We live in a one bedroom apartment and we're about to have twins: help?!

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By: Beverly & PackCC BY 2.0
We are very excited to find out that our little bundle of joy is in fact two! But now that I'm into my second trimester I'm finally over the morning sickness long enough to think about how this is all going to work. We live in a one bedroom condo, and have already decided to renew our lease for another year, as the babies are due right at the end of the current lease.

After some reading I found that for a few weeks having both babies in one crib will work (I'm planning on using a pack and play), but after they start wiggling, it can be dangerous. Any suggestions on finding smaller, budget-friendly cribs? — Jen

We've talked about the joys of mini cribs before — do you guys have any other small-space-friendly alternatives?

  1. Have you considered a cosleeping arrangement? It would certainly save space!

    16 agree
  2. We went through this exact same situation- we had an amazing 1 bedroom condo and were expecting twins.

    First, to make you feel more confident in your decision- we ended up going the other route and decided to move. On the day we had to be out of our condo and into our new apt I went into labor (3.5 months early). Lets just say we regret our decision to move. We definitely could have fit 2 adults, 2 cats, a dog and newborn twins in our old 1 bedroom condo. And more importantly not had to deal with me on bedrest in the hospital, explaining to the old landlord why we still had stuff in the condo and my husband having to move everything by himself at midnight after my contractions slowed down.

    Second, we slept our twins in the same crib until they were 6 months old. They actually now at 20 months still love to sleep together. We were lucky that a friend of ours was looking to give away a small crib at the same time we were looking for one.

    Also, if you're not able to find a crib that works for you right away you can always do a bedside co-sleeper, bassinet, or rocker. When our twins came home from the NICU we hadn't had time to set up their crib yet. So we slept with one twin in a small bassinet on my side of the bed and the other twin on my husband's side in a co-sleeper. We did this for the first month. It made the midnight feeds and medication dispensing really easy (or as easy as it can be with newborn twins). If the baby on my side needed something I woke up and did it. If the baby on his side woke up he'd take care of it.

    7 agree
  3. We are expecting our second child this year and while we do have 2 bedrooms, I am also concerned about space, and sleeping arrangements. Have you thought about making the dining room or living room the sleeping space for the twins, or you or everyone? We don't have air conditioning in our bedrooms, so we sleep in the living room during the summer. I think we might make the arrangement permenant after the second baby is born.

  4. I think this will work out fine. Twins can share beds long past 6 months old. I'd ask around and find a friend with a crib to get rid of, then sidecar it to your bed. You can all share a room for quite awhile. As for kid stuff, babies really need very little. Tack some baskets to the wall for clothes, and put a changing pad on top of your dresser for diaper changes. Get booster seats that strap to regular dining chairs instead of high chairs. Ask for a travel sized baby swing, and make it clear that you don't have room for anything with a big footprint (like an exersaucer, or two!).

    We lived in a 2 br condo with our daughters until they were 3 and 1, so I think you can make it at least until your lease is up!

    7 agree
    • I second the sidecar idea! That was a real space/lifesaver for us in our one bedroom apartment.

      2 agree
  5. When my second son was born we had the rock and play bassinet, I believe it's play school or Fisher Price, but it was super convienent because it was small so it fit next to the bed and folded flat when he wasn't in it. He stayed in it until he was almost a year old. I loved that it rocked, especially when we were trying to get him off night time feedings, when I heard him start to rustle around, I just had to reach down and rock the bassinet until he fell back asleep.

    4 agree
      • Thirding the Rock and Play. That thing is great because it's light weight, folds up when not in use and my son slept better in it than anywhere else (including in bed with me.) It's great for babies with reflux too, since it keeps them sort of upright. I think you could have two of them (maybe one on each side of the bed or just right next to each other) and you would be set for at least six months unless your babies are really large.

        1 agrees
          • Really? That stinks. We're expecting our 3rd baby and had just planned on sleeping the new baby in our Rock and Play next to the bed.

          • The mold recall is from seats being wet/damp and not being cleaned thoroughly. The recall doesn't involve returning the product or any defect of the product ; the manufacturer provides cleaning instructions if your seat has become moldy. As with any other baby product, proper cleaning will prevent this from happening.

            9 agree
  6. I have six month old twins, and massive amounts of advice, if you want to email me (caitroberts@gmail.com)

    I will say that if you get a full-size crib, you could have them sleep together for several months (probably 3-6). We have Ikea cribs, which are very basic full size cribs and don't take up much more room than the mattress. With twins, it makes A LOT of sense to have them in your bedroom for the fiirst few months.

