Felix is over a month old now, so I thought I'd go ahead and give a little insight as to what tiny living with a tiny human has been like.
The biggest surprise so far (to me, at least) has been how easy it has been. I don't know if this is because of our small space or because Felix is an easy baby, but I'll take it! I feel like we were well prepared for him and that's helped too! There are very few things we've had to purchase since his birth and very few things that haven't been used!
I think the biggest thing has been making sure that everything has a place. Our tiny space is relatively easy to keep tidy IF everything has a space. As soon as we have too much stuff or a few things that don't have a designated place, it feels very cluttered. I know people say things like "the mess can wait" or "babies don't keep!" but I have found that I can't really enjoy my baby in the midst of a messy space. Especially in the first few weeks postpartum, I feel much, much calmer and happier in a tidy space. This is not to say that our home is always perfectly neat and tidy, but we do our best to keep it manageable!
Making space for a new baby wasn't easy and we had to do some rearranging and reworking of our home to make it work. I feel like we've done a pretty good job keeping our baby "gear" to a minimum!
A few of our favorite baby items so far:
Felix spends most of the night in the Dockatot. I love that we can have him so close to our bed without him actually in bed with us. I love co-sleeping, but sleep better when he's not right beside me. I also love that we can take the Dockatot with us when we go places, it's so nice to have a safe place to put him no matter where we are! I'm sure it'll come in handy in a few months when I'll be looking for a good place for him to lay and play as well!
I admit, when I first received the Ollie Swaddle, I was skeptical. It looked like a big square of fabric with some velcro on it....Let me tell you, I'm a changed woman since Felix has been born! We use this swaddle every single night and often during the day as well. I don't know what the magic component is; the moisture wicking fabric, simple velcro closure, comfortable fit; I have no idea but something about it works some kind of magic on our baby and he sleeps a thousand times better in it. I've been trying to get my hands on a second one with no luck! Instead I've resorted to washing it by hand almost every morning (because babies poop, puke and pee a LOT) and hanging it to dry so it's ready when we need it again!
This swing has been great too! It doesn't take up a lot of space and doesn't swing far out to take up more room. Austin built a little shelf that it sits on top of (it has edges all around that the swing fits firmly into to be sure it can't tip or fall!) and all of Felix's diapers, wipes, blankets and clothes fit inside. The swing has all kinds of different settings (Felix likes the "car ride" one the most!) and it's nice to be able to set the intensity as well. Since it's not battery operated, I don't have to feel bad about running it for hours while Felix sleeps!
- Vintage buggy
I was trying to come up with a good sleep solution for outside since we spend so much time in the yard when my mom offered to let us borrow this vintage buggy. She bought it at a garage sale for me to sleep in when I was a baby! It's perfect for us, I can roll it around the yard depending where we are, it rocks gently and offers a shaded, safe spot for Felix to sleep while we're outside!
- Baby clothes
We didn't buy a lot of clothing before Felix was born partially because we didn't know if we were having a boy or a girl and partially because we just don't have space! Honestly, Felix doesn't wear clothes that often. I bought a pack of white onesies and we have a handful of cute favorites (like these adorable pants from Little Hatch Patch!). He's growing so fast, he skipped NB completely and spent a couple weeks in 0-3, we're now transitioning to 3-6 month size, again, I'm glad we didn't go crazy and buy tons of stuff before knowing what we'd really use and appreciate!
We didn't stock up on diapers before Felix was born and I'm glad! Some friends of ours gifted us a couple boxes of diapers and that's all we had. At 4 weeks, Felix is ready for size 2 diapers already, so I'm glad we didn't get tons of size 1 or NB! Boxes of diapers take up a lot of space (especially with two in diapers!) and we'll just buy them as we go along.
Because I plan on exclusively nursing, I wasn't terribly worried about getting a pump. However, I do have a few weddings and sessions coming up so I do need to stockpile some milk for Felix for those days. Instead of a big electric pump, I bought a small, single manual pump. This works perfectly for me and is much simpler than a bigger set up! I got a wonderful nursing camisole from Kindred Bravely and it's become my favorite! I was able to wear it near the end of my pregnancy (it's nice and long!) and it's a staple in my wardrobe now. I also got some reusable breast pads that are soft and absorbent.
We love baby wearing and have tried many different wraps and carriers. With our first two, we used a Moby wrap a lot in their first several months. However, Felix is a summer baby and our others were born in October. For this reason, I looked for a similar wrap that would be more breathable. The Solly Wrap is perfect! It's easy to use, cozy and comfortable but nice a cool! We don't have an infant carseat for Felix (the kind you can carry) so every time we go somewhere, we wear him. The Solly Wrap has seen TONS of use already in these first four weeks. I think I might need one in every color....
One thing I didn't really think about in my baby preparations was food. In our old house, we had an extra freezer and lots of cupboards. I prepared a bunch of freezer meals, stockpiled easy dinner ideas and good nursing snacks. This time around, however, we have a freezer the size of a shoe box, very few cupboards and not a lot of storage space. Because of this, it's been SUCH a blessing to have friends and family drop of dinners for us! Our church family has been so wonderful, dropping off wonderful, tasty dinners just when we need them. So far we've had plenty of leftovers so Austin's been able to take lunch to work every day as well! The training wheels come off soon when our constant stream of deliciousness will come to an end!
- Indoor/Outdoor Spaces
Another thing I'm very glad we thought about before Felix was born was where we'd be spending a lot of our time. I knew I'd be in/on our bed a lot, so we got some extra pillows, lowered the bed to make it more comfortable and invested in a good fan to keep it cool. I also plan on spending a lot of time in the yard with Felix and the kids, so we planned on getting a really nice lawnchair. Would you believe, I found one in a free pile just a couple weeks before Felix was born? Can't beat that! I also purchased an amazingly comfortable (and gorgeous!) hammock (from HangAHammock) after discovering our old one was broken. It's gotten tons of use so far and I'm sure we'll be using it for months and years to come!
We're so grateful for a wonderful, healthy newborn and amazing friends and family members who have supported us this month! I came down with Influenza not long after Felix was born and it slowly turned into Pneumonia which landed us in the ER when I passed out. It's been a slow recovery but I feel like I'm past the worst of it now. Even with all of that yuckiness, I still feel like this postpartum/newborn period has been surprisingly enjoyable and peaceful! I'm hoping and praying the feeling continues as we get used to life with our new little guy!