Author Topic: Can We Survive in a 1BR?  (Read 1978 times)

MyronGaines

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Can We Survive in a 1BR?
« on: August 24, 2017, 11:16:14 AM »
We are currently in a one bedroom in San Diego, which means it's small.  Nice place, but small.  Our lease is up in early November and baby is due in January.  We are planning on renewing the lease and moving to a bigger place when the next lease is up, which will put the baby at 10 months.  I feel like we can pull it off. It surely will be cramped at times, but I feel like increasing the rent $600 for a baby is not smart at this point. 

I also have no idea what I'm doing! Any help would be appreciated.

Cheers!

jezebel

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Re: Can We Survive in a 1BR?
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2017, 11:34:01 AM »
I've heard it's doable, but I think it will be tough if you have a baby that doesn't sleep well.  We slept in shifts for a while when the kids were newborns, which meant that the person sleeping could hole up in a quiet part of the house.  I assume that's harder to accomplish in a one bedroom, but survivable, especially if you have a good night sleeper.

MyronGaines

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Re: Can We Survive in a 1BR?
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2017, 11:43:23 AM »
I've heard it's doable, but I think it will be tough if you have a baby that doesn't sleep well.  We slept in shifts for a while when the kids were newborns, which meant that the person sleeping could hole up in a quiet part of the house.  I assume that's harder to accomplish in a one bedroom, but survivable, especially if you have a good night sleeper.

Thanks for the input.  Praying for a sleeper!

KCM5

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Re: Can We Survive in a 1BR?
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2017, 11:45:30 AM »
I've heard it's doable, but I think it will be tough if you have a baby that doesn't sleep well.  We slept in shifts for a while when the kids were newborns, which meant that the person sleeping could hole up in a quiet part of the house.  I assume that's harder to accomplish in a one bedroom, but survivable, especially if you have a good night sleeper.

Thanks for the input.  Praying for a sleeper!

Even a good sleeper will probably be a challenge in the first couple of months. I think as long as you have a full size couch for one partner to sleep on in the living room while the baby/other partner are in the bedroom (or vice versa), you should be fine. As long as no one is a crazy light sleeper.

BAM

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Re: Can We Survive in a 1BR?
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2017, 11:48:58 AM »
Yes, it's doable. I have found it easier to keep the baby in a bassinet next to my bed until 9+ months. Just pull them into bed with you so you (or your SO) can nurse lying down and dozing. Definitely not worth $600 extra in my book. I would say stay there as long as absolutely possible even after that.

Here's a blog where they have two kids (ages 3 and 1ish) in 600 sq ft one bedroom: http://www.600sqft.com/. She talks about how they work things out so it works - right now she and her dh sleep on a murphy bed in the living room while the kids have the bedroom. In one of her posts (don't know where right now), she links to other small space families.
Oh, just thought of another one: www.readingmytealeaves.com. They also have 2 kids (ages 4 and under 1) in a 1 bedroom.

If you think of your space as fluid instead of as living room/bedroom/dining, you will be able to come up with many workable solutions. Personally we live in just under 1900 sq ft, 3 bedroom with 9 kids. It works great. Honestly, we could probably drop another 300 sq ft and still make it work.

MyronGaines

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Re: Can We Survive in a 1BR?
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2017, 12:05:08 PM »
Yes, it's doable. I have found it easier to keep the baby in a bassinet next to my bed until 9+ months. Just pull them into bed with you so you (or your SO) can nurse lying down and dozing. Definitely not worth $600 extra in my book. I would say stay there as long as absolutely possible even after that.

Here's a blog where they have two kids (ages 3 and 1ish) in 600 sq ft one bedroom: http://www.600sqft.com/. She talks about how they work things out so it works - right now she and her dh sleep on a murphy bed in the living room while the kids have the bedroom. In one of her posts (don't know where right now), she links to other small space families.
Oh, just thought of another one: www.readingmytealeaves.com. They also have 2 kids (ages 4 and under 1) in a 1 bedroom.

If you think of your space as fluid instead of as living room/bedroom/dining, you will be able to come up with many workable solutions. Personally we live in just under 1900 sq ft, 3 bedroom with 9 kids. It works great. Honestly, we could probably drop another 300 sq ft and still make it work.

Thanks for the info. Sounds like that blog is right up my alley.  And hats off to your family, have you written about your experience at all?

