I hope you haven't come here thinking these are going to be mind blowing, out of this world never-thought-of tricks! These four things are SUPER SIMPLE (and not genius) but have helped me tremendously! I decided I'd share since us Mamas share some of the same challenges.
1) Create TWO changing stations in your home. Most of us folks in the DFW area have been "blessed" with a two story home. (Apparently, you can squeeze 'em in tighter that way.) In my early days, I thought it would be a GREAT THING to walk up the stairs to change my baby's diaper...you know, get rid of that baby weight. Well, clearly, since G was my first I had no idea JUST HOW MUCH I'd be changing. And let's be honest friends, going up and down stairs after birthing a child IS NOT GOOD. So I used some gifts cards and bought a whole extra set of changing materials.....pad, cover, Diaper Champ, the whole bit...and put it in our bedroom, which is downstairs. This was a HUGE help. Not only for me, but also for our parents who were helping out a lot too. I'm sure the babysitters appreciate it too.
No, it's definitely not the decorative accents I ever envisioned having in my Master Bedroom, but you know ya'll...it's a season. Do what works and makes your day easier. This season will be over in a hot minute and I can fill it with all the breakable pretties that I want for years to come.
2) Create a safe space to leave your baby. I will say that this DID change my world. We went to a birthday party and my friend had a little area gated off for her son. We dropped all the babies inside and I ate my cake with two unencumbered hands. I told my hubby: WE NEED THIS. We went home and immediately started trollin' the house for a space. We have sort of an open floor plan, so I wasn't seeing it. And then it HIT ME. The stairway closet, the black hole of suitcases.
Y'all. I started pulling stuff out like it was ON FIRE. By the end of the day, my little cherub was enjoying his new space!!!!
Of course the first couple times I put him in there, he fussed a little bit. But after a couple minutes, I'd hear him having a ball with his toys! I honestly think it was good for him because it confined him a little to focus and enjoy the toys in front of him. (Otherwise, he's quite literally running around pulling everything out that he sees.) This is such a lifesaver for me. I can take a shower, finish a blog, take a phone call, etc. knowing that he is safe, having fun and not running in between my legs!
Even though he could probably climb over or pull the gate down now, I think he's kinda trained or convinced that it's there to stay and he's supposed to stay inside! So my advice is FIND A SPACE in your house! Clearly, it doesn't have to be big! A closet, the laundry room, guest bath.....it'll change your world!
3) Create a play space in the kitchen. Y'all. How much time do we spend in the kitchen? If it's not serving up one of the 3 meals, it's the 2 snacks in between. LAWD have mercy. When G was in the kitchen with me, he'd pull out my pots, pans, cutting boards, utensils, etc, and then I'd have to wash them all over again. So I spotted this little cabinet beside my stove and had an idea....
I turned it into his very own kitchen cabinet! I got some Melissa and Doug pots and pans,utensils, plush veggies from Ikea and made a trip to the Dollar Tree and let G pick out measuring cups, spoons, and other accessories.
|I even put some popcorn kernals in one of the spice containers so it made lots of noise when he shakes it. Don't worry, I covered the wholes with masking tape!|
Greyson LOVES his little cabinet. When I'm starting on supper, I'll ask him to come in the kitchen and cook it up! I can't tell you how much time he's spent on the floor stirring, shaking and pouring. Definitely is a great imagination activity!
4) Create a cabinet for baby/kid stuff only. This may sound overly obvious and simple, but wow, when I finally did this, it was such a help! I noticed all of his snacks, meds, plates, cups, and utensils were all mixed in with the "grown up" stuff. So when I was making a meal for him, I was going to 5 different cabinets and drawers. This cabinet has everything I need for him. Snacks all in one bin. His medicine in one container. Cups, plates, spoons/forks, bibs and burp clothes. It's a one stop shop! This REALLY helps my hubby, parents, and babysitters when they are taking care of him!
Hope this gave you some ideas! I'd love to hear ANY organization or easy tricks from y'all!