We all know that along with the baby comes the stuff. And it’s a lot of stuff.
But you don’t have to be one of those moms drowning in diapers and butt cream. You CAN have a clutter-free home and a newborn at the SAME TIME.
It’s possible. Trust me.
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1. STICK to the ESSENTIALS
You don’t need bottle or wipe warmers, and you don’t need a swing AND a Mamaroo AND a rock-n-play. If you want to eliminate clutter, avoid multiple items on your list aimed at serving the same purpose. Find a minimalist or budget-friendly registry list, like this one or this one, and stick to it.
And pick essential items with multiple functions or longevity. I wanted to register for the Halo Bassinest, but it was: a) too expensive, and b) was too small to last as baby grew. And maybe you don’t even buy a crib, but instead use the pack-n-play once baby has outgrown the bassinet.
2. Limit the big stuff
Baby stuff takes up space. A lot of space. That jumperoo might look like a fun and perfect place for baby to play in, but it is just be another big bulky item to move out of the way as you try to vacuum the living room.
As for those items that aim to rock, bounce, swing, or glide baby to sleep…don’t buy these just yet. The truth is, you really don’t know what you’ll need until baby is here…because you don’t know yet what baby will like.
For these sleep-inducing contraptions I recommend borrowing or buying on consignment. Babies are not one-size-fits-all. Your baby is unique, and you’ll reduce clutter (as well as save money) if you borrow these items in the beginning and test out what is best your little one.
3. Use the Caddy System
Grab a basket or a bin to organize your baby essentials. Carry this basket with you, or heck make two (or 3!) to place around the house when you need them. I love the idea of using storage containers that can function as design pieces in your home THAT ALSO contain the clutter.
You’ll also probably need a caddy basket just for your postpartum essentials too. I went with a good ol’ fashioned cleaning supplies caddy. It did the job.
No matter what baskets or bins you choose, you’ll be happier if they are something you can carry with you from room to room…You never know where you’re going to need to change a diaper!
4. Use Your Walls
If you want to stick to one designated spot for diaper changing, that’s fine too. There are some awesome ideas on how to make your walls work for you:
5. Don’t Buy Bottles…Yet
It would be nice if your baby loved the 64-piece deluxe bottle set you got. But chances are she won’t.
You will probably need to try out a few different bottle types before you settle on one you both like. Buy a couple brands (to start – Dr. Brown’s blue inserts, 4 oz narrow, Tommy Tippees and Philip’s Avent), test them out, then buy a few more of the one that was the biggest hit.
And this is also true when it comes to pacifiers. Try out a couple and see what works (a.k.a stays in baby’s mouth easiest) and buy more that are similar (we liked glow-in-the-dark MAMs).
Just a heads up on pacifiers: you will probably lose half of them right away and have to buy more…and for the next year you will finding these in God Knows Where.
6. Set up a Pump parts/Bottle Storage Station
If your milk supply doesn’t come in right away, if your baby is have difficulties nursing, or if you decided to feed baby formula instead – you are probably washing A LOT of bottles and/or pump parts. Sometimes I felt like I was spending all the time I wasn’t only Squiggles just scrubbing away.
And there were SO. MANY. PARTS.
Inserts, caps, nipples, bottles, lids, flanges. It was hard to keep these all need and organized. We came up with a solution and it made me instantly relaxed. Use a plastic 3-shelf organize like this to save space and stay organized. No more stress over the bottle clutter.
7. Do a Toy Rotation
In the beginning there are only a few toys – like mirrors and rings and the baby gym. Now that she’s 9 months, crawling all over and taking her first steps, I have toys scattered consistently across my living room.
And it’s about this time when they start to need some variety…
But instead of buying new toys, opt for toy rotation.
Divide up the toys and group them in a few containers (here come those lovely dual-purpose baskets and bins again!). Each day or every few days change up the container you set out for baby to play with.
If they’re at an age where they can grab the toy out of the container – even better! Toy discovery is a great development activity.
Do you have additional ways to avoid the baby clutter? Share your comments below!