Reorganizing Emma’s Nursery after 7 months: 15 Nursery Organization Tips I’ve Learned From Experience

I can’t believe it, but Emma is about to start crawling! Gone are the days of the rock-n-play and the baby swing. It was high time to reorganize the nursery for a crawler/walker, rather than a newborn.

Update: If you are interested in newborn nurseries, check out the nursery I put together for Baby Kate!

I decided to take the opportunity to reassess what was and wasn’t working with my original nursery set-up, and share some tips that I’ve learned along the way. Here we go!

1. Have a plan for storing outgrown baby stuff
I wasn’t going to even buy a rock-n-play because I heard that babies only use them for a few months, but I'm so glad that we did. While we only used ours for 4 months, we really, REALLY used it for those four months. Click HERE to find out which things Emma has already outgrown at 7 months old. Have a storage plan for those items from the very beginning.

If you don’t have storage space, see if you can borrow these items from a friend instead of buying them in the first place. The great thing about borrowing is that you get to return them when you don’t need them anymore! 

2. Buy a couple of push-lights. 
These have been middle-of-the-night life savers! I keep one on my nightstand and one on the windowsill next to Emma’s crib. When I have to get up in the middle of the night, they provide the perfect amount of light. Plus, they run on AAA batteries, so I can move them wherever I want to. 

These are the lights that I have (They cost $5.99 at Target- see link HERE) but you can find similar ones almost anywhere.
3. Put a second chair in the nursery. 
At least if you want your husband to keep you company every once in a while. We have a small nursery, and didn't have room for a second chair, so we stashed a folding chair in the closet. It works for us. 

4. Get a trashcan. 
Am I the only one who thought that I wouldn’t need a trashcan in my nursery? I do everything reusable: diapers, wipes, diaper pail liners, etc, so I thought I wouldn’t need one. I was wrong. I recently bought one, and I use it all the time for clothing tags, tissues, gross half-eaten food I find clenched inside my daughter's fists. . .  

5. Have a spot for outgrown and too-big clothes. 
Babies grow like crazy. It’s a great idea to have a bin ready to throw outgrown clothes in. I also decided to create a space to throw too-big clothing. I keep most of Emma's too-big clothes in bins in the attic, but I don’t want to have to run up there every time someone gives us a few hand-me-downs or a new onesie in the next size up. 

6. Put the dirty clothes hamper within reach of the changing table. 
I used to keep dirty clothes in a hamper in the closet… just out of reach of the changing table. I have no idea why I thought that was a good idea, but it was the first thing I changed when I reorganized. This cute basket now easily catches the dirty clothes as soon as they come off. 

7. Keep your diaper caddy updated with the essentials.
If you stop using an item regularly, move it to a new location. We don’t use saline drops as much as we did when Emma was tiny, so they got moved to the medicine cabinet, and her hairbrush (which she didn’t need until recently) took its place. Having the essentials at your fingertips will keep you sane.
See my post HERE on what items I keep in my diaper caddy.  
8. Keep a basket of blankets handy. 
Now that she’s sitting up and learning to crawl, Emma sometimes gets rug burn on her tiny knees! It's so sad. I try to put a play mat or blanket down before she plays, but it’s nice to have an easy spot to put everything away when she’s done to keep things looking neat.

9. Rethink toy storage. 
Now that Emma can sit up and play on her own, I decided to organize her toys into baskets that she’ll easily be able to reach as a crawler. This is probably my favorite change so far, because I can easily grab a basket and set it in front of her wherever she happens to be playing. When she’s done I throw everything back in the basket and put it back on the shelf. 
P.S. These are some of Emma’s favorite “toys.” Of course, we always supervise her closely when she plays with these things, since some of them have small pieces that could come off. But the greeting card that sings when you open it and the broken (and cleaned) remote control? She loves them!
10. Think twice about where you’ll store the singing toys. 
Emma has two stuffed animals that talk and sing. I used to keep them in a basket with all of her other stuffed animals, but sometimes the tiniest vibration would set them off and I’d ben lying in bed in the middle of the night listening to, “Do you know the muffin man?” In my new arrangement, My Pal Violet and Scout both got some prime real estate on top of the storage cubes where they won’t be accidentally turned on the middle of the night!
11. Baby-proof! 
I'm still working on this one, but I recently rearranged the cube storage to include only toys and things that won't hurt Emma if she gets into them (like bibs and burp cloths.) I used to keep all of her medicines in one of these bins, so I moved them to the highest shelf of the bathroom closet.

12. Purposefully arrange books. 
Now that Emma can reach the bottom two shelves of her bookcase, I decided to rearrange a little bit. 
The bottom shelf now contains board books and soft books. The next shelf up, which she can also reach, contains more board books and puzzles. Above that are picture books and library books (closest to the glider since I usually read library books to her before naps) and above that are chapter books that she'll grow into later.

Here's the busy little bee herself: 
13. Yes, our baby has her own iPod! 
I know it sounds crazy. But this was an old iPod that my husband had before he got his smartphone. He doesn't really need it anymore, so it became Emma's. And it’s actually really, really nice not to have kids’ songs on my own phone. We can easily take her iPod with us in the car if we want, but we mostly leave it in the nursery for nap time and night time music.
All of Emma's music is organized into playlists (sleep, playtime, books on CD, etc.) She also has two sound machine apps, (eliminating the need for an actual sound machine in the nursery) and her own Pandora stations. 
14. Keep track of the weather: inside and outside. 
My favorite weather app in the world is Weather Underground. It’s the best. (Trust me, I’ve tried them all! I’m a little obsessed with weather apps.) I put this app on Emma’s iPod so I can check it before I change her in the morning, and (hopefully) pick out an appropriate outfit! 

I also have an indoor/outdoor thermometer in her room because I like to know how hot/cold it is while she sleeps. I love this thermometer, and this stuffed monkey that Emma’s daycare teacher got her on their zoo field trip props it up perfectly!
15. Stay hydrated during night-feedings. 
Everyone knows you’re supposed to keep yourself hydrated if you're nursing a baby. What I didn’t know was just how much water I would drink in the middle of the night! Then I remembered that I had a FIZZONATOR in the trunk of my car from my college days. 

This baby can hold 52 ounces of liquid. YES! No more filling up in the middle of the night. This may seem excessive to you, and I’m positive that large, gas station cups will not exactly go with your cute nursery themes, but this has been one of my favorite nursery additions of all time, so I just had to share it with you. :) 
I hope these tips help, and give you some fun things to think about as you arrange your own nursery. And when you're ready for it, be sure to check out my post on how to convert a nursery into a great toddler bedroom!

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