    We tried co-sleeping, but like everything with twins, it's much harder than doing it with a single (I assume) and we gave it up pretty quickly since we couldn't fit a King size bed in our room. When we did co-sleep, we found it easiest to lay two bassinets head-to-to in between us in our queen bed to utilize the length and make up for lack of width.

    You also won't need any dining room/kitchen table/chairs for the first 6 months (no time to eat like civilized folk!), so if you can store that stuff somewhere, it would probably give you more room for when you need to expand past one crib/playpen.

    I'll also just warn you that now that my babies are older, they don't sleep as well in our playpen because I think it's a little uncomfortable (too close to sleeping on the floor) and they wake up more often and sleep for shorter periods of time in it as compared to the crib or even the pillow we have (you NEED this pillow, by the way – they still nap in it http://www.twinnursingpillow.org/).

    We technically have a bigger space than you, but we still have them exclusively in our bedroom and living room and aren't even using the other rooms we have at all, so it's TOTALLY do-able in a one-bedroom if you're willing to weed your posessions on an on-going basis!

    If you want more info. about how we arranged furniture/what we really used with twins in a small space, feel free to ask!

    Good luck 🙂

  7. My friend has twins and they shared a crib for at least the first 6 months, she said they slept better that way because they comforted each other.
    Maybe try using an online room planner to see how you can rearrange your bedroom furniture to best fit what you need.

    Use underbed storage as much as possible and maybe see if any traditional bedroom furniture pieces could fit somewhere else in your house (could your dresser be disguised as a tv stand, yes you'll have to go to the living room to get your underwear in the morning but it might just make enough room for 2 cribs in the bedroom)

    Another thing to consider would be getting a sleeper sofa in the living room for yourself, and giving the babies the bedroom?

    3 agree
    • I would second that a crib side-carred for the first six months, and then when sleep needs to be more protected, I would leave them in the bedroom and move to the living room. We only have one, but we lived in a studio until he was 18 months. We just put some drywall around the crib, used a white noise machine, and called it a day. 🙂

    • This! We had twins in 1 BR, used a moses baskets on either side of bed to start with then – then they shared a full size cot until they were 18months old, plus at least one of the twins always ended up cosleeping with us. We moved out of the area – but if we hadn't we were going to give the bedroom to the twins and sleep on a sofa bed in the living room. Which would have been fine, you still have the same storage and it also stops you form accumulating too much.

  8. Congratulations!

    I am only expecting one baby any day now, but I live in a tiny one bedroom NYC apartment with my partner and two cats. We ended up purchasing the Delta Riley Mini Crib. It's the same size as a pack n' play. If you're set on separate cribs for later, I recommend it. In store it was about $220, but we bought it online through Babies R Us for a discounted price and free shipping to a nearby store. It was light enough to carry home via subway. Total cost was about $160. I bought a new mattress for it though, so altogether I spent about $185. I appreciate the fact that it's easy enough for a woman with a 9 month bump to put together.
    Good luck!

  9. We don't have twins, but we did welcome a baby while living in a very tiny two bedroom house, with another couple. So, our small bedroom with one tiny closet was already holding almost everything belonging to two adults, and then adding an infant.

    I am a big fan of the pack and play. Our son slept in one for the first 8 months of his life. There is really no reason he couldn't have slept in it longer, either, but we had a free crib and room available when he was 8 mos old.

    I would consider two pack and plays, (widely available used and cheap; but a nice feature of the new ones is the bassinet level)and keeping one in the bedroom and one in the other room (living room?) for awhile … that way you can accommodate whoever is sleeping or awake at any given time, and for the first few months, keep them in one if they are both asleep.

    Otherwise, for storage — we had a unit from Ikea that had sliding bins (instead of drawers; I think it was meant for toy storage) and that worked so much better for us than a chest of drawers — easier access.

  10. Have you considered the Amby? We bought one – it sorta looks like a really awesome cross between a bannana holder and a birdcage. Its basically a baby hammock. They're a little pricey, but because they hang, they actually have negative space underneath to put things. If you're iffy about co-sleeping (like me), they can be right by the bed at level so that its easy to interact with the baby. Could do one on either side of the bed, maybe.

      • I looked into it. The Amby was recalled back in 2009. The defects were not judged sufficient to cause a "product recall," just a recall for current use. The company provided free repair kits that corrected the defects. Ours was manufactured this year.

        • Awesome! You're golden then. Our timing with the Amby could not have been worse… brand new baby, and suddenly they're all RISK OF INFANT DEATH STOP USING STOP USING! We were already nervous new parents, and it completely freaked us out.

