Preparing for a new baby can be very exciting – but it can also feel overwhelming. Hormones and anxieties aside, it’s hard to wrap your head around the growing to-do list and the seemingly endless amount of stuff you need for your baby-to-be. And how on earth is it all going to fit in your apartment?! Don’t beat yourself up if you’re feeling overwhelmed – even Professional Organizers can feel this way 😉
Never fear! Using your nesting instincts and these tips, you’ll be ready (and organized!) for the baby.
· Write it down. Your mind is racing with things you’ve got to take care of before the baby arrives but your ability to retain information is sadly lacking these days. Ideas can strike at any place and any hour – so keep a notebook by the bed for those late night brainstorms. On the go? Email yourself your ideas as you think of them. You can consolidate your lists later.
· When registering, don’t go it alone. Full disclosure: baby stores stay in business by selling baby gear so it’s not surprising that their “recommended registry lists” are longer than your copy of What to Expect. You do NOT need every baby item ever invented. Especially when you’re dealing with limited space, it’s best to keep it simple and streamlined. Ask a friend or family member who’s recently been there to come along with you to tell you what you really need and what you really don’t.
· Secure some storage space someplace else. You want your registry to be complete (better to receive it as a gift than to have to buy it later!) but you won’t need everything all at once. Your baby won’t actually sit in the high chair until he’s about 6 months – so if you receive these kind of things as gifts, see if you can store it elsewhere (like your parents’ basement?) until it’s time to use it.
· Plan for organization. Register for a few bins/baskets to hold drugstore essentials and toys. Make sure the ones you choose fit on the furniture you’ve chosen.
· Make some lists ahead of time. There are a lot of people you’ll need to call from the hospital: your pediatrician, the baby nurse, the furniture store, the layette store, the mohel. Have a list of these phone numbers printed out together with your hospital stuff. You can also start getting together your address list for your birth announcements – one less thing to worry about when the baby is here.
Brand New Mom
· Assign jobs. People want to help – let them! Assign friends and family members to supervise the furniture delivery, to pick up (and launder!) your baby’s layette and bedding, to put together the stroller – and anything else you don’t actually want to do yourself!
· Take advantage of your baby nurse. Talk about a veteran! Your baby nurse has been through this MANY times before. She will set up/organize your changing table and get the baby on a schedule that makes sense. Go with it while you’ve got her – but don’t be afraid to speak up if something’s not working for you.
· Again, write it down. You’re blissed out on baby AND you’re sleep deprived – not a recipe for a good memory. Keep a log book detailing your baby’s daily activities – feedings, diaper changes, naps – this will be invaluable when you visit the pediatrician, or when you’re trying to figure out if it’s time to feed from the right side or the left. Print off a stack of Big City Moms’ forms for a ready-made option, or start your own in a plain notebook. Running low on baby lotion? Keep a pad and paper near the changing table jot down shopping list items as you think of them.
· Duplicate. There are certain things you’re going to need while you’re on the go with baby – why not keep a set of these items in the diaper bag permanently? This way, there’s no need to repack every time you leave the house – simply replenish the stock when you’re running low! Got a car? Keep a stash there too!