(Small Home Edition. Because MY SISTER!)

CHK champagne (1)

I hope everybody had a lovely Thanksgiving or is still enjoying a delightful Thanksgivikuh as I type. Ours was and has been NUTS — 32 people for Thanksgiving dinner, fabulous evenings out to celebrate my brother’s seemingly endless 33rd birthday (I mean, seriously, dude, THREE MEALS? I barely rate a DVD at home around here), brunches and Chanukah parties and ENDLESS leftover magic-making with the remnants of the feast for 32.

There's another table on the deck. Eek!

There’s another table on the deck. Eek!

CHK trois mec

CHK stuffing eggs

I instagrammed the whole thing like crazy (as you can tell) and I’ve even blogged all about it but as we seem to be ending the last possible moments of the leftover-cycle, I’ll save my notes and recipes for next year when people can actually use them.

Till then, and drum roll, please:

Not too long ago my sister posted THIS on Facebook:

CHK sis preggers

She’s pregnant!

I’m thrilled.

I get to be an aunt. Aunt-ing sounds LOVELY. Brand new adorable blood-related bundle of joy who is NOT my responsibility? Count me in.

Plus I’m always excited when someone I love has babies and can join me in my bitching about all the ups and downs of caring for those babies. Always need another mama at the bitch fest. And this one is getting off to a great start. I am loving getting to listen to her complain about being tired and cranky and hungry and enormously breasted … those were the days. (Ha!)  So glad it’s not me, lemme tell you. NEVER. AGAIN.

But I do love complaining about it.

But perhaps MOST THE MOST EXCITING THING OF ALL is that all those boxes and boxes and boxes of baby clothes I’ve been saving for her are FINALLY exiting my garage. I may park my minivan in there yet.

The thing is, though:

All those boxes are on their way to her charming and lovely but kinda tiny, fourth-floor-walkup, two-bedroom apartment in Park Slope.

My sister and her husband are planning to totally reconfigure their space in order to accommodate their new baby. Office equipment is moving to the living room, guest beds are being shifted about. Supposedly they are getting started on all this shortly after the New Year.

That said:

It will be better organized after all this moving-and-a-shaking, but at the end of the day it’s still gonna be a fourth-floor walk-up tiny two-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn.

Which has me thinking about ways to minimize baby crap in their lives for as long as possible, and here’s what I’ve come up with:

BARE MINIMUM NECESSITIES for bringing home baby and living with him awhile (SMALL HOME EDITION)

  • PACK N PLAY – so he has somewhere to sleep that isn’t her/your bed, but can still sleep nearby
  • SWADDLING BLANKETS – to encourage the sleeping
  • SWING– so he has somewhere (almost) guaranteed that he WILL sleep, for when he won’t sleep in the pack-n-play
  • BREAST PUMP / BOTTLES – gotta feed the kid
  • DIAPER PAIL – if you feed him, you’re gonna need to change his diapers
  • PLAY MAT – somewhere else to put him down
  • STROLLER / CARRIER – so you can get him out
  • CAR SEAT – so you can take him farther afield
  • DIAPER BAG or equivalent – so you’ve got what you need when you take him there
  • BABY CLOTHES – so he won’t be naked

Niceties, but not necessities, include:

  • CHANGING TABLE or DRESSER – I vote for a dresser to hold baby’s clothes, with a changing pad on top. But if you have closet space, you don’t even need the dresser. You can put the baby stuff in the closet (try to mac it out with double rails and drawers if you can) and then change baby on a pad or towel on the floor or on your bed. As you get better at it, you won’t even need the pad or towel.
  • ROCKER / RECLINER – I would have said, before the twins, that a recliner was a necessity. But I couldn’t use ours with the twins. Generally I cuddled up on a mattress on the floor with the boys, and they didn’t seem to notice the lack of rocking motion. In a small house, I might eschew the chair for a bed, mattress, or couch already in place near the baby’s bed.
  • CRIB – a  pack-n-play is generally a bit smaller than a crib, and more portable. You might even be able to get away with using a pack-n-play until baby is ready for a toddler bed. I only advocate buying a crib in a small space if your baby is NOT sleeping in your room. If he’s got his own dedicated nursery that you intend to use from day 1, then go for a crib. Absolutely. If he DOESN’T, however, as is the case in many smaller homes and apartments, stick with the Pack-N-Play as long as you can.

My kids are growing up fast – this morning Pancake explained that turning 3 next month means he’s going to be a big boy as tall as Daddy – but my sister’s pregnancy is giving me TONS of ideas for back-to-baby posts over the next few months, so if you wandered over here because you’re pregnant or just had your first baby, pull up a chair. There’s gonna be a ton of new content just for you!

In other news: I have recently changed my Twitter account from @checklistmommy to @sarahakatelevy. If you were following me @checklistmommy, please make the switch as I will no longer be using my old handle. But don’t worry — @sarahkatelevy still intends to post information relevant to ChecklistMommy readers. I just wanted a little more latitude to tweet about writing, politics, and whatever else hit my fancy that wasn’t strictly Mom/Baby/Kids news. 

I'm Just Looking for Some Grown-Ups to Talk To ...

Categories: Before Baby, Can't Live Without My, Checklists, Infants, and Tips / Tools / Tricks.

(Small Home Edition. Because MY SISTER!)

  • C.J.
    December 5, 2013

    Fisher Price rock n play sleeper has the same incline as a car seat which makes it great for reflux issues or just to help baby sleep when congested. Everyone I know has one & I find it really useful (along w a bouncer seat). I don’t own a swing – thought it would take up too much space and baby wasn’t guaranteed to like it, though I hear he enjoys it at daycare.

    • checklistmommy
      December 6, 2013

      That’s a good rec, too!

Sarah Kate Levy

Once upon a time I wanted to be a novelist in NY. FOUR KIDS LATER I'm a
screenwriter in LA who blogs about parenting, partnering, and the decline of civilization / my home.

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