Diapers: How to keep them organized, available, and stocked.
It seems like diapers are the bane of every parent's existence. You always seem to be fighting with them for one reason or another. Here are a few tricks I picked up that I wanted to share.
First: Have a baby changing station in every major room. You have no idea how much easier your life can be when you have everything you need close by.
Even before Emma was born, I knew this was something I wanted to do. Only then, I thought I would just have one on each floor. There was the one in her room--obviously--and one in the living room. And they weren't even the uber-fancy ones. My mom had given me some simple plastic pink tubs she had in her house and I use those. They work great! They keep everything you NEED in them without letting you go overboard, thus getting overwhelmed!
See? Simple. I have a decent sized hard-plastic container of wipes, a thing of baby powder, a bib--which doubles as a rag in a pinch, a thicker receiving blanket I use to change Emma on, a thing of diaper rash ointment (hidden under the bib I guess), and a decent amount of diapers. I think there's about twenty or so there. When Emma was first born I would have an extra outfit in there too, just in case. Not so much now that she's older, but it helped a lot in the beginning.
- Here's my reasoning for each item. In regards to the hard case of wipes: I think these work so much better than the flimsy ones. I got three tubs from baby showers and I just rip the other ones open and use them as refills. The tubs just keep the wipes wetter longer, they don't stick to the glue on the cover like they would with the other, and you have a solid frame to help you separate them when you only have one hand to use! Haha Seriously though, when you have one hand on the baby trying to keep a squiggler still, and the other has to get a wipe; these tubs come in handy.
- I like having a bib on hand versus a burp cloth for a few reasons but a big one is: a bib can double as a burp cloth, but a burp cloth can't really double as a bib.
- A thick receiving blanket for a changing pad. My reason for this was a mostly economical one. I got around 6-7 of them at Emma's showers so I already had a few extra around the house. If I were to go out and purchase a "Changing Pad," they can get expensive. And since you are going to need at least two or three (if not more so you have one available when you wash the others)... well it just made more sense to use the blankets.
- Baby powder and diaper rash cream for obvious reasons. You don't want to open up the diaper and see an irritated bottom and NOT be ready. Just go ahead and have them in there.
- And of course, the diapers. Every Friday night I go around to the "changing stations" to see where they stand and restock (this includes the diaper bag). I like to have a full container for the weekend since I can't be sure if we are going to be at home more or out and about. If we go out on the weekends, then I can usually go the week with these filled in the two stations we (now) have. If we stay home, then I will usually stock back up on Sunday night, just to be safe.
|What's in the nightstand version? Diapers (maybe 5 or so), a soft bag of wipes, powder, diaper rash cream, comb, and a burp cloth.|
Second: Always have the next size up. I was very lucky with my baby showers. I got tons of diapers and in different sizes too. Now, I didn't KNOW they had a size "newborn," so I didn't register for that. I started off with size one. (Makes sense right? haha) The hospital did send us home with almost 4 or 5 packs of newborn sized diapers though, which was a godsend. As Emma outgrew one size, I would just take the unopened pack to the store and exchange it for the next size up. And I always did that before she absolutely HAD to move up. See, diapers are great in that the weight limits overlap. Example: Emma is around 17lbs. Size 2 diapers go up to 18lbs; size 3 diapers start at 16lbs. So when I realized that Emma was about halfway through one pack of size 2s and at least 16lbs, I just took the other pack in and exchanged it for size 3s. Then we were ready to move up without a hassle.
Third: Don't open every pack of the size diaper your child is in right now. This relates to the point above. As long as the pack is closed, the stores will usually take them and let you do an exchange. So just open them one pack at a time. You'll know when you are almost done with a pack and can guage whether or not to move up to the next set or open that same size.
Fourth: Aside from the diapers you have in the diaper bag(s) and changing station(s), don't have them out where you can see them. It's sort of like having your spare toilet paper rolls out: We all know you have to use them, but it's just not cute. Same with diapers. We all know every baby uses diapers, but no one really wants to see them out. Because then we just think of the stink they can carry. **Shudder** That's why even my changing station tubs are out of sight. I keep the one in the living room under the coffee table; easily accessible when I need it, but we aren't constantly looking at it. The one in Emma's room is sort of blocked from sight by a lamp and a stuffed toy. (The toy also serves dual purpose of keeping Emma entertained when she doesn't want to be changed! More on that in another post.)
What I did is convert what we intended to be a bookshelf/bench into a storage station for all of Emma's diapering needs. I put cute pink fabric bins in the slots and put different "diaper things" in each bin. One is full of diapers, one holds all the wipe refills, and the other has surplus lotions, creams, powders, burp cloths, thick receiving blankets, and odorizers. Simple, clean, functional. And you don't have the eyesore that is dirty diapers.
Fifth: Diaper bags. You should always have at least two stocked. At all times!
No. Seriously. You should.
See you never know when you might have to rush out the door or if someone was playing with the bag and pulled out this or that. You don't need to worry about having enough diapers in a crunch situation. Thus: always have two packed. For Mother's Day, my boyfriend got me the most beautiful diaper bag. It was so nice I didn't want to ruin it. So I registered for a second one that I would leave with Emma when I had to drop her off with a family member for any amount of time. And yes, I still have both. And yes, they are both always stocked. I always have at least 5-6 diapers in there, wipes, extra binkies, an extra outfit or two, a burp cloth, changing pad, bib, some soft toys, some loud toys, and a medical bag with things like a thermometer, children's tylenol, nose syringe, gas drops, some cookies, some mushy food, and medicine dropper.
Okay. So that's all I have right now for diapers. Keep on the look out for the next installment!