          1 agrees
  11. I have 13 month twins. For the first 2 1/2 months my twins slept swaddled in the same crib sidecarred to our bed. Then they didn't like to be swaddled and would move around and fling their arms and wake each other up. So while my hubby slept elsewhere I coslept with one baby in sidecarred crib and one baby on the other side of me in the bed. Then at 9.5 months we transitioned them into 2 IKEA GUlliver cribs, one of which was the sidecarred crib we just detached. The Gullivers are affordable and not much bigger than the crib mattress. Very happy with them.

    We have the hook on high chairs that attach straight to the table, chicco brand. Great for my son who doesn't try to escape, not so great for my daughter who is skinner and can wiggle and stand up because it's a 3 pt harness not a 5 point (shoulders included) harness.

  12. If co-sleeping is an option, the one-bedroom place may be a blessing in disguise. You won't have to walk from room to room to check on your newborns or even leave your bed if you setup a nice co-sleeping arrangement. I hated leaving the bed with one baby, I can't even fathom having to leave the bed with two of them waking up constantly! o_o Best of luck to you, babies really don't have to cost you a million dollars. A lot of the stuff that is sold by companies or recommended just so big businesses can profit off of new parents who don't know what's needed and what's not. I personally have owned a pack and play, a crib as well as an arms-reach co-sleeper (all gifted to our family) and have never used any of them with either of our two children. The only thing I've ever needed is my bed and a large nightstand.

    1 agrees
  13. congratulations! twins are a lot of fun…

    mine are four months old now and we have a two year old as well – we all sleep in one bed and it works perfect for us. the husband built a wall to wall bed in our tiny bedroom and it takes much less space than bed+cribs.
    we use a big playpen in the living room for naptimes and to change diapers (and to play!).
    my boys sleep much better when they are close together and don´t wake each other up yet.. and sleeping with them makes feeding at night sooo much easier. if it´s just one, we feed/sleep horizontal, if both are hungy at the same time, i sit with my back to the wall and slide down afterwards..
    all the best to you!

    1 agrees
    • This is what we do, too! My oldest is 3 and his twin sisters are 15 months. We started with a sidecarred crib, which was awesome, and then just wall-to-wall bedded the room about 3 months ago. Both arrangements work extremely well for us- and for nighttime feedings, of which there are plenty!

      1 agrees
  14. I shared a cot with my twin sister until we were in beds and even then most of the time we'd end up in each others bed. Maybe play it by ear and see how they go together?

  15. We LOVE our Ikea crib because it transitioned from co-sleeper to crib to toddler bed…and all incarnations have been happily crammed between our bed and the wall in our tiny single bedroom. I believe that both of the simplest models do the same thing, and man, for under $100 and taking up way less space than any other crib we could find, we are very, very happy. We've only got one baby, but even at a year (and a big year, at that), he has oodles and oodles of extra room. I'm sure these would work beautifully for twins!

    1 agrees
  16. Posting my own offbeat article on living in a one bedroom apartment:

    http://offbeatfamilies.com/2012/05/baby-in-one-bedroom-apartment

    You would obviously have to adapt as you're having two babies, but it is doable. My advice: pare down your own stuff-donate, sell, or stash anything you don't really need or love. Buy things for the babies as you need them, rather than going the REGISTER FOR EVERYTHING AT ONCE! route. You wont need many of the big items for a while, and your babies might not even like swings, exersaucers, etc. Be firm about gifts and hand-me-downs, and try to convince friends and family to give cash as opposed to stuff (although people will give what they want to give, whether you want it or not). As for storage, look up, and look under! It's not always easy to live in a smaller space, but it can work, and work amazingly well.

    1 agrees
  17. Graco makes a pack n play that has 2 bassinets/newborn "nappers" in them. My son slept in that part of the packnplay for about 3 1/2 months. I'd also try mini cribs, if you have the space, that way you can avoid each of them moving around and waking each other up. Ikea has tons of great options for storage, up, under, behind, everywhere. Also try to keep from buying things til you actually need them, like swings, highchairs and bouncers. We didn't have a highchair until my son was 6months and started on foods. We use the basic space saver from fisher price, light, portable, super freakin easy to clean and fits in a chair you already have. I'd also stay away from the twin syndrome of buying everything in double. Two swings and two bouncers? Nope! Just one of each is how a friend of mine does it. She also only buys one of each outfit. yes it doubles laundry a bit, but she saves loads of space by not having double the clothes.

    1 agrees
  18. We did 800 square feet with twins for 3 years.
    It was awesome, challenging, but awesome.

    Do what's right for you, and change anytime you think it's not working.

