Can Mommy, Daddy, and Baby live in a Tiny House?

by andrewodom on March 4, 2011 · 62 comments


Last week my wife Crystal and I found out we were expecting our first child. Our delight was unparalleled (or so we think) and our concern for the obvious questions pending was minimal at best. The moment we stared at the ultrasound screen watching our 10-week old child kick his/her feet up and down, we cared not about square feet, societal standard, sustainable design, or even what sort of expenses awaited us. We thought only about the promise of new life and the years we had been waiting for this very moment.

Our bubble was soon burst though when the first person asked us, “So, are you still going to build this tiny trailer thing? You are going to need a lot more room with a baby coming.”

Ok, first things first. I’ve seen a number of forum threads, blog posts, and Q&A lines where  expectant parents express their concern about only having a 2-bedroom apartment or being nervous about not having a dedicated nursery in the home. The common refrain is, of course, “we’re going to have to find a bigger place quickly.”

Really? A bigger place?

And I quickly think, “wait, I have no room to say anything. I have never had a child. I don’t know what I’m talking about. I have NO ROOM to say a word.” But then I remind myself that I do have room to speak. Like so many before me I have dreams and ideas and together with my wife, will see them to fruition. It is not a new idea nor a new concept.

So if you are one of those people that are concerned we are going to raise our baby in a drawer of the bedroom dresser or in a tiny corner just weeks ago reserved for a cupboard, please take a deep breath, relax, and realize that every day millions of people bring up kids in tiny one-room dwellings, and do perfectly well. And might I add they do so not just in impoverished, 3rd world countries, but in modern cities like Tokyo and Paris where a 2-bedroom apartment is both deluxe and a bit pricey.

I personally grew up in a 960 square foot home with 3 siblings, a mom, and a dad. Do some quick math and you will quickly realize that is about 160 square feet per person. 10 feet less than our tiny house will have, might I so humbly add.

Pros and Cons of Family Tiny living

Pros:

  • Less stuff needed = less hassle and less expense
  • Less things to “prepare” (read: America’s new fascination with dedicated nurseries)
  • Less places to clean when you’re stressed out and otherwise exhausted
  • No need to set up said dedicated nursery
  • You are physically and emotionally more prone to closeness with your child

Cons:

  • No space for all the presents and gifts that people give you
  • Nowhere to escape when you need to breathe and be “child-free” for a moment
  • Difficult to find intimacy for spouses

What do you think though? Is it possible to raise a child in a tiny space? Are we in for a HUGE surprise? Do you have any advice for us? And I invite you to have others join in the conversation with their thoughts and experiences. Tweet out the link or share it on Facebook!

 

  • Nebraska Dave

    One of my very special uncle’s has spent his life farming in rural Nebraska. He’s now retired and nearly 80 years old but most of his life has been in a farm house that he has built. It measures 30 feet by 30 feet with one bathroom and two small bedrooms taking up half of that 900 square foot space. The have a closed in porch that measures 10X30 for the freezer and clothes washer and dryer. My aunt just can’t get out and hang clothes outside any more or she would be still doing that. All this to say that in this tiny house that had a fuel oil stove as the only heat for the house, they raised two girls and a boy and all grew up just fine. I’m not convinced that the new standard that requires a bedroom for each child and multiple bathrooms really teach us how to get along with families and respect for other family members. I can’t speak from experience though as I had my own bedroom as did my sister as well.

    Have a great new baby anticipation day.

    • anotherkindofdrew

      You just reminded me I need to build a clothesline Dave. Man, just when I thought I had a day off. HAHAHAHAHAHA

      • Roberta

        If you don’t have time to build one…then do go check out these italian racks…I’ve had mine for over 24 years now and we still use it here at the Love Shack when the weather is good. This thing holds an entire load and I only paid $18.00 dollars for it way back then. Found this really GREAT source and the price is great. http://clothes-drying-rack.com/65-ft-eagle-clothes-drying-ra.html

  • http://twitter.com/learnedlife Learned Lady

    Congratulations again! I am SO curious to see what you guys decide to do, please keep us updated on this – I’m so fascinated by the tiny house movement and how people live in small spaces with families!

    I think it’s possible to live in a tiny house, but I think you’ll need to be creative and figure out some way to carve out a little private space for the baby – trust me, once you get them to sleep, you want to be sure they are not disturbed (i.e., no making stuff in the kitchen if the baby is right next to it, no showering if the baby is right next to it… u get my drift!). Plus, babies have lots of stuff they need – diapers, wipes, bottles, a few toys, blankets, enough changes of clothing – their stuff is small, but it still takes up room, and you do need (at least a few) of all of those things.

