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6 Lifehacks For Living In A Small Flat With A Baby

6 Lifehacks For Living In A Small Flat With A Baby

When you find out the big news that your baby is on its way, you start thinking about nursery furniture and all the other amazing, cute baby stuff. But… what if you’re still living in a small flat and you’re expecting?

For most people the image of an expecting mother or a mother with kids is matched with a house in the suburbs, yet life has its own ways. Life can’t be predicted and more and more couples face the challenge of growing their kids in apartments.

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Living in a small flat is not easy for one, but when there are three or more, it might get a little crowded. However, if you are in a small flat there are chances you live in a large city, like New York City or San Francisco, which comes with lots of advantages. So, forget about moving out and let’s start making the best out of that small flat, getting ready for the life with a baby.

1. Think outside the box

When you want to adapt the flat for a baby you need to think outside the box. Look at every room and visualize it without any furniture. Then, start adding the must-haves in the room, still in your mind. This will give you an idea on how the rooms can be changed and how to move the furniture to maximize the available space in each room. The next step is actually getting rid of all the excessive furniture and start moving it around the house, experimenting with different settings, until you find the best placement.

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2. Use all the available space

All homes have those awkward, small spaces where you can’t place any type of furniture. Well, use them as storage space! Fill the small corners and nooks with all the items you rarely use, such as warm blankets that only come in handy during the winter months.

3. Migrate on the vertical

When your baby is going to be old enough to crawl and walk, your stuff will always be in his or her hands. To prevent this from happening and gain some room, migrate your stuff on the vertical. For example, if you were storing the knives on the counter, now store them on a magnetic strip. If you used to store the pans in a drawer, hang them on the wall. If you used to keep the TV remote, books and other small things on the coffee table, hang some shelves on a wall to store them up.

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4. Re-purpose and Re-use

One of the greatest lifehacks for small apartments is repurposing your stuff. I love to put the suitcases to work and store things I don’t need on a daily basis on them. If you are expecting, you can use the suitcases to store the baby clothes or things which don’t fit him or her yet. Then, you can stack the suitcases, which gives you even more opportunities, as well as a stand for your books or something else.

5. Be practical

Babies grow up fast and they need lots of things, so it’s a good option to rely on Craiglist for your baby’s needs. As soon as the baby outgrows an item, you can change or sell it, instead of storing it.

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When you go shopping pick the practical version of the item you need and aim for versatile, multipurpose gear, which can be adapted as the baby grows or repurposed in the future. Look for collapsible, foldable and flippable items, which can double as something else. For example, you can get a flippable changing table, which doesn’t take up space when you don’t use it.

6. Embrace white noise machines

Apart from all the room-maximizing lifehacks for small apartments, you need to adapt to the new environment. This means the baby also has to adapt to your lifestyle. A white noise machine is going to make it easier for both you and the baby, as you can turn it on to cover your noise, TV’s noise or the baby’s noise. And in a small apartment, this is always a great benefit!

Bottom line, if you are expecting there is no need to worry about living in a small space. Just be creative and look for new ways to do old things and everything will be fine in the end.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on October 16, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

Why you can’t sleep through the night

The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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Stress

If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

Exposure to blue light before sleep time

We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

Eating close to bedtime

Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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Medical conditions

In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

The vicious sleep cycle

The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

You get a bad night’s sleep
–> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
–> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
–> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

    You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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    How to sleep better (throughout the night)

    To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

    1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

    What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
    • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
    • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
    • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
    • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

    2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

    What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

    • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
    • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
    • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
    • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

    3. Adjust your sleep temperature

    Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

    Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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    Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

    Sleep better form now on

    Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

    I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

    As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

    Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

    Reference

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