Jrr85

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Re: Can We Survive in a 1BR?
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2017, 12:39:04 PM »
We are currently in a one bedroom in San Diego, which means it's small.  Nice place, but small.  Our lease is up in early November and baby is due in January.  We are planning on renewing the lease and moving to a bigger place when the next lease is up, which will put the baby at 10 months.  I feel like we can pull it off. It surely will be cramped at times, but I feel like increasing the rent $600 for a baby is not smart at this point. 

I also have no idea what I'm doing! Any help would be appreciated.

Cheers!

You can pretty easily manage a one bedroom apartment until your first kid is at least 3.  If you upgrade enough to actually have one person get enough separation from the baby that they don't get woken up by crying, that would make it easier, but most two bedroom apartments won't even give you that, so you'd probably have to upgrade significantly. 

For the first several months, it'll probably be easier to keep the baby in a bassinet in your room regardless.  Once they move to the crib, it will just depend on your schedule.  One option is to have the crib in the living area, but that basically means all the activity in the living area has to revolve around the kids sleep schedule.  For us, that's just a matter of getting the kid to sleep.  Once they're asleep, they can sleep through a lot. 

The other option is to have the crib in the bedroom.  The only challenge to that is babies/toddlers can be noisy sleepers even when they're sleeping well, so you might get woken up some more. 


MyronGaines

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Re: Can We Survive in a 1BR?
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2017, 12:47:59 PM »

You can pretty easily manage a one bedroom apartment until your first kid is at least 3.  If you upgrade enough to actually have one person get enough separation from the baby that they don't get woken up by crying, that would make it easier, but most two bedroom apartments won't even give you that, so you'd probably have to upgrade significantly. 

For the first several months, it'll probably be easier to keep the baby in a bassinet in your room regardless.  Once they move to the crib, it will just depend on your schedule.  One option is to have the crib in the living area, but that basically means all the activity in the living area has to revolve around the kids sleep schedule.  For us, that's just a matter of getting the kid to sleep.  Once they're asleep, they can sleep through a lot. 

The other option is to have the crib in the bedroom.  The only challenge to that is babies/toddlers can be noisy sleepers even when they're sleeping well, so you might get woken up some more.

Good point. The baby would be in our bedroom for a couple of months anyway with the bassinet.  So we're talking ~7 months of crib action until the lease would be up, then the question is do we keep the crib in the bedroom with us or sleep in different areas? Thanks for the info.

iowajes

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Re: Can We Survive in a 1BR?
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2017, 12:49:12 PM »
Survive? Absolutely.  That size space to number of people ratio is downright luxurious in very poor parts of the world.

Would I change it if I could. Yep. 

(That said - our baby sleeps in our room. As long as we didn't have an efficiency, I think it would be fine. Baby has a space, we can be out of the room if we need to be.)

BAM

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Re: Can We Survive in a 1BR?
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2017, 12:50:52 PM »
No I haven't written about our experiences. I think about starting a blog some time but we'll see.

One other thought for when the baby comes: do NOT try to keep sounds muffled or quiet. The baby will learn to sleep through what they are used to so make normal noises while the baby sleeps -naps and night - so they get used to it. That will help a ton with living in a 1 bedroom.
You can always add a white noise machine at some point to help you and/or the baby sleep. But I wouldn't get the baby used to it for all sleeping times unless you always want to use it. We use a regular box fan when we need this.

mamagoose

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Re: Can We Survive in a 1BR?
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2017, 12:57:07 PM »
Yes, absolutely. Our baby was in our room until 6.5 months old, and for years later slept in a pack-and-play in our room when traveling. Do you have a walk-in closet? Babies sleep really well in pack-and-plays in closets too!
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FireHiker

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Re: Can We Survive in a 1BR?
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2017, 12:59:08 PM »
I lived in a 1 bedroom when my first was born; we moved to a 2 bedroom when he was about 4 months old. #2 and #3 both co-slept, 1.5 years and 3 respectively. As another poster mentioned, it's a luxury that is unheard of in other parts of the world for it to be otherwise. I would absolutely save the $600/mo and stay with your plan if it were me.

lizzzi

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Re: Can We Survive in a 1BR?
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2017, 01:37:32 PM »
Stay in the one-bedroom apartment.  Make sure your baby's "bed" is on wheels, so you can put it in the bedroom for naps during the day and early evening while parents are out in the main part of the apt.; then when parents want to go to bed in the bedroom,  wheel the baby bed into the living room. Of course, the little one will be in the same room with you for weeks or months at first--but when you feel it is old enough to be in a separate room for naps and at night--just move its bed back and forth. (Sorry for saying "it." Don't know if it's going to be a boy or a girl. : D  )  Someone upthread said don't treat your spaces as discrete rooms, but as a more free-flowing, multi-use space. I agree with that. I often had little ones in small, temporary spaces (military family with frequent PCSs, TDYs, travel, out-of-town visits to family, etc. You get creative. And the little ones don't mind as long as they have the right toys, blankets, etc.)