    In my personal experience, having a 2-yr-old, I really value that she has a little room to call her own. Especially when she needs to go to sleep, but she’s not quite ready to, I can lay her down and close the door…and even if she cries, she can’t see Mommy or Daddy to know we can still hear her, so she has learned to soothe herself that way. *And* the door helps block noise, so I can make a cup of tea or a bowl of ice cream after I put her to bed without waking her up (even though the kitchen is just around the corner from her door). I remember reading somewhere that even Jay Shafer (one of the pioneering designers of tiny homes) moved to a still-small but bigger-than-his-tiny-house when he and his wife welcomed a baby…you may want to try to talk to him, (and other tiny house enthusiasts with babies), about his decision. Someone may have suggestions on ways to make it work :). Good luck, keep us updated :)

    • anotherkindofdrew

      Hey there. Thank you so much for following us and reading our rants! (and by “we” I mean mostly me…hahahah!). I have been playing with the idea of releasing our final blueprint for everyone to see. I think I am going to do it in two weeks. You will see then that we have actually carved out an amazing little “cubby” room that will be just for the baby/infant and perhaps early toddler’ish’. We think it will work quite nicely.

      Your points are all valid and ones we considered once we realized Crystal was pregnant. You may not have read but our trailer is actually 30′ long so we do have some space. We aren’t going to be in a 14′ or so. I think we will figure it out and of course we will keep everyone posted!!!!!!

      Thank you again for the well wishes!

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Congrats again. It’ll certainly be possible, but with adjustments along the way. Looking forward to how it unfolds and how you deal with it.

    • anotherkindofdrew

      Life is full of adjustments. That is probably the coolest (if not most challenging) part of it all in our opinion. I am excited to raise a child that understand the value of space – no matter how minimal – and the idea that need and want are opposite ideas!

  • Bee Girl

    First off, Congratulations! New life is the greatest blessing in the universe!!!

    Second, it can be done! I’m new to your blog and don’t have ALL the details, but I know from experience that it is possible to raise a child in a tiny space. I was a single mom (so, I didn’t have an extra grown up sharing our space) living in a studio apartment with my daughter for the first 5 1/2 years of her life. It was tight and I had to be very intentional with what came in the house and how it all fit, but it was a good experience for both of us. One way we saved space was by building a loft bed for her, under which all her toys and books were stored on built in bookshelves and in bins.

    OUr saving grace? Our yard. Our yard was easily 3 times bigger than our house and not only allowed her to play freely, but also allowed me the space to have, well, SPACE for myself :-)

    If you are looking at your tiny house as your forever house you might consider how it might be added on to later…when your baby is not a baby anymore. By the time my daughter was 6, we were both more than ready for our own bedrooms ;-)

    CHEERS!

    • anotherkindofdrew

      First of all, welcome to the blog. We are so pleased to have you.

      Secondly, as your yard was your saving grace, we live in rural, eastern North Carolina so our small farm-ette is our life. We are indoors only to eat a few meals and sleep, to be honest. We think that our child has no choice but to enjoy outside as we do. I mean, we don’t own a TV so the options are limited. HAHHAHAHAH.

      We have considered how our tiny house may be added on to and we have a plan of attack. That will be reflected when we release our final blueprint next week (or shortly thereafter). We think it is a great option and one that is affordable and easily do-able.

  • Nancy Hoffine

    Learned Lady has a lot of great points. Once you get them to sleep, you won’t want to mess that up. I know that a lot of kids can and will sleep anywhere, noise or not, but that’s not the best thing for them on a regular basis. Sleep, truly restful sleep, is just as important as the food you feed them in my opinion. The amount and quality of sleep, which is a lot more than people think and allow their kids to have, affects everything from their mood and behavior to how well they can pay attention and learn. Who wants a cranky, loud, obnoxious child with them 24/7? Not this gal! These things all seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised. Well, YOU probably wouldn’t, but…
    Drew, I don’t know if you’ve seen the set up Justin and Jenn have for Grady, but it’s great. Right up your alley. It’s a small space with a crib, changing table, and even a rocking chair. The crib will be easy because all you need is the crib, mattress and a sheet. Anything else is not good (read about SIDS prevention and do it). I realize you don’t “need” a rocking chair or changing table, but you can fit all that in a small space. The rocking chair will be nice for quiet nursings and great to have when you establish a bedtime routine, which for my kids included pre-bedtime nursing and reading books (sleep is a whole other subject I’m way too passionate about and will have to save for another time). Also, the kid will have the basic needs of diapers, clothing etc. Five outfits may seem realistic, but it all depends on the baby. Poop will leak, spit-ups will happen and on some days that may mean going through all 5 of your outfits. Of course this will be something you can assess when baby gets here, but I’m just sayin’. It was nice for me to have everything stored in one place, all within reach, especially when you have a squirming baby. Plus, changing what can be as many as 12 diapers a day hunched over a low bed or even the floor can wreak havoc on your back. Yes it can be 12 or more in the early months. I’m assuming Crystal will be nursing and breast milk passes more easily and frequently than formula. And, of course this changing station doesn’t have to be your traditional Babies R Us purchased changing table. A small repurposed dresser with a couple of drawers that is wide enough to fit a changing pad on top would be great. Hang some shelves over it and everything you need is in one place. I recommend something adjustable so when that baby, who will grow much faster than you think, will not be able to reach up to pull everything off of those shelve. They will need stuff and you will need some place to put said stuff. Project 333 will have to wait a while 
    I want to add that I think it is great that social media allows you solicit so much advice, and I’m sure I don’t need to even say this, but ALWAYS take everything with a grain of salt. People will tell you some completely ignorant, ridiculous and even dangerous things…all well-meaning, of course but still. People will question your decisions, but as you’ve heard me say before…I don’t live in your walls. Who am I to say what’s right or wrong? Go with your parental instinct because NO ONE but you and Crystal know what is truly best for YOUR child. I’m confident that whatever you do, you will be awesome parents! I’m so excited for you both!

