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Can You Have a Baby in a Tiny House?

Macy M43 comments3762 views

The moment I found out I was pregnant the number one response was something along the lines of  ‘so long tiny house’.  For some reason it seemed more logical that I should get a bigger space… I can kind of get it but at the same time kids are pretty much attached to their parents literally and figuratively for a few years… the last thing that made sense to me was paying more for rent or taking out a mortgage just so I could guarantee that I would have to work to sustain my home and even more so, so that I could pay for daycare… the tiny house began to make even MORE sense once little miss came into the picture.  It has played out just that way too since she’s been born.

Honestly, I have been commended an awful lot and encouraged by others who think the tiny house is perfect for Hazel and out family.  At the same time I have been criticized a lot for having a kid in such a small space.  It’s quickly assumed by some that she is being ‘abused’ and or deprived somehow by not being able to have every gadget available… in my opinion most gadgets are for parents in order to make things convenient.  That said she has a lot of gadgets even in a tiny house… (you have to take the good with the bad, I am learning, there are those on both sides always, it’s just a reality of living a lifestyle outside the norm).  I will tell you that having a kid (or a couple for that matter) is totally possible in a tiny house.  At this point, for the most part she is in my arms or sleeping an arms-length away.  I have already heard that ‘sure, this may work now but when she starts walking… or crawling… or talking… or wanting to have friends over… or hitting puberty etc. etc etc.’  When it is time to move on from the tiny house we will do so but that won’t be happening for a little while… much to the dismay of some :).  For us it will work at least a few years…  Things will change as she gets older and she may have a little brother or sister even in here, things will modify as needed, I built my house just so that I can switch things up and change them around as needed!

For now (Hazel is nearly 4 months old), this is how we fit and where we put our stuff:

 

So far we don’t need anything else, she doesn’t seem to be suffering.  She doesn’t take any real interest in toys just yet (even the home-made ones we made a couple weeks ago) but she loves going on walks, playing with her dog, having picnics at the park and hanging out with mom all day long.

As far as diapers are concerned and how they mix with a tiny house, we use disposable diapers at night (one) then one in the morning, when she poos.  The rest of the day she is in cloth diapers.  Every once in a while she will poo in the cloth.  While she is on breastmilk those diapers are ok to just be thrown in the washer as is, once she is on formula and/or food they will need to be shaken off first into the toilet.  We will see how that works out but I think we have a pretty good system down… I was unsure how it was going to go in the tiny house.

So that’s how it works, any other concerns or worries about having kids in a tiny house?  How old are your kids and what do you think the hiccups would be moving them into a tiny house with you? 

 

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Macy M
I am an artist, a steward, a minimalist at heart... I love being out in the sunshine... I love animals of nearly every kind, at least the furry ones, I am trying to be a gardener... I believe people are good at the core but are also capable of very bad things when they aren't intentional about their actions... I love my family, my passions and my life... I am just me :)

43 Comments

  1. I think the best thing about you living in a tiny house, though, is that Denver makes it into almost every pic. 🙂

    About your critics, I’d like to shush them for you in the very exciting fact that I am sure you spend WAY less time and energy keeping a tidy house. I currently live in a 1800 sqft house and it takes me FOREVER to clean just one room. I imagine that with the time and energy you save, your two babies benefit most at the end.

    1. That dog seriously follows me everywhere… I don’t think it would change anything if we had a million acres, he’s on my heels anywhere! thank you so much for your kindness!

  2. Great post, I have been pondering of the idea of having a tiny house, I worry about our 14 year old daughter having her space. Ideas that I’ve found on the internet are a bigger tiny house with sleeping loft on both ends? Or a separate bunk house in close proximity of the original house. I agree that a tiny house as of now makes perfect sense for you, but as they get older children will need their own space just as the parents will need their own. Have a great day.

    1. most definitely, there will need to be more space eventually and I will be able to afford that, whatever ‘that’ looks like at that point. I have actually been considering buying a pontoon boat to add on a room at the end of the porch, then put up some glass and have an indoor/outdoor space on the porch… could be cool, at least in my head!

