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Friday, October 7, 2011

organizing the baby's room

A few tips on organizing the baby room... because I know at least one friend who is gearing up to do this soon awaiting baby's arrival! I pride myself on being pretty organized. Not always neat and clean, but organized and keeping things in their place is a must around here for me to even feel slightly sane.

One thing I do to help me stay organized is try to keep the baby's room stocked and ready to go at all times. Once a week, usually on a Saturday or Sunday morning when my son has dragged me out of bed anyway but it's too early to go anywhere yet I make sure things are back in order in his room.

Each week I change the crib sheets, take his laundry down to be washed, re-stock the diapers, wipes container, take out the diaper pail garbage, change the diaper changing pads, and wipe down the area around where we change his diapers. Doing this on the weekend when I have more time takes about 15 minutes and yet saves me tons of time during the week when I'm rushing around.

My son is - luckily! - a sound sleeper and an early-to-bed-kid. Therefore, I've found that putting away his clean laundry at night with a light on in the hallway so I can see what I'm doing is the best time to do this. This way he's not interested in what I'm doing so throwing his clothes out of the drawer as quick as I can put them in there nice and folded! I quickly and quietly go into his room when I am going to check on him anyway, put the folded laundry away, and then it's done. Just a small thing that's made a difference in the baby room in making sure we have plenty of clean clothes ready for him to wear during the week.

You will soon realize this when you have your own baby and those who already do are nodding profusely as they read this, but it's VERY important to ALWAYS have an extra case of diapers and wipes in the closet just in case you run out. We shop at BJ's for diapers and wipes so they come in large cases anyway, but no matter where you shop make sure you have plenty in the closet. You go through them fast!


Make diaper changes easy. You do a zillion of them a day, so the process should not be difficult. Put up a poster or print or anything for baby to stare at above the diaper changing station. However, don't do what I did and put it within reach of a child who can sit up and move around a lot... Make sure you have diapers, wipes, diaper cream, etc. right there on the changing table so you don't need to take a hand off your moving baby to get them. Have the nail clippers, brush and even thermometer handy in the diaper caddy, too, so you can easily get them when needed. We use the thermometer in the middle of the night anyway so we just keep it upstairs in the baby room instead of in the bathroom where we used to keep it. We also keep a bottle of hand sanitizer on the changing table because there's no time to get downstairs to wash my hands after every single diaper change. Make the process as simple as possible.

We have plastic, see-through totes for all of my son's clothes. I separate the clothes by size, toss them into the bins as we get the clothes, and then wash them as we need them. Now that I'm headed toward baby number two coming our way thinking about all the clothes I'll need to sort through being already organized and in their separated totes makes me smile.

Babies grow SO quickly! That's why I rarely ever give moms-to-be newborn clothes at their baby showers - because most babies are either too big when they are born or they just don't get around to wearing all of those tiny outfits before they outgrow them. I found that it was really important, especially in the first year, to get the next size ready earlier than you think you need it. My son was 3 months old wearing 6 months old clothes. You never know, so it's nice to be prepared. We have a lot of hand-me-downs so I had tons of bigger sizes around. My system works pretty well for us. My son has a dresser in which we keep all of his current size clothes, things he's wearing now. The closet also has hangers of clothes he can fit into now. Then there is a shelf in the closet that I wash, fold and store all of his next size clothing for when it fits. It takes me a couple of days to wash and store all of the clothes for the next size, so I found that if I do that ahead of time it's ready when I need it - which was always when I had no clue my son had gone through a growth spurt and needed bigger clothes.

A simple thing, but a tip - keep the Boppy plastic case/cover for later packing. I'm glad we did this, because now when we're going to use it for baby number two it's in great shape, good as new. Whereas I'm afraid had we not saved the package for it it probably would have ended up in the back of the closet and just not as neat and clean.

Hope these little tips help you to get the baby room organized! They may seem like silly things, but really they are time and mind savers in the long run when you have so much going on with a baby around!

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