    • anotherkindofdrew

      Thank you so much for saying all that Nancy. You know, to be like my little sister I now feel like I am your little brother! hahahaha. Great advice and I will reread your comments over and over, I am sure. I would love to see Justin’s setup. I am supposed to go to Va. Beach soon for work so I will try and pop by to see it.

      To be honest, I don’t think we will be in Tiny House until January of next year so we will have our furniture worked out and a rocking chair is actually something we want anyway. So that will work out nice.

      As for the sleeping, changing, etc., we have looked at a beautiful pack ‘n play 3-in-1 sort of thing that we think is going to work so nicely. And I think we will certainly accomodate baby before us so we will make sure there is ample storage room, etc. We are not out to prove any points about tiny house living so we will do what we have to to have a simple life at any size.

      Project 333 is no longer a project for me or for us. We just don’t need a lot of clothes and we have seen that in our lives. But baby will set his/her own needs and we will certainly adjust.

      Thank you for the vote of confidence. I love you.

  • http://twitter.com/ohsweetie ohsweetie

    yip! babies are awesome! congrats!

    we had a baby this past year and live in a small basement suite (600 square feet) that has two bedrooms and a some what open floor plan. basically our front door opens into our living room/foyer/computer room; our kitchen space is the play room, dining room, my office, pantry, hallway, craft storage; helvetica’s bedroom which is also husband’s junk storage, our second pantry, and all of our blanket/sewing storage; our hallway which is our library/media storage, recycling/laundry/bigger food storage/cat litter place; and lastly our bedroom which is home to the rest of our library, and is kind of a mess.

    i know that your tiny place only has one bedroom, but my saving grace in this tiny space is that helvetica has his own room (even if we use more than 1/2 of it for storage). there’s a couple that live in a studio or one bedroom in SF that transformed one of their larger closets (not a walk in) into a bedroom for their TWO kids.

    http://littlelovely.typepad.com/littlelovely/2011/02/jordan-ferneys-kids-bedroom-in-a-closet.html

    good luck!
    XO

    • anotherkindofdrew

      I have read your response about four times now as I love what you have to say. Thank you adding your comment. I love that y’all live tiny and have made it work for your family. Your house sounds just like what ours will feature – multi use spaces. Please do keep checking in with us and commenting liberally. Thank you again for the congratulations.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001032679525 Alice Lincoln

      Hey! I grew up in a closet turned bed nook!  Was great to have my own space! Day bed with storage pull outs under, and half depth cupboards over.  Had a tiny “closet” back to front at the foot of the bed for church and school stuff. 

      • anotherkindofdrew

        And so shall Tilly Madison, in essence. In fact, her room will be smaller than most “master closets”

  • http://twitter.com/ohsweetie ohsweetie

    oh! and we use a MASSIVE summer time plastic “beer bucket” with handles that we got at wally world as our baby bathtub in our shower stall. good times. XO

  • Jinxica

    Congratulations! Babies are awesome, and you in for a real treat! As far as the small space, well, babies are small…so PERFECT MATCH! I lived in a 900 sq ft. place when I had my baby. She technically had her own room, but know what? She slept w/me anyway. I breastfed, so no bottles, cloth diapered (hired a service for that) and realized that what children need are parent(s), food, climate appropriate clothing and love. Everything else is extra. You’ll do fine in your small space, and baby will as well.

    • anotherkindofdrew

      Thank you so much for the inspiring and encouraging words Jinxica. So awesome; your story! Thank you and keep reading along on our adventure!

    • http://www.register-web-domain.in/ Domain registration India

      I am agree with your comment and really babies are awesome and they”ll do fine in their small place.

