How to Organize Baby Gear

Pregnant mom organizing baby layette

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Imagine yourself walking up your front steps with your brand new baby in your arms. You're probably thinking about how excited you are to show them their new home and about all the memories you will make there as a family.

You probably aren't thinking about the hundreds of diaper changes ahead of you or the complicated process of sanitizing bottles. You might not yet realize how many possible scenarios there will be that requires a complete change of your baby's outfit.

Babies come with gear. Lots of it. There are diapers, wipes, onesies, swaddling blankets, burp cloths, and possibly bottles. And there are so, so many of each! Having a plan in place to keep your baby gear organized can help you save your sanity and stay focused on the precious moments you are spending with your infant.

Why It's Important to Keep Baby Gear Organized

Having a baby is a major life transition, whether it's your first or your fourth child. Caring for an infant is a distinct season, which, as special as it is, can be downright exhausting. You are feeding a small human being every few hours around the clock, and it may seem like you're constantly trying to figure out whether they are hungry, tired, wet, hot, or cold.

New parents are at an increased risk for insomnia and depression. And while getting organized is not a magic cure for either of these things, it can go a long way in making each day a bit easier. Having systems in place so you can find what you need easily can help to lower your stress levels, especially when you are adjusting to a new routine.

"Having your baby items properly organized helps you and family members to remember where something is in a time of exhaustion," says Karen Lee, a household organization and cleaning professional, founder of Smart Robotic Home, and a mother who has who experienced firsthand the chaos that can surround having a newborn. "Being able to find the baby bottles and formula right away, as well as the diapers and fresh pajamas, can help to mitigate frustration from the parents and the baby."

How to Organize Bottles

If you are using bottles to feed your baby, cleaning and drying them will take up a big part of your time. "Bottles should always be properly washed and then stored in a well-ventilated area," notes Lee. "This will help all moisture to dry properly and not harbor any bad smell or mold."

It's a good idea to keep bottles in their own bins on the counter with the lids on. Alternatively, use a lazy susan. "This allows you to save counter space since you only need to grab one and move on," explains Alex Varela, Texas-based cleaning expert.

If you are using bottles exclusively or your bottles are getting very regular use, consider leaving them on the drying rack until their next use. This cuts down on how much you have to do since you don't need to put them away, and it ensures that your bottles dry completely.

How to Organize Your Changing Table

Diapers are the quintessential baby item. Whether you go with cloth, disposable, or compostable diapers, you will be changing them all the time. Keeping your changing area organized and running smoothly makes a big difference.

You may have a more permanent changing area in your baby's nursery or your family living area where you spend a lot of time. But you will also need to have access to your baby changing gear while on the go.

"I love using a rolling cart for all the baby changing station accessories," says Lee. "You can keep diapers, baby wipes, and cream all on a wheeling cart. You can then move it around to where you need it and you will always know where these items are when you need them."

When it comes to the diapers themselves, a good strategy is to fold them vertically instead of stacked one on top of the other. "This way, you can grab each one individually without moving the others," notes Varela. You can store them in a tote or a rolling storage cart.

How to Organize Baby Clothes

Baby clothes don't have to be super complicated. Sticking to the essentials is very helpful in keeping your daily routine as low maintenance as possible during the sometimes chaotic early months of your baby's life. Purchasing a handful of onesies, a handful of footed pajamas (choose zippers over snaps), and a few sleeping gowns will keep your baby comfortable and warm. Plus, they will look adorable in anything!

When it comes to organizing your baby's wardrobe, you have two main options: you can fold the clothes or you can hang them. You may end up using a combination of both.

For clothing storage in drawers, dividers will help the items stay where they belong and where you can easily find them. "You can find dividers in different sizes in order to fit each type of garment," explains Varela. "A back door organizer is also ideal for baby clothes because it is small which makes it perfect for baby-sized clothes, and it has more than enough compartments."

You may not have envisioned your baby's clothing hung up on a rack, but you may find that it's an easier way of keeping the clothes organized. "It beats having to dig through multiple dressers and
bins to find something for the baby to wear, and it makes for easier rotation of clothes so you don’t wear out one item frequently," notes Lee. To make this work, you just need to buy some baby-sized hangers.

How to Organize Bibs and Burp Cloths

Bibs and burp cloths have the similar purpose of helping to clean up food spills. Burp cloths are used when your baby is tiny and drinking formula or breast milk. You can drape them over your shoulder to protect your clothes from the milk your baby spits up and you can use them to mop up a variety of milk messes, such as milk dripped down your baby's chin, milk spit-up down the front of their pajamas, or any milk that doesn't make it down to your baby's tummy (and stay there).

It's a good idea to designate a drawer or bins for burp cloths. You don't really need to fold them unless you want to.

Bibs are useful when babies begin to teethe and when they are starting to eat solid foods. As their teeth come in, you will see a lot of drool. Keeping a bib snapped on at all times will help keep the drool off of their clothing, so you don't have to change the whole outfit.

Starting solid foods can be super messy, so you will definitely want a bib to be on while you feed your baby or while they feed themselves.

You can have a drawer or bin for bibs, or you can hang them up. "You can put them all together on the same hanger and place it wherever is easiest to reach," explains Lee. "This may be on your pantry door or hung up beside your oven mitts."

A Word From Verywell

When you bring home your new baby, it's common to find yourself overwhelmed by all the gear and what to do with it. Who knew such a small being could need such a large amount of stuff! Sticking to the essential products you need and keeping it all organized and easily accessible can go a long way towards lowering your stress levels, and letting you relax and enjoy your new bundle of joy.

3 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Elisa Cinelli
Elisa is a well-known parenting writer who is passionate about providing research-based content to help parents make the best decisions for their families. She has written for well-known sites including POPSUGAR Family and Scary Mommy, among others.