Editor’s Note: Today the lovely and ever-organized Arran Kerrigan drops by to give us the scoop on getting the nursery organized.
I sure could have used this advice the first time around. I’m still looking for that pair of Canucks Robeez that disappeared about six weeks after the tiny person was born.
Organization is something I could get a degree in and still be lousy at:)
Here’s Arran. The photos of the awesome room here are from Melinda Black.
As you prepare for the arrival of a new and wonderful person in your home it is important to accept that your home will change significantly.
A brand new person with their own personality and interests is coming to live with you.
Life is going to be much busier and things may get messy and untidy.
The key when thinking about it all: quick clean, easy tidy.
Here are some easy tips to get you thinking about your space, your baby and yourself when it comes to setting up the nursery and your house for a wee one.
Think cozy: set up the furniture and spend some time in the room before your baby arrives. This will give you a chance to see if the space is comfortable or awkward, and make any necessary changes.
Think essentials: stock up on diapers, wipes, laundry detergent and breast pads.
Think comfort: when nursing, a comfortable chair, a table for water, a lamp, nursing blankets and wash cloths are key.
Think convenience: if you are using cloth and disposable diapers you will need a garbage pail and a diaper pail next to the change table. Also, having two laundry baskets is a wonderful thing: one for dirty clothes and one for the clean clothes that haven’t been folded yet. We use one from IKEA that folds down when it is empty and tucks under the change table.
Think room to grow: Be prepared for all the gifts and clothes that you will receive and make space for them before baby arrives. Sort through the clothes looking at the weight sizes (rather than the age) and arrange them into piles such as newborn, 2-6 months, 6-12 months and 12 months +. Store them in baskets under the crib and go through them once a month to see what your baby has grown into.
Think making space: Clean and store only the clothes you want to keep. Take the others to a consignment store or charity shop as your wee one grows out of them.
Think ahead: Double your meals you make in the last trimester of your pregnancy and freeze the leftovers. Preparing meals in advance means that you can spend more time with your baby and your partner. Many women ask for home-made freezer meals rather than gifts at their baby shower – especially if it is their second baby and they are already well stocked with ‘baby stuff’.
This works great as well once baby arrives. Try doubling your salads and dress them on the plate so that you can have fresh vegetable leftovers for a few days. Cutting up batches of veggie sticks and fruit salad is also a great way to eat well when you are busy with baby.
Think preparedness: Read and talk to others about the first few months of baby’s development. A lot of new mums read about their pregnancy, but don’t delve into life with baby on the outside. There are a lot of books out there with information on parenting styles and it can feel overwhelming. Talk to friends or mums whose parenting skills you admire and ask if they have a book recommendation. Find what works best for you and your family.
Think Quality Time: Treat yourself to time with your partner, your friends and yourself. Everyone will tell you this and it is one piece of advice that is well worth listening to.
Think support: The Comox Valley has a number of support groups for nursing mums and there are quite a few lactation consultants here as well. You will be spending a lot of time feeding in the beginning so it is important to have a number of comfortable places to breastfeed. If you are planning on pumping from time to time it is good to have a few bottles, nipples and a pump to suit your needs. Electric pumps are excellent.
Think easy organization: Baskets and boxes will make tidying up as simple as scoop and drop. Pay attention to where clutter gathers and put a basket there. A bunch of toys in a basket looks sweet, but for items that you want to hide away it is better to find a box or lidded basket.
If your entryway is strewn with keys, diaper bag, jackets, shoes and mail, be sure to have a receptacle for everything. A decorative bowl can be great for keys and mail, and a box or hooks can ‘catch’ the larger items until you head out again.
If you have a lot of stuffed toys you can add visual interest to a room and save space by installing a floor to ceiling tension rod and wrapping the rod in velcro. Stick the plush toys to the rod and rotate the top toys occasionally to surprise baby with ‘new’ toys.
Enjoy the new person you have in your home and don’t beat yourself up if things get disorganized.
As your baby grows, your organizing needs will change. Just when you think you have it all worked out, your baby will progress to the next stage and you will have to tweak the systems you have in place.
Enjoy the process – it means your baby is growing and learning!
Think Safety: I would recommend finding a good book on the subject or reading articles such as this one: www.askdrsears.com/html/6/t060600.asp. The important thing is to find a level of safety that works for you and your family.
Photos courtesy of Melinda Black, copyright 2009