  • Roberta

    Well I can speak from experience and your kids will not be bothered by the size of your home one bit. Being together in a loving, safe environment is what makes for happy and healthy children. Having your tiny home with all that wonderful land for your kids to run around and play will also be wonderful for them. When we first downsized into an apartment that was big for an apt. 1,450 sq.ft. we were actually not as happy as we are now here in our Love Shack (all 687 sq.ft.) and that was because we didn’t have a yard…sorry but a balcony does not a yard make…lol Have a yard where I can grow some plants…even if they are in pots…just gives us a sense of freedom. You and your spouse just have to do what feels good for you and not worry about what everyone else has to say. btw…congratulations and best wishes. Fondly, Roberta

    • anotherkindofdrew

      I so agree with you Roberta. Growing up, I never had sugary cereal. We just didn’t have it in our house. So I didn’t know any “better” and when my friends were eating Cap’n Crunch I was eating Mueslix or something similar. I think the same will be for our little bean. He/she will thrive with the freedom of our land and will hopefully see the home as a place to eat and sleep. Thank you for your words of encouragement Roberta. I love it!

  • http://www.tinyhousetalk.com Alex

    Congratulations you guys that is so exciting that you are having a baby. I definitely think it’s possible to raise a baby in a tiny space. With the right people I can see it working great… It just won’t work for most people. And personally I wouldn’t do it unless I had more than one tiny house and a nice outdoor area to hang out in.

    Before I was like, “Yeah! Let’s do this” as for my and Andrea building and living in a tiny house. I continue giving it more and more thought and now I’m leaning towards sticking with a small apartment.

    Our current apartment is 600 square feet and I work from home too so having the extra space is nice because it helps separate my personal life and work. If we had a baby I think we’d still stay right here in this “small” house and our friends/family would still think we’re kinda crazy for not going to 1000+ square feet. Haha.

    • anotherkindofdrew

      Thanks for speaking up Alex. You said you personally wouldn’t do it unless you had a nice, outdoor space to hang out in. Well, we live on a hobby farm and have a full acre that our house sits on (in addition to other land for other purposes) so we are actively working on the design for an outdoor room, so to speak. That is certainly our saving grace, I think.

      If we didn’t live rurally we would still live small; apartment (as we did in Brooklyn) or even here in North Carolina (perhaps renovating a shotgun shack or something). You know as I do that it is a mindset and not a blueprint.

  • 300Squared

    I had my first child, and live in a 300 square foot ground floor studio apartment – 3 rooms (bathroom, kitchen, bed/living room). I think the trick is keeping things clutter free, finding miniature/smaller things when/if you need them, and getting rid of others at the same time (catch and release).

    I got a mini-crib from the US (smaller than the large Canadian models – apartment size) that she can still sleep in until she is two (I can take the front off and drop the mattress to floor level when she’s a toddler. I maximized storage space under the bed, got very organized and was strict with myself about what I actually needed vs wanted.

    Baby has her own closet, and I have mine – both small. I kept the clothing down to a minimum (for both of us) by utilizing consignment stores. I have 0-3 and 3-6 month clothing in there now, and will trade the 0-3 for 6-12 in a few months time, and so on. Same with my things – if I haven’t worn them in 6 months, I consign them for cash or trade for something I need.

    Consignment is also great for all those large gifts (people are so kind) – I have a mini-crib, so I don’t need a play-yard too, so I consigned the play-yard and used the money towards a cloth diaper service (I don’t have laundry on site). I got a jolly jumper and installed an anchor in the open doorway between the Kitchen and Bedroom, and another anchor outside at my apartment entrance facing the garden (I just used a carabiner clip to keep it latched in when she jumps around). That means I don’t need the large “Excosaucer?” for her to strengthen her legs in (another kind gift that was instantly consigned), and the jolly jumper is movable and storable in seconds. I’m using a snugli instead of a stroller for the first 6 months (or until she’s too heavy to carry around). And since I don’t have a car, I borrowed a carseat for a few weeks and returned once she was home from the hospital. One less clutter item to trip over. I’ll be breast feeding, so no bottles to worry about.

    It’s small when you have someone over to visit, granted, but for the two of us in every day life, it works.

    • anotherkindofdrew

      Thank you so much for commenting. I love everything you spoke about. You sound like a brilliant and wonderful mother. You are so right in saying that the trick is keeping things clutter free as well as “catch and release.” I say use what you need when you need it and then let it go!

  • http://verassong.blogspot.com Vera

    Congratulations (belatedly – I just now found your blog!) Although we have a 1,300 square foot house (and 3 kids with another on the way) our babies HAVE slept in dresser drawers! :) Not for lack of a crib, either, but when my husband used to work at home, it was convenient for him to just pull out the bottom drawer of the dresser next to his desk and lay our newborn on a pile of t-shirts while he worked. Ha! You’ll do great. I haven’t read back far enough to know how far away you are from town… babies for sure are FINE in tiny spaces (I slept with mine and kept them strapped to me most of the time) but when they become toddlers and preschoolers, it can be hard to keep them happy in a house in the winter – but if you are not too far from places like the library or other indoor areas where they can explore and you can get out of the house every now and then to avoid cabin fever, you’ll be just fine! Best of luck! My husband and I will be following your blog – we’ve dreamed to homesteading and some day (when the kids are gone) living in a tiny house.