MyronGaines

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Re: Can We Survive in a 1BR?
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2017, 04:43:42 PM »
Stay in the one-bedroom apartment.  Make sure your baby's "bed" is on wheels, so you can put it in the bedroom for naps during the day and early evening while parents are out in the main part of the apt.; then when parents want to go to bed in the bedroom,  wheel the baby bed into the living room. Of course, the little one will be in the same room with you for weeks or months at first--but when you feel it is old enough to be in a separate room for naps and at night--just move its bed back and forth. (Sorry for saying "it." Don't know if it's going to be a boy or a girl. : D  )  Someone upthread said don't treat your spaces as discrete rooms, but as a more free-flowing, multi-use space. I agree with that. I often had little ones in small, temporary spaces (military family with frequent PCSs, TDYs, travel, out-of-town visits to family, etc. You get creative. And the little ones don't mind as long as they have the right toys, blankets, etc.)

Thanks for the feedback. I feel more confident in our decision now. And don't sweat "it"! We won't know the gender u til Tuesday 😁

frugalparagon

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Re: Can We Survive in a 1BR?
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2017, 04:50:32 PM »
Stay in the one-bedroom apartment.  Make sure your baby's "bed" is on wheels, so you can put it in the bedroom for naps during the day and early evening while parents are out in the main part of the apt.; then when parents want to go to bed in the bedroom,  wheel the baby bed into the living room. Of course, the little one will be in the same room with you for weeks or months at first--but when you feel it is old enough to be in a separate room for naps and at night--just move its bed back and forth. (Sorry for saying "it." Don't know if it's going to be a boy or a girl. : D  )  Someone upthread said don't treat your spaces as discrete rooms, but as a more free-flowing, multi-use space. I agree with that. I often had little ones in small, temporary spaces (military family with frequent PCSs, TDYs, travel, out-of-town visits to family, etc. You get creative. And the little ones don't mind as long as they have the right toys, blankets, etc.)

Thanks for the feedback. I feel more confident in our decision now. And don't sweat "it"! We won't know the gender u til Tuesday 😁

I agree that this plan sounds sensible! I am a single mom in a one-bedroom with my two kids; I just decided to renew my lease for another 10 months rather than start forking out an extra $400 for a nicer apartment.

The advice to make sure that it is possible for an adult to sleep in the living room is also sensible. Sometimes in the first few months you will need to take turns being Somewhere Else from the baby.
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koshtra

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Re: Can We Survive in a 1BR?
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2017, 05:01:36 PM »
Oh, sure. We did it, with our cranky sleepless first, and I don't remember ever wanting another room.

SimpleCycle

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Re: Can We Survive in a 1BR?
« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2017, 07:04:52 PM »
Oh, totally.  Our 4 month old is still in our room anyway, and often all four of us sleep in one room when DD is cranky or we're traveling.  Our oldest is 2 now and we only have a small play space and it's fine.

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Re: Can We Survive in a 1BR?
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2017, 07:16:56 PM »
We had multiple neighbors who did this when we lived in a high rise. Studios or 1BRs with babies/toddlers. It seems like the key, with a 1BR, is to treat is like a studio for the parents and a 1BR for the baby, lol. Obviously this depends on size/layout, but our building had fairly small rooms anyway. It made sense to do a murphy or daybed in the living room, and have the kiddo's room be the true bedroom. Design the rest of the living room like you're living in a studio.

Good luck. You can do this!
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iowajes

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Re: Can We Survive in a 1BR?
« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2017, 07:26:11 AM »
Oh, totally.  Our 4 month old is still in our room anyway, and often all four of us sleep in one room when DD is cranky or we're traveling.  Our oldest is 2 now and we only have a small play space and it's fine.

Our pediatrician recommends baby rooms in until 1 year old.  At 5 months, it's still great to have her there. Makes it so much easier to check her or feed her in the middle of the night. I don't have to walk across the house.

And we have never been quiet for her. Once she is asleep, she has slept through parties with 50 people screaming playing games (family reunion), and our dogs constantly bark at night- she's out. So room sharing isn't a problem.  As a newborn she was a loud sleeper, but she isn't anymore.

