Caring for a newborn can be no easy feat. Not only will the new parent/guardian be potentially experiencing hormonal changes, they're now adjusting to caring full-time for someone other than themselves. Plus, this new human is completely dependent on the care of their caregiver.
Though the early days of parenthood bring along a whirlwind of experiences, there are some moments in the day when it's easiest to get your stuff done. Whether it's washing the dishes or taking a bath yourself, there are ways to achieve your (most mundane) goals while caring for a newborn. Read ahead for some additional insight!
Often, the newborn baby will feel most comfortable in the arms of their parents. The new child may automatically adjust to their new swing/playpen/play mat, but with practice makes perfect. The more they're used to being put down when the parent needs to get their things done, the easier it will become. You may need to step away in order to brush your teeth. You may need to place the newborn down to get changed out of your milk-stained t-shirt. So, bust out that baby swing. It will come in handy.
Yes, you are now a parent. And multi-tasking now has a new meaning. Breastfeeding but have to eat breakfast yourself? No problem! You will learn quite quickly how to feed your child, whether it's from breast or bottle, while you do some additional work.
Even if this means sending a quick e-mail to HR to request some additional time off with your newborn, you will be able to concentrate on getting this done while your baby is eating quietly close to you.
This option may not be feasible for every family dynamic. Sometimes, you just have to do what you have to do. And that's absolutely understandable and ok. But if it's in your budget and comfort level, there are many options out there. For example: postpartum doulas may not be cheap, but they sure come in handy.
If you are a first-time-parent, a postpartum doula will assist with more than just being your emotional support. They will allow you to sleep when you must. Some will help tidy the home when you're in dire need. Whether it's the massive support of a hired doula or a part-time house cleaner to assist with your chores, there are options.
Tummy time is a great way to get some additional work done. Though some medical professionals don't push this exercise on children until roughly 3 months of age, many parents encourage tummy time from day 1. According to this article, it's a great way to encourage neck and back strength.
The baby will never push themselves above their limit. So while your newborn is on their tummy for 2-5 minutes, that gives the parent enough time to get a cup of coffee or lay down themselves for some rest. Because let's be real: 2 minutes of alone time in the newborn stage is pretty darn glorious.
Baby wraps aren't just meant to be worn while taking your morning walks. They're not just used for helping your baby get to sleep, either! Baby wraps are a great way to have your newborn close while you mop the floor, use the washroom or read a book. Whether you purchase a sling or use a hand-me-down wrap that's an incredibly simple design, you'll want to ensure it's supportive and safe enough for your newborn.
They often come with a weight suggestion on-box. Regardless, using a baby wrap around the home will help maneuver your child around while you get things done around the home.
Again, this type of baby-carrier isn't necessarily meant to be exclusively used outside. Sometimes, babies will nap only during their morning walks, bundled in their strollers.
Well, if you don't want to get outside at 8am before you've had the opportunity to shower, you may just find it easier to open the stroller up in the hallway and walk back and forth until the child is lulled to sleep. There's not shame in that! Again: sometimes you have to do what you just have to do.
Yes, we know. *GULP* the horrid advice we hear all...the....time. BUT, we all have good intentions. We know that when your baby naps, you often want to nap, too. We also know that when baby naps, that's when it's prime time to get your *stuff* done. So take advantage of the newborn stage. It's a perfect time to finish that book you back two years ago that's collecting dust on the top shelf. It's also a great time to shower, wash the dishes, clean out the fridge and so on.
Sometimes it's as simple as this: get your things done when you're in the mood. This 'mood' may not arrive as often as you'd like, but it sometimes comes in burst. Whether it's the middle of the night or the moment your partner arrives home from work, it's important to get your things done when you're feeling inspired.
Even if this means mustering the energy to take a shower. In the newborn stage, it's hard to find the energy. But that energy may surprise you when you least expect it. It's important to take it easy in the newborn stage for your physical and mental health. So never push yourself and listen to your mind and body. Try to only get things done when you feel like it.
The morning is a great time to get things done. Often when you wake first thing (if you had the pleasure of actually sleeping during the night), the mood is lighter and the energy is there. As the day drags on, energy can dwindle. Time can feel like it's going slow. Yes, you will blink and the newborn stage will have past, but while you're living in its reality it can feel like you're living in slow-mode. So, try to find the time that's best for you. Try first thing in the morning, when the sun is rising and the mood is good.
If you have the opportunity to co-parent alongside a partner, sometimes it's best to wait to get things done when they're home. Every family dynamic is different. There are some parents who parent solo while their partners are over seas. There are single parents who rely on friends and family for additional support. Regardless of your situation, it's important to have that support-team when you welcome a baby. So the best time for you to get your things done may be when they're around to help. There's absolutely no shame is waiting for support to get the most mundane things done.