In September 2019, my husband and I moved into a relatively small one bedroom apartment. We planned to stay briefly. It was just the two of us, and we were in those blissful days, pre-pandemic, when you could travel anywhere. That’s all we wanted, just to work and save so we could travel. That life seems so happy and simple in retrospect.
Five months later, I came home from work, took a pregnancy test, and hopped in the shower. When I got out, I was pregnant. Three days after that, my company laid off thousands of employees, myself included. Covid hit the U.S. with no mercy, and March 2020 wrapped me up in a tornado and spun me around for what seemed like a lifetime.
Ultimately, the original plan was derailed. We were tasked with revamping our entire lives in what felt like the blink of an eye. The small one bedroom that was meant to be a place to rest and refuel between adventures became a nest for quarantine and place to bring home our first child.
New Baby, No Room
I then faced a new challenge…I had to find a way to fit a baby and all the gear that comes with a baby into this small space.
What could I downsize? What was ideal but unnecessary? If you’re about to be a parent for the first time, scour the internet for those “do’s and don’ts” of buying baby stuff. You find some strong opinions on what is worth it and what’s not. Some of them are conflicting, but typically there’s some consensus.
The first thing I tackled, was the good old-fashioned changing table. It’s a staple. Typically, it comes with a matching crib as a set, but honestly, who needs it? I certainly didn’t have room for it. So, I decided to go with something more compact.
The Diaper Caddy
In reality, I can’t imagine getting up every time I needed to change a diaper and carrying my son to another room. That sounds lazy, especially since I just said I live in a small space, but, honestly, I have no excuse. As a new mom, I decided I would make convenience a priority, and it has been a blessing.
I had a choice, I could give up my king-size bed (never going to happen) to make room or I could eliminate the unnecessary. I went with the later and never looked back.
First things first, I 86’d the changing table and got myself a portable version. A diaper caddy is just that, a caddy for diaper changing supplies. You put everything you need in it to change diapers throughout a normal day. You can carry from room to room and have it on hand wherever you are.
What’s in My Small Diaper Caddy?
What do you keep in it? First, what are the things that you will be reaching for all day? There are a few obvious answers:
- For the bum: Diapers, wipes, powder, your cream of choice
- For the tears: pacifiers (plural because at least 2 will disappear at random), small toy
Before my son was born, I bought a small caddy. A few months in, I got a bigger one. I started to use it not just to keep necessities nearby but to keep them organized. Pockets are everything!
Here are a couple of my favorite Caddys from amazon…
What’s in My Large Diaper Caddy?
Upgrading to the bigger caddy helped me stay organized. There were a few things I needed to keep more readily available:
- Medicine bag: I learned quickly to keep all the baby meds in one small bag (gripe water, gas drops, teething tablets, pain reliever, nose suckers, med droppers, thermometer, etc.). I put it all in one small bag. At home it’s in the caddy; when we leave, it goes in the diaper bag.
- Grooming tools: nail clippers, comb, brush
- Changing pad: This one is important. A changing pad is what protects your couch/bed/floor from the dirty diaper changes. Parents of boys: get a big one! They can really get some impressive distance with the pee stream when they catch you off guard.
- Whatever else you like: I keep hand sanitizer and lotion for me.
Convenience is Key
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…convenience is so important to make parent life less stressful. If I know where everything is and can grab it as soon as I need it, I have one less thing clogging my brain, which is typically at capacity most of the time.
Subscribe for more tips and let me know what items and techniques work for you. Here are a few links for some diaper caddy and changing pad options below.