Clothes, keep clothes close by rather than in closets in far away rooms. We have 4 (stylish) little bins per kid that hold shirts, pants, underwear, and socks and they fit under the tv stand in the living room.
Diaper changes are close by, preferably with everything from the changing mat to baby wipes out and accessible. The main diaper change station is about 3ft or 1m from the tv in our living room. We keep a small trash here. Depending on where you spend time, you may want additional/multiple diaper change areas with essentials only. We have a station in each kids room for bedtime. As a reminder, having to open drawers or cabinets is inefficient, we leave our diaper stuff out. Your baby will be a kid soon enough, I think its okay for a few months/years.
Trash is close by, especially for daily diapers. We keep our extra trashbags/grocery bags under the active trash bag inside the trash bin. Between taking tags off clothes, diapers, and daily living, a living room trashbin can reduce frequent walks across the house.
From 1st kid waking up to last kid loaded in the car for daycare/school, this process could be relatively similar enough to process flow it. Everyone needs to eat, get dressed, and have their backpacks ready for school. There may be some chaos with humans, but if you follow an efficient process, you will make up for chaos with process time savings.
Making Baby Formula should be fast. Bottles, formula, and hot water should all be located nearby.
Might seem obvious, but wherever you plan to do your baby bathing, keep your bath supplies close by.
Before the toys take over your house, it might be good to have a bin for the toys. This makes it easy to pick up the toys as you can carry the bin around. Once the toys take over your house, all walls are covered in facade bookshelves/organizers/bins/baskets to store toys. This makes it easy to clear the floor for company or vacuuming.
When loading the car seat or do a diaper change: Count. This way you are always racing against yourself and holding yourself accountable for performance. The added benefit is that your kids will like to hear the numbers. While this isnt the same level of quality as recording the process and finding waste, its a 0 time cost alternative that will cause you and your kid to be attentive to the process. (Of course, you can always use process flow to save time as well)
Streamline regular processes(diaper changes) by having materials(diapers and wipes) and tools(diaper change pad) in consistent locations. By always knowing things are in the same location, you will be faster at your process and will avoid errors looking around. Consider other frequent and regular processes. Here are some multiple times per day processes that would be worth standardizing: Preparing a baby bottle, dealing with spitups, putting the baby down to sleep, and anything breastfeeding related. After you have those down, consider daily things like dressing, putting in a car seat/carrier, etc.. (This methodology is called Set In Order and is part of 5S.)
Rocking them to sleep is waste, they don’t need it. I understand situations where its the right thing to do, however this is a bigger strategy. Deal with a few minutes of fuss while the baby figures out how to fall asleep alone. (Bonus points for making their sleep occasionally uncomfortable, this will set them up for a life of being able to nap in loud areas, bad beds, bright lights, etc…)
Getting up before 6am is a waste. After they are 3 months old, I believe we are cleared for sleep training which up to me, should be done on that 3 month birthday for our own sleep’s sake.
Holding the bottle is a waste. You/Daycare will teach them to hold their own bottle.
Easy for me to say, but ‘Don’t care about clothes’. This means getting free/used clothes when possible or buying stuff as needed. The goal here is to save time, not have cool outfits.
Don’t buy Toys ever. I’d doubt we spent more than $50 on toys for our kids and our house is filled to the point we give toys away. No need to think about them either.
I don’t think you need a nightly bath. Circumstances like spaghetti night change everything, but a few times a week is plenty. Any reduction is savings. We have a shower time for kids that need help, it is during the time I need to shower a few times a week. I needed to soak for a few minutes anyway.
Do you need to interact with your kids? The Montessori method says no, if they are focused, let them be. Being focused on drawing is desired, being focused on Phonics videos is fine, being focused on baby shark is hedonistic waste.
Make too much formula? It can be reheated later. This means not having to measure anything or scoop formula. Alternatively if I have 2oz of cold formula I might add 4oz of hot formula. This saves from having to wash a bottle.
Make too much food for your kid? Either save as leftovers or eat it.
Unless you are spending quality time with your kids, are you just ‘watching’ them? Cook, do laundry, clean, play/teach the kids. Of course chaos stuff is going to happen, but deal with the problems as they come.
Driving them to daycare/school/sports? (Nonfiction) audiobooks. Get some ROI on your time driving, get the books you have been meaning to read. Pro-tip from an avid reader: If you aren’t interested within 1 hour of listening to the book, you can move on, its okay. If you are worried you are going to skip something, I’ve found that important things are repeated by different authors.
Outside of baby shower gifts, it may be best to wait until you need something. Marketers are trying to push their products on you, you’d be surprised how little you need to buy to raise a baby.
Clothes should be bought on a need basis. Free clothes and hand-me-downs will reduce the need to buy clothes but season dependent weather may cause you to buy some anyway. Buy as needed, no need to buy ahead of time.
As mentioned elsewhere, toys will fill your home even if you don’t buy any.
Reevaluate if your kid plays with toys anymore, if your future kids will be playing with it, and decide if it can be put away or given away.
Forget to buy/pack something and need to make a special stop at the grocery store? You may be able to apply logistics to your diaper bag. Push method would be adding things before each trip, pull method would be making a note to replenish the inventory as you get low on materials. If this still becomes an issue, send me an email and it might be worth doing diaper stats to know how many diapers need to be packed.
Dirtied clothes. I’m not sure if I’ll ever learn the lesson myself, always use bibs for eating, you can get away with wearing the same clothes longer and with less washes. In a few cases when the shirt is already dirty, a bib can be forgotten.
If you are able to work and make over ~$20,000/yr per kid in daycare, it makes sense to send your kid to daycare. I already included the buffer for taxes, consider that your experience with work will grow your resume.
If you have family that would love to spend time with the kids, it’s a form of free babysitting. This can reduce monetary costs or reduce workloads.