39 WEEKS PREGNANT
Create a “Mom and Baby” Nook Somewhere in Your Home
This week, you can
• Prepare a special nook for you and Baby
• Keep this area stocked with supplies
• Consider how to make this nook interesting over the long haul
JUST MIGHT BE the most fun assignment so far. As I mentioned in the
introduction, one of the keys of Zen Organizing is creating special
places in your home to relax and be at peace. Since you and Baby will
be spending a lot of time snuggling, rocking, and nursing over the
upcoming months, why not purposely create a peaceful, comforting spot
where the two of you can retreat instead of just plopping down wherever
you happen to be? And here’s the best part: You can have more than one
nook. Let’s say you love the morning sun and the way it streams into
the family room. Why not enjoy that warmth and special time of day with
Baby? If he’s arriving in the dead of winter, those warm rays from the
sun will comfort both of you. As the day fades and night takes over the
world, you might enjoy another spot equally well.
if Baby is coming in the middle of summer and you live in a house with
a beautiful back porch that overlooks your yard? You might want to
create a nook there so that you and your baby can enjoy the early
evening hours outdoors. I have a friend who bought a tiny, nondescript
house in an unfashionable part of town. It took about two years but he
turned the front and back yards into magical areas. No matter where you
look you see beauty and hear the soft trickling from multiple water
fountains. It’s soothing to the eye, the ear, and the soul to be in
those areas. You can create magic as well.
PICK YOUR SPOT
I want you to pick
your spots with care. Let’s do the “fresh eyes” exercise. You’ll need
to leave your home for a bit so if you don’t have time this minute or
you are feeling sleepy, do the exercise the next time you return home
from running an errand, walking the dog, or visiting the doctor’s
Walk around your home as if you have
never been here before. Are there any spots that catch your eye as
being particularly inviting? You probably have a candidate in mind but
this walk will open your eyes to new possibilities.
YOUR PERSONAL STAMP
Each of us is
unique in some way. Now that you’ve chosen your spot, how will you make
it unique? Here are some considerations to help you decide what you
will do in your nook:
Is music important to you? What about an iPod docking station? Or just stash an iPod and some headphones here.
Do you love plants and indoor gardening? See the box below for some tips.
you an avid reader? You’ll want a good light source and a bookcase or
some bookends so that your stash doesn’t get sloppy looking.
you love rocking chairs or a big, comfy side chair? Do you need to move
some furniture to get your favorite chair in your designated nook?
What about items like comfy pillows or beautiful shawls? Do you have what you need to make this nook especially inviting?
salt lamps cast a soft magical glow and throw off negative ions. They
come in a variety of shapes and sizes. It is recommended that you leave
the lamps on twenty-four hours a day. The light bulb inside is only
fifteen watts so the cost is negligible. I have one in every room.
GROW A GREEN THUMB
The idea that only some people have a green
thumb is as silly as the concept that only some people can get
organized. If you have never had any luck with plants, I’m going to bet
I know why. You see, I used to labor under the same false assumption.
Like the old me, you are probably prone to bringing home exotic plants
that you plop in areas where they can’t possibly thrive. Here’s the
trick with plants: First decide where you would like them to go. Note
the light source and the amount of heat or air conditioning that area
gets. Then go to a reputable nursery and find the on-site expert. Tell
her what your conditions are in detail and she will match you up with
the perfect plant.
There is one fly in the ointment: Plants need
water! Some need periodic fertilizer. And all will eventually need to
be repotted. You’ll have to stick with a simple schedule to care for
them properly. Plants are alive, and nurturing them and watching them
grow is a joy. They absorb pollutants, give off oxygen, and breathe
visual life into any environment. A decorator client taught me to mix
shades of green and shapes of leaves to create an interesting visual.
Finally, there are varieties of green plants that
thrive with very little care. Ask your nursery rep to show you a “cast
iron plant.” Yes, that’s the common name. You find them in malls
because, as the name suggests, it’s almost impossible to kill them with
neglect. If you aren’t sure about your ability to care for plants,
start with this one. Otherwise, bring home a few silk plants for their
This might be another great place
for a small water fountain. You don’t want this to run twenty-four
hours a day because the water evaporates and adding water to a fountain
isn’t high on your to-do list. Turn it on when you sit down with Baby.
Again the sound of water may be very comforting to her, as she’s just
left a water world of her own.
THE WELL-STOCKED SPOT
matter where you settle, you’re going to want basic supplies at hand.
You don’t want to get comfy and cozy with the baby asleep in your arms
and suddenly realize you don’t have that new book you just started (or
your e-reader). Here is a list of items you’ll want to have on hand. Be
sure you replenish this area. (If you have a housekeeper, you might put
this task on her to-do list.) Here are some items to get you started:
• Nursing pillow
• Water bottle
• Lip balm
• Burp cloth
• Blanket (a nice-sized one to cover up both you and Baby)
• Quick snacks in case you get settled in with Baby just as your stomach starts rumbling! Granola bars are a good choice.
Remember the postpartum tote we created last month? You’ll want to keep
one here stocked with your nursing supplies and medications for at
least the first few days after you come home.
Over time this nook
may become a special spot for you and your toddler. Build the
possibility of growth into your plans. Here are some ideas:
small folding/portable bookcase might have been your first choice for
this area. It will work well while you’re holding a baby. But a sturdy
one will work better over the long haul. For example, a toddler might
grab one of the legs of the portable bookcase as he crawls by and down
it may go!
A bookcase is
great because the top can be used for your baby supplies. Keep them in
containers to preserve a tidy and welcoming environment. If your baby
already has books, start filling the bottom shelf in addition to the
bookcase in his bedroom.
the area has floor space, over time you can set this up as a play area
for your growing child. You might want a playpen at first and later set
up a small easel for your budding artist.
your need for baby-related supplies wanes, the bookcase shelves or
baskets you used are now free to house toys and more books.
hope you enjoy setting this nook up as much as you will enjoy sharing
the space with your baby. And remember to keep your partner involved in
the process. Invite him to sit with your child in this comforting space
and read her a story or sit on the floor and play with his son. Moms
are flooded with baby-bonding hormones at this time; it’s easy to
unconsciously ignore Dad. Even if you feel you do everything better for
your baby, be sure to involve your partner with Baby’s care. After all,
without him there would be no reason to create a nook.