Whether you’re expecting your first little nugget or number two, three, or four, keeping things streamlined is key. Our second baby, Isabella, was born in June and while our place is far from perfect, I have found a few ideas to help make life easier with a newborn.
Basics in the bassinet
We have been using a portable bassinet for Isabella and I love that it has pockets to stash baby necessities. I have a spot for sheets, blankets, burp cloths, extra pajamas for her and even some for me to recover from those late night messes. Wherever our little girl goes in the house, everything she needs goes with her.
Hang it up!
I am thrilled to have a dose of pink clothes in our house. The thing is laundry can easily get out of control, but one idea that works well for me is hanging baby clothes. When I am searching for the pants with the ruffles that pair perfectly with my fave onesie, I don’t have to tear up an entire drawer of folded clothes to find them. Plus, I can keep coordinating outfits and hats on one hanger. What is cuter than a bunch of tiny threads neatly perched on mini hangers?
Ditch the special detergent
When it comes to doing the laundry, my husband and I knew folks who used special laundry detergent for little ones. We asked our doctor about it and he brought up a great point: If we are using regular detergent for ourselves and holding our baby, then the baby will be in contact with our detergent, so there is no reason to wash the baby stuff with special detergent. We opted to use one detergent for everyone and we have less hassle separating clothes into different loads.
Organize by size
Find a way to organize all of those baby clothes that you get at your shower by size. I did this for my son and just sorted out my daughter’s clothes with the help of my mother-in-law and my mom who was toddler chasing. This time around, I opted for a simple organizing method: Big zip locks labeled with sharpies stored in totes. Organizing by age group means you can keep only the current size in the closet and easily grab the next size up as your baby starts to grow.
Designate a diaper zone
Having a designated diaper changing area is critical. I know amazing parents who don’t find a changing table necessary, but with the frequency of diaper changes during the newborn days (and especially nights) I prefer having everything in one place. I always thought it would be convenient to have a changing table in the bathroom. It’s so nice to have a sink and a tub nearby for when a diaper change goes wrong … so wrong.
Avoid diaper confusion
Bringing a new baby into a house with siblings is a recipe for chaos. I actually grabbed my son’s diaper for my daughter and stood there in a sleep-deprived haze and wondered why the diaper on my newborn was so darn big. Since then, designated bins for each of their diapers has been a huge help.
Line up the linen closet
When a baby is in the mix, keeping track of everyone’s toiletries can be difficult. I decided to organize our stuff by person (the babies share one right now) and pop things right back in after using them so the counter stays clear. Having a first aid bin has proved to be very useful too!
If you are expecting, have you ever wondered how the heck you can keep an eye on your little one and take a shower? I have found that a clear shower curtain and a baby monitor are a winning combo. I put the monitor on the counter where it can stay dry and I can easily see it through the curtain.
Diaper bag bonanza
My favorite organizing mantra is if you don’t label it, it doesn’t count and this is so true for the diaper bag. When you have a new baby, you will probably not be the only person using it. Your partner and anyone else who cares for your little one will need it too. The ziplock and sharpie method is ideal to label extra outfits, diapers and even spare shirts for mom and dad … trust me, you’ll need those!
Don’t sweat it if your place does not look like the Container Store and Real Simple magazine had a love child, mine sure doesn’t! Just figure out what works and incorporate anything that saves more extra time for baby snuggles.