If you're expecting for the first time, you may be wondering how one tiny infant can require so much stuff! We've got some ideas that might help.
Sure, things are bound to get a little messy (okay, very messy) once your little one arrives, but if you have items in place to help keep the nursery in order, clean—up time will be a breeze, which amounts to more quality time with baby.
Organize the closet
It begins with organization and making good use of all the space in your nursery. There are many great products available that are functional pieces for the nursery and also provide extra storage space.
Take a look at the functionality of the baby's future closet. You want to make sure you can utilize the entire space, no matter how big or small. Are there plenty of hanging racks, shelves and even drawers? If not, there are many closet storage additions available at places like Target, Home Depot and Lowe's that you can add into your existing closet space without a total renovation. ClosetMaid makes some affordable pieces that you can install yourself or simply fit into and around your existing closet layout.
Finding storage space
Let's face it: The crib takes up a lot of room in the nursery. But it also comes with a perk — hidden storage space underneath. Jessica Stone, mom to three-month-old Tyler, swears by her crib trundle, which slides underneath the crib. It is ideal for storing extra items that you don't use every day. You can even just use some plastic storage bins, such as those sold by Rubbermaid, in How To Buy Newborn Clothes which to store some non-essentials.
The Munchkin diaper change organizer is a great help when you're changing baby. With eight pockets for diapers, wipes, creams, powders, etc., having this little number by your side when you're changing baby will make the process go a lot smoother, and it frees up the extra shelves and drawers in the diaper changer for other items.
Toy chests can make quick work of organizing the myriad of playthings your little one is sure to accumulate, but they can often be bulky and take up quite a bit of space. If your nursery doesn't allow room for a toy box, consider a toy bag that can be affixed to the diaper changer. Allison Handler, mom of two, hangs several cute ones on the wall that serve as functional decor. The best part is, you can't tell what's in there, so Allison even tucks clothes and extra diapers in them.
Organize the bathroom
Bath time for little ones is a lot more fun with toys, bubbles and don't forget rubber ducky! But that can crowd the bath for other members of the family. Enter Secure Baby's bath-time corner organizer, a mesh bag with different compartments that attach via suction cup to bath and shower walls. Voila — you've got bath time all cleaned up!
One last tip — keep in mind that less sometimes really is more. Be realistic about what you and your baby will actually need and use. Just because there are a million baby products available today doesn't mean you need all of them. Keep your registry list simple, stick to the basics and discover what you might need and use as your baby grows. Just think of all the extra room you'll have to play!
By: Molly Cerreta Smith
An article from SHEKNOWS.COM.
Nursery preparation can seem daunting: where do you begin? Here are a few smart steps to get you started.
One size does not fit all
When it comes time to plan for your baby's nursery, don't just hit the shops until you have a plan. A smart plan emphasizes safety and convenience, facilitates organization, and can save you both time and money. Put first things — like safety — first.
As you purchase furnishings for your nursery, remember that little hands like to explore. Cracks, crevices, holes, and slots are there for prodding — virtually nothing is off-limits in the mind of a child. Think safety first when making your wish list for furniture, bedding, and accessories.
Hand-me-down cribs and changing tables initially save on expenses, as long as you make sure they are safe. If the slats on the crib are not up to code, a child could get his head or arm stuck between them and get hurt.
Also remember that gliders can pinch curious fingers, rockers can smash fingers and toes, and flimsy shelves can fall onto baby as she is trying to stand or walk. Toy chests provide storage and additional seating when closed. However, they can injure or even trap a child if not equipped with a special safety hinge that remains open until closed by an adult.
Nursery storage is not limited to the traditional changing table or decorative wooden shelves.
• Provide additional storage for your child's growing wardrobe by installing a customized closet organizer in the nursery closet.
• If you relocate frequently or don't want to install a permanent unit, hang a three tiered crate over the dowel rod in the closet.
• If you have limited wall space, move baby's chest of drawers into the closet to increase floor space. Or invest in a heavy-duty bookcase made from plastic to store toys, clothes and out-of-season clothing in your closet.
• Use under-bed storage to store baby clothes that are out of season, too big or outgrown. Keep an extra one on hand for outgrown clothes, then take to your favorite charity, resale shop, or hand down to relatives when full.
• Make a home for all those treasures you will want to keep for years to come. Photographs, baby's footprints, and other memories can be stored in a box under baby's bed, filed on a regular basis.
• Don't forget the little things in life, because they truly do multiply. Rattles, teethers, socks, mittens and anything with small parts will take over the living areas in your home if you don't contain them from the very start. Clear plastic shoeboxes hold all types of small items for baby. Invest in boxes with good-fitting lids so that you don't have frequent spills on the nursery floor. Plastic boxes with hinged lids carry blocks, locking rings, and bath toys for an active child.
• Corral the plethora of stuffed animals you will quickly accrue by hanging a toy hammock in the child's room, or use a doll playpen. If you would like to store toys that are not frequently used, wrap a tension rod or dowel with Velcro, then wedge it between floor and ceiling. The furry toys stick to the Velcro, adding height and dimension to your room.
Ages and stages
Bear in mind that your baby will not stay little for long. Your newborn will quickly outgrow a bassinet, so if you don't have room for one, consider using a Moses basket or heavy-duty stroller. Both are small, easily stored and portable.
• Try to stay a step ahead of your baby's exploration by baby proofing before he arrives home from the hospital. You are never completely prepared for crawling, pulling up, sitting or walking. Each baby develops at a different rate, and although your baby is not sitting up yet, he soon will be. Maybe he'll be a roller and will roll into a fan or humidifier on the nursery floor. Be prepared for anything by organizing in advance for safety. You'll soon be so busy with the daily routine of feeding, bathing and cuddling your baby that these milestones will creep up on you when you least expect it.
• Once baby begins to crawl and pull up, you will probably want to move stacked clothes and toiletries from the changing table to a closet or high ledge where they can't be rearranged by your little decorator. Convert the changing table to a toy shelf. Remove the changing pad after your child grows too big, securing the straps underneath. You now have additional shelving for toys or stuffed animals.
• Nurture your child's need for independence by hanging a second clothes rod in the nursery closet (or use a hanging crate as described above). This allows toddlers to help decide what to wear, reducing the temptation to climb and reach favorite outfits.
• Storing toys in plastic tubs eliminates clutter, but it also teaches your child to pick up on a regular basis. Tape or glue colorful pictures or stickers to describe the contents within. Baby will have fun matching, and it teaches early math and language skills.
• Purchase a set of colorful stacking bins. Use in a single layer when baby is small, then stack two and three high as she grows. Keep them in the kitchen, by the phone, in the living room and bathroom. They're practically indestructible and grow with the needs of your baby.
Planning for the arrival of your first baby can be fun, creative and practical. Be as frivolous or frugal as you like, and still be well-organized. Plan, shop, and plan some more. Remember that you can always change your system at any time when it stops working for you and your child.
Keep an eye out for creative uses of wicker baskets, baby wipe containers and other things to contain the clutter in your nursery. No matter how much you organize it, you'll find that it mysteriously multiplies, taking over your entire house. But don't worry — by that time, you'll be so enchanted by your little one that you won't mind at all.
You will grow with the flow of things, adapting your standards to focus on more important things, like rocking, singing, bathing, and catching stolen moments with your baby.
By: Debbie Williams
An article from SHEKNOWS.COM.