Why is it when you’re family expands the rules of basic math don’t apply?
1+1=2, 2+1=3, 2+2=Explosion!!! Am I right?
Little babies = BIG stuff . Toddlers, bigger kids plus little babies = chaos.
The trick is to do your best to prepare for the explosion of your new arrival before it occurs.
Whether your family is expanding because you’re expecting or adopting it is not something that happens overnight. The truth is, even though you may be exhausted you do have some time to prepare before they arrive at home.
Make the time to sort and purge in the month leading up to your due date. If you have older children and saved their clothes, before the baby comes you should organize everything into categories of same sizes. Purchase clear plastic bins and label them (0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-12 months, 12-18 months, etc.). If the seasons are out of sync, consider donating old clothes in good condition to local consignment, thrift stores or charities. If you think you’re really going to reuse, have items cleaned and accessible so you can get to them when the baby is ready. There’s no use in saving newborn clothes that you can’t find because those first three months are going to be gone before you know it! There’s also no use in having a newborn sized snow suit if your baby is born in the spring or summer.
If you’ve saved and intend to use diapers from your previous children, you should do the same thing. Sort diapers into like sizes and have them accessible as you need them. The newborn diapers aren’t going to do any good once your baby hits 3-6 months. As soon as you no longer need them you should either pack them away for the next go round or donate them to get them out of your space before you forget about them.
Spend a chunk of time reorganizing your kitchen. You are going to need things to be organized and accessible from the get go and you’ll be spending a lot of time washing and grabbing newborn items. Drawers and cabinets will need to be unloaded and reorganized and baby supplies will need to be washed and ready to be put to work. For your own sanity, put like things together and close to the sink. It’s OK to pack up the champagne and margarita glasses to make room for bottles, pacifiers and formula.
It may also be helpful to look at storage areas and items in your home with your adjusted routine in mind. An IKEA cart can be a great tool for transporting all of your baby gear from room to room. It will save you multiple trips around your house if you have all your supplies in one place. (Stocked IKEA cart image from Buzzfeed, “25 Booze-free ways to use a bar cart”).
Try to do as much as you can before hand because once you’re in the thick of new parenthood spaghetti brain and exhaustion will definitely take over. A year from now you won’t want to be asking yourself why you have 500+ newborn diapers that you didn’t need.