Sweetpotatofries

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Re: Can We Survive in a 1BR?
« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2017, 05:57:38 AM »
Our experience differs from many here, mine is 7 months so take this with a grain of very new mom salt :)

We lived in a studio through December of last year then moved a couple weeks before baby was born. We were SO happy we did. Our baby is a sleeper. A wonderful, wonderful sleeper. However, he is a NOISY little man. He grunts, kicks, coos, and even mumbles in his sleep. I barely slept a wink his first 6 weeks between the noises and nursing him. He also hated the bassinet and having him in our bed did not work well for us due to all those noises/movement. With our pediatrician's blessing, we transitioned him to his own room in our new 2-bedroom at 6 weeks, and we all slept great. He LOVES his crib and mobile. In fact he had previously woken 2x a night to nurse, the next week it changed to 1x a night, and he started sleeping through the night fully at 12 weeks old with very little to do with our doing anything about it. He still exclusively nurses, since he sleeps 12 hours a night I wake up around 5am and pump to relieve engorgement. He's chubby, healthy, and at 7 months sleeps 12 hours a night and takes 2 naps of 1-2 hours each day. There is no way he would do that if he didn't have a separate space -- while he sleeps THROUGH loud noise and hubbub, he is very alert and curious and needs a quiet dark room to FALL asleep in.

The tradeoff is of course the extra money on housing and commute. My husband still takes public transport/walk to work but his commute did go from 40 to 60 minutes (NYC and he works in FiDi so comparative to others it's a *good* commute even though it sucks, he works on train). In our case we decided to buy since the math came out in favor of doing that, but it meant a move to the very-close-in suburbs rather than an outer borough, and total monthly housing cost is up even though the principal to our mortgage means we pay less that disappears from our assets.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2017, 06:00:08 AM by Sweetpotatofries »

alice76

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Re: Can We Survive in a 1BR?
« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2017, 10:31:53 AM »
Yes, you'll be fine. We had both our kids in our room in a pack n play until they were 12 months (it's recommended by many pediatricians, regardless of living situation). Your sleep will be compromised no matter what with a newborn. Life got better when each of us could get at least 4 hour stretches, taking turns.

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Re: Can We Survive in a 1BR?
« Reply #21 on: August 30, 2017, 10:44:50 AM »
We are currently in a one bedroom in San Diego, which means it's small.  Nice place, but small.  Our lease is up in early November and baby is due in January.  We are planning on renewing the lease and moving to a bigger place when the next lease is up, which will put the baby at 10 months.  I feel like we can pull it off. It surely will be cramped at times, but I feel like increasing the rent $600 for a baby is not smart at this point. 

I also have no idea what I'm doing! Any help would be appreciated.

Cheers!

How much would you pay for sleep? 1BR or not, if you value sleep then get the baby out of your room as soon as reasonably possible. They make a surprising amount of noise while they sleep - certainly enough to wake you up even if they aren't even crying.

BAM

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Re: Can We Survive in a 1BR?
« Reply #22 on: August 30, 2017, 11:57:24 AM »
The amount of noise depends on the child. Our first was a noisy sleeper so he was moved out of our room to another area fairly early. Most of the rest have been quiet so they stayed - one stayed until he was a year with no noise issues.

galliver

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Re: Can We Survive in a 1BR?
« Reply #23 on: August 30, 2017, 01:13:06 PM »
I remember sharing a room with my parents, and later, baby sister as well in my native country; it wasn't considered unusual there. Basically until we moved to the US when I was 6, we all shared a big room. Some of the time, I remember my bed being behind a bookcase...not sure if it was just for blocking light and visual privacy, or if it provided sound insulation, you could check. Then when my youngest sister was born (in the US), we had a 2BR and she lived in our parents' room until she was 12-18mos or so, then moved in with the 2 of us in the other bedroom. My grandparents' condo where my dad grew up is basically 1BR; as far as I know, their whole lives they slept in the "living room" and my dad had the "bedroom"...and then when we all came to visit there were beds everywhere because there were 7 of us in like 400SF.

