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Tips for Urban Dwelling with a New Baby

No doubt about it: Having a baby doesn't just change your life, it also changes the world. Not only does your heart grow about ten sizes bigger, but it seems like your life shrinks down to just your little one.

That sense of holding the whole world in the palm of your hand when you hold your infant is one of the greatest joys of parenthood. Sooner or later, though, life compels you to snap out of your blissful haze and rejoin the real world. And when you do, you may well find that integrating your new baby into your modern urban life might take a bit more strategy than you originally imagined. This article will give you some tips and tricks for bringing up babies in the big city.

Hit the Road
Any new parent knows that planning any kind of outing with an infant in tow takes about as much preparation as a moon launch. But when you're living in the city, that prep time can be even greater, especially if you find yourself relying primarily on public transportation to get around.

If you're taking the subway, for example, you'll need to know exactly where to find the nearest station elevators. There's no way you're going to want to try to schlep baby, stroller, and baby gear up and down the subway stairs.

When you're planning to hit the road with your baby, be careful to resist the temptation to pack everything but the kitchen sink. You're just adding hassle and stress to what should be a pleasant excursion for you and the little one. So focus on the essentials when you're packing baby's go-bag: diapers, wipes, sanitizer, changing pad, and a change of clothes for baby in case of accidents, as well as a favorite toy or two (but not the whole toy chest) to keep the little one occupied while out and about.

Arrange Your Space
Living in the city means making the most of the space you have. Although raising a kid in the city can be magical, it can get quite tight as well if you're confined to small spaces. When you're living in a shoebox with a little one, the best way to create as much space as possible is to purge the clutter. Clear out those closets, shelves, bureaus, and drawers to free up room for the new addition to your family. You can even resell gently used items to score some surplus cash - a definite plus when you're getting ready for baby!

Additionally, you should also evaluate your essential needs in the apartment. For example, although it may take up your space and budget, many find that getting a good washer and dryer can make urban living much easier while raising a newborn. The amount of dirty laundry a little person can produce is truly astonishing, and the last thing either of you'll want to do is spend most of your time in an uncomfortable laundromat. The good news, though, is that even if you are cramped for space, you can find an affordable compact appliance, including stackables, that will fit right in - and make life a whole lot easier!

Prepping the Neighbors
Almost always, there are ways to make your life easier when raising a child in the city. However, this might not always be the case if you have neighbors close by. When you're bringing a new baby into your home, it's not just you, but your neighbors who are going to experience a change. If you don't want upset phone calls in the middle of the night, it might be a good idea to soften the blow of this big change with the residents around you.

Offer small, thoughtful gifts, from chocolate to earplugs, simply to acknowledge the change - because as much as you might believe your little one to be an angel on earth, the fact is there's nothing heavenly about being wakened at 3 AM to the sound of a baby crying. Even a small gesture can help you maintain good relationships with the neighbors and allow you to build a welcoming sense of community for your little one to grow up in.

The Takeaway
Welcoming a new baby is one of life's most important joyful transitions. But when you're bringing up a newborn in the big city, you're going to need to do a bit of planning. You'll need a strategy for getting out and about in the metropolis with your little one in tow; at the same time, you're going to want to set up your space and prep your neighbors to help make home a warm and welcoming space. By doing so, you'll be ready to raise an urban infant who knows the unique, cozy comforts of home.