    • anotherkindofdrew

      And I am so glad you found us Vera. Thank you for stopping by!

      So you don’t have to dig through archives. We live roughly 1.7 miles from “town” which does have a few stores (including a movie rental box thingee), a pizza parlor, a hardware store, a public library, and a playground. We ride our bikes into town on a regular basis so it is nothing to get there. In the winter time (which is not all THAT cold here in eastern North Carolina) we go see family members play high school sports, we bake, we do some crafts in prep for Christmas, and we take the time to do things we don’t do during planting/harvesting like visiting state sites or shopping in “the big city,” etc. We are never a motionless couple so I hope we don’t succumb to being motionless parents.

      Keep on following us. You can also read some exclusive posts on the Farmers’ Almanac site. http://www.farmersalmanac.com/tiny-revolution/

  • http://verassong.blogspot.com Vera

    Okay, I’m back with more thoughts. I haven’t read all the other comments, so someone might have already said this. But I think the biggest key is to remember that babies don’t NEED very much. In fact, let me tell you as a three time mom that ALL babies need is… (1) diapers and wipes (cloth or disposable, this will come down to your laundry situation mostly), (2) clothes (for the first 8 months or so, those zip up sleepers are all they need night AND day – again, depending on your laundry situation, you can decide how many you need), (3) a couple of blankets, and (4) a car seat. That’s all the must haves for the first few months. I breastfed my babies and they slept with us, so no need for bottles or furniture (you can change a baby on a bed – we did even though we had a changing table). Some sort of baby carrier like a sling or Moby wrap is great – I would see if you can borrow different ones at first from friends, to see what you like best before buying one. Then when they start eating solids, my kids just ate whatever we ate (like a mashed up avocado) with our utensils (tea spoons and bowls are fine, no need for baby spoons or baby dishes). I bathed them in the sink and used our wash cloths and towels (baby towels are cute but totally unnecessary.) Honestly, I can’t think of anything else that I would say a baby NEEDS their first year… I used by hand instead of a thermometer, our house is too small to need a baby monitor and so is yours (ha!), wash clothes/cloth diapers/dish towels are fine burp cloths, the baby carrier gets rid of the need for a stroller, baby swing, bouncy seat, etc. If you really don’t want to co-sleep, you should look into hanging a little hammock type crib from the ceiling next to your bed – I remember these were popular in Europe when I was a younger.

    • anotherkindofdrew

      Nope, no one has really said that. In fact, we have most often heard how we will be surprised at just how much babies need and how much you add to your home when you have their stuff. Psssshhhh, I say!

      As for your 3. We pretty much assumed those were the basics considering all we have read. And yes, we have read a lot. We are older parents afterall so you know we are overly-researched. HAHAHAHAH.

      We were given a Moby sling as a congratulations gift so I am anxious to use that. Our baby will be gardening with us immediately! My wife is planning on nursing too and if that works out well then things will be golden.

      We grow a majority of our own food so we will be making most of the baby food. I am sure baby spoons and dishes will be forthcoming. I won’t fight that as I have great memories of my Transformers set growing up. HAHAHHA. But we only have a dish set of 4 now as it is so adding a baby plate won’t be much of a space issue.

      As for a crib, we do want a 3-in-1 which will fit fine right next to our bed and serve several needs for us at first. We have looked at the hammocks and while they are pretty awesome, we are not happy with the rafter placement we would have to screw into. It would put the hammock at weird places. As for co-sleep? I like the idea but I am afraid that then neither my wife nor my baby would get good sleep. I am all about stealing some covers and getting up at weird times..all the time! HAHAHAHHA

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001032679525 Alice Lincoln

        All mine started off in a giant, sturdy wicker basket, which became a toy holder when they graduated to an on the floor box bed (no worries of falls from cribs).  These lasted until they became a trundle bed under mine.  They got “big” beds when they were able to go into dormatory with older children – always a fuss over who got top, who gets middle, and who wanted trundle. Box beds became storage units with addition of lids. trundle under my bed was for nights when someone got frightened by whatever.

