As parents, we want the very best for our babies — the best food, best toys, best education, the best everything. We dream about our little ones’ futures and even methodically plan out every stage of their lives, from infancy to adulthood (sometimes we can get a little too involved after that too!).
Sometimes, due to our overexcitement and carelessness, we do not take the time to adequately prepare the one place where our babies will spend the most time growing up: our homes.
Not only do babies take up a lot of our time, their wants and needs take over large areas of our house causing us to scamper around, looking for extra baby formula, a teething ring, or a fresh diaper.
The importance of preparing and organizing our homes for our toddlers is severely underestimated, and, in the end, only adds to the stresses and pressures of parenting.
The process of setting up everything for our babies does not have to be a difficult experience. It’s basically organizing the areas of our home to maximize space and decluttering potential hazards. If this sounds familiar to you at all, it’s because preparing the home for our babies is sticking to the all-around fundamentals of good organization such as getting rid of things that we don’t need, coordinating items by a characteristic, etc.
Let’s take the entryway of our homes for example. If you’re the type of person who frequently goes out with your toddler, a system for storing essential travel gear and outerwear can assist you and your baby out faster.
A closet in the entryway is a good starting point. Dedicate the top section of your closet to storing heavy items such as diaper bags and the portable high chair. Hook your baby stroller over the door. Create sections for your baby’s hats, coats, gloves.
Now let’s take it up a notch. Do you have a mudroom in your home? Use it. Use it more than you ever have before. It can be the perfect spot to store snowsuits, baby carriers, rain boots, extra strollers, and buntings.
Lastly, for travel items such as strollers or portable cribs, create a multi-shelf storage rack close to the family car for easy access. No sense in breaking your back hauling these items to and fro.
A baby grows by eating (duh), and your little one will eat, eat more, cry, and then continue eating. One can easily imagine the number of bowls, Sippy cups, spoons, forks, and bottles that can bombard you if you’re not prepared.
The kitchen should be well stocked and organized. First off, baby formula and jars of baby food should be stored in an entirely empty cabinet dedicated to these two items. Why? Because it provides easy access, looks nice, and minimalizes the chances of the jars breaking.
Baby bottles shouldn’t be on the dish rack, rather they should be aired out in an entirely separate area. An adjustable hanging metal bin/rack is recommended.
Most importantly, baby items tend to go missing among the other tableware. Therefore, it’s imperative that baby utensils are put into their own separate drawer or cabinet. After your baby reaches an older age, relocate those items to an easy-to-reach area.
Babies go through a lot of clothes, and keeping track of items that can be as small as credit cards is incredibly problematic. Here’s how you go about taking care your baby’s garments.
To start, baby shoes are small, so they can be put into small/tight areas. You could really give your baby’s room some extra flair by displaying those shoes as a piece of room décor. Why not showcase the little one’s kicks like adult glam rooms?
A drawer is going to be a huge help in keeping your baby’s accessories organized. You could divide that drawer up into mini sections for storing your baby’s little mittens, socks, hats, and socks.
Finally, for your toddler’s main outfits, grouping each piece by size is ideal. For example, hang and fold clothes that are for 0-3 month olds. The rest of the clothes should be stored away neatly in laundry or vacuum bags that are properly labeled. Once your baby grows out a piece of clothing, put it in a container and store it away in a corner of your closet. If you’re feeling generous, donate them away – that is, unless you plan on having another kid or you’re expecting your current one to shrink sometime in the future.
There’s just one last thing to take care of, and that would be your baby’s toys and books. A baby’s toys and books will scatter around your house like wildfire in a heartbeat, so being prepared to take on this inevitably is a must.
If you don’t want your house to look like a children’s nursery room, store your child’s playthings in your “adult” furniture. An entertainment center can have all the nooks and crannies for storing nicely organized and labeled containers filled with toys. Ottomans are another option that can keep your kid’s playthings together and, best of all, out of sight.
To have less clutter, utilize two containers. Put out one container and keep the other one stored. Replacing a container with another one after a certain period of time can keep the toys seeming fresh and keep your baby’s mind curious and interested.
The most important thing regarding your baby’s toys and books is to know when to let go. If you see that your baby is just completely ignoring or neglecting a piece, donate or recycle it immediately. Craigslist.com is a great place for this kind of thing.
Remember, in the end, your baby is ultimately part of the family. Think of them when considering room design, and accommodate their growing state. If you take the time to do so, you’ll find your job as a parent easier, and perhaps even more rewarding, find your baby happier and better taken care of.