    I love your home. Your thinking about space (and accumulating baby stuff) is so in line with mine. I look forward to following your blog :)

  23. mai-ling says:

    i saw the bath sponge a few weeks ago and was going to
    buy that as an alternative. wasn’t sure if it was good.
    But we’ve been using a little tub and make it a family
    affair with both eric and bathing Lilly. She doesn’t like
    baths really.

    I have both a moby and a sling. They are good for
    specific situations. Now that Lilly’s neck is more stable
    I can sling her if necessary. Especially in a pinch when
    walking around in a store. I do find the moby more versatile
    and stable when it comes to doing things around the house
    and even doing specific care giving for my dad.

  24. Rebecca says:

    Always interesting to see what people find useful.

    Had to mention this since I just got rid of my Orla Kiely diaper bag: it’s heavy. I can normally be found hauling around a 20 lb. baby and a jam packed Orla Kiely midi bag, but the diaper bag was just too much for me to carry on a regular basis. I’m much happier to carry around the necessities (one diaper, small pack of wipes, a burp cloth and a small toy or teether) and stash a bigger, better stocked diaper bag in the car.

  25. Sara says:

    I found that most diaper bags were a bit girly and I wanted one that would last for years as well as one my husband would feel comfortable using. We actually bought a men’s office type messenger bag from Gap, it was lightweight, nylon and webbing & looked nice and we were all happy to use it (husband & grandparents included). It wasn’t patterned and so it went with every stroller (there were many) and every outfit. It also didn’t show the stains (yes no one mentions those from the juice or the mushed up carrot or the leaky wet wipes…). It wasn’t expensive and meant we could spend money on what was important to us. Believe me an Orly Keily Diaper bag is over rated as well as a bit over exposed.

  26. Laura Wilson says:

    Question for you about the rocker-napper!? I have read a few reviews from people who say the brown is more of a khaki or green. From your photos it looks…brown, but does it look the same in person?

    Thanks! I found the product from reading your blog and I am thinking it will work great for our small home.

    • Lauren says:

      Hi Laura, it’s packed away now – but I remember it being more brown and not green (though maybe it’s changed since we bought ours?).

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