  • http://verassong.blogspot.com Vera
  • Dana

    Congratulations!
    We did it with 3 kids 400 square feet and very little money! I think the biggest space stealer was the laundry. My goodness how much can such a little thing dirty? Alot :) Cloth diapers and disposables take up the same space, we’ve done both. We didn’t have a rocking chair, that was served with pacing, swinging or rocking a carseat, or just working my recently distended abs. :) Space only became an issue as they became older. The only trick I see is going to town on bicycles as the trailers and seats are recomended for 2 and up. However, it’s only a mile anyway, I’m sure walking would be as comfortable. 
    My tricks..blend leftovers or extra produce that you will not use and freeze them in an ice cube tray for baby food.  Use the bottom of a closet or cupboard on the floor for toys instead of shelving everywhere as the constant picking up verses sweeping into the closet made a difference in my sanity.  There are other sanity savers but most are child specific. I have one that loved to swing, one that loved to cuddle and rock, one that was always jumping in the bouncer, your’s may not like any of those!  My tiny bathroom was my sanctuary, it consited  of 1. baby hand off 2. headphones 3. nice smelling candle 4. book 5. closed door.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001032679525 Alice Lincoln

    Add verandahs and screened porches – front for sitting and relaxing while you watch the ret race go by, back for utility/laundry/”dairy duties” (You know, cleaning fish, veggies, etc).  USE YOUR ROOFF!!!!!  Make a fenced, maybe lattice shaded, “garden” for little one to play, and you to sit and do whatever (I crochet)Beleive me, the verandahs and porches multiply your area greatly, and really needn’t be that big.  Raised my 3, and my husbands 5 off and on) in a 16 by 24 foot home.  Two rooms, tiny bath and kitchen “hall”.  Cooked in separate ‘outside kitchen hearth. Bath house held shower and tin tubs on back porch.  Used soak away ‘well’ for all gray water, which took care of the sugar cane and some bananas.By the by, verandahs and porches can be collapsible, like for travel trailors and rvs.

  • http://twitter.com/shalommama Nina Nelson

    Congrats! I think a tiny house is totally doable with a baby. The amount of stuff you actually need is really very minimal. We have four kids and a few months ago we moved into my parents’ house after we sold ours and were looking for a new one to rent. We had 2 bedrooms, 1 bath and a small living room. We shared a small kitchen and small laundry room with my parents. It was great. The kids shared a room. Our youngest moved in with them after a month or so, before that he was in our bed or on a crib mattress on the floor. We had one set of bunk beds and my husband built a second. I got rid of a ton of clothes and toys. It was great. I think you guys will be totally happy with the new baby in your tiny house :)

    • anotherkindofdrew

      I am not sure if you read it anywhere but before we moved to eastern NC to being Tiny r(E)volution we lived for two years “in community” with my folks. Granted they have a large house but it was a wonderful experience as we had supper everynight together, we gardened together; we just lived as a whole family unit. We are excited about the interaction with our baby in the tiny house; physical and emotional. Thank you so much for your encouraging words. Looking forward to reading your blog and finding out more about you. It seems we are quite similar: simple living, hippy, Jesus freaks!

  • Amy

    How exciting, a new baby! I have to agree with everyone else and say that it is absolutely doable. I wanted my babies (born 15 months apart) close to me, so they stayed in the bedroom until they were 9 and 8! At first sleeping in the big bed, then into toddler beds with “forts” (sheets hung on pvc frames) to block out my reading light and then bunk beds with curtains (like on a train) for privacy. We sold our house and moved into our converted school bus (240 sq ft), where they had bunk beds, once again. We also had 2 dogs, 2 guinea pigs and 1 cat on the bus! We are now sharing a house with my mom and they have their own rooms. Although they are 16 and 15, there are times when they climb into the big bed for a snuggle or a talk. I believe my family is as close as we are because we lived together in small spaces and we homeschool. Cherish these early years, they fly by, really. Sharing the same space, the same breath, it’s magical and all to soon gone.
    My first born must have been used to all of my movements and would “sleep” in utero during my most active times. She seemed to become active, just as I was settling down to bed! I found that after she was born, she slept better in a sling or a swing! We were given a crib that we never used. She just would not sleep in a still environment! The “breakdown” cribs with the changing area up top are really handy. We used ours when visiting out of state relatives. It provided a safe place for her to play and/or nap, once she was older. You don’t need everything all at once. It’s a great idea to use consignment shops to fill your needs as they arise.
    Babies don’t need all that modern society will tell you they need. Think of the Native peoples found all over the Earth. They wear their babies when gathering food, cooking and washing clothes. The sling slides around to the front for nursing and for when they are tiny, then the sling becomes a “back” carrier, so that the baby can sleep or look at the world from the safety of momma’s arms. Most of the world’s humans dwell together in a one room structure, like a yurt (ger), tipi, treehouse, boat, wagon, etc. The three of you will be just fine. Better than fine, really! You have love and that’s the most important “thing” you can give to your new, little bean. I wish you much love and light in the coming months!

