No matter if you started out your adult life as the organization expert, or you had a bit more of a go-with-the-flow lifestyle before Baby came along, their arrival is bound to complicate some of your habits just at the point when they are counting on you to hold things together. Keeping organized with a baby on board can be tricky, and not everything is going to go right all the time, no matter how careful you are. However, as long as you’re trying, and you hold on to your sense of humor when something unexpected comes up, you and Baby will be just fine.
Lists ‘r’ us
Between the new, tiny person in your life, and the fact that everyone who was already in your life wants to know all about them, you may not have had the chance to really catch your breath and regroup since Baby was born. This is where lists are your friends. Lists can track the people you’ve been meaning to call back, the stops you need to make on your errand trip, the dates of Baby’s doctor’s appointments, and just about anything else that comes up. A lot of the things that you’re used to trusting your memory for can feel sort of slippery and hard to hold in your mind when you’re figuring out how to look after Baby, usually on not nearly enough sleep. Some parents feel like old-fashioned, pen-and-paper lists help them put their thoughts in order (and they’re so satisfying when you can check things off of them!) while others go for the convenience of keeping them on their phones.
Baby isn’t the only one who benefits from a routine! Even when you’re fairly flexible about it, having a basic template for the timeline of your days-in-the-life with Baby makes it easier to budget your time, which is important now that everything you do has to fit around Baby’s eating-sleeping-pooping schedule, and everything you do seems to take anywhere from five to fifty-five minutes longer than it should. If putting things you’ll need in the near future, like baby lotion, diapers, or the spare bottle nipples, into a list where you’ll remember them makes it into your routine, that’s even better!
In terms of your organizational layout, that is. Just because you set up the nursery a certain way before Baby came along doesn’t mean you have to stick with that layout until they are ready for a tricycle. Maybe you stocked the most convenient drawers in the dresser with adorable outfits that match down to the color-coordinated socks, but Baby hasn’t worn anything but plain onesies and the same striped hat all week – don’t feel bad about moving the complicated outfits into a storage bin for a little while and using the space for something more useful!
If you’ve got a range of different outfits for Baby at different ages held in reserve somewhere in that dresser or closet, it helps to sort them by size. Baby doesn’t stay any of those sizes for very long, and it’s no fun to open a little-used drawer to find the cutest little pair of overalls – once Baby is a week and a half too big and strong for them. For expenses you know are going to crop up again and again, like diapers, baby wipes and other toiletries, big companies like Target or The Honest Company offer subscription services that could cut down on the need for last-minute dashes to the store.
Traveling even so far as two blocks over with Baby can feel like an epic journey, but sometimes making spur-of-the-moment trips is unavoidable. If you’ve got a fully stocked diaper bag ready to go stored somewhere in the neighborhood of your front door, though, you can make life infinitely easier on yourself for anything from an emergency to a last-minute evening out on the town.