    Luckily, we had a 'den' that we converted to their very small bedroom.
    They slept in one crib from birth to 6 months.
    Sleep sacs covering their feet reduced 'wiggle' significantly. We got an extra 2 months in one crib because of sleep sacs
    .
    Next we did 2 cribs beside each other, because there was no room. I just put them on wheels so I could shift them as needed.

    A dresser doubled as a change table and storage.

    You don't need 2 of everything. I had 2 swings…then decided that if I ever had to use both at the same time, I didn't need swings, I needed extra help.

    We preserved our bedroom as our sanctuary, so we could get respite from they toys, diapers, feedings, and baby take over of having twins. Keeping this space to ourselves was priceless for our marriage.

    Do whatever you can to decrease your laundry. Doing laundry takes up space and I was running over 9 loads a week for the first 3 months, without cloth diapers.

    Donate, sell, and remove items from the home frequently. Don't keep anything you don't find useful. People gave me so much 'cute' stuff and I had to get rid of it because it wasn't 'useful' and I didn't have the room.

    Good luck, take pictures, and write about the beautiful, amazing, miracle of twins.

    2 agree
  19. Congratulations! We have 17 month old twins, and it's only been since they started walking that space has been an issue…

    We slept them in their pram (a Baby Jogger City Select with 2 bassinets) for the first 5 months, so you could probably do without a crib at all while they're teeny-tiny. The pram was great because we could move them around our house (great if someone needs to catch up on some sleep in the bedroom or have some time out in another room) and to rock them to sleep when they were unsettled.
    Once they move to a crib, one option if you're concerned about them moving around is to sleep them end to end with their heads in the middle of the cot in Safe T sleeps (www.safetsleep.com/). Sleep sacks on their own don't do much to stop ours wriggling about and jumping up and down in the cot!

    If you're looking at baby monitors, one option for co-sleeping twins are Snuza halo monitors that clip onto the babies' diapers – standard movement monitors don't work when there are two babies in one cot.

    One thing we've found essential is having a safe space where the twins can been if you need to leave the room for some reason (bathroom breaks!). When they were little it was bouncers, then a play pen or their cots once they were crawling. Other than that, babies really don't need much stuff and twins definitely don't need two of everything, especially not toys. Much of what you get given may not get used much (e.g. we got given lots of really cute short-sleeve cotton prem baby stuff which was no use at all for babies born in the middle of winter!) so you might think about setting some guidelines for gifts. Be ruthless about swapping gear out or getting rid of it promptly: twin clubs are a great source of willing recipients!

    Best of luck. It's a wild ride, but one you're incredibly lucky to be taking!

    1 agrees
    • We have the Baby Jogger City Select and used the bassinets it comes with too! They were a life saver at home and when we had to travel to see my sick grandmother as well. Great solution!

  20. Twins really won't take up that much more space than one baby. My brother and sister are twins and when they were younger despite having enough room for each of them to have their own room she felt that it was easier to have them in the same one. They learned to sleep through the other crying and it meant less trips for her reading bedtime stories, checking on them etc. Twins are wonderful but it's okay to be a little freaked out. My mom admitted that when she saw the first ultrasound her first thought was more 'holy shit' than double blessing. It is great though. She got all of the dirty diapers and stuff over with at once and now they're 19 and still very close.

  21. Just to reaffirm what everyone else is saying:

    You're going to be fine.

    It's surprising how little space babies require. Even when you have extra space you all end up spending most of your time in the same room anyway for the first year.

    No worries, mama!

    1 agrees
  22. I recently had twins they are two months old now I got mini cribs that also will convert into twin beds when they get older I found them on target.com reasonable priced they work great !

  23. Sorry to be the Debby Downer in the One Crib Crowd, but my nine-month-olds have never been able to share a crib. We had every intention of bunking them together until they started to roll but Baby B flails and it was never safe: that kid broke every swaddle we tried and threw the blankets out around her as she fell asleep (so my worry was she'd throw them over her sister's face). B slept in starfish position, all four limbs straight out.

    My advice would be to find the smallest Pack 'n Plays that you can find that have an insert to raise the baby up–seems like Costco makes some smaller ones. Key: make sure you can wheel them in and out of your bedroom (check the width of your doors!) so you can use your room as a temporary nursery. Newborns sleep through all kinds of things, but if the PnPs have wheels you can wheel the babes into your room for some baby-free peace during the day and wheel them into the living room at night (I'm an advocate of taking breaks where you can find them–we even sent the babies to the nursery at night while I was in the hospital just because it meant I was able to get some half-decent sleep [save for the nursing sessions] before the marathon of life with newborns in the house).

    I have no advice for older babies but the PnPs will last long enough for you to get your parenting feet under you and you'll no doubt come up with a fabulous next-step-up solution.

    Good luck!

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