    • anotherkindofdrew

      Bless you Amy for all of your wonderful and encouraging words. Thank you for finding us and for taking the time to speak up. I really appreciate it!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UVGEIL3GLSY72V33BSGXKEVSOU cjyopp97

    Absolutely! We’re designing our 1st tiny home and we have 2 half grown young men in our family and we are praying for another blessing to come as soon as the Lord sees fit to send him/her. Have you seen the “Living in a Garbage Truck” video on youtube? It totally inspired me and one tunnel loving son is going to have his “room” under our raised “living room” and the other (who loves a nice view) is having a bunk over the kitchen area. Each space will have as much head room as a regular tiny house loft. They are right down ready to move tomorrow because of their excitement!

    • anotherkindofdrew

      That sounds great. Please do keep us posted on y’alls whole process!

  • Dovie Rabe

    We’re actually battling with making sure we have enough room for our five year old and a possible addition in the next year once our tiny home is built. The only drawback I see is that you will need to plan for the child to have their own space once they get older. They don’t need much. Most children love hidey holes. In fact, a lot of kids I know would love to live in “The Cupboard Under the Stairs,” literally. We plan to build a tiny home with a downstairs bedroom and a loft for the boys. As long as they’re old enough to climb a ladder they’re ready to go!

    • anotherkindofdrew

      Great point Dovie!

  • Stacy

    You can do it! I don’t know what climate you live in but we raised our 2 kids outside a lot and in a thousand sq. ft home. We are getting ready to DOWN SIZE cause they are 13 and 9 and want to live in the country. I told them they would each have a loft in a smaller home because that we would be spending more time outside then in for 3 seasons. The first week I had my daughter we gave all the baby furniture away because we didn’t use it. Used a bassinet till she was 3 months and then co-slept till she was 2(made for easy restful nights nursing.) Very simple clothes and some well loved toys. People gave us more but it always made it’s way back out the door to others who could use it. They never ate baby food either… they hated it. I nursed and then we had one of those travel baby hand mills that we stuck our own food into. We saved a lot of money and we didn’t have to store anything. I hope that helps. Heres a fun site to. 
    http://livingpeacefullywithchildren.wordpress.com/2011/02/08/the-minimalist-parent/

    • anotherkindofdrew

      Thank you so much for speaking up Stacy. Welcome to the r(E)volution. I like how you say people gave you more but it made its way back out the door. Sometimes I feel like we run a “baby clothes laundering” establishment. People give us clothes through the front door and we launder it back out the back door when no one is suspecting. HAHAHAHHA. 

      Thank you for the weblink too. I am looking forward to exploring it more.

  • jennifer v

    we plan on living in a tiny house hopefully soon.  We are working hard for it and we have a 4 yr old son.

  • nicole

    We live in a 32 foot airstream and love it. We also had a homebirth in this tiny space no problem. Our daughter will be a year old next week. We bedshare, breastfeed, and cloth diaper. We do have a storage building outside for extra baby stuff. Totally doable and enjoyable.

  • http://tikvaadler.tumblr.com/ Tikva

    We’re raising our toddler in a tiny space (one room in a group house).  You don’t need ANY extra room for a baby if you are co-sleeping and breastfeeding.  People at the playground often remark to me that we are “lucky to have such a confident and happy child”, but I think it is all the direct result of her feeling safe + close to her parents while sleeping.  Also, she’s never woken me up at night.  Bonus!  :)

  • Angelmiette

    Baby’s really don’t care about all the things that they get. All they want is to snuggle with their Mommy and Daddy and have all their basic needs met (food, to be changed/cleaned, and to have an adult nearby to help them regulate body functions like breathing and body temperature). A small home allows for great attachment parenting and happy children who love their parents. I believe that because of less expenses it allows for more time at home with the kids than working crazy hours just to pay off large amounts of debt. Most adults who look back at their childhoods remember time spent with family, their family pets, a favorite stuffed animal or blanket, and major things like trips to special parks or going to the zoo. We don’t really remember how much money our parents spent on various fancy things.

  • Samantha

    I know this is an oooold post, but me and my husband are planning on building a tiny home and living there with our 1 year old. We plan on having another within the next 2 years. I dedicated space in our design for them to have their own corners. I did exactly as you said, freaked out and decided to get a bigger house when we discovered we were pregnant. And what did I do? Filled it with crap. We made a nursery (which was I think me just nesting because we moved when I was 8 months pregnant) and bought all the baby stuff. Ya know what I found out? Babies don’t like being lonely in a crib and much less a room. So we babywear, bedshare… We breastfeed (still it’s majority of his diet) and have 3 bottles for baby sitting or nursing strikes. Really, babies do not require all that people think. Get a wrap, baby clothes and some cloth diapers, that’s all you NEED. By the way, we use gDiapers a cloth/disposable hybrid. The disposable inserts are flushable, compostable or disposable.  Really, look into them!

