As a new mom, I was clueless. Like I’ve mentioned before, my husband and I focused a lot of the last few years on trying to become pregnant and keeping healthy pregnancies. And although we were very ready to start a family, we didn’t know what we didn’t know. Once I started to feel better post-birth, I realized that I needed and wanted to be more efficient. I’m a planner, and I feel best when I’m ahead of the game. Here are some of my go-to organizing mom hacks for the first year of your baby’s life:
Utilize your mornings and evenings: Even once our daughter began sleeping through the night, I still woke up early. So I figured why not continue the trend so I could have some time to myself before everyone else got up. Trying to squeeze in workouts or meditations while she’s around is just not possible.
Every evening, I set out what I need for the next morning. I set out my clothes, fill my water bottle with water and fresh lemon (great for hydration first thing in the morning!), pick out my workout, and set out my AirPods and journal.
Morning of, here’s what my routine looks like:
5:45: alarm goes off
5:55: up and out of bed; change
6:00: meditate; drink lemon water
6:45: journal/gratitude practice
7:00: coffee; bottle prep; off to the races
This routine allows me to start my day with more energy and less anxiety, and I’ve realized I’m able to give more to my family when I stick to it consistently.
Prep bottles and food ahead of time: Prepping milk and meals prior to actually needing them has been a gamechanger. When my daughter was little, I’d prep all of her bottles at the beginning of the day. For those middle of the night feedings, we’d bring everything we needed for pumping and bottle feeds upstairs with us—and a cooler to store the milk. Not having to go downstairs was the key to more sleep! (and less strain on my body post-C-section).
Now, I prep Amelia’s meals whenever I’m in the kitchen and have a few extra minutes. If I’m already chopping food, I’ll go ahead and pre-portion out future meals for her. If she’s eating the meal that day, I’ll put it on a plate so I can easily pop it in the microwave. Having everything ready to go is always easier than trying to prep a meal while your child is clinging onto your legs. Not to mention, I don’t stress as much when things come up, since I know she already has something prepped.
Get organized for bath and bedtime: Bath time can be pretty stressful, especially in the newborn stage. Thank goodness my mom was with us for our first at-home bath, because she taught me to lay out everything you need before starting the process. That means, towels, washcloths, nighttime diaper, soap, brush – everything! I still do this with bath time essentials and also any bedtime essentials like her sleep sack, paci and lovies.
Take control of the diaper bag: If you’re like me, you have a love-hate relationship with the diaper bag. All those pockets are great, but you can’t ever find anything you actually need, and it seems like there are always crushed snacks or spilled milk at the bottom. My rule of thumb? Pack only what you need, and reload it after every outing.
I use Ziploc bags to keep things like snacks, pouches, extra clothes and pacis organized. Once we’re home from an outing (or usually later that evening), I’ll take everything out and asses what needs to be restocked. I wipe down any spills or crumbs and I load it back up so it’s ready to go the next time we need it.
All of this may sound intimidating, but honestly it has changed my life as a mom. Adopting these habits and routines has allowed me to feel more like myself and savor more moments with my family because I’m not stressing about squeezing in my workout, prepping food or organizing for bedtime. There are days where things still seem chaotic despite my best planning efforts, but my goal is to be as consistent as possible — and that’s all that matters.