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Preparing for parenthood seems like a daunting task. I’m not a parent yet, so I can only speculate, but I’ve seen kids and I know people with kids. And I feel for hopeful new parents-to-be, with all the questions that must come along. Do we have what it takes to raise a healthy, happy little person who will someday contribute meaningfully to society? What’s a great name that won’t come back to haunt us 15 years from now? Will we surrender to the chicken nuggets-for-dinner-every-night debate? But in urban areas another more pressing question comes up quickly: where will we put this new little friend? Such is the topic in the House & Home section of today’s New York Times. Case in point:

For four years [Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan and husband Maxwell] shared a 265-square-foot, one-bedroom rental on Bedford Street in the West Village, an apartment so preposterously miniature it could fit neatly inside the foyer of many apartments uptown. They made it work for the two of them in part by jettisoning clothes, a television and a home office. “It never felt too small,” said Ms. Gillingham-Ryan, 31, a food writer. “It helps to keep your life well edited.”

No amount of editing, it seemed, would create enough room for a baby. But after looking at more than a dozen apartments, and weighing the benefits of more square footage against the burden of debt, they decided to stay on Bedford Street, where they pay $780 a month for rent. And they would renovate to accomplish the seemingly impossible: accommodate a baby.

So is this conundrum limited to downtown walk-ups or is making room for baby getting trickier in general? Or is the transition to parenthood easier in other areas of the country? (And I do mean from a decorating perspective only.) Let’s hear it.

In the meantime:

Before-and-Afters: Nursery Makeovers (HGTV)
Comparison Shop for Nursery Furniture and Accessories (Shopzilla)
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4 Responses

  1. Stephanie says:

    I don't know how they'll do it! All of my friends told us we'd be out of our mid-century 3BR rancher within a year. Our son is approaching 7 months, and we're already squeezed. All of the baby gear takes so much room! Along with the cute furniture, the plush rocker and all the teeny clothes, accessories and diapers, come the stuffed animals and the gi-normous exersaucers, swings, bouncers, car seats, strollers … an endless array of space-stealing baby loot! I guess if they get really creative, they can do it. Good luck to them! As for us, we're already shopping for a 4BR with double the space.

  2. Reader says:

    The Gillingham Ryan story is really not quite what they make it out to be. They have a house in the hamptons, they have a "barn" in the hamptons. This is not the only space they inhabit and they have a lot of storage available.

    There is a huge discussion on their blog under 9-month cure posts; read the comments on the NYtimes article linked there.

  3. Alicia Elliott says:

    We own a three bedroom house. By three bedroom I mean, one room is huge with closets and built-ins. Our room is The mid-sized room with no closet and the nursery has it only entrance in our room. The nursery is ver small but has a closet. Our 5 and 2 yr old girls have the big room with the closet. Our 7 week old is in the nursery adjacent from our room and we have to share a closet ( that is filling up fast) with him. We have a conundum because for now the nursery works but once our baby becomes a toddler we will need another entror his room as well as our own closet. We have thought this over but can't come to a decision for long. Our room is already filled to capacity because we have to have 2 dresser, due to lack of storage, and a queen size bed in a space meant for a full size and 1 dresser. And somehow we have to try to build a closet in our room. I'm cringing at the prospect of doing this. If anyone has any suggestions on how to make this work please feel free to share because my husband and I are at the end of our ropes(and budget).

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