Making Room for Baby – NYC Style

This is a Maternity Monday post by guest blogger Jess Levey.  This series appears every Monday on Beccarama.

I’m pretty sure my husband is upset with me. Or maybe it’s not me, but just a general sadness for the loss of something he was deeply attached to. Yes, the aggressive nesting has begun, and I have taken the advice to get the apartment ready for baby in the energetic 2nd trimester VERY seriously. Today, we finally tossed the mammoth (and very powerful) speakers that my husband has owned for over 8 years, which were handed down to him by his great friends from Israel. Yesterday we made the trip to J&R (free parking!) where we bought small Polk bookshelf speakers.

Bye, Bye, Gargantuan Speakers

Hello, lovely little speakers

This exchange was necessary in order to open up some much-needed floor space which will now be home to storage ottomans and a shoe rack/end table. You can see my growing Pinterest board to get an idea of the types of things I have decided we desperately need in order to keep a sense of openness in our tiny Brooklyn one-bedroom apartment.

When we first found out that I was pregnant, our first response was to figure out where we would move since we obviously would need a two bedroom. We would no longer just walk by the many real estate agencies in our neighborhood who post some of their favorite weekly listings. Now, we would stop and read and comment on the crazy price hike that has occurred in our now fully gentrified neighborhood. In the 10 years I’ve lived here, rent on a one bedroom apartment has gone up by at least $1000 more per month than what we pay, and two bedrooms are basically out of the question. We love our neighborhood, with its small village charm, proximity to Manhattan and many other favorite Brooklyn neighborhoods, wonderful and diverse restaurants, shops, movie theaters, book stores. You name it, we’ve got it. I rarely even need to go to Manhattan for anything other than museums, galleries, and to see my family or the rare friends who still haven’t made the move Eastward. So, after many aggravating conversations about the neighborhoods we could afford to move to, some of which have regular shootings too close for my liking or a very limited offering of good schools, we have decided to stay put, at least until we can afford a two bedroom in our neighborhood. Or until other neighborhoods become safer, get better schools, etc. Of course, this may never happen, in which case we may find ourselves leaving NYC entirely, but for now, I am not thinking that far ahead. For now, I just want to make our adorable one bedroom work for our growing family.

Fortunately, I love anything having to do with home decor and organizing, so I have thoroughly enjoyed purveying the many sites and stores that offer some great small apartment solutions. When my husband was telling a good friend of his that I was pregnant, his friend replied, “Oh, have you experienced the obligatory Ikea trip yet?” So, of course he found it quite hysterical (as I felt utterly mainstream) when he came home and I was making our Ikea list. When we finally went (it happens to be only 2 miles from our apt) 50% of the women there were pregnant, lugging their husbands around who were all amazingly compliant. We got the few things we needed to create more storage in our kitchen and bathroom and spent a stormy summer night putting it all together. I realized why this whole second trimester nesting time is essential because in your third trimester there is no way that you could manage to sit on a hard floor and screw in tiny little bolts with those silly Ikea tools and warping fake wood. We managed, with my sciatica acting up, and many a sigh and complaint. Next up was the dreaded Target trip which was way worse, but we got what we needed two small hampers (one for us, one for baby), a new bath mat, and an over the door ironing board since we have to remove the one from under our bed to make room for storage bins.

where would you fit a crib?

Today, we decided that we would peruse our neighborhood antique and second-hand stores for the remaining small pieces that we needed -  a small toy chest to sit inside our non working fireplace and an end table which will live next to our couch/behind front door and will also house our regular wear shoes.  It was exhausting and hot and in the end, I was happy to be home in our AC shopping on our computer. After 5 minutes I found exactly what we were looking for on Etsy.com. Duh. Not sure why I hadn’t just gone there in the first place.  So, we are almost there.  Next up is the bedroom where the dresser that used to be my husband’s will now be devoted to the baby’s clothes and diapers (thank you hanging closet shelves!) And, since we cannot fit a full size crib, our baby will be co-sleeping with us for as long as possible. Only problem is that the chic and modern co-sleeper that we want from England is not cheap, and shipping is $175! We may just be putting that on our registry, alone.

I would love to hear your home decor suggestions for small spaces!