So, with a 1BR you still have some options. You might end up happy to have baby in your bedroom like some posters; if not, you can switch to the nursery+studio model for a while, and/or consider using furniture as room-dividers if necessary (just for the love of God anchor it to a wall since you're in SD!!)

bognish

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Re: Can We Survive in a 1BR?
« Reply #24 on: August 30, 2017, 03:12:09 PM »
Our biggest problem with the 1 bedroom + newborn was my inlaws insisted on staying with us. Suggesting the B&B 2 blocks away was a major issue even if I was paying (as my spouse had agreed to when we moved in). If you are planning on out of town helpers coming for extended stays after baby's arrival, think about where they will stay.

scrunchythief

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Re: Can We Survive in a 1BR?
« Reply #25 on: September 05, 2017, 12:29:26 PM »
Yep.  Till I was seven, we lived in a one bedroom apartment.  It was a slightly larger than average bedroom that my parents split down the middle with dressers, and put my crib, and then the head of their bed in the open closet.  When I was six and my brother was born, his crib went in the open closet and mom and dad got a futon for the living room.  I wouldn't recommend that for too, too long, but it's doable.  We moved to a 3 bed house after that. 

Meesh

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Re: Can We Survive in a 1BR?
« Reply #26 on: September 09, 2017, 01:45:58 PM »
It's absolutely doable. We stayed in a one bedroom until my son was 3.5yo and I think it would be fine even now with him at 5. If you use a bassinet wheel it around, if you co-sleep have a comfortable place in the other room like a couch or a fold up mattress/ futon in case one of you needs some extra space from baby crowding or someone needs to get better sleep away from the crying baby. Ear plugs help too.

We had a lot of configurations, bassinet, co-sleeping, for a while we put our bed in the living room to make it like a studio and used the bedroom as a nursery, then we switched it... We also considered Murphy beds but never went through with it... There are lots of options. No need to move.

LadyMuMu

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Re: Can We Survive in a 1BR?
« Reply #27 on: September 09, 2017, 02:42:30 PM »
Absolutely doable. And don't get a crib. Use a pack-n-play and you can easily put baby in bedroom or living room as needed.

We lived in a one-bedroom extended stay hotel for a semester with a 3 and 1.5 y/o. Babies are super easy.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Can We Survive in a 1BR?
« Reply #28 on: September 10, 2017, 05:31:47 AM »
Yep you can totally do it.  We lived in a one bedroom (plus walk in closet like extra room) until our oldest was about 3.  In the city I live in in Europe this is totally normal.  We now live in a 3 bedroom apartment with 2 kids and people say in amazement "what are you going to do with all this extra space?" 

TabbyCat

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Re: Can We Survive in a 1BR?
« Reply #29 on: September 12, 2017, 09:28:32 AM »
We were in a 1 bedroom until baby was 10 months old. It worked great until about 8 moths old, but then she started getting really fussy anytime we were at home - as soon as we went outside or to a larger space she was happy. I think a lot of kids would do fine in a small space longer, but those last two months were hard (it was a small 1 bed - 600 square feet, but lots of floor space to roam and toys at her level still). She was so happy when we moved into a bigger space and would just crawl around smiling at everything. We still cosleep, so she doesn't actually have her own room but is just happy to have the space in general.

Lentils4Lunch

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Re: Can We Survive in a 1BR?
« Reply #30 on: September 13, 2017, 08:24:28 AM »
Sleeping near your baby is good. Also, ear plugs are useful for blocking out those weird gurgle sounds they make when they sleep.

GuitarStv

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Re: Can We Survive in a 1BR?
« Reply #31 on: September 13, 2017, 08:44:25 AM »
My vote would be a huge fuck no.

Our son woke screaming loudly 4-15 times a night, every night for the first year and a half of his life (it wasn't until three and a half that he started sleeping through the night more than four times a week).  The only way that my wife and I survived at all was alternating having one person sleep in the basement two floors away every couple nights.  As it was, that long term period of having no sleep placed more stress on our relationship and situation at work than either of us have ever experienced before.  Extended periods of no sleep do very bad things to you.

YMMV, but before you've given birth to the screaming, pooping little monster I'd go about doing everything humanly possible to make your life simpler and easier during the first year of it's life at least.

StarBright

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Re: Can We Survive in a 1BR?
« Reply #32 on: September 13, 2017, 08:49:20 AM »
Oh, totally.  Our 4 month old is still in our room anyway, and often all four of us sleep in one room when DD is cranky or we're traveling.  Our oldest is 2 now and we only have a small play space and it's fine.

Our pediatrician recommends baby rooms in until 1 year old.  At 5 months, it's still great to have her there. Makes it so much easier to check her or feed her in the middle of the night. I don't have to walk across the house.

And we have never been quiet for her. Once she is asleep, she has slept through parties with 50 people screaming playing games (family reunion), and our dogs constantly bark at night- she's out. So room sharing isn't a problem.  As a newborn she was a loud sleeper, but she isn't anymore.

Ours recommended the same. It worked out just fine.