  3. You should be very proud of what you have created, with your own hands! It is genuine and your own. In the spring of 1987, when my daughter was barely 6 months old, I refurbished a large 1960’s travel trailer – the roundish type. We lived quite comfortably there for some time and it was a great start for my daughter.

  4. Hi Macy, I found blog of the family of 11 leaving in caravan ( http://ticknortribe.com/). That shows what can be done with little space. If everybody live same life that everybody else, world would be a very boring place.
    I love your blog and admire your lifestyle.

  5. When we had our twins years ago, we were living in a 500 sq. foot apartment, with two bedrooms. This worked perfectly for us for years, until the twins were about 12 and started arguing a LOT with one another. At that point, we decided to move to a larger place, with three bedrooms. And the level of arguing dropped a LOT. We are still in the larger space, with the twins about to finish college and living at home. They both want to move out ASAP after graduation, and once they do, we are thinking about selling up and moving to a smaller house again. I used to have dreams that our house could expand and contract to provide the perfect living space, but since a physical house can’t be that flexible, I think it’s up to us to decide how much space we need for which junctures in our lives.

  6. Nice, Macy. Lots of room for baby stuff. BTW, when my daughter was that age, I used to put an ice cube in a clean baby sock, knotted it, and handed it over to her. Great for this weather, too.
    Hazel certainly looks happy and healthy. Best wishes to you all!
    Jane

    1. Honestly, I use my folks wash machine, it became an easy reason for a visit, I have found that I really, even before the kiddo, didn’t use my W/D combo, I never got in the routine of doing a load a day and instead saved a whole bunch of laundry for a day, at 3 hours a (small) load it’s impossible, it’s ‘nice’ to have for those times I just don’t want to leave the house but I find it was a bit excess and I really don’t use it much, it’s been nice to just visit family routinely 🙂 (no help, I’m sorry!)

  7. Hey Macy! I am so glad I found your blog! My husband and I are working on building our tiny home and I’ve been concerned about living tiny with our 8 month old. Your posts and pictures have been very helpful. 🙂 Just wanted to say thanks!!

  8. We’re going to be moving into a Tiny House soon and currently cloth diaper. Any updates on how that continued to work for you? We have a diaper sprayer in our big house but since we’ll be doing a composting toilet in the tiny house that won’t be an option for us. Any thoughts, suggestions or tips?

    1. To be honest, I switched to recycled disposable baby diapers, it seems we are traveling WAY too often and the cloth became such a hassle on the road… we failed at cloth diapers 🙁 It was not fault of the house but the schedule… 🙁 SO sorry I could not be more helpful, we never made it past the early minths of breastfeeding when you could pretty much just throw it in the wash without the spray down…

  9. Thank you for the ideas! I want to build a tiny home and was wondering how a baby would fit so this helps more than you know!

    1. I am so glad to hear! I should actually do an update on this, I am 15 months into it and I could not choose a better way to raise my girl! We love it and are SO grateful for this opportunity to focus on the good stuff and not stress about the details. I love, love, LOVE it, seriously. There is a LOT of criticism from people who think they know best but just know you have at least one supporter in me to raise a baby in a tiny house! 🙂

      1. We’re in the process of building a tiny house and curious as to how it’ll work out. Our daughter will be 7 in May and out baby is due in September. I’m concerned the 7 year old, even with a loft of her own, will find it difficult to get away from the baby if she needs a break. We live in western Canada where winters can be quite chilly.

        1. Congrats! I think our family dynamics are a bit different, I can’t keep Hazel away from Miles :). I think you may mean crying and whatnot. I am lucky to have easy going babes who really don’t cry much but I wouldn’t think it would be too tough for her to get away. I wish I was more help, I have just never had experience in that area!

  10. So rad, so inspiring! My partner and I had a little Toyota Chinook we were fixing up to live out of and travel in eventually. When we discovered I was pregnant we sold it. I wish we still had it but it needed A LOT of work… Like more work thank building a tiny home would be… I would love to build a tiny house on wheels. Maybe in the near future:) where do you live? Where do you keep it parked most of the time?