    • Andrew Odom

      Are you sure you aren’t rehashing our last 8 months? HAHAHAHA. We found out our daughter hates her own bed and prefers to be taking up most of the room on our bed. We found out that she must be touching one of us with her feet at ALL times. We found out that traditional toys are far less fascinating to her than an iPad cord. When she went on a nursing strike we realized that a breast pump is a must have and that daddy’s can enjoy this time of nursing as well. It is amazing what society tells us babies must have, isn’t it?

      As for gDiapers. That is what we started out with until about month 4 and then we switched to an affordable disposable. Our lifestyle and our “on-the-go” almost necessitated it. We don’t always like that we use disposable but we also know that many other areas of our life help to offset that waste. It was a decision we made after much thought and prayer. 

      Hope y’all catch back up with your dream Samantha. It isn’t that far away!

      • Samantha

        Hahaha! That is EXACTLY how our son is with sleeping. We sidecar’d our crib (hey, I might as well get SOME use out of it!) and so he sleeps in that for the first part of the night before working his way over. He usually has half of the bed. As far as unconventional toys, we got by during our recent move (about 4 weeks of insanity) with water bottles, pan lids, tea pitchers, a colander and old remotes we found throughout the process. It is crazy what people make you think you need, someone seriously got us formula at our baby shower even though I made it very clear we were not going that route. *Sigh*

        Definitely living small helps offset disposables. I have found that since we started solid foods, g’s are way easier to handle. It might be the age as well. We are about to start EC (Elimination Communication) and hopefully be done with diapers soon!Thank you! We’re in the process of hunting down the perfect trailer (er, the cheapest one… haha) and then we know we are well on our way!

        • Andrew Odom

          If you need any advice or just want to bounce some ideas…we are here for you Samantha!

      • Samantha

        This is the story of my life right now! Especially “Snow Angles” and “The Stalker.” http://pinterest.com/pin/248612841899798596/

        • Andrew Odom

          Yeah, I live in a world of the “booby trap!” HAHAHAH

  • mommysshrinking

    When my son was born 3 years ago we lived in an 1800 sq. ft. house, had to downsize to a 637 sq. ft. condo due to layoffs and now live in a 600 sq. ft. rental with our son AND the daughter born 17 months later. It is not only possible, it’s preferable. You can reach your baby with two swift steps, you don’t need baby monitors and you accrue much less plastic junk to end up in a landfill. I have no idea how people living a 4000 sq. ft. house do it!

  • Jenna

    Hey Andrew, Thanks for the topic and post, and Congrats!
    I’m really keen to hear some of the feedback and discussion. My husband and I are designing our tiny house and both want 5 kids. It totally seems crazy, and that it doesn’t make sense, but then I feel pulled back to this vision of how awesome living within our means feels and a whole host of other things, some of which you mentioned above.

    • http://www.tinyrevolution.us/ anotherkindofdrew

      So far Jenna it has gone very well. Since writing this post our daughter has blossomed into a well-adapted, beautiful, 20-month old young lady. She knows nothing different from our tiny house so of course she loves it as her home. We are still living a downsized and scaled back life even though financially we could do more. It just doesn’t fit our perspective though. Feel free to email me if you have specific thoughts or questions.

      Thank you for commenting in the meantime!

  • Didier Merette Dufresne

    As an early childhood educator, I work all day long with an other adult and 10 preschoolers basicaly “living” (they play, eat, exercice and sleep) in a 120ish square-feet room.

    So… yeah. Your doubts makes me smile !

    Funny how peoples are like “OMG we have a baby… we so much need a huge house and all that expensive baby stuff now”. The reality is totally different : children don’t need space or stuff, they need free play and attention/love. The rest is irrevelant.

    Oh, I think you forgot a big Pro : less space/stuff mean more security as there will be less danger sources and it will be easy to watch you kid (you will also save a lot on childproofing products lol).

    • http://www.tinyrevolution.us/ anotherkindofdrew

      Really solid points. Thank you so much for speaking up Didier. What we have found in our two years of being parents now (hard to believe it’s been that long) is that you are right. Free play and attention/love are essential and almost exclusive.

      • Didier Merette Dufresne

        And I’m sure that you are having a lot more time with your kids than the “regular suburban worker”!

  • Catherine

    We’re going to have 2 kids in less than 440 sf as of April. We never meant to have even one kid in that footprint but you can find a way! I just ran across your blog and can’t wait to view more about how you tackle living with one kid in your tiny space. So inspirational!

    • http://www.tinyrevolution.us/ anotherkindofdrew

      If you don’t find what you are looking for on our site please feel free to email us. We are happy to answer any questions as our daughter is now 2-years old and our family is happier than ever!

  • Teal

    Hi and thanks for sharing! My wife and I are having a boy this April and will be living in 300 ft’. . . Coming from 1500 sq’ this will be a significant change, especially considering this is our first child. I am looking forward to being close to the baby, it just seems right! I will report back this spring. Congrats and best of luck.

    Teal

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