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You probably already know that the parenting community talks about everything you’ll “need” when a new baby arrives. Whether you are planning for your first child or sixth, moms always have opinions on what made their lives easier when their little baby Joey was born.
But here’s the thing: what worked for one mom may not work for you, and a lot of the items that we suggest to add to a baby registry really aren’t all that necessary.
When you become a new mom you’re going to want to do things as efficiently as possible so that you have time to rest and snuggle your little squish. And some of the items that will help you get there aren’t marketed as “baby items” at all. Here are the 8 most practical items you need to stay organized with a baby:
1-) A backpack
When I was in college I backpacked through nine countries, and whenever anyone asks me for travel advice this is what I always tell them:
Travel with a backpack because it keeps your hands free.
And this advice, my friends, goes for having little ones too. You will need your hands free as much as possible. Trust me.
Those super adorable diaper bags may be tempting, but I promise you that having a bag that goes on your back is much easier to handle than something that goes over your shoulder. Some people will tell you that you need to have a bag with plastic lining for messes, but in reality you’re going to want to keep messes more contained than that anyway. Just keep a few plastic bags and old rags in your backpack for that.
For daily use I’m a huge fan of the Swiss Gear backpacks. They are built to last and have plenty of pockets to keep all your supplies organized. Some of them (such as the backpack I use) are also TSA certified, which is super useful when you’re trying to travel with little ones and like to carry a computer.
2-) Drawer organizers
Little babies come with lots of little accoutrements, and if you want to avoid looking for the last remaining clean bottle nipple for a half hour while the baby is losing his/her mind, I strongly recommend you take the time to organize drawers and cabinets that contain baby supplies. A basic drawer organizer like this will help significantly. However, if you have awkward drawers or want more control over your space a substantial drawer organizer may work better for you.
And don’t limit yourself to organizers for your kitchen drawers and cabinets! Drawer organizers for dressers make finding those little baby clothes much easier to sort through!
3-) Several diaper organizers
One of the smartest decisions I made as a first-time mom was to have mini diapering stations all around our home. You don’t need a fancy organizer for this…simple organizers like these adorable baskets will do. In addition to diapering supplies I liked to keep supplies such as burp cloths and breast pads in them. This way if I found myself in a mess I never had to go far to clean it up. Seriously, it was a huge stress buster!
4-) Toy bins
I always joke that the smaller the kid the more space they take up. For reals people…Little Grasshopper owned more belongings than I did even before he was born.
I talk in depth about keeping toy clutter under control in my post 9 Tips to Keep Toys from Taking Over Your House, but if you have the chance I strongly recommend having a toy organization system before toy clutter becomes an issue. If you’re looking for something simple then this organizer would be perfect for little toys and is simple to assemble. Alternatively a classic cube organizer makes for an easy solution to any space!
If toy clutter is already an issue for you, the Toy Detox is also a great course to help you out!
5-) Pacifier clips
Y’all…pacifiers have a magic way of disappearing. So what would a list of the most practical items you need to stay organized with a baby be without these little clips …they attach to the pacifier and your baby simultaneously are an ingenious invention that every mom of a pacifier-using infant should have. Literally, you could save yourself hours of time with this small investment!
6-) Closet organizers
Children’s closets can require more detailed organization systems than adult closets because they have more categories of “stuff” than we do. For example, they’ll often end up with multiple boxes of diapers, clothes that they need to grow into, clothes that they have grown out of, hand-me-downs, cute accessories, toys, and more.
And because kids’ rooms often have smaller closets than master bedrooms, we’re going to need to get more creative with dealing with the large variety of items that their closets hold.
You don’t need to spend a huge amount of money on this. We bought a simple closet organizer like this one when we first moved into our condo and it has worked out great!
7-) A good tracking app
When your baby is little you’ll probably be asked to keep track of how many times daily your baby is feeding every day and wetting their diapers. And let me tell you upfront that keeping track of 8-12 feedings a day plus diaper changes when you’re sleep deprived is just not going to happen if you don’t record it somewhere. Fortunately, there are plenty of apps that will do the job for you…you just have to download one!
8- ) A remote control organizer
I saved the best for last! When you have an infant you will be spending hours and hours in bed or on the couch feeding your baby. And I’m pretty sure there’s no first world problem quite so bad as feeding your baby to sleep in your arms on the couch and realizing that the TV remote is stuck in the cushion on the opposite side…the horrors!
So I suggest you buy one of these inexpensive remote organizers to solve this unthinkable problem. Although these remote organizers aren’t always the most attractive, they are super useful when you need to continue binge watching your latest Netflix obsession and don’t want to disturb the baby! Aaaand if you’re one of the lucky people who don’t need three remotes to control your TV setup, may I also recommend that you stash some snacks in there? You’ll definitely get hungry, especially if you’re breastfeeding!
That’s my list of the 8 most practical items you need to stay organized with a baby. What helped you stay organized as a new mom? Let us know in the comments below!