  11. I have read this post six or more times and am so very inspired. While not a tiny house, my house is small (~800sq ft) and looking for a bare essentials list of necessary items for life with the new baby. Other stores and lists get to be so overwhelming with their 200+ necessary items. Can you list some more detailed information about how many of the certain items you have? As in blankets / crib sheets / crib bumbers / outfits per size etc. we have been given hand me downs and I’m just feeling overwhelmed by it all. Is 20 onesies of every size suitable?

    1. Hi Denise,
      I will totally do a post for baby gear, thanks for the suggestion. It’s hard for me to tell what would be helpful since it’s just my life now and I just do what I need to, it’s nice to hear the feedback!
      In short:
      I have 6-7 blankets with Miles, I used 3 with Hazel. She was a summer baby and also is a little heater, she has never liked being wrapped. Miles gets cold easier and is a winter baby so spends more time in the blankies. They get them dirty with some bodily function pretty quick so I use 1-2 a day and try to only do laundry once a week… SO I might be getting a couple more blankies for him but they are little (30″x40″ ish) so they don’t take up much space and are nice to have. Hazel only got wrapped until she was 3-4 months, I am guessing Miles will be 6-7 before it slows down. You certainly don’t need a ton to start off, maybe 2-3 and you can get more after they are born if your kiddo needs more.
      I have two sets of crib sheets, they are wrapped up usually so if there is an accident it’s on their blankie most often but it’s nice to have a spare when needed.
      Crib bumpers (like a lot of baby gear) are not actually recommended because they cause more issues than they help. They do look cute but can be a suffocation hazard. If your kiddo has issues getting stuck in the crib rails they make mesh breathable bumpers, certainly not a need but if you find you want them you can get them later, I have needed any.
      I think 7-10 newborn sized onsies would be plenty to start. If you’re like me and have big babies we could have gone straight to 0-3 month size but you never can know and you don’t want to have to go shopping in those first couple weeks if you can avoid it! (and you can go to second hand stores and get them for like a quarter, usually not used because people get a surplus of the newborn size and the babies grow out fast! I think 12-15 of the 0-3 month size is plenty, at my weekly laundry schedule we planned for 2 per day and it seems to have been plenty. 3-6 month is about the same. 6-12 month can be more, that’s when they start getting into food and make bigger messes. We have never done bibs or anything because my kiddo just tugged at it and ended up making bigger messes. If she was more of a drooler then we would have pushed the bibs and minimized the onsies… we had 15-20 outfits to cycle through from 6-12 months. I thought it was really handy when people gave gifts of older sized clothes, we had a TON of 0-3 months given to us, would have been nice to have that a little more spread out.

      I think the only thing NEEDED before baby gets here is a car seat and something to wear home (the hospital usually provides something even if needed) diapers (my kids used newborn for the first week and then they were onto size ones for a while) and a couple blankies for those first days. Everything else can be gotten after they make it home, IMO. Making a ring sling was also SUPER handy for me personally and babies love them and being that close to you in the early months. I made a DIY version, similar to this, http://theuncoordinatedmommy.com/diy-ring-sling/, it cost a grand total of 3 bucks but I have used it with both babies!

      It’s hard not to stress, I certainly did but you will have time once they get here to get whatever you may be lacking.

      1. Thank you so very much! Your advice is greatly appreciated!! My mom is very excited about the impending baby and wants to make some items for me so I have asked her for two crib sheets as well as 5 receiving blankets. Are there any other supreme essentials you recommend beyond the standard crib, carseat, stroller? We have a nice rocking chair and a hand me down amish made rocking bassinet that I am going to set up in our room, and have registered for a bouncer like you mentioned in your post. I am leaning towards glass bottles as well and am hoping to get some as a gift. Thank you so very much for all of your advice. It’s so very overwhelming when looking into all of this baby stuff, I really enjoy when people have a downsized frame of mind like I do. Thank you again.

  12. Macy,
    You should feel so accomplished and empowered by what you have done at this point in your life! You are a true inspiration to myself and others. You have a beautiful family. I love looking at your website. I hope that I can soon accomplish a debt free lifesyle as well.
    I am very intersted in your list of baby essentials and most needed baby gear. We do not have what most would consider a tiny house but very small 3 bedroom house at 900sf and soon to be 4 kids. I had a larger house with my first child and bought up every baby item I could find. Then after my divorce I moved on with my partner Luke, got a smaller house so I could work less and mostly stay at home while I pursued my masters degree and soon PhD. When my second and third baby came along I stuck to having only cosleeper, playpen for Nana’s house, boppy for breastfeeding, bouncy seat, baby feeding chair that attaches to counter, car seat, double stroller, ergo carrier, wayyyy too many cloth diapers, lots of play clothes and a couple of nice outfits for those rare outings. Please give me some advise for baby essentials and organizing baby/toddler stuff. Do you get rid of baby stuff that’s not in current use or store it for for later? I have kept probably too much stuff that I couldn’t let go of becase I knew one of my younger children would be able to use it in 4 and sometimes 6 years down the road and feel like it is cluttering up my life! I’m thinking a good rule of thumb would be, if I’m not going to use it within two years then get rid of it. I would love to see pictures of how you have organized your baby toddler stuff and how you decide what to keep and get rid of stuff not currently being used.
    My oldest child will be in middle school next year and she has her own bedroom. The other children are much younger 3, 1 and soon to be newborn and will all share a small room.
    Congratulations on your newest baby!
    Thanks, Kristin

    1. Hi Kristin, thanks so much for the kind words, personally, I have my kiddos close together and we are done having kiddos so I held onto a few things between them that are stored above their bed, we just have a portable co sleeper, a bouncer and a few clothing items that will carry over then they are out the door.

  13. I am moving into a studio with my 8-month-old daughter and medium sized dog. I have down sized significantly in the past several year (even living in a motor home for a short while). I am getting negative feedback from my family about how I should not move into the studio, how its not enough space, how I’m not doing right by my daughter by doing so. Thing is, my condo is paid-off, no mortgage or rent, only HOA and utilities – less than $300/month total. I feel in my heart it’s the best things for us but I was feeling discouraged. So, thank you for re-instilling my confidence that it is possible to live tiny with an infant.

    1. It is TOTALLY doable, I am so glad I stuck to my guns, I have two kiddos now, eventually we will get a little bigger place but not as big as most people would probably expect… It’s so easy living tiny and SO nice to not have a HUGE bill every month. It’s great to have a small enough place to always have an eye on my kiddos, saves on baby gadgets too!

    2. Good for you for doing what YOU feel is right for YOUR daughter. People will always tell you what they think is right, but just because it’s right for them doesn’t mean it’s right for you. I wouldn’t hesitate about going forward with our tiny home plans (about 300 square feet, 28 foot trailer with double lofts), except our other daughter is almost 7 and I want to ensure she has space of her own especially when baby is crying. We will continue with our tiny home, but probably wait until next summer to move in that way baby is a bit older and we have routines established.

      1. Thank you, that all makes sense to me. I will add that I may have totally lucked out but neither one of my babies have been big criers. This could be just a total luck out but I do really think it’s because I am almost always in sight. Hazel was a little colicy, she cried from about 5-7 every single night unless her dad (and only her dad) held her in a very awkward position. Otherwise both have been pretty darn peaceful for babies. I do also think I am luckier than most because I have made my life where if they need me I can be there, I ‘work’ but I totally fit it around my schedule (which means their schedule). If you happen to be in that position as well it might not be as big of an issue as you expect!

  14. Hey! So my husband and I have been seriously considering buying a tiny house in the near future. I have a 5 month old, my only real concern is sleeping in a loft with him. Did you sleep in a loft with your baby? How did you manage that? Was it safe?

    1. I have what I would call a ‘semi loft, its about 42 inches high, tall enough to hurt if they fall. For this reason we added a wall with a gate to the loft, its lockable and basically makes our loft area a big crib. We co-sleep, you can see the set up here, http://minimotives.com/2014/07/05/can-you-have-a-baby-in-a-tiny-house/#jp-carousel-5986, it’s worked out very well for us. Prety quick Miles (#2) will be off to his own bed and I get to reclaim my bed entirely to ourselves!!

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