I've been through the "new baby" phase... twice... and I thought it was due time that I share some of my treasured tips that have helped me through the first year with a new baby.
Save Those Instructions!
All those wonderful toys, gadgets, and baby furniture come with instructions. Instead of shoving them in a drawer, keep them handy in plastic sleeves in a binder. You would be surprised at home many times you may reference those manuals. Plus, if you decide to sell or give away your baby items, they're much more appealing to the new owner when the items come with instructions!
Prepare Your Pets
A few hours before you come home with baby, get your partner/family member/friend to bring a onesie (or blanket that the baby has been using) home to the family pets. Let the pets smell the item and leave it with them for a few hours. When you come home with baby, your animals may be a little more settled, as they will already be familiar with baby's scent.
Keep A Journal
For those first few months, make sure to keep a journal of baby's routine... how much he/she eats, how long he/she rests for, what his/her "output" is. All of these things come in handy when at you're at the doctor's office and trying to answer various questions. When you're an exhausted new parent, it can be challenging to recall how often your baby poops.
Have A Bag Of Fun!
A bag of fun is great for outings. We have a bag with toys that our baby gets ONLY when we're out of the house.
Have A Drawer Of Fun!
Eventually baby may dislike getting his/her diaper changed. Have a basket or drawer of assorted toys and rattles that are just given to him/her at diapering time.
Speaking Of Diaper Changes....
Make sure your diaper station is always well prepared with everything you could possibly need. Also, if the "drawer of fun" isn't working for baby, try hanging a mobile over the change table.
Good grief, how can one little person produce so much laundry! I wish I thought of this earlier in my parenting career... avoid losing small items by washing all the teeny, tiny little items (like baby socks) in a lingerie bag.
Give Baby The Shirt Off Your Back
Speaking of laundry, don't wash all of it! For the first few months of baby sleeping in their own crib, give them one of your "dirty" (smelly, sweaty) shirts to sleep with. Tie a firm knot in it to keep baby from getting stuck/tangled in it. They will love sleeping with something that smells like you.