The arrival of a new baby is one of life’s greatest gifts. This gift comes with a lot of change all at once, so staying as organized as possible will help you to adjust to your new life at home. Exactly two weeks ago today, Andrew and I were bringing home Luca from the hospital, and we’ve learned a lot in the last 14 days. I’ve wrapped everything we’ve implemented into nine organizing tips for y’all, so you can spend your time snuggling and enjoying life as a new family instead of wasting precious time trying to find things around your house.
Establish a Feeding Station
Whether you’re breast or bottle-feeding, you’ll need the same items each time your baby is ready to eat. Make sure you have items already set up, so you’re not having to run around the house looking for them with a hungry baby. My breastfeeding items include: a swaddle blanket, a burp cloth, my phone (to time feedings/know when to switch breasts), and the diaper changing station needed to be close by.
Set Up Multiple Diaper Changing Areas
You most likely have a changing area in the nursery, but you’re rarely going to be in there. Make sure you have a changing area in the room you’re going to be hanging out in the most, especially those first few weeks. During our first week, we spent a good amount of time in our tv room, and it’s where we settle in for the evening before bed. We have a portable changing pad (check out my complete Newborn Essentials List), and set up a changing station on the tv console. Once it’s time for bed, we move the changing pad to Luca’s room, so it’s ready for those nighttime diaper changes. Each changing area is set up with a basket of diapers, wipes and cream. We also keep the nail file, snot sucker, and thermometer nearby.
Designate a Home for the Carseat and Stroller
Keep your stroller close to the car/garage or entrance to your home––you want to reduce the distance between the stroller and the destination. You especially don’t want to lug it up and down stairs. Whether you decide to place your baby in the carseat and then carry him/her to the car, or bring your baby to the carseat is up to you. Just have it in a convenient location, so you can easily snap in your babe and be on your way. Our two strollers (more on why we purchased two), are in the mudroom near the garage where our cars are parked, and our car seat stays upstairs, so we can easily buckle him in then we carry him down to the car.
Designate a Home for the Diaper Bag
The arrival of your little one completely changes your normal routines. Getting out the door looks different, and you want to eliminate as many decisions as possible, especially in the beginning. Set yourself up for success by putting the diaper bag back in the same spot each time. Ours is on a hook in a hall closet near the stairs to the basement garage. We can easily grab it on our way out and can immediately put it away when we get home.
Stock the Diaper Bag with Essentials
Help your future self out by keeping your diaper bag stocked with the essentials: diapers, wipes, cream, pacifier, change of clothes, burp cloth, etc. You don’t want to be packing this each time you go to leave because you’re bound to forget something.
Do Smaller, More Frequent Loads of Laundry
The majority of us don’t enjoy doing laundry, and the addition of a little one can make a not-so-fun chore even more annoying. My recommendation is to stay on top of it but doing smaller, more frequent loads (about one/day). It’s a manageable task and keeps the overwhelm at bay. I’ll mix Luca’s clothing with our adult clothing, and I use the free and clear detergent by Seventh Generation. I also recommend Dreft for getting out any baby-related stains.
Organize Clothing by Visual Size (once your baby arrives)
Clothing sizes vary drastically depending on the brand. You can have everything organized and ready to go before your little one arrives only to find out that 75% of what you have doesn’t actually fit (this is exactly why I chose not to buy a lot of clothing before Luca arrived). Once your newborn is here, find the items that fit and organize them in a top-drawer regardless of what the sizing tag says. For example, Luca has a long torso, and only a couple of brands size NB fit him. Other NB sizes are too small in the shoulders, and most 0-3 month items are too short and wide or too long for him.
Find a Home for Back Stock
You’ll need a designated spot for extra wipes, diapers, formula, etc. Try to keep your back stock as close to the stocked area as possible. For example, our extra wipes and diapers are in Luca’s closet. I unpack everything from their original packaging, so it’s easy to see how much we have left. We have an Honest subscription, which I can’t recommend enough! If you don’t have room in the nursery closet or dresser, make room in a hall closet or bathroom for the overflow.
Keep a Note of Feedings, Sleep times, and Wet/Poopy Diapers OR Use an App!
For nearly every newborn appointment you have, you’re going to be asked about your child’s feeding schedule and bowel movements. Keep track of these the first few weeks in a shared note with your partner. Not only does this give you data, it allows you to answer your pediatrician’s questions confidently. I also found this to be helpful because my sense of time was way off those first couple of weeks. This allowed me to make sure he was eating regularly, and I timed my feedings, so I knew when to switch breasts.
*Bonus Tip – Get Thank You Notes Done ASAP
Try to knock out a thank you note or two a day until you’re done. This is a chore you can easily do while your babe is sleeping and should only take a handful of minutes. This isn’t something you want hanging over you weeks after the arrival of your little bundle.
If you’re expecting a little one in the coming weeks or months, I recommend bookmarking this post, so you can come back to it once your babe is here. If you have a friend or family member who’s expecting, be sure to share this post with them.