Caring for a brand new baby is quite the task. From sleep-derivation to being low on energy, your mind can run wild. As a new parent, you need everything you can to stay sane and sober when you come home from the hospital. One of the things that can help is organizing your home in readiness for the baby before going to the hospital.
What is the secret to home organizing for a new baby? First of all, you need several stations (diapering, feeding, and postpartum) around your house. Have as many as you can for convenience. Other important tips include a de-cluttered space, use of storage baskets, having a designated closet space for the baby, and sticking to a household routine.
Here’s a detailed explanation of each of the tips.
1. Create several stations
The life of a new mom revolves around feeding, snuggling, changing diapers, bathing, playing, and rocking her child. Unless you have all you need (or at least most of it) in one place, you’ll spend hours walking from one room to the next. This is by far the number one strategy that made motherhood bearable for me in the early days of coming back from the hospital.
No matter the size of your home, having more than one working station is a recipe for success. Grab all the essentials used mostly and neatly organize them in one basket. Then have two or three of those placed in different areas of the house. Here are a few stations you might want to pay attention to.
- Diapering station
During the first few weeks of life, your little one will need a diaper change from four to 10 times a day. While you can’t do much about the number of times you’ll be changing your baby’s diaper, you can strategically organize things to make the job more convenient and less tedious for you. A diapering station doesn’t have to be complicated. The only rule of thumb is that it should contain all the essentials in one place.
A dresser, desk, or changing are great diapering stations. As long as it is sturdy, has enough storage space, and a flat or contoured changing pad, you can use it to change your baby’s diaper. As for what to include in your diapering station, you need diapers (plenty of them), wipes, baby creams, changing pad covers, a diaper pail, pacifiers, rompers, a hand sanitizer, nail clippers, and a first aid kit.
- Breastfeeding station
Both breastfeeding and bottle feeding requires some level of organization to get it right. The feeding station should be located in a good place for both you and the baby. For optimal results, place your rocker or glider next to a side table or dresser as it comes with extra storage.
The essentials of a feeding station include a water bottle, burp cloths, blanket for baby, baby wipes, snacks, nipple cream. If bottle-feeding, the station will have bottles, a breast pump, collars, sealing discs, kitchen tongs, sterilizing equipment, a bottle brush, and teats with caps.
- Postpartum station
Whether you give birth via a cesarean section or normally, your body needs time and tender love and care to bounce back to normalcy. The actual childbirth experiences are different for different women. The common issues range from perineum tears, nipple cracks, CS wounds, and back pain.
Since you don’t know what your story will be, you are better off having a few of the necessary items. These include maternity pads, a peri bottle, mesh underwear, tucks pads, disposable washcloths, numbing products, chux pads, and a sitz bath. Most moms place their postpartum stations in their bathrooms or master bedrooms for obvious reasons. Decide where to place yours as per your needs.
2. Get rid of clutter
This is an important tip when doing basically any organization and cleaning project. It is even more necessary when preparing to welcome a tiny human. From the time they land, babies use up a lot of space. In their early days, the house will be filled with diapers, a baby crib, closets, playmats, you name it. As they grow older, they will require even more space for toys, running around, having friends over, and playing.
In short, if you want to stay organized and ready for the additional member of the family, clear the clutter. Get rid of anything you don’t need and those that are not baby-friendly.
When I was expecting my baby boy, I had to remove all my glass photo frames and décor items from all surfaces. Before he turned two, he had already broken our TV screen. We learned the hard way and had to mount the next one up in the wall. Don’t underestimate the power of de-cluttering when organizing a home for a new baby.
3. Baskets are real lifesavers
If you want inexpensive and attractive options for organizing pretty much your entire house, your secret lies is in using baskets. No doubt, these storage solutions are versatile and practical. They are also insanely cute and make for great décor elements.
You probably have a couple of baskets in your home already. With the anticipation of a new one, you might want to get even more. There are a number of ways you can utilize baskets to get the house organized before the bun in the oven makes their entry to the world.
You can use them to neatly store items for your stations, organize the baby’s closet, keep the baby’s toys in the living room, separate baby items stored in one place, handle baby’s laundry, and many more.
The benefit of using baskets, apart from aesthetics and practicability, is that they can help you set limits. One can only hold so much stuff. If you add too much stuff, it will overflow or look unsightly. This might the push you need to de-clutter or get an additional basket. Baskets also make it easy to find stuff. All you have to do is label them up.
4. Get a closet specifically for the baby
Many expecting parents underscore the importance of designating an entire closet just for their newborns. They opt to share their own closet spaces or those of their older kids with the baby. It is only until they’ve had the newborn for a while that they realize the need for having a specific space for storing the baby’s clothes and other accessories.
To save you from falling in the same pit, be sure to follow this amazing trick. If you are short on closet space in your home, don’t worry. Create some shelving units on an idle corner of your home, install some hooks, or use cube storage. You can use the closet for all things belonging to your little one if it is big enough.
5. Create a routine
When you come back from the hospital, you will be a different person. Your number one priority will be to care for the baby and allow your body to heal. As a result, you will likely not be in touch with your household including the rest of the family, chores, and all that.
To keep things seamless, develop a morning and bedtime routine, and write it down. Let it be known to your entire household ahead of time. This way, the rest of the family will know what to expect round the clock. Using this trick is especially beneficial if you plan on enlisting help from your relatives, friends, spouse, or a stranger. If you have older kids, the routine will also act as a director and help them do what is expected of them at all times.
A new baby is an absolute bundle of joy. Prepare to enjoy endless snuggles, cuteness, and beauty as you’ve never seen before. On the flip side, be ready to sleep very little, run on low energy, and change diapers non-stop. Lucky for you, keeping the house in top shape before the baby’s arrival will help you to maintain some level of sobriety.