Sunday, December 31, 2006

Keeping The Baby Organized

Babies come with lots of stuff. Even if you have requested that people not fill your nursery with stuff, they will do it anyway. Your grandmother will see a perfect little gown and matching blanket (there has to be a matching blanket!). Your mother-in-law will find a cute toy that reminds her of something she once bought your husband. Your friend will swear by a certain diaper pail and get you one, even if you already have another variety. Before you know it, the baby will have more stuff than anyone else in the family, and that does not even count the toys that will start piling in.

Keeping everything organized can be a chore for even the most well put together of parents. Just when you think you have a grip on everything, you will find out that you were wrong. In fact, you probably will find that keeping up with the organizational needs of a baby is a never-ending task. Of course, it does not help that they go through so many outfits and bibs in a day or that they grow so quickly.

Begin now to prepare for keeping your baby organized so that you will be ready to face the challenge when it comes. Start by getting several bins. You can try 15 to 20 gallon plastic tubs. Do not go high-end but get something sturdy. You will use these bins later, but having them handy will be very useful now. As your child grows, you will need to put away the clothes that he can no longer wear. You will use these bins. When he outgrows 0-3 month clothes, put the bin next to your dryer. As you pull out those sizes, fold the clothes and put them away. When you are confident you have gone through all of the 0-3 month items, close the bin, mark the size on the outside, and put it in a storage area.

The next thing you will need to do is to cut down on the number of some items that the baby has. I know. Those bibs are all so cute. How could you ever get rid of them? Trust me. After you have washed them for the umpteenth time, you will know. And here is the reality. You probably will not use bibs all that much. Some people are compulsive about putting bibs on their little ones all the time, but most parents are not.

In the first few months, you will need the little towel-like cloths instead of the bibs anyway. Keep out a few bibs. Try to select a number that makes sense to you. Perhaps you anticipate using two bibs and two cloths per day. Then keep out 14 since you will need to wash them often to keep them from staining. Keep the others in storage (in properly marked bins, of course), or donate them to a local charity if you have the guts.

Limit the number of duplicate items you have. If you are frugal, you probably will not throw that baby lotion away even if it is the seventh bottle you have received. Instead you should return to your bins or assign a place in the pantry for them. Put all of the extras of shampoo, lotion, powder, and other essentials in one spot so that they are not cluttering the nursery but you will be able to get them when you need them. If you are not so frugal, then get rid of them. Make up baskets and take them to a local shelter or donate them to your church. Give them to a friend who runs a daycare. Do anything you want with them but get them out of your house so that they do not take up too much room.

Finally you will need to be sure that everything your baby owns has a place. If it does not, then get rid of it or find a spot before you take it into the nursery. Do not let baby items pile up or you will find that baby never gets to use them, and they frustrate you because they are always in the way when you are in the nursery.

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