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

THIS 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.

What 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.


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 office.
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.


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.
Are 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.
Do 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?
Himalayan 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.


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 decorative value.

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.


No 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:

• Tissues
• Diapers
• Wipes
• 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:
A 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.
If 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.
As your need for baby-related supplies wanes, the bookcase shelves or baskets you used are now free to house toys and more books.
I 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.

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