Okay, I admit it: I don’t have any children. I did bring home a new puppy once, but I’m told it’s quite a different thing to bringing a human baby into the home. But I DO have a lot of friends and relatives who’ve had babies, and . . . I feel your panic. So, I scouted around and found some organizing tips that I hope will help make things go more smoothly for you. These are all basic things you can set up so they’re ready before you bring the baby home.
1. Start Now
An infant takes a lot of time and energy – maybe all of it. So get your home organized before the baby arrives. And remember: Babies don’t know the due date; many of them arrive ahead of schedule.
2. Have diaper bag will . . .
Get a diaper bag with lots of compartments. Stock those compartments with diapers, wipes, and ointment, an extra outfit and blanket, and some feeding supplies and snacks for yourself.
3. Baby Books
You’ve probably already gotten a baby how-to book (I hope), so keep it handy with a notebook and pen. You’ll also want a memory book for your baby; keep it easily accessible, too, so you can add to it when you’ve got a minute or two (See #1 and babies and time).
4. A Baby’s Gotta Eat
If you’ve decided to nurse, keep a bag with the basics (pillow, blanket, water, and cloth) easily accessible. Even if you aren’t nursing, you’ll need to set up a feeding system to keep things simple and on track.
5. A Running List
I love lists for anything and everything, but you’re really going to need one (if not more) now. You’re going to busy and distracted, so make it easy on yourself and keep a notepad handy. Make notes of things you need, errands that need to be run, just everything. Not only will this help you remember what to do, it will help you know what to delegate when someone offers to help.
And, Finally, Give Yourself a Break
You’ve had a baby! And now you have a baby! Your hands are pretty full.
I had two friends who had babies around the same time. When I called one, she was despairing because she hadn’t gotten around to the canning yet. The other one hadn’t managed to find time to comb her hair for several days.
People differ; don’t judge yourself by others’ standards. Give yourself a break and decide just how organized you need to be, what you can and need to do. Consider relaxing your standards for a while. Deal with the basics like laundry and meals, but focus on the baby. The other stuff will keep.