We had a baby, it’s a boy! Ryder Nicholas joined us at 5:32pm on Father’s Day (6/15/14). The little guy weighed in at 6lbs 12oz and was 20.5” tall. We are SO excited to be parents again and Paisley is SO-SO excited to be a BIG sister!
We’ve gotten many questions and concerns about adding a newborn to our already small Airstream space. With only 176 square feet of living space people wonder…
- Where will baby sleep?
- How will you manage cloth diapers without a washer!?
- Won’t a crying newborn keep your toddler awake?
These are all legitimate questions! Here are the answers to some of these questions and what we have learned about living in a small space with a newborn + toddler.
THE FIRST FEW WEEKS…
The first few weeks we had two sets of friends go on vacation. So we pulled our Airstream in their driveways as we stayed in their homes for the first 4wks. I some ways this was really nice! Shae’s mom joined us for 2-weeks and it was nice to have room to host her. It was also nice to develop a routine with brother while not messing with Paisley routine. The only downside of the house sitting was living out of a suitcase and we like the kitchen in our Airstream better!
After we were done with the housesitting marathon we were a bit nervous about transitioning back into the Airstream. The transition went flawless and the kids are sleeping great!
WHERE DOES BABY SLEEP?
We got a small foldable bassinet that we place on the counter next to our bed. The first 4-weeks we put him in his car seat to sleep because he was having some tummy issues and a more upright position seemed to help.
Our first night back in the trailer we placed him tightly swaddled in his bassinet and he didn’t sleep well laying flat. More of the gurgling sounds, fussiness we had the first few days so back to the car seat he went.
He’s been in his car seat since and it’s working fine. The car seat does have it’s advantages as a bed…you can easily pick it up and swing it to get baby to sleep, it’s easy to rock and we have it anywhere we go.
We will eventually transition him to his bassinet. We have yet to decide where he’ll sleep when he outgrows his bassinet. One option is a bed next to his sister under the dinette.
SMALL SPACE + CRYING BABY?
Paisley (our 3yr old) is a pretty sound sleeper. We haven’t had any issues yet with the crying baby waking our toddler.
We were concerned with this so we bought a white noise machine just in case. Since Our baby does so good at night we haven’t needed it for our toddler. It has been useful for baby though and we highly recommend one.
With Paisley we used our phones with a white noise app and that worked well. Although having a designated device is nice!
We decided to cloth diaper and have had to be a bit creative on how to manage this without a washer & dryer in the Airstream.
We generally do our laundry at friends/families houses and didn’t want to request to wash our babies poopy diapers in their machines. For some reason people get weird about this? Depending on your stash of inserts, liners and covers washing cloth can be frequent process.
STORING CLOTH DIAPERS
Once we change a diaper we rinse off the insert & liner and cover if needed. We attached a y-fitting to our freshwater line outside the trailer so we have a designated hose/nozzle to spray off the diapers. We also use this hose for washing purposes. After the diaper is rinsed we place it in a wet bag until we do laundry.
WASHING & DRYING CLOTH DIAPERS
There are several options for washing the diapers. We have seen table-top salad-spinner-like units, the Wonder Wash and a few other options. We decided to try the simplest and least expensive option then work our way up if needed.
Right now we are using a hand plunger type agitator inside a 5-gallon bucket. Fill the bucket with water, add some detergent and plunge away. Cheap, simple and effective. Stay tuned for a video outlining the washing process in more detail.
We generally wash baby in our sink. One of us will hold him with the other washes. Baby baths are generally pretty short and this works well. We considered a foldable baby mesh hammock-like-thing that we could place in our tub but we didn’t want more clutter.
In conclusion raising a baby in Airstream, or any other small space is totally doable. Whatever your situation there are many solutions. While we were initially a bit nervous about bringing home baby we have all adapted and our small space is perfect!
If you have any thoughts or questions on babies + small spaces please add to the conversation by commenting below!
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Here are a few baby things we wouldn’t want to be without!
Foldable Bassinet/Crib or Car Seat (We love our Chicco Keyfit 30)
Aiden & Anais Swaddle Blankets
These light blankets are AWESOME for swaddling!
White Noise Machine
We got this cute little lamp that attaches to his car seat. It has an adjustable volume control and a handful of noises like rain and whales. We use the noise machine a ton!
Ergo Baby Carrier + Infant Insert
Love the Ergo baby carrier. The infant insert makes it easier to carry a tiny infant. The carrier is comfortable to wear and can carry kids up to 40lbs (we still use ours for Paisley at times who is 3.5yrs). If Shae needs a break and Ryder is fussy I will strap him to my chest and go for a walk or do random chores in the trailer. The movement takes him back to the womb and it generally fall asleep in just a few minutes. It’s also great for outings if you dont want to mess with a stroller.
Happiest Baby on the Block
A couple from church handed us down this DVD. It has a handful of techniques to help soothe crying babies after they are changed & fed. This info was super helpful as brand new parents.