Whether it’s your 1st or 4th child, you need to get your home prepared for a new baby’s arrival. Getting this done before you bring your baby home, will help you be much more relaxed and it will make life a whole lot easier. The tips below will teach you how to organize your house before bringing home the new baby.
Nesting is the term they use when a pregnant woman has the need to clean her entire house in anticipation of a baby coming. This can range from dusting, sterilizing, washing, and scrubbing. It may seem like the job is never done!
What’s also very important is that you will need to create organized spaces to make life easier for yourself. This includes having stations (feeding, diapering, sleeping) set up and rooms organized for convenience. You may still be sore and uncomfortable when you return home from the hospital, so the last thing you’ll want to do is be making unnecessary work for yourself.
I’m a big fan of spending a little more money for convenience sake, especially now with being a mom. Having everything you need at your finger tips makes caring for a newborn a lot less stressful. If you have multiples of your most used items, everything will always be easily accessible. I try to have 2 of everything, if possible, to always have quick access to the things I need.
Since I have 2 floors in my house, I usually have stations set up on our 1st floor and 2nd floor (living room and bedroom), as well as other places throughout my house, car, and even the grandparent’s house. You don’t need high end, expensive items for all of these areas. The newer and better quality items I keep in my living room, since that’s what we use the most, but for my second or third items, I use hand-me-downs, purchase items at garage sales, or get a cheaper version of it.
We still had our house baby proofed and were diaper station-ready for our 14 month old, but we needed to add all the newborn gear once again. Here are my tips and ideas on how I re-organized my home before having the 2nd baby.
Lots of Baskets
I love having baskets as little organizers throughout my house, especially with babies. These are great for the little items you need to grab and it’s so convenient to have items placed all through your house to make them easily accessible. I’ll show you what I put in them through out this post.
I’m such a huge fan of these storage bins and now have 6 of them (jumbo size) around my house. They blend in well with my decor, have an elegant style, and are durable and sturdy enough to hold a variety of items. Most importantly, they have a LID. I was looking all over for storage bins with lids to hide all the clutter and disorganization and these were perfect. I use them for baby toys, toddler toys, shoes, blankets & burp cloths, but the uses are endless. You can even use the smaller sizes as diaper baskets or they can go in the closet for extra storage.
Living Room/Family Room
Portable Play Yard & Diaper Station
It’s great to have a changing station in/near your living room or where you spend the most time. We use the Chicco Lullaby Playard (which I highly recommend) that comes with a changer top and set up a little diaper station there. We have ours in a corner in the dining room, so it’s still easily accessible on our 1st floor. You’ll need changing pad liners for the changer and a diaper genie is also pretty necessary, in my opinion. Don’t forget to stock up on the diaper genie refills too because you will go through those bags very quickly in the beginning- newborns go through 10-12 diapers a day!
In the side pockets of the playard, include: Plenty of newborn or size 1 diapers (you’ll use at least 10 a day), pack of wipes (I love water wipes because they are the most pure and safe for newborns), diaper cream, baby bum brush (makes applying diaper cream much cleaner), extra onesies/sleepers (these zip ups with the zipper at the BOTTOM are all you need for your newborn), burp cloth, lotion/coconut oil, hand sanitizer, and gauze & vasoline (for a boy). If you don’t have enough room in the side pockets, set up a little end table with a basket or storage bin. I have my 14 month old’s diapers in the side pockets so I needed to set up an additional space for the new baby’s diapers. You’ll be well prepared if you have all these items super close.
If you’re nursing, you’ll probably be doing most of that in your living room/family room space. Keep your nursing pillow here for convenience. I love the My Breast Friend Pillow and think it’s the best one out there. I had the Boppy with my first baby and it worked fine, but the My Breast Friend is much better and easier to work with. The Boppy still causes you to slouch down while nursing, leading to an achy back. My Breast Friend has a strap that you can strap the baby up higher while nursing so you don’t have to slouch. It also allows you to walk around while nursing- multitasking is a must for new moms!
Tummy time activity mat
I have a Tummy Time mat set up in our living room (since this is where we spend the most of our time) and also in our bedroom. I have one new mat and another I got as a hand-me-down. Tummy time should start as soon as you bring the baby home form the hospital to start building their core, neck, and arm strength.
Baskets of toys
Newborns will love those plush, brightly colored, squishy toys, and after a month or 2, they’ll even be fascinated by teethers and objects they can grab and put in their mouth. I have a basket of baby toys in my living room, bedroom, and don’t forget about your car! A few you can throw in the diaper bag, but it’s good to have toys to occupy them while they’re in the back seat by themselves, although you won’t need that for a couple months..
Related Post: Must Have Toys for your Newborn
You should have some kind of baby gear in most rooms that you will be in for convenience when you need to put them down. In our living room, we have the Boppy Newborn Lounger on the couch, Swing in our kitchen, Chicco Lullaby Playard in our dining room, and Bouncer in our bedroom. If you only get one thing though, invest in the newborn lounger because it’s the most portable, can be placed on most surfaces, and most babies are very comfortable in it.
Basket of burp cloths, bibs, and blankets
We keep a small bin of burp cloths, blankets, and bibs in our living room for easy access while feeding and holding the baby.
Extra boxes of diapers and wipes
Hopefully you stocked up on diapers on wipes if you found some sales so keep all of this boxes easily accessible. If you have a closet close by, store boxes of diapers, wipes, extra burp cloths, blankets, and bibs there for when you run out at your stations.
Bassinet with Extra Sheets and Swaddles
Next to your bed, you need to set up where baby will sleep. I love this Halo Bassinet that swivels and allows you to push down the side to easily put baby in. It also has convenient pockets on the side where you should store extra bassinet sheets, extra swaddles and burp cloths for those middle of the night changes. If you have a bassinet without pockets, set up a basket on your night stand or even store them in the drawer. You can also add extra onesies or sleeper pajamas in there too.
There’s a good chance that your baby won’t like sleeping on her back on a flat surface like the bassinet. I started my newborn in the bassinet, but he just wasn’t sleeping well, and the Rock & Play changed his sleep patterns drastically! The Rock & Play is safe gear that you can put your baby in for a more sound sleep. It’s a cozy, inclined space that your baby will enjoy more- and you will to! You can use your phone as a remote to make it rock and vibrate! Super hands-free.
Your baby will be in your room for the first few months so you’ll want to set the right sleeping environment for your baby in your room. I love the Dohm Sound Machine. It’s just white noise and not rainforest/ocean sounds so I like it better.
This Humidifier helps relieve congestion which most babies will get in the winter. You’ll want to have this on when baby is sleeping to clear their airways since newborns are prone to get congested.
Diaper changing station
To limit the amount of waking up you have to do in the middle of the night, you may want a small nightstand basket. You don’t need a whole station, but put a couple diapers, wipes, and changing pad liner in there so you can change the baby right on your bed in the middle of the night. Also keep plenty of burp cloths there if your baby is a spitter.
During night time feedings, especially if you’re nursing, you will definitely get thirsty. Keep a couple bottles of water on your nightstand or always bring up a cold glass of water with you before bed to satisfy your thirst in the middle of the night.
Bottle basket station by bed
If you’re planning on bottle or formula feeding, keep some bottles, formula, water bottle, and bottle warmer right by your bed. This will decrease the amount of times you will have to get up in the middle of the night to prepare a bottle.
Have a night light by your bed and the bassinet for those late night feedings and wake ups so you don’t have to put on the bright light and wake the baby even more.. These night lights are great and have a sensor to turn on only when it’s dark. Put one in your hallway, bedroom, bathroom, and nursery.
As listed above in the living room, you’ll want to have these items if you will be spending time in your bedroom:
Tummy time mat
Basket of toys
Small plastic drawer organizer
This drawer organizer is a great option to store all your small pump parts, bottle lids, nipples, breast milk storage bags, adapters, etc. Put this on your kitchen counter near your drying rack for easy storage of these small pieces.
You’ll need a drying rack to dry all your small pieces from the pump and bottles. Don’t forget to sterilize all of these items (just boil them in water) before use. Get this done before the baby comes.
Bottle Brush & Soap
Dr browns is the best one, although you can really heat a bottle on the stove.
You always want to keep your diaper bag packed and ready to go at moments notice. It’s hard enough getting out of the house with an infant, so always prepare your bags for leaving the house beforehand.
Keep the essentials like diapers, wipes, changing pad, diaper cream, burp cloth, extra onesie, extra pacifier, etc. in there. Read my whole post about What to Pack in Your Diaper Bag for more tips and items that should always stay in there.
Ps. I am OBSESSED with this new Freshly Picked Backpack diaper bag I got. It’s a little more expensive than I would have typically spent, but I seriously use it all the time. Your diaper bag will become your purse (I just throw a tiny wallet for my money, keys, and credit card) so you should have something you feel good about. The back pack feature has been more than helpful on multiple occasions to have my hands free.
In each bathroom in your house, you should set up a postpartum kit for yourself. You may not know exactly what you will need because every woman heals differently, but consider including maxi pads, nursing pads, dermoplast spray, tucks pads, ice packs from the hospital, cleansing spray bottle from the hospital, lanolin cream, and hemorrhoid cream. Checkout my post on Essentials for Your Postpartum Survival Kit for everything you should need during recovery.
We actually bathe our baby in the kitchen and place the bathtub on the counter. This is a lot easier on our backs so we don’t have to bend over the tub when they’re still small.
You can do this until they’re about 6 months old and sitting up. After that, I would be afraid of them moving around too much and causing the tub to fall off the counter.
This Summer Infant bath tub is great for the raised height, comfortable incline for a newborn, and the piece that comes out when you just need to give a sponge bath.
We actually leave our tub in the laundry room which is right off the kitchen for convenience to not have to go to the bathroom to get it.
Wash cloths & towel
Have a few extra wash cloths on hand in the same place you store your tube. You shouldn’t use the same wash cloth more than once before washing it.
I love this baby wash because they use only organic, natural ingredients, and I know it’s cleaning my baby well without any harsh chemicals.
Cube storage in your nursery closet is a must. I contemplated installing shelves instead, but these cubes offer so much more space. In the bins I put blankets, sheets, extra diapers/wipes, swaddles, shoes, socks, extra toys, and everything else that doesn’t go in the drawers and needs to be put in a box. You don’t need a bin for every cube because in those empty spots you can put books, more blankets, or keepsakes that you want to be shown.
Target has a huge selection of all shapes and sizes of cubes for your closet. Make sure you measure the dimensions precisely because my cubes JUST fit in there, but I wanted to maximize the amount of storage I had, that’s why I used a 3×3 cube. Also, make sure you get the matching bins for what cube set you get because they are all different sizes.
You also may want to use closet dividers to separate your baby clothes by months. It makes it easier to see exactly which clothes you should be using at that time.
The tiny newborn clothes take up very little space in your drawers so you can fit a ton in there. The BEST way to store clothes in a drawer is by rolling them (I organize all my drawers this way as well). This way you can see every item in your drawer instead of when you stack, you can only see whats on top. You can also do 2 layers if needed.
Baby monitor with video & shelf
I highly recommended to Wyze Camera to use as your baby monitor. It’s not marketed as one, but we got it for our second baby and wish we had it for our first. It has great quality video and WIFI so you can see the baby when you’re out of the house.
With the Wyze Camera you can get the video feed right through your phone so if you’re at work or on a date night, you can still check on your baby. It does everything that a regular monitor can do, you just have to use your phone for it. You really can’t beat it for the price either- only $38! A baby monitor with WIFI will cost you over $200. I also found that I always had my phone on me, but not the video screen monitor so it’s much more convenient.
You should also use a VuSee Monitor Shelf so you can put the monitor up higher and get a full view of the crib. We used to attach the monitor to the crib, but once our baby started sitting up and reaching for things, she would pull it right down.
Diaper changing station
Changing pad, Changing pad cover, & changing pad liners– To maximize space, you don’t need a changing table, use a regular dresser and place a changing pad on top, with a cover, and changing pad liners so you’re not always changing the cover if there’s a blow out or mess.
Diaper organizer/basket– You’ll need some kind of diaper organizer for all your diaper stuff. This storage basket can hold everything you need. Be sure to include: plenty of newborn or size 1 diapers (you’ll use at least 10 a day), pack of wipes (I love water wipes because they are the most pure and safe for newborns), diaper cream, baby bum brush (makes applying diaper cream much cleaner), extra onesies/sleepers, burp cloth, lotion/coconut oil, hand sanitizer, nail clipper, and gauze & vasoline (for a boy).
For the massive amount of diapers you’ll go through. Don’t forget to buy some extra refills because you go through them quickly (especially since you’ll be changing 10+ diapers a day when they’re newborns.
You’ll need a mattress, waterproof mattress cover, and 2 sheets. I recommend the Kolcraft Pure Sleep Mattress. You don’t have to spend a fortune on a mattress and this one is nice and firm and fits great. You won’t be using this right away so it’s not necessary to set up, but you may want to get a head start.
Touch light and night lights
These adjustable night lights are great to put on the dresser next to the diaper changing station and you can adjust the brightness on your own. These are great for the middle of the night or even during the bedtime routine later on if you don’t have a small lamp and don’t want to completely wake up your baby. Regular night lights are also great to have in there and in the hallway.
Related Post: How to Financially Prepare for a New Baby
Related Post: Best Newborn Toys For Development & Stimulation
Related Post: The Ultimate Baby Registry Guide