Converting Your Small Space for Baby #2

Is baby #2 on the way? Here are some tips for creating functional sibling spaces.

New York City is an amazing place to raise kids, but any city parent will tell you that space becomes a concern at one point or another. One of the most common concerns I hear as a consultant and city mommy of two is “I think we have to move out of the city” when baby #2 is on the way. Parents are concerned about lack of storage and physical square footage to accommodate another child. They look at their first child’s room and see limitations, but anything is possible here in NYC with creativity and vision (and sometimes some expert advice). Here are some tips to making room for baby #2:

Bring on the big kid bed.

Once your first child is age appropriate (20+ months), introduce a toddler bed. (Keep an eye out for a Dana’s Kids blog on how to make this transition!)  They accommodate a standard crib mattress so you can keep his/her bedding, but appear so much smaller than cribs in a tight room. Besides saving space, your child will love their new place to rest their head.

Think UP.

Another baby means double the stuff to store. When choosing furniture, consider tall dressers over wider ones. They take up less floor space and can hold a ton of clothes. If you lack square footage, consider the height of the room and choose furniture that makes use of that.

Change is good.

Changing tables are super functional, but can be substituted when you no longer have the space. Plus, you barely need one once your toddler is mobile. Try a “changing tray” that attaches to the top of your crib. Slide it under the crib when you aren’t using it and make room for other pieces.

Bunk ‘em.

When your first child turns five, invest in bunk beds. There are so many great styles now that are designed for small spaces. One you get that bulky crib out of the room and stack the beds vertically, half of the room is vacant!

Think outside the space.

Just because you don’t have the space in the room, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice something you love. If you love rocking baby or reading bedtime stories on a glider, but it is too big for your room, incorporate it into your living space. It will make the experience more communal and separate sleep from activity, which is never a bad thing.

Out of sight, out of mind.

A second child means double the gear, but be mindful of what gear means in a small space. Try to only purchase gear like bouncers, strollers, swings, play yards, and tubs that are meant for small spaces. This means they should collapse as much as possible, the flatter the better. The less “stuff” you have visible in the apartment, the better. It will avoid feeling “swallowed up” by your children in a tight space.

 Expecting your second child is an exciting adventure, but the thought of three becoming four can be overwhelming when living in a small city space. Look at converting your home as a fun project, rather than a burden, and it will all fall into place.



Lauren Deneroff is the founder of mama{love} (, a maternity consulting and baby planning firm in Manhattan. mama{love} offers services for the bump, baby and beyond, including new parent coaching, registry guidance, nursery design and preparation, baby gear education, and organizational services. She serves clients and teaches classes in NYC. Lauren loves using her knowledge and experience to take the stress off of moms and help them get organized and prepared.


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