This month my daughter, Rachel, turns one year old. I can’t believe it! It truly seems like it was just a few weeks ago I looked into her eyes for the first time. Thinking back on this past year has caused me to want to write a newsletter on organizing for a baby. Sorry to those of you who don’t have or plan on having a baby. (Maybe you could forward this to a friend who does!)
Babies come with so much stuff! There are toys, clothes, furniture, etc. Without good organization, a child’s belongings can easily overrun your home before he/she is even born. With this in mind, remember that you don’t need everything baby stores sell.
Ask other parents what could be borrowed and what should be bought. Borrowing costs less, and when you are done with something (like clothes), you can return it to the lender, thus saving space in the long run. Also ask other parents what is really needed and what is unnecessary. Start building from the basics, and then get some optional items if money and space are no object.
The basics include:
- Crib, sheets, and waterproof pad
- Laundry hamper
- Chair/glider with an end table nearby
- Place to change diapers (either on a changing table or plan for the floor)
- Drawers (for clothes, burp cloths, diapers, and wipes). They can be wood or plastic, but they don’t need to be too large since baby clothes are so small. Organize clothes by size.
- Baskets or clear storage containers can be most helpful for organizing smaller items like medicine, socks, shoes, hats, etc.
- Shelves or cubbies (for toys, blankets)
- Good closet shelving that grows with your child. Look at Dream Closet’s website for ideas.
- Diaper bag with lots of compartments for easier organizing
- Toiletries (nail clippers, body wash/shampoo, and many hospitals will provide an aspirator and thermometer)
- Infant bath tub, towel, and washcloths
- Medicine (baby Tylenol, gas medicine, diaper cream)
- Bottles, nipples, formula, and pacifiers
- Infant carrier, car seat, and stroller.
Babies’ items take up a lot of space, and need to be in many rooms of the house (kitchen, bedroom, bathroom), but with some thought and organization, their stuff doesn’t have to be in your way. Dedicate one kitchen cabinet to baby items, or give them a shelf in your linen closet. Keep their things handy, yet separate, from your things. And just remember… they are definitely worth the effort!