As I explained in an earlier blog, I have been in the professional organizing business for years. As I’ve helped other people get organized, I’ve realized that there are six things that make a big difference when it comes to New Mamas. Organization hacks are key. The reason organization is so important is because, as Organized Simply says, “If you can’t find it in thirty seconds or less, it’s in the wrong place.” What a correct and inspiring statement this is! And so true for moms just getting the hang of parenthood.
I typically have thirty seconds to find what I need. And nine times out of ten, I can find what I’m searching for because I am organized. In this blog, I’m going to highlight a few of my favorites New Mama hacks that made a world of difference to me. All these hacks are in our New Mama Deck.
Organizing tips to make New Mama life easier:
Trunk Organizer – A Great Car Hack
I drive a small SUV and have installed a Freezen Car trunk organizer that's great for SUV's, trucks, cars, and minivans. Its heavy duty, durable construction, non-skid waterproof bottom is a must! I put it behind the rear seats of my car. What a game changer this is.
A trunk organizer holds everything from changing supplies, toys and clothes, to snacks. I now know where to find everything in my car and can reach for supplies at a moment’s notice. No more digging through piles in the back seat. No more missing items, only to find them stuffed underneath the seat after they’re past their expiration date. Everything is organized. I stock the organizer regularly with whatever items my son needs at the time and use the back trunk area as a changing table. It’s a no brainer and has made a world of difference.
I also get my car washed regularly because it helps retrieve anything that is stuck way under the seat. Ask for car washes as a gift if someone asks what you'd like for your birthday. It takes the stress out of getting in and out of the car with a baby.
I used to worry about where to change my son when I owned a smaller car. I can remember my parents telling me that they used to change us in the trunk of their car before the days of SUV’s. Secretly, I’m not sure that was the best idea, but we survived. How I use the back of my SUV is just the updated version of that. This was particularly important when my son was squirmy at about the age of one. He was so difficult to change then and I was always terrified he would try to escape with a half fastened diaper. It was a trying time. Now that he’s almost three, I put a little potty in that same area so that if we have an emergency potty stop, it’s right there. That is another great tip if you’re in the potty training stage.
Sorting Bins for Clothes
Another great tip I have is to put four bins on his upper closet shelf. The set of 10 storage cubes, (the rest can be used for toys or in another closet) are made of foldable fabric with labels, window cards and come with a pin. They are available in gray which is gender neutral.
I put these at the top of my child’s clothes closet and label them "Too Small," "Keep,” “Donate,” and “Toss.” These four bins make size changes a snap. When I dress my son, I sometimes think he’s grown two sizes overnight. Something that fit well the day before seems that it no longer comes close to buttoning or zipping. Sizes change in the blink of an eye.
Putting these bins at the top of my closet makes for a one, two, three, four sorting system. If something is too small, it's time to either pass it to a friend or let it go. If it's sentimental, after washing I put it in the "Keep" box. "Keep" is for those items that stay close to my heart and are too sentimental to release. If something goes into the “Donate” bin, I know I can take it to donation the next time I go. I just stick whatever is in the donate bin into a plastic bag and off I go to the shelter where I donate. If something is too stained or torn to donate, I put it in the “Toss” bin. I take this to the trash. While sometimes I feel bad that someone else will not use the item, if it’s too worn, chances are someone else will not purchase it at donation.
Plastic Bags Everywhere
Another tip I have is to put bamboo plastic bag roll holders everywhere. This plastic bag holder fits most brands, and measures 11 x 5.2 x 5.2 inches. It works well with Hefty, Glad and other brands. Please note that it does not work with Costco and Sam's large rolls. The bag roller holds 13 gallon, 30 gallon and 33 gallon bags. This product can be mounted to the wall, or placed on a countertop.
When I need to clean up or toss diapers, the plastic bag holder with the appropriate size bag is there. It makes clean up much easier and keeps me from running up and down the stairs a thousand times a day. As it stands right now, my thighs have never been stronger. I believe that my stair training is helping; I just don’t want to be an overachiever in this department.
Baby Brezza – Huge Game Changer
Another item that was a game changer is the Baby Brezza. This product can be purchased on Amazon and on babybrezza.com. It is the most advanced way to make a warm bottle of formula automatically. The Baby Brezza's patented mixing technology mixes formula and water to perfect consistency and works with virtually all formula brands and all bottle brands and sizes. The product is fully customizable in one ounce increments between 2-10 ounces. It has three temperature settings and formula/water or water only dispensing. The product has a 1 year limited warranty on items shipped within the United States. It is BPA-free and UL listed.
When I came home from the hospital, I was running up and down the stairs making and warming bottles in the middle of the night. My son was tiny and typically screaming, I was exhausted, and the stairs were dark. I worried every time I went up and down. Enter the Baby Brezza. The Baby Brezza is like a coffee maker for formula. Instead of making the nightly trek downstairs, I put one on my bathroom counter next to my bedroom. No more running the stairs at night in the dark. No more fear of tripping. No more drips of hot water on my arm from heating up his bottle in the bottle warmer. Instead, I hit a button and voila, instant formula bottle. It’s like magic and changed my life for the rest of his formula days.
Another winner is the dishwasher basket for bottle parts. This Munchkin Deluxe Dishwasher Basket fits dishwashers of all sizes and shapes. Its sturdy catch-all container holds up to four straws and fourteen standard nipples. The basket keeps bottle accessories upright and secure for easy, hassle-free cleaning, and is BPA free. This basic is available in an assortment of colors.
For some reason, when I first became a mom, I thought I had to wash all my son's bottle parts by hand. The soap, the hot water, the rinsing, the drying, sometimes everything was dirty and I needed a bottle. You know the drill. Instead, I purchased a dishwasher basket for the pieces of his bottle, and in they go with the dishwasher cycle. The pieces of the bottle and the bottles themselves are completely sterilized and ready for the next time I need them. The basket is so inexpensive and took so much pressure off me to wash everything by hand. I have more time to myself, which is the name of the game when it comes to New Mama life hacks. Anything that takes stress off, makes life easier, and gives you a little extra “me” space is the best hack of all.
Extra Clothes – Don’t Forget to Watch for Size Changes
Lastly, put extra clothes in your diaper bag and check the sizes regularly. I have seen people dig into their diaper bag to look for a change of clothes, only to realize that their child has outgrown what’s in there. Check every two weeks or so because, as I said, kids change sizes overnight and in the blink of an eye.
New Mama Decks – A Great Gift for Showers or as a Baby Present
For more New Mama hacks, please check out our New Mama Deck prompt cards. They are a great gift for anyone who has recently entered motherhood. The deck of 52 prompts provides tips and tricks for new moms. The New Mama Deck sells for $19.95 and makes a great shower gift or baby present. The deck is filled with ideas in the form of prompts that provide advice without someone looking over your shoulder. There is no better feeling than to learn a new tip or trick that makes taking